So its official, I’m home from Spain. The feria is over, school is over and I have no more tutoring classes and now reality has set in. I’m home for another 9 days, before I venture off to France for a month and I have realised that my life (as cheesy as it sounds) will never be the same again. Therefore I have decided to reflect on what I will the most and what I don’t mind leaving behind…
Things I won’t miss
Every night for basically the past 9 months I have had to endure my downstairs neighbour talking (possibly to herself) in a very loud annoying voice until 2 in the morning when I was trying to get my beauty sleep. I really won’t miss having to put my ear plugs in and suffocating my ears with a pillow.
Walking in sweltering heat
“Ya no es calor” (it’s not hot yet), I heard the locals say about a million times. I’m sorry it’s 38 degrees and I’m in a maxi skirt that is sticking to my legs…yes it is hot!!
Sundaayy, boring Sundayyy
On the last day of the week you normally want to do something fun apart from eating before getting back to your daily routine. Unfortunately in Córdoba the only thing people seem to do is eat and go for walks…no shops are open, apart from the chinos (good old chinos!)
Women in Spain seem to fall into two categories…really curvy or really thin. The one thing I won’t miss is having girl envy; almost every girl seemed to be flawlessly dressed with gorgeous long hair and legs. It really made me wonder, it can’t just be all down to the Mediterranean diet, it has to be in the genes! At least I got some good fashion inspiration!
Speaking of fashion, some people think it is still perfectly acceptable to wear double denim. Spain…THE 80S ARE OVER! Thankfully it’s just old men seem to think it’s ok but I did witness a few middle aged women working some jeans and denim jacket combo’s.
Things I will miss
Tinto de verano
Basically a drink that consists of red wine and lemonade but it sounds so much better than it tastes and it can also be bought in a bottle for 1 euro in Mercadona.
This tapas restaurant is famous for ‘the best tapas in Córdoba’ and convientely was right beside my flat. Ensaladilla rusa, solomillo, patatas bravas and berenjeras were amongst my favourites.
Unfortunately according to the locals Córdoba had the worst spring it has had in years, a lot of rain! When it rains, it really rains but when the sun comes out so does the heat. Now I’m at home 19 degrees is cold to me.
I made so many good friends over the year, most of them happened to be from Scotland but also French, German and Finnish. Most of the time we ended up speaking in English but when we out and met up with Spanish classmates and spoke in Spanish so at least we did get some time in to practice! They are genuine friends for life and we’ve had so many good memories together. We’re planning on meeting up in September in Glasgow so hopefully there’ll be more memories to come!
My little niños
I’m really going to miss the 1st years in my school. They just brightened up my day saying hello and clapping when I came into their class. Also the kids I tutored outside of school ended up feeling like my own Spanish family. They made my week just that little more special, especially when they actually managed to learn something. I got so much satisfaction seeing them progress and it has really made me think about teaching languages to kids when I’m older.
Asides from missing things, I know for definite that this year has changed me for the better. Sometimes you have to do things that push you out of your comfort zone. The easy option is to fly home when you can and to Skype and call every time you feel homesick. Sometimes you just have to power through. One of the biggest decisions I made which I was wary of making was travelling around Spain through Easter. I was worried that after the trip I would feel even more home sick because I had not been home in so long but in fact I felt so independent.
I have also learned that time really does heal everything, things get easier without you even realizing but you do have to put the effort in and make the most of every opportunity.
There have been times where I felt stressed out with my workload as a language assistant and felt I was being taken advantage of, especially when I felt like I had a lot more work to do than other assistants. The important thing is to speak up, use your initiative and suggest an alternative. Sometimes I felt as if other teachers expected me to act as a fully trained teacher which really shocked me. It felt as if my school didn’t get the idea of what a language assistant was actually supposed to do and I felt as if I could have been made use of much better.
Asides from this, I would not have changed anything and have really appreciated my time away. Time is precious and as in any situation, you have to use it wisely!