Moving to a new country is terrifying. That’s about all I can tell you. Speaking a bit of Spanish is extremely helpful, but the panic that seizes up when someone starts speaking break neck speed sentences with slang and an unknown accent is very real, reducing me to stutter out some words until they take pity on me. I have “newbie” practically written on my forehead that goes well with my look of constant panic snd stress rash on my arm. I landed in Barcelona yesterday after a long and cramped flight, feeling the heavy weight of adulthood and responsibility that I had never felt to that extent before. It’s terrifying being a young woman alone in a foreign country, no longer with an adult to bail me out or some other person to get lost with. Everything is on me, and I have an internal monologue that’s only broken up by listening in to Spanish conversations.
After rushing around the confusing airport to find the bus to sitges, I sat back and watched the new landscape pass by me in shock realizing this was my new home for the next three years. I dragged my heavy suitcases around town, struggling to navigate without WiFi and finally found the hostel that was playing Bob Marley and decorated in bright colors. I found my apartment and marveled at the view from the balcony then set out to find some food and a Sim card. I walked through the seaside town, gaping at every view, I even stopped to put my feet into the warm Mediterranean and was overtaken by shock and disbelief that this is my life now. Later that evening I met some girls who are my fellow classmates and my roommate, who are all from Britain and Ireland and Scotland and were very excited to have an American around ( I don’t see why).
Today I had to go into Barcelona to get my health insurance card. I woke up late and rushed to my appointment, arriving an hour late but no one said anything about it (is it Spanish to be late?) The train to Barcelona was a learning experience, I got on the wrong one and had to switch, I lost my return ticket, went through the wrong gate and tried to explain in broken Spanish to the guard. I stopped in a cafe for some coffee and a croissant and saw a very Spanish scene of three old Spanish men (clearly regulars) come in and order coffee with a shot on the side, argue over the newspaper, and pet the dog that was casually sitting under a table. Amazing. Every day is supposed to get better, and I’ve found that I’m picking up a lot of Spanish and Catalan as I go along and Sitges is becoming easier to navigate. Last night I cried thinking “what have I gotten myself into?” But this is what I wanted and it’s hard and it’s amazing and I guess we’ll just have to see.