I’m back!

Spain is treating me well, for the most part. I’ve had some ups and downs (such as a 75E phone bill for a month when I wasn’t here and some roommate difficulties), but love having sunny days, cold beers and the opportunity to speak Spanish. I’ve stayed right here in Sevilla and haven’t run out of things to do! There’s a ton of new language assistants here who have been super friendly and ready to go out and do things. I’ve helped some of the piso hunt, shown them places to get good tapas or copas. There is another girl named Cat who I’ve fallen in love with, practically. She looks just like Anna Caputo! There’s much more communication within the program, so the fact that Kike is gone hasn’t been much of a problem.

Kike was supposed to spend a month in the Canary Islands from Sept 12-Oct 10. I had a ticket to visit him from the 17th-24th, before school started. He called the night before and told me he had taken the 25th off so we could spend time together and he could teach me how to drive stick shift and take me to lunch at a seafood restaurant we ate at last year. I turned my phone off, and he left three messages. He has never left me a message as long as I’ve known him. I called back and he told me not to get on the plane because his mission had been cancelled and he’d be back the next day.

So, I spent awhile on the phone calling the airline, which is budget, so I didn’t get my money back and switching dates required me to pay 60E more. Ni de coña, I said, and just got excited to see Kike. He told me as soon as he saw me what his friends already knew: the army was sending him to Somalia to fight pirates. Yo ho, sounds funny, but it’s really serious. Check out news stories here: http://www.somalianews.com/ . Despite the scary diseases and unrest there, he’s sequestered to his hotel for a little while and they’re actually not staying in Somalia. I miss him like crazy and wish he were here, but this is the kind of job he signed up for. There are things I do here with other people who I wish I could do with him, but I know his absence is making me call people and make new friends. His friends and family have been super supportive (as have mine) and email and call all the time. I’M FINE! If Kike dies, I’m marrying his 19-year old brother. Ja, ja!

School starts next week. I’m excited to see my kiddies and have Mercedes make me a cafe con leche and chide me about my accent (though I’ve noticed my Spanish has improved a ton!), but this year is going to be really different. For one thing, I’ll be the only auxiliar. Nieves is really stressed out, trying to find a way to stretch me as much as possible. I’m already committed 6 hours to the bilingual classes (art, music and English), plus there are teachers who want private lessons or help planning curriculum. In music, I’ll be the only teacher! The planning is already done and the tests made up, but Emilio is leaving to move to Barcelona. I’ve offered to work 24 hours a week for twice the money, which would allow me to turn down a job at a language academy and still teach some private lessons, potentially making 1400-1600E a month. Esto no es tan mal, eh?

Little things like painting the flat (my room is green! It’s so pretty!) and the job working at a language academy close to my house…and I bought tickets to go to Florence for a weekend. Oops. 35 euro is something I can’t just pass up!! I think, if I brought some peanut butter and some bread and ate one meal out and some gelato, I could spend less than 100€ total.

So, things are good.

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

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