So much has happened in the past week that most of this feels like it happened a month ago. I did lots of adulting: I found a flat, got a job, moved in/out, and attempted to get a residency card, and I thought I got a concussion (I didn’t, don’t worry), tried lots of new Spanish food, finished Spanish class (minus the exam), and explored Bilbao. I. Am. Tired. Just a little.
I said goodbye to my wonderful host mom on Sunday when she drove me and my suitcase to my flat right across from the university. I’ll be living with two Spanish girls who both seem very friendly, but they won’t be moving in until right before classes start (around the 19th) so I’ll be on my own for a little while.
The same day I found the flat I got a job teaching English twice a week to two siblings, a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl. They’re both quite clever and attend a bilingual school however and started learning very young so they speak better English that I speak Spanish so there’s not too much actual teaching involved. We talk, play with their pet rabbit, and play games, and the very first day they ask me really intense questions like who am I going to vote for. Goooood question.
Priya and I had to skip class to go get our residency card, which we’re supposed to get within the first 30 days of arrival but we couldn’t go until this week because the university wouldn’t give us our matricula paper. When we got to the Foreigners Office all they did was give us a paper to go pay the fee at the bank and told us to come back in two weeks. Bureaucracy. Is. The worst.
Then one day I hit my head on an open window (on the corner of the little door thingy) really really hard. It hurt a lot and it was bleeding a little but I felt pretty ok other than the throbbing so I put some ice on it for a while. Then the next day in class, at first very gradually and then very suddenly I felt really dizzy, feverish, and slightly nauseous. I spent the rest of class trying to pretend like I was quietly listening to the conversation when really I was just trying not to pass out. After class one of the people in the office took me to the campus medic and he told me that I had really low blood pressure. He didn’t say why or how to fix it, just that I shouldn’t eat anything that would upset my stomach. Super helpful. Welp. Fingers crossed it was just a one-time thing.
Saturday Priya and I took a bus (3 hours round trip) to Bilbao for the day. We went to the Guggenheim museum, which is supposedly very sophisticated and famous, but honestly most of the artwork looked like it was made my preschoolers. It was a bit of a let down, but there were some highlights. My favorite part of the day was kayaking on the river that runs through the city!
I’ve also had many opportunies to try new Spanish (and some not-so-Spanish) foods
The most characteristically Spanish food I’ve had is seafood paella, but I was really disappointed that it turned out to be very bland and even worse, imagine how unnerving it is to be digging through some rice and suddenly out pops these:
All in all, it’s been a crazy awesome week. This week I’ll be heading to Ireland for a few days to visit family that I haven’t seen in many years so I’m super excited!