Sunday, March 3, 2013

Puerta O's Hostal Internacional

Note: This post was originally written a few weeks ago when I first moved into my apartment. It is the "first impression post," and will be followed with a new post about what my housing situation has turned out to be like. :) Love life :)

If you are my Facebook friend, then this isn't going to be new information to you, and I'm not sure I actually have any readers who aren't my Facebook friends, so this one goes out to my family. (Hopefully they read my blog... haha.)

I have now been living in sweet Sevilla for one month and ten days. It's been full of little adventures, missteps, getting lost, getting found, and following God. When I first came here, I was graciously offered a place to stay by the family of a friend of mine in Bilbao. It was such a blessing to have an unfamiliar, but familiar, face pick me up from the airport and bring me to the flat, and more than that, to have a place to stay while I got adjusted and settled in. The flat looks out on the river, and was large and beautiful. But, it was too large for just me. I often felt more alone than I needed to, because when I got home, there I was, all alone, in this giant apartment meant for a family of four. I kept the master bedroom and other bedroom doors shut, because to look into the dark, unfamiliar space when I got up in the middle of the night to pee was a bit scary. I also kept the door to the living room, aka "The Fridge," closed, because it was like a giant snow globe and I only entered it to exercise. (Shout out to my amazing FestiFam, can't even write the word "snow globe" without thinking about them, smiling, and getting a warm, powerful feeling of love sweeping over me! Love you guys, miss you all, come soon my beautiful soul stars!) So I pretty much confined myself to the room I was staying in, the bathroom, and the kitchen.

The time I spent there was very nice. It gave me a chance to really dive in deep to my relationship with God, talk to Him often, and as usual, talk to myself. Many-a-dance sessions were had in the flat; some headbanging went on that left my neck sore for days, and some conversations with myself that left me cracking up crying. All in all, it was a good time, but I needed to make connections with other people and begin to live a life full of interaction and Spanish.

I looked only at two apartments before making my decision, partly because I don't speak enough Spanish to want to go and have partial conversations with countless people, trying to figure out if I like them, and understand all they say, and partly because since I started and ended college, I've moved 12 times and do not have the energy or motivation for house hunting, especially when just for five months. So, I didn't really try too hard, and figured I'd just do what I always do, and follow my heart and soul. I put my profile up on a website and was flooded with emails. I looked at pictures of the flats and the locations on the map, so I guess you could say I tried hard (hah), but I only actually went and saw two in person.

The first was on a street that gave me the creeps and had me thinking, "Law & Order episode." The flat wasn't very large, and the room I would have taken was completely fun-sized, with a bed that could flip up against the wall and all! But, the benefit to this place was that three Spanish girls lived there who don't speak English. They seemed incredibly nice, and a friend of mine went with me, and verified this fact, so I know it wasn't just because we had a language barrier that I thought that. And as they say, actions speak louder than words, and they really do! Especially when you can't fully communicate with words, they speak volumes, so the tray of coffee and magdalenas (muffins) said a lot about their kindness. They even had a poster of a VW van that said "California!" It gave me good vibes, but in the end, I didn't choose this place.

I am now living in an international hostel. Not really, but basically. When I came to visit the place, I met a gal from Spain and a guy from Uruguay (who's lived here 11 years), and was told that the other girl was from England. There was some dog food on the terrace, so I asked if they had a dog, and I was told that no, but the girl from England's boyfriend does, and that it was there some nights, some nights not. So naturally, I figured that meant the bf was too. The flat itself is quite large, and it has a nice big area that we can hang out on outside (balcony/terrace/whatever). The guy saw my fork-ring and showed me some hair pieces he makes out of spoons, and the girl also makes jewelry. I picked up on the super hippie vibe, and was a little intimidated, but also stoked. So, after a couple weeks of debating with myself, I decided to move in. The location was on point, and I liked the people.

I started to move my things over on Saturday (the ninth), and when I brought over my first load, I was quite surprised by what I learned...

TWO Brits, one Uruguayan, TWO Spaniards, myself, and a dog. Instead of the original one Brit that I was aware of, another girl came out of the room across the hall from mine, also from England. And instead of the bf and the dog being here some nights, they live here always (he's the other Spaniard). And instead of the house constantly speaking Spanish because the original Brit I knew about is fluent, there are actually more of us that speak English than Spanish (as a first language). Which is good because I can't have too much conversation in Spanish, but bad because I need to be able to, and now, there's more English being spoken than I thought there would be. Oh yeah, and I learned that the gal from Spain and the guy from Uruguay are actually a couple and share a room, not "two of my three roommates." That one took a couple days for me to figure out.

So the situation is pretty much the opposite of what I expected I was going to get. I don't want to say that I was tricked, but that's almost how it feels. Instead of four, we are six and a dog, and instead of only Spanish + English when I'm asking how to say something, it's take your pick, but mostly English. The redeeming factor in it all is that I really do like these people, we have similar interests, or they know about things I'd like to learn, and everyone is really clean, so the place is actually better kept than in homes I've lived with fewer people and no dog.

Of course, it's entirely possible that I just didn't understand everything, but I am pretty certain that some of the bigger factors (two instead of one, permanent instead of part-time) aren't things I simply misunderstood. I know I'm here for a reason, and I know that this is going to be great, it's just a matter of adapting and waiting to find out what it is. Like I said, I really like the people that I'm living with (what I know, see, and feel so far), and there's a reason why I didn't know that it would be the way it is, because if I did, I wouldn't have moved in. Obviously this is where God wants me to be, or I would have known it all from the start. It's a great lesson in patience, waiting to see the end result and look back thinking, "best decision ever."

And I can learn Spanish, but also speak English when Spanish becomes too exhausting, and I can learn how to do some cool, creative, healthy, crafty things along the way as well. It really is a good situation, especially because everyone is clean. So this, this is great. :)

Today's Thoughts: We can think all the ideas, images, and thoughts we want in our heads about a situation and our lives, but we have to remember, we're not actually in charge. We can control just about everything through our thoughts, but in the end, God's got the final word, and sometimes, all those visualizations, don't actually come to be real life (when we expect them to). And in these cases, we have to know, it's for the better, and what will come in the end will surpass all of our previously thought thoughts and visualizations. "Don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing's, gonna be alright." -Bob <3

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