Today marks four months exactly that I’ve been in Spain, and—as if to celebrate—I realized the other day that I CAN UNDERSTAND THE NEWS. On TV. In Spanish.
I mean, I could kind of understand it before—like I could get the gist of it—but I’d kind of given up on watching the news while I eat dinner, because there was no way that the information was going to soak in if I was paying any attention at all to my food and not focusing 100% on the TV. So when I flicked on the “silly box” the other day at dinnertime, it was kind of just habit, just for background noise. But then it WASN’T just background noise—it was the NEWS, and I understood every bit of it.
It’s like my comprehension just skyrocketed, without my even noticing it. I can even EAVESDROP now—something I had formerly said was the final frontier in foreign language comprehension.
Four months also means that I’m more-or-less at the halfway point in my stay here, and already the second half has a very distinct feel. For one thing, I finally mustered up enough nerve to ask my coworkers about car-pooling AND NOW I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THE BUS TO WORK ANYMORE! This cuts my commute time down from 3 hours round-trip to a half hour in each direction. Plus, I get to chat in Spanish while we ride. Double bonus.
I also took the first public shower of my adult life the other day. Naked and everything! (After yoga class). In Salt Lake I always just went home and showered, BUT NOT HERE! Here I strip down and make my momma proud. Oh, Spain—look at you! Quitándome of my inhibitions…
And then I’ve also started working “por mi cuenta,” which means that I now have my very own, adult students who pay me directly, in cash. Not sure if this will last, but it sure feels good to do away with the middle man, and it’s also nice to teach people NOT against their will.
I don’t know, I’m just feeling a lot more settled here. Like I really live here. Like I’ve got my own life and I’ve figured out the basics and I’m no longer scared to talk on the telephone.
But I also start to panic, because then I’m like “Oh no, I’m already halfway done! I’ve only got four months left!” And I’m worried that I won’t accomplish everything that I want to, or that I’m about to go and uproot myself again, when I’ve just now FINALLY gotten my bearings here.
I suppose that this is the essence of “little sarah Big World”—me, making my way in a foreign country. Me, on my own, almost like an adult. Me, FREAKING OUT AGAIN FOR NO GOOD REASON OVER NOTHING.
Ah, well. C’est la vie, n’est-ce pas?