Sunday, October 18, 2015

Two weeks in Barcelona

My first week in Barcelona was entirely magical. I left everything I've ever known behind to inspire myself and a new life that I've so craved for the longest time.

There were many things I wanted to do in that first week but I limited my sight seeing adventures to La Sagrada Família, and La Casa Mila. Both exceeded my expectations in ways I'd never imagined; especially Sagrada Família where I found myself almost crying when I saw the outside, and then crying when I walked in (they were tears I could poker face :p). Such grand intricacy, overwhelming  beauty, which is an understatement, made me reach some kind of spiritual euphoria that I've never experienced in my life. 

Everything was new. I tried to familiarise myself as much as I could with the streets and neighbouring streets of my school and home, and become some kind of expert at the public transport. I checked for places I'd get my shopping done, and figured out my running route. It has been a dream of mine to live in Spain since I was a little girl and now I am here.

My second week in Spain has just ended, and this week was the beginning of my teacher training. I've never been quite so far from home before, but I was looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends. When things started it was underwhelming for a lot of them, but for me it was quite the opposite.

It has been so interesting to see the different personality types on board this journey. Most of them are really eccentric, mostly being English teachers in Barcelona for the adventure and alternative to the life they'd rather not live back home (mostly Britain). There are some that have had years of teaching experience, some with years of linguistic experience, and some with none of either  (me).

We were thrown into the deep end from day one; given our timetables and due dates for all the work, plus our class schedules for when we were going to teach. My jaw could have dropped when I saw we were to teach the next day, but I kept a poker face, everyone else was! "It'll be easy" some even said. Top that off we are learning Macedonian haha.

I was well nervous when it was almost time for my first class on day two. We'd gone through an entire day from 9am-8:30pm on day one and I was knackered. None of us really found time to eat coupled with the fact that we didn't really know the area so when we went for lunch it was more, where can we get the nearest bocadillo con jamon y tortilla por favor? 3€ sandwiches ftw.

And then I found out that wasn't really the best way. That night I bought myself some chocolate milk, bananas and apples. Breakfast consisting of the former two, lunch being the latter. 

It's nothing I'm used to, this way of never having a moment for yourself. But by day 4 (Friday) I had gotten quite used to it I think, to the point where I was quite relaxed around school, although still walk-skipping everywhere. I also found out that going to piss is a great way to mentally relieve yourself. 

The challenge most of all I think isn't so much the work, or the teaching, because I've found out I'm quite the natural at it and I actually have a great time up there? It's the fact that I can't speak straight Spanish, more so Catalan, and going out just for myself has had this tiny ill strain on me because of the language barriers. I can't confidently speak, I can't quite catch what they say without asking them to repeat it twice because no entiendo.  

And then it's a thing I've noticed too where I've been approached by locals for directions. It happens daily. So I gather I come off as Mexican looking or Hispanic in some way. There are some islander looking Spanish people here. And then I feel a bit disgruntled at the fact that I can't understand what they say, except their initial, un momento cariña, una pregunda. The rest is jibberish to me. 

It's kind of a giant tidal wave of what the hell is going on. Lately my solace has been found in the form of my bed haha. And on most days my nightly Skype calls to a 7am Australia. 

Last night the group and I went to town for our first night out. It was fantastic. We went to a bar and then danced some. I found out one of the young ones, M is a dancer and he found out I had some moves in me too so there were some awesome moments when the both of us hit centre of the dance circle just doing some basic salsa or mimicking eachothers moves. Reminded me of K. And thay lasted til 4am in the morning. I got hit on by a French man and two Spanish men both I politely declined in my way. The guys in our group had their eyes on too. T signalled thumbs up with a question mark on his face, and I brought my arm out to the side to signal a thumbs down hahaha. I don't like it at all lol. 

I had a fantastic night out with great people and that's all that matters, but in a strange way I feel completely dislocated today, because I crave something "normal" to me, a trip to BH for coffee with Dan or some grass sitting with Amy. I knew I'd never take anything for granted again after my last break up but here I am, in the land of magic and beautiful people and I've left parts of me on the otherside of the world.

The only thing I keep in my head is I really have to give this my best shot. Apart from all the meeting people and being a teacher, there's this other thing of just being okay that I really need to keep. And what I've found is the way I cope is hardly anything like how most people cope. I need time to myself, I'm not always trying to fill silences, I hardly trust people, and I want to build a life apart from all the loca I get in my everyday. 

It has been pure crazy here. I am so grateful for this experience but I believe I am this thing they call: homesick. 

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