I wanted to take my DSLR out on a tour of the city, but today has been quite cloudy so I thought it would be best to leave my digital camera for blue skies, and take out my beloved Polaroid camera which is better suited for overcast conditions.
As per usual the film I was using expired a while ago. You’re supposed to store film in the fridge when not in use, but this pack of film has traveled to the other side of the world and back with me, and has been waiting in anticipation inside my Polaroid camera for the past couple of months. So I wasn’t expecting any amazing develops, but any loyal Polaroid fan will tell you that the beauty of Polaroids lie in their imperfections.
So that is all my supply of film used up. It turns out Impossible Project Film delivery to Spain costs three times as much as delivery to the UK (whyyyyyyy), so I may have to get mi padre to send over some emergency supplies.
After all the craziness of moving to another country about a week after receiving the job offer, I feel like I’ve neglected this blog a bit. Half written posts are still only half written, and I haven’t had a new post idea in weeks. But ah well. So I decided to just write a little update of my life, which is basically me gushing about my new home.
Burgos is as pretty as I expected it to be, if not more so. The Gothic cathedral is huge and stunning, there are lots of lovely old architecture, and I have been around a couple of museums and the cathedral (shamefully without my camera), with plenty more to see. Plus it has an abundance of cute cafes and bars with ridiculously low prices – you can’t expect to get food for cheaper if you buy the ingredients in a super market and make the food yourself! I’m still a committed tea drinker, only rarely I have a cafe con leche.
It’s cold here! I think I have ended up in the coldest city in Spain (typical). On mornings and evenings I’m snuggled into my winter coat, but sometimes in the afternoon it still gets really warm and then I’m boiling in my winter coat.
The people I have met so far are super nice – there are quite a few English teachers in the city which is awesome, and the company I work for and the school I work at have been utterly helpful and welcoming. I will be teaching infants, primary, and secondary aged kids on alternating weeks. This week I was with primary kids who can be hyper and hard to control (luckily that’s the main teachers job!) but they are very sweet. I have even been given a Pokemon card and drawings to welcome me! The younger ones love saying hello when I pass them, and I hear them explain to their parents I’m the “profesora de ingles”, and it’s nice to see the parents looking happy and impressed with them greeting me in English. It’s interesting that some schools in Spain are bilingual, so I assist in classes that are taught in English. In my school it’s English (obviously), art and p.e., so wish me luck because I have to attend p.e. lessons 5 years after I thought I was done with them!
Right now I’m trying to find a Spanish class at my level I can attend, as my Spanish is even worse than I thought. I’ve even eyed up a dance school that teaches flamenco, but with my two left feet it might be better to avoid. We’ll see.
So yes, first impressions are two thumbs up. Spain is a wonderful country, and a friend from back home came to visit and she commented on how I seem much more relaxed. Which can never be a bad thing!
Before my departure to Spain, my mum and her partner (just back from a holiday in Spain themselves) decided to take me on a day out to experience just a taste of what the beautiful Yorkshire has to offer.
First stop was to have tea and coffee in a location that clearly hosts a lot of weddings, with its large reception hall and church. Always good to take notes in case some fool wants to marry me in the future…
Next we visited The Coldstones Cut, which is a huge quarry that also features the largest sculpture in Britain. Apparently on a good day you can see for miles from the top. I have just finished my photography course (passing with full marks, I not so humbly add), so my mum wanted to take me somewhere good for photos. Even though it is now October, it’s been quite clear and sunny these past few days. Except for this day, of course. It was incredibly misty, but the Yorkshire countryside was still beautiful.
My shoes make it a hipster shot… (seriously though, instagrammers are obsessed with feet)
Finally we had a late lunch in a picturesque little village (completely forgotten the name…) I am from a rather uninteresting city in Yorkshire, and although I am a proud city dweller I adore little villages and market towns. These are what make Yorkshire so lovely to explore (and other parts of Britain too I suppose..) Maybe one day when I’m old and even more cynical than I am now I will move to one and embrace the friendliness of villagers.
After a couple of months of various Skype interviews and a billion applications, soon I will be heading to Burgos in the North of Spain to spend the academic year working as a teaching assistant at a local school.
Excited? Very, there is probably no better way to increase my skill as a Spanish speaker. And a year abroad is often said to be one of the best experiences you can have when young, and teaching will probably only add to that. Plus, Burgos looks beautiful! It has a huge Gothic cathedral, snows in the winter (which the UK shamefully does not), and has a Book Museum. A Book Museum. And I am a English Literature Graduate. Yaaas.
Nervous? Oh yes, moving to a city I’ve never heard of before, and assisting children in learning English and not screwing it up sounds daunting. And will I enjoy Spain for 9 months? After all, a country can be great to visit, but experiencing it as a resident is a whole other story. I’m very used to the British way of life – overly polite and complaining about the weather, whereas the Spanish culture seems to be very laid back, and also they are much more blunt then us awkward British folk.
But I am itching to go. 2015 has been a turbulent year, and the idea of a new chapter in life, a total fresh start (albeit just for a year) sounds glorious. If you’ve ever seen the little cartoon strip – when life gives a person a cookie, only to kick them to the ground and take back the cookie – well, it’s been like that.
But onwards and upwards: after making the most of this coming year I hope to complete a masters in International Relations or Human Rights, and at some point in my life return to live in London. Gonna reach into the cookie jar of life again 😀