SEVILLA…. SETTLING IN, OR?

I’ve been quiet for a while, and the truth is, that I had a writing blockage. It’s been a somewhat frustrating and emotional time for me, trying to settle in, in Sevilla. As I always do, I try to find solutions to make things work, to find a way to make things comfortable for me, but most of the time, my ground feeling has been, that I feel lost, demotivated, stressful, and like that I am walking in a headwind, in Sevilla. When I feel like this and not knowing what’s going on, I don’t know what to write. But once I’m starting to see some light and can reflect on the process and the emotions connected to it, it’s just a lot easier to write about what’s going on. But it’s not because bad things happened, it’s just that I don’t feel that I have landed, yet. But some really nice things also did happen.

 

SINCE LAST TIME!

Since the last blog post, I got a job. I now work in the kitchen of a nice café, with great coffee and interior in a cool Nordic style. I found the place one day, waiting for the bus, where I was eating a nectarine and in need of a tissue. I didn’t have one on me, so I went into the nearest café to get one and that was the place. I looked them up online, when I got home and saw that they were looking for staff in the kitchen. I send my CV the same day but didn’t hear from them. Two weeks later, on a rainy day (yes, they also have those in Spain), I was standing by the same bus stand, on my way home. I had just one CV left in my backpack, and I decided to go and hand it in, in the same café and that was my lucky day. 1½ hours later I had a job interview, and started working the next week, after a struggle of getting my social security number. You need that before you can start working and you need a job to get the number, at least if you want it in the same day. I didn’t know that you could actually apply for it online, before having a job. Oh well, it worked out anyway. The name of the café is Torch, and I think that they have great values about where they buy the coffee, from small farmers in Guatemala, whom they also support with education. They make all the food and cakes themselves, and the coffee is just so much better than in many Spanish cafés, because they roast it themselves. Most Spanish coffee contain sugar. I have been working here since the 26th of October, I make sandwiches and the small breakfast dishes, and all that’s needed in them. Unfortunately, I only have 12 hours a week, payed 8 euros an hour (that’s a normal pay in the service industry here) and that does only pay my rent. I have told my boss that I’m interested in more hours, but it’s not possible at the moment, so I have been trying to find something to add it up with, but it’s not easy.

SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
The delicious coffee from Torch and the cool background map of where the coffee comes from.
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
The desk and all the lovely cakes
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
All the kinds of coffee that they make at Torch!
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
Me in my gorgeous working uniform, the hat is my favorite 😀

 

In order to earn more money and to find another way of using my skills, I applied to do a teacher training course, partly online and some practice training, where I can learn to teach others English. I could be an opportunity to have a flexible job, because I would be work in different hour, and teaching private classes or in groups. The Spanish people are hungry after learning English and they also need it, if they have to keep up internationally. There are not many Spanish people that speaks English and not many speak it well. But no wonder, because everything here is in Spanish. The movies, in the television and in the cinemas are ducted in Spanish. The other day I went to the cinema and was surprised how well Julia Roberts speaks Spanish. This course would give me a good chance of getting a job (also better payed), depending on where I live. But unfortunately, the teacher training class was full, and the next one doesn’t start until the end of March, and it takes 16 weeks, and that’s just too long to wait.

My professional area is Social Work, but somehow it just doesn’t feel right, yet, to work within that field. I still need to improve my Spanish, in order to work professionally. But I don’t take any classes at the moment, because the private teacher I had, after I finished at the language school, she and I just didn’t have the right chemistry. I’ve tried to find another one online, but the once I wrote, didn’t wrote back to me. I’ve decided to wait a bit and see if something comes up. That’s usually my experience, that if I have to force something through, it’s usually because it’s not the right thing or the right time. Patience is also a good practice for me, and I can spend the money wiser right now, because I’m using my savings.

Patience is also a good thing, when you have to do paperwork in Spain. But I have already wrote about that. But getting my social security number took me four visits to the same office, because they told me different things, about what I needed, every time. I also wanted to open a bank account in a specific bank, because they don’t have commissions, but in order to have that bank, I needed a different kind of identification paper, a permanent residency one. I did not plan to apply for that yet, because I didn’t think that I would need it, because I’m an EU resident, but because it was the only bank, I wanted to be a costumer in, I decided to apply for the residency anyway. Getting all the right papers ready for applying for it, took me a month, because the contract for my work took forever to get ready. But when I finally had all the papers, it took less than 5 minutes to make it at the police station. Thank good for the EU member ship! So now I have a permanent residency in Spain. Crazy!!!

SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
This is where the police station for foreign affairs is situated, at the beautiful Plaza de España
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
My permanent residency card….

Who knows how long I will stay? One year, 5 years or maybe forever… It’s actually a bit funny, that I have moved to Spain, because my mom is from Poland and moved to Denmark and never went back, my Polish grandmother moved to Germany and never went back to Poland and my Danish dad, from when he was around 40, lived most of his time in Poland (he doesn’t live anymore, unfortunately), only going back once a month, for a week, to Denmark.

