(Translation: I’m back!)
Being back in Spain is wonderful. So far, there has been sun, fresh crusty Spanish bread, red wine, walks, sunsets, and more. Mario’s apartment has two French doors in his living room where his table sits. I love to sit there in the mornings, sipping coffee, eating oatmeal, and watch the sun creep in. Oh yeah, and there’s the part where I AM WITH MARIO!! That’s good too.
If you’ve ever lived abroad, I hope you’ll agree with me when I say some things just seems weird about the other country. As an American, I’ve never felt more American than when I was living in Spain. The whole foreigner thing just makes you realize how utterly American you are. I realized this immediately upon arrival in January of 2008. Everything about me: my height, my hair color, my clothes, my shoes, even the way my face is shaped screams “American!” to all the Spaniards. Now, it’s not a bad thing, so don’t think I immediately took to sewing a Canadian flag on my backpack. No. I didn’t, however, try to look Spanish, as some of my fellow study abroad classmates did. For one, I can’t. As Mario told me, “Hombre, tú tienes cara de Estados Unidos.” (Translated = “You have a United States face.”) Obviously, such efforts would be futile. Secondly, why would I? It’s silly to pretend to be someone you’re not. Our differences are what makes life interesting. A lot of people, believe it or not, are interested in talking to someone who’s different. Mario’s dad, for one, apparently is always asking how you say such-and-such a word in English. Mario says that when we go for lunch there one day I should be prepared for this … well, I’ve already taught him sheep and pig. (We were driving past grazing animals on our way to Salamanca, okay?) So no, I won’t be going to Zara anytime soon and buying a whole new wardrobe, I won’t be cutting my hair in the Spanish style, I won’t take to wearing only high heels, I won’t be painting my face every morning. I’m far too lazy to wear makeup daily and I’m far too poor to buy the expensive clothes and shoes … oh, the shoes!
So yes, life in Spain as an American is good. It helps that I have my own little tour guide, host, and boyfriend all rolled into one. He knows the ways, the customs, why things are the way they are. Moreover, he’s always correcting my grammar. I ask him to, and he complies, even though many could find that annoying. This way, I’m constantly improving, constantly bettering my speaking skills. His help is invaluable in my transition to American expatriate in Salamanca, Spain.
¡Hasta luego, amigos!