April showers bring May flowers and I’ve got my rose colored glasses to match. I’ve only got (wow I wrote that without even thinking about it, teaching in British English is not good for me…) eleven days left in Spain. I am currently dealing with waves of nostalgia over things that are yet to even be the past! My job can get pretty boring, as I am only an assistant and not needed all that much, and as the months went on, I felt drained of all inspiration and my heart wasn’t really in my classes or interactions with my students because really, it didn’t need to be. Cue SUNSHINE finally and I am basically skipping around, smiling at everyone, dancing and singing with my classes (without even grimicing inside), and having that inevitable thought, “Why am I leaving again?”
The same thing happened in Korea. I was sick of it, I wanted to leave, and yet, my last few weeks I was like a stereotypical hormonal woman, feeling emotions well up over the littlest things, like watching my students be funny in class or going to my favorite tailor, until I finally let it all out the last day and my co-teacher had to escort me off the premises with her arms around me.
I know I want to leave Spain, but I feel very attached at the moment. Today at school, one of my favorites, Xoel (common Galician name) told me he wanted to come to California with me. EMOTIONS. WELLING. I’m currently helping them with a play that they will put on after I am gone and I am sad to not get to see the final product of all that hard work. I can’t even go into how much I am going to miss the babies, or the three and four year old infant classes. They are the sweetest things in the world. I love how music, dancing, and a simple joke brings them infinite amounts of joy. I am going to miss going out to coffee and lunch with the girls at my work and having them ask my opinion on certain men or a new hairstyle of someone at work. People who were once strangers, now seem like a normal part of my life and it will be strange to not see them everyday. Especially strange to not see my hilarious co-teacher Carla all the time.
Carla invited me to her house for lunch a few days ago and I prepared myself for a very Galician meal of seafood, bread, and soup. We stopped at a fish shop (yes, a fish shop) on the way and Carla looked at me and said “Don’t worry, we won’t be eating fish, I know you don’t like it.” This made me laugh because my Korean co-teacher had written in her latest email to me, “Hannah, how is the Spanish food? You should eat some fish! I know you don’t like it, but try it!”. It’s funny when you don’t even realize how well some people get to know you. It turns out Carla knows me, or my culinary tastes, quite well. Lunch was curry, salad, and for the finish, she put a carton of ice cream in front of me with a spoon. WELL, don’t mind if I do!! She also gave me some lettuce from her garden that overlooked the sea and had three boats in it rusting away in the sun. Her dog, Duke, licked my foot and I realized that the slowness of this Spanish life that bothered me before in the winter, now seemed perfectly serene in the summer. Carla hadn’t realized I would be leaving Spain because at one point I was going to teach next year in Andalucia and so she told me to not date an Andalucian boy, for they are so lazy that I would have to do everything. I smirked because I could never have imagined people” lazier “, or chiller, than the Galicians, but after visiting Seville, I think it could be possible.
As I was sitting out on the deck drinking juice (Carla refused to give me the water I asked for because it was “boring”…) Carla spoke to me from in the kitchen.
“Hannah, I am glad to have met you and have had you as a teacher. You have taught me a lot. I learned from you to smile more in class. You are always very happy and it makes the students happy.”
My job here in Spain wasn’t perfect and neither was my day-to-day life, but no life anywhere is perfect. I am so grateful that I got to know this area and the people here and I will feel like that years from now, rose colored glasses be damned.