A week or so has passed since my last blogpost, and it’s been an eventful one. I flew (back) to Spain on the 19th, mercilessly abusing the British Airways deal I had found (midday flight, plus a 23kilo suitcase, along with the BA standards of free food and drink- how better to attract the students??- for just shy of 70 pounds) with a 21.9 suitcase containing my life for the next ten months or more. It was a rather boring, uneventful flight, the sort that is take off, no crashing, land, although i did manage to make an unbearably rude, posh old man spill his complimentary tomato juice on his brand new white trousers -oops, but in fairness it’s not my fault that BA had given me a window seat and I desperately needed the toilet, you shouldn’t have complained so much about my bladders needs, so I guess it was really just karma.
The reality of what we were about to embark on still hadn’t sunk in as Charlotte and I walked down the corridors of Gatwick airport, nor when we caught the first sight of our airplane and started the boarding process. In fact, we still couldn’t believe that our Year Abroad was officially starting until the airplane had landed and the pilot came on over the tannoy… “for those who live in València, welcome home”. That’s when the goosebumps started, the “oh God, what are we doing?” thoughts entered our heads and the excitement started to make itself known to our brains – “OH MY GOD WE ARE FINALLY HERE” sort of feelings. Next up, passports. Which, as I already knew, but much to my amusement Charlotte was still unaware of, are a lot quicker than in England. No queue, just straight up to the border control guy, “bon día”, checks the photo is the same as your face – or at least, nearly similar-, “gracies” and then you pass through.
There we parted ways, Charlotte to Segorbe, accompanied by a teacher from her placement, and I headed into the centre of the city, accompanied by Rafa, and back to the flat I am sharing this year with Laura. There I waited, accompanied by Arturo Valls and my favourite Spanish gameshow “ahora caigo”, for Laura to finish classes and for us to finally be reunited (I know, it was only five days since we last saw each other…).
The lack of wifi in the flat, along with the long afternoons while Laura is in lectures, have at times driven me to extreme boredom – I mean, there are only so many hours I can watch someone not be able to answer easy questions (what is the name of the london tennis championship where everybody eats strawberries and cream?)… and my mobile data only extends so far, i.e Whatsapp and Facebook… so I have at times felt like I have been living in the wilderness.
However, that is not the reason for the title of this blogpost. The real reason will become clearer later!
Twice this week, my two fellow honorary Valencians, Charlotte and Jess, have come to Valencia for different reasons, and have un-bored me, by allowing me to bore them to death walking around the centre and visiting the beach – where’s the bullring Jess??!! These “mini-tours” have reminded me of one of the main reasons that I love this city (apart from you Laura!), the looks on their faces seeing the architecture that I had become so accustomed to seeing reminded me of the first times I had visited and the awe that I felt walking among the historic buildings. And sorry Pati, both times we have spoken English, don’t kill us please! Next Saturday… Día de turismo!
Friday, finally, I got the chance to meet my colleagues for the year in the school where I will be working with the British Council, CEIP Illes Columbretes. Thank goodness that the staff were friendly, because from outside the first impressions of the school were… well… terrifying. Apart from the fact that no one knew where it was (not even google maps), that I got lost twice and that it was a loooooooooooooong train journey (nothing compared to a Southern Rail journey from Soton to Gatwick but hey, thats almost impossible to make longer) due to the works that they were doing on the trainlines, to make it worse the school when I finally found it was in the middle of nowhere, hence the title of the blog. Walking down a stone track, with the sun beating down on me, through an overgrown field, I was genuinely worried for a while that a lion might jump out and attack me! But in the end, having sat outside the headteachers office for twenty minutes feeling like a naughty schoolchild again, I finally met my tutor for the year. SHE TALKS EXACTLY LIKE MARTA! And best of all, she has put all of my hours over two days meaning that I now have a 5 day weekend!!
Finally, a word of warning! The saying “the rain in Spain falls only on the plane” is just that… a saying! Twice in a week I have been soaked by sudden torrential thunderstorms! So from now on, every time I leave the house I shall be taking with me a Union Jack umbrella!!!