Term Abroad: Week 2

Hi chums!

Week 2 started off good - I felt a lot better (my cold and cough were basically gone), settled into my new flat and did a day trip to Oviedo.



Life

My new flat is a lot closer to the language school than the university residence I was in and it’s just so much nicer. The only small/major panic was that I had yet to meet my flat mates. There are six of us in total, one girl who is from my university and who helped me to get the accommodation in the first place, and four other Spanish people who are students at the university. 

If I’m honest I was dreading meeting them and I wasn’t sure how to do it. When they arrived on the Sunday I could hear them talking and laughing in the kitchen but was too scared to go in and introduce myself so I didn’t have dinner that night (slightly pathetic, but the nerves are real). 


The next day I told myself I would introduce myself, but luckily for me it was them who knocked on my door (realistically I don’t think I would have done it myself, so this was fab). As well as introducing themselves they also decided that right there and then they would add me and my uni friend to the cleaning rota - yes, there is a cleaning rota. 


My language classes went well this week. They are a lot more interesting and helpful than my classes in the UK and all the teachers are super nice.

Language 

Language-wise this week has been a challenging one. Not so much in terms of the language itself, but in terms of feeling confident enough to ask people for help which is one of my least favourite things to do (even in the UK). I would rather leave a shop without the thing I need rather than ask for help which is such a bad quality to have - but the fear!! So when I went into Corte Ingles (a huge department store, also known as Heaven) to get a duvet cover and some bed sheets, I was confronted with a range of different options and had to resort to asking for help, *sigh*. After overcoming this hurdle, it was bordering on devastating when I got back and realised that instead of a duvet cover I had bought a bed sheet. Returning stuff to a store is another one of my hates (basically I’m a social nightmare) but it all went fine and I don’t think the shop assistant hates me which is a real relief!


The next thing which filled my heart with dread was having to go to the train station and ask why my young person railcard wasn’t working when I bought tickets online. I was so surprised when the convo went smoothly that I walked out in a sort of daze - umm, did I just make some progress?!? Speaking is something that makes me really nervous (don’t know if you picked up that?) so the smallest things make me feel good or bad. I can always think of things to say in my head but as soon as it comes to having to say something for real I normally panic and say something close to nonsense.

My biggest aim for the next few weeks are to not feel so bad when someone doesn’t understand me or if I say something wrong. Everyone says practice is everything, and I get you, but when you’re face to face with someone it’s easier said than done!

Travel

My weekend consisted of a day trip to Oviedo. I got the train there and it took about 2 hours but it was the most beautiful train journey. We were up in the mountains so I took a lot of pics! 


The only trouble with Oviedo is that on exiting the train station I was immediately confronted with an assortment of my favourite shops - did someone say Zara and Stradivarius?? Hey there. 

I decided to stay strong and march past the shops because I wanted to see the city and I was glad I did because Oviedo is beautiful. All the buildings are so pretty and the cathedral is amazing. I spent the day walking around aimlessly, which is my favourite way to see a place. 

Observations
  • This is actually an observation from last week but the language centre has chalk boards. I literally don’t think I’ve ever been taught in a classroom that has a chalk board but I have to say I kind of love this old-fashioned vibe!
  • Fruit and veg here are abnormally large here. This is no joke. The apples alone are double the size of the ones in the UK and don’t even get me started about about the peppers. This is greatly appreciated, thanks Spain!
  • Bank holidays - this week I discovered that bank holidays can be regional in Spain. León is in the region of Castilla y León and for some reason they are especially generous with their holidays in the next couple of weeks, so a lot of traveling is on the cards!

So that is all for now! I’m feeling a lot more at home in a León and am excited for week 3!

Love as always,

Emma
xxx

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