I have arrived in Spain! It really seems strange to find a foreign country ‘normal’ but incomparison to China, this is normal. Apart from the weird eating times and the Andalusian accent, I’m adapting fairly well.
I’d arranged my accommodation in Spain while I was still in China. I found an advertisement on a Facebook group of a flat of 3 spanish students looking for a 4th roommate. I contacted Teresa and she seemed really nice, she asked the others who lived there if I was suitable and then it was confirmed, I sent off my deposit and the weight and stress of flat hunting was immediately lifted.
The previous boy who had my room in my flat-to-be moved out a week after I arrived. So for my first week in Granada I stayed at the Abadia hotel. I arrived on the night of Sunday 7th February and Teresa picked me up from the bus station and took me to my hotel. It was very typical of Andalusia with the potted plants in the patio and the water fountains in the middle. The hotel was fairly basic but comfortable and the staff were really friendly.
The first couple of days were about sorting out things for university and attending meetings and enrollment appointments. In the spare time I had, I went exploring. It’s fun to just set off and see where you end up and a good way to discover new places and get to know the city. A few times Teresa and my other roommate Inés went out for lunch and had tapas. Granada is one of the few places left in Spain where when you order a drink you receive a free tapa. The food here is delicious and so is the beer, it’s called Alhambra after the Alhambra Palace which overlooks Granada. I went to an Arabic market which is next to the cathedral in the city centre and had a walk around there, there were lots of thin narrow streets with all sorts of gifts and trinkets overflowing from the shops on either side.
During the week I went to some Erasmus events. The same group I joined in Germany when I was there, ESN. They put on all sorts of things for international students to help them integrate and make friends. I went to a salsa night with them to try to learn how to dance but it was harder than I thought and then I ended up in a night club called Mai West with a group of Colombians, which was fun. I also went on a walking tour around Albaícin with them, an area in Granada known for its little narrow streets and white houses. The weather was awful though, I couldn’t believe I was wet through and shivering in sunny Spain !
On the Saturday afternoon I left the hotel and moved my things into my new flat. It was nice and clean which I liked and I could tell straight away I would enjoy living here, especially with my all Spanish, non English speaking roommates. They are definitely working me hard! I wish I could skip the ‘baby phase’ and be able to get to know them better and them get to know me better too. I suppose that will come with time though.
A few pictures from around the city:
Miss you all x