Settling in, also means doing yoga and dancing salsa, for me, but I have not been able to find a salsa class in my level and nearby, and for yoga, it’s the same. I did find a place across from where I lived in October and November, that was pretty good, but then I had to move. Yes, once again. I had a contract for two months, and I was pretty sure that I would be prolonged, but it didn’t happen, with the explanation that she and her family wanted to have the house to themselves over Christmas, and they had to renew the kitchen. I did want to move into my own place, but I didn’t find a place, before she told me, I had to go. So now I live in a room in an apartment with a lovely couple in the late 50’ies, and their teenage cat, in another part of the city. I found the place through this Taiwanese woman, Lee-Chun, from my Spanish class, that I became friends with. She lived there in October and then I helped her with finding a place for November, in the same house I lived in, in October and November, and then she helped me back.

SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
This is the teenage cat. I call it that, because it behaves like a teenager, and is screaming and biting when it doesn’t get it’s will. It’s obsessed with going into my room when I’m home, but even more obsessed with heaters…

 

THE BEST OF MY TIME IN SEVILLA

My best experience in Sevilla, was to meet Lee-Chun, the taiwanese woman. She and I started eating lunch together after the Spanish classes, that we took together in the language school in October. It’s funny, or actually not, but the first time we met, in the first Spanish class, I was a bit ignorant towards her, because we were in a different level of Spanish. I thought she would slow me down in my learning process, but she was actually just a gift to me, and a reminder to me, that I should slow down and enjoy the ride a bit more. Luckily, I realized that quickly, or I would have missed the opportunity of getting to know this amazing woman. We just connected in the most amazing way, and we realized that we could learn a lot from each other. We started spending a lot of time together, going out eating dinner, just talking while cooking (when she moved in the same house as me) and we also went on weekend trips together. We talked, laughed, cried, fought, reflected together and teased each other and opened our hearts to each other. We got to spend two months together, but unfortunately, for me, she had to go home to her family again, which she did on the 26th of November. But we will meet again, for sure.

 

Another great thing is to be a part of a working team, to have colleagues, and to work. I have not had a proper job since before I started my masters. It feels great, and my colleagues are fun.

The weather here, is something I cannot complain about, it is GREAT. Of course, it gets colder than in the warm summer months, it’s winter here too, but the sun is shining almost every day from a blue sky and it’s between 15-18 degrees. If I sit in the sun, I don’t have to wear a jacket and I can take off my shoes, but in the shade, I need to wear my jacket and scarf. The sun is just so life and mood giving.

SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
Lee-Chun and I in Cordoba
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
Then we went to Portugal and stayed one night, only for Lee-Chun to have crossed a border by land, for the first time in her life….
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
We watched an amazing flamenco show in Cordoba, or at least I thought that, I was hypnotized by this woman’s red dress….
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
Lee-Chun practicing to make a selfie…. what do you think?

 

WHAT’S NEXT!

So as for the question if I’m settling in, in Sevilla, then I would say that, it doesn’t really feel like it. I can’t land, and I somehow feel uncomfortable almost all the time, like I can’t breathe here. It’s stressful and frustrating, and it drains my energy. I have stress symptoms, like irritable bowel syndrome, my skin is itchy, and I just feel tired. But in the same time, I find the city so beautiful and that it has a special atmosphere. I did have my hands over my head of joy, being here in Sevilla, but now, I don’t feel “most alive” here, which is my motto, to GO WHERE YOU FEEL MORE ALIVE. Another fact is, that I also haven’t really made any friends, that live here, and I also don’t really feel like it. What to do?! I feel that I’m definitely in the right country, but I guess it’s just not the right place for me, to live. Therefore, I decided to go away for 9 days, to check out another city, that I find very lovely, which is Cádiz. It’s situated 100 km south of Sevilla, and it’s right by the coast and beach. I’ve been there several times already, and it’s just small, cute, lovely and charming. I went there last week, from the 1st to the 9th of December. It has an old town and then a new town and I decided to stay some days and nights in both areas, to experience them both. In one of the places, I lived just by the beach and I went there every day, to soak in the sun and ocean, I suddenly felt I could breathe again. My health problems went away, and I just felt more alive. While I was there, I also decided to look for jobs. I was networking, talking with language schools, applied at primary schools to do help-teaching in English, I went to restaurants and applied for work, made posts in expats groups on Facebook that I look for work, had a chat with an English lady selling some health products and looking for more people to sell, I had a job interview in a fancy restaurant with a cocktail bar (I can also make cocktails), more restaurants that said they were interested because I speak many languages, a surf shop that maybe could use my help in January because they want to travel. But nothing concrete, yet. I saw a room for rent, went salsa dancing and found a salsa school, took a yoga class, visited harbors with sailing boats, which is one of my favorite hobbies and I also took a surfing lesson and loved it…

SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
Me in front of the Cathedral of Cádiz
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
Sunset of Cádiz
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
A picture of the old town, taken from the beach from new town
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
People enjoying the beach in a sunny December day…
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
The new Cádiz
SEVILLA.... SETTLING IN, OR?
Surfer Alex…..

Now I just have to wait and see what comes out of all of this, that I have send out into the universe…. It’s both amazing and a bit stressful to have all these options, that I can choose from. I have the opportunity to do the things that I want, that I would find fun to do, but in the end, I don’t have the control, which is one of the lessons here for me, to lose control. But also, to live the adventure and to trust that everything will work out just fine, as long as I follow my heart. And one thing is sure, that being by the sea, makes me FEEL MOST ALIVE… To be continued….

 

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