In my last post, I talked about the experiences that make me feel at home abroad. For this one, I want to talk a little bit more about what my actual home here is like for those of you who are interested in knowing.
I gave a brief introduction when I first came. Now I’ve been here for about almost two weeks; I couldn’t have hit the jackpot any more with this incredible host home and family.
I’ve pretty much decided that my host mom is my third grandmother. She feeds us so so well with so much incredible food, and we almost never eat leftovers. Every night when she goes to bed, she leaves breakfast out and ready for us with our places set at the table. She always takes care of us if we ever need anything. She includes us in her family and calls us “hijas” and gives us kisses and hugs at night. She tells us that this is our house and we don’t need to ask before we bring friends over, she packed a bag of food for my roommate to take to Barcelona with her this weekend, she always thinks ahead for anything we might need, and she always offers us dessert with our meals (a great way to my heart). My conversations with her are starting to get a lot better too, at least with me understanding more, and that makes me really happy. My thoughts about her are all over the place, but that’s because there are so many great things to say about her, and I’m so thankful to be living with her this semester.
My roommate is wonderful, and I think I really lucked out with her. She’s been so kind and supportive of me doing what is best for myself. She makes me laugh a lot and also appreciates the funny/cute animal videos I’m a little addicted to. She seems responsible, and most notably, very considerate. She always goes out of her way to let our host mom know what’s going on, always wants to help her clean and set the table, and always seems to have other people’s best interest at heart. Plus, she wants to hike in the mountains and read Don Quixote in Spanish with me. Yeah, I won.
Our home is really wonderful too. It’s about a five minute walk from the Plaza Mayor and about the same distance from where we’ve been taking classes. Right outside there is a bar that apparently has the best patatas bravas, which are very yummy potatoes with sauce. I plan on trying theirs very soon. Right around the corner is the cafe I’ve been writing about. That cafe is so nice. It has lots of pastries and baked goods, ice cream, different kinds of coffee, and fruit smoothies. The baristas there only speak Spanish, and they’re so kind. If nothing else, I’m excited just to talk and interact with them somewhat frequently. The place also has good wifi and, surprisingly, air conditioning, so it’s a really nice place to get stuff done.
The rest of the home is very cozy. My roommate and I share a room, but that hasn’t been an issue. We have plenty of space to put our things, and my bed is right next to a window that we leave open pretty much all of the time (my favorite). There are four bedrooms here, though most of the time it’s only the three of us living here. The dining table is in the same room as the sofa and TV, and we usually have the news or something on while we eat together. We eat at the table for every meal if we’re home for them, which is almost all of the time. And we have a balcony out of the living/dining room with a nice view of our street and the surrounding buildings. We usually leave those doors open too. And I know I’ve mentioned it before, but we have a dog. I think I’ve actually found a Spanish paradise.