Welp, I’m back. I thought maybe I would come back rejuvenated and loving it, but I still am kind of annoyed at where I am. Baeza is alright, but it’s less than ideal as a place that I go out of my way to commute from every week. La Puerta is…well, let’s just say I don’t love it. I came to Spain with the intention of having fun for a year and learning Spanish before really digging into the real world, and I ended up sending myself into some strange small town where I sit in my room all day, learning little Spanish because I talk to no one, and certainly not having any fun.
Well, I do have fun. I have a lot of fun. But pretty much only when I leave Baeza, and certainly only when I leave La Puerta.
I started applying for a few jobs when I was at home, just to see what I could find in SF or DC, and I applied to a few more once I got back here. But I don’t feel like that’s the answer, and I really don’t feel like I will be getting many calls, if nothing else because I can’t exactly come in to interview. I’ve realized that if I go home, I will feel like a quitter, and I will have gotten nothing out of this whole thing. If I go home, it will basically be like I spent a ton of money to take a few weekend trips in Europe and just banished Marshal to Huelva, only to go home and be super far away from him and have no money.
So that is obviously not the answer, though I guess I wouldn’t turn down a job if I was offered one. But really, I want to stay in Spain because I want to get what I came here for. I didn’t come here to teach, let’s be honest. I didn’t come here to experience life in a small village, or bypass all the touristy places to see the “real” Spain. I hate when people say that anyways. I came here to be here. I came here to have a way to support myself while I had a whole eight months to laze around the country, traveling on the weekends, eating Spanish food, learning as much of the language as I could, and just enjoying myself! And I am not doing that. So something must be done.
Last week I registered on a website that I heard about through a college friend who used it successfully to spend a summer in Turkey achieving similar goals. I put up all my info and pictures and paid the stupid registration fee, and within about three days, I had secured myself a little job. In Madrid. As an au pair.
Now, this is not ideal by any means, but it is a step up from what I’ve got, and I will actually be happy! I will work Monday through Friday from 4:30pm to 9:00pm, taking care of a 26 month-old boy named Bruno (seriously!) whose mom wants him to learn some English. I’ll also work Saturday mornings, but I’ll have every Saturday afternoon, all day Sunday, and one whole weekend off each month to go visit Marshal, and it’s actually easier for him to come visit me in Madrid than it is in Baeza. I’ll get all my rent, food, utilities, and other basic living expenses paid for, and I get free range of the apartment and pool (woo!). I’ll have my own bedroom and bathroom, and there is wi-fi and a tv in my room. I’ll also get $70 euros per week to spend on anything I want.
So, that is that. On February 27th, I will be packing up everything I own, again, and moving it to Madrid to live with a family of three (and their French bulldog, Congo) who I have only ever conversed with via email. Should be an adventure!
I feel a little sad leaving the auxiliar program and I hate the idea that I am terminating it early, but I really don’t feel like I am quitting. I got into something that I never intended to tackle, and, I hate to whine like a whiny little baby, but it’s not fair! I just want what everyone else got out of this program, and since the program can’t give that to me, I am going to take things into my own hands and make it for myself, even if that means leaving the program and going rogue on my visa to be a nanny. Honestly, I am not 100% sure what I am doing, but then again, when am I ever? I am just going to keep my fingers crossed and try my best to make it through the next five weeks here in La Puerta, and the next five months here in Spain. Wish me luck!!