Weekly Update 2: Dragging My Luggage Across Town Edition

Well, guys, week two has come and gone and I feel like I’ve finally “arrived.” By that I mean I’ve gotten a cellphone, a national ID number, a shared apartment, a bank account, and a schedule for my job. It’s been rather annoying living out of a suitcase in a foreign country in three different hotels (long story) so I am relieved to have a small place to crash in at night and to do laundry in (I’ve worn the same pair of jeans since the airplane flight…oops). Next week—I think—I finally start work as a language assistant in some elementary music and science classes.

Jaén, Spain seen from the cathedral
Spending an afternoon in Jaén

Among other things, this is what I’ve been up to since the last time I posted:
  • met basically the only redhead in Spain
  • hiked 10 miles from the town where I work to Iznatoraf, a town of ~1,000 people on a tall hill overlooking the countryside
  • ran into a random convention of mopeds at said hilltop village
  • did “whatever I liked” on the first day of school (headmaster’s words)
  • started reading Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone (and I got placed into Gryffindor on Pottermore.com, so)
  • was confused for a native by a Spaniard but Chinese and Turkish immigrants both asked me where I was from
  • got my NIE (foreigner’s identification number), effectively residency for a year
  • saw a classic car show of old European models
  • attended orientation for the program in the provincial capital of Jaén and met tons of fellow language assistants there
  • broke the rules and took (non-flash) pictures inside the cathedral in Jaén
  • helped a grandma put her luggage in a bus station locker (while figuring out how it worked myself)
  • found a room to rent in an apartment with Spanish flatmates
  • got health insurance
  • went to the last night of the Feria de Úbeda (town fair) with Spanish and expat friends alike
  • opened a bank account with the Catalan bank “La Caixa”

Be expecting harrowing accounts of culture shock at school in next week’s edition; I know I’m in for a surprise with the little ones!

What others are reading:

Is St. James Really Buried in Santiago de Compostela, Spain?

Mont-Saint-Michel, France: An Island Fortress in the English Channel

A Crash Course in the Galician Language