auxiliar program, Spain

A Normal Day in Auxiliar Life.

iglesia san anton bilbao church casco viejo

 

Here are a few random facts about my life in Pais Vasco, since I can’t seem to muster up the energy to write full blog posts these days. Here’s the summary: Eating, shopping, walking around.

I speak in 70% Spanish and 30% English with my flatmate. Words I hear a lot of: cachondeo, tontería, fijateee. She was born in another region of Spain and has an accent that isn’t common in the Basque country.

france hendaye

I shop at the same Eroski for my groceries every week, usually on Mondays.

I visit the same panadería multiple times a week to buy a fresh baguette and napolitana (chocolate filled croissant).

baguette pan bread

I buy loads of tomates del país (local tomatoes) and eat a salad nearly every day.

tomate pais euskadi

I have yet to crave Asian food, which is hard to believe.

I overuse the phrase “quieres tomar algo?” which means “let’s go get a drink/coffee/snack.” Which means I’m in a constant state of hunger. Not hard to believe. If you are what you eat, I am most definitely tortilla de patatas. For coffee, which I have returned to drinking every day, I always order “un descafeinado de maquina” and I don’t add any sugar.

cafe con leche

I’ve only traveled once since I arrived. Settling in and starting a new job is more tiring than you’d expect. I went to France last weekend for a day and didn’t even eat any real French food. Honestly, there wasn’t a ton to do in the towns I visited. But I saw a lot of pretty doors and windows, and I now understand the meaning of the color name “French blue.”

french blue door

Recently I walked across the top of a transporter bridge. Facts: it was built in 1893, it’s the first bridge of its kind, and many of the other transporter bridges built in other countries afterward are copies of this one.

puente colgante puente viscaya portugalete

puente colgante puente viscaya bridge

puente vizcaya puente colgante portugalete bridge

I dressed up for Halloween this year as the mayor of Madrid. I carried around a coffee cup that said “relaxing” and wore a picture of Plaza Mayor. (Spain inside joke regarding her English during Madrid’s 2020 Olympic bid.) A few people understood, but many people out on Halloween weren’t in costume so I was just a strange girl with a coffee cup surrounded by a small group of witches and vampires.

ana botella costume

The great thing about Halloween in Spain is that the next day is a real holiday (All Saints Day) where everyone gets the day off. Stay out until 5AM? Yes, I think I will.

I eat chocolate cookies for breakfast every day with a cup of tea. Not to worry, they’re breakfast cookies full of fiber.

belvita chocolate breakfast cookies

My students always yell out, “Hellooo, Dina! How are youuu!” when they see me. I’m trying hard to learn their names but it’s proving very difficult. I have more than 200 students. Also, I tutor a 14 year old girl on Mondays and two elementary school boys on Wednesdays.

I showed the Thriller music video for Halloween this week, and one of my students said, “He was black?!?” LOL.

I adore shopping here. Way too much. I’m obsessed with shoes. And since I couldn’t bring my favorite black boots from home, I’ve bought some new ones. (Green! Happiness!) Truth: I’ve bought four pairs of shoes here. I’m cut off until spring.

fall boots

As you can see, fall is here and the air is getting cooler. With that comes the rain. So from now on I’ll be huddling under an umbrella. Welcome to the Basque Country!