Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Leaving Spain

Right now, I am sitting in the Madrid airport waiting for my flight to Philadelphia. I can’t believe my European adventure is coming to end. It seems like I just arrived in Spain. Lately, I have been spending a lot of time saying goodbye to other fulbrighters, and it feels like the beginning again when we would hang out in big groups and explore the city together. I still remember living in the residencia and having to do the housing search. Yesterday, I had a déjà vu moment. I had to go to the atm to take out money for a cab ride to the airport and the first Citibank I went to had the door to the atm vestibule locked. It wasn’t that I needed to insert my atm card in order to get in but the door was physically locked. I couldn’t believe it, so I went to another Citibank and luckily that one had the vestibule open so I could take out money. However, I feel this is a fitting way to end my time in Spain, being frustrated with banking.
These last few days I have been feeling a mix of emotions which I guess is normal. I am sad to be leaving Spain, my apartment, way of life, and all the amazing people I have met, but I also quite excited to see friends from college and be back at home. I have two weeks to adjust to life back in the United States before I begin TFA. Lately, I have been on the TFA website a lot and I am getting super excited. I am still waiting on an actual placement and I would really like to know whether I am teaching middle school or elementary but I am trying to adopt the Spanish way of life and realize everything will work out and that I will get a job eventually.
As I look back on year, my memories are filled with tons of amazing events, people I have met, and funny/awkward experiences. Here is a summary of the highlights and things that stick out in my mind.
• Running around Madrid, having to go to five different citibanks in order to open my account and take out enough money to pay my landlord
• Hosting a huge thanksgiving dinner for about 35 fulbrighters in our apartment, not to mention plucking the feathers out of the turkey
• Organizing prom for my students. The concept of a long dress has not hit my students yet. In their minds the shorter, the tighter the better.
• Giving my students peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and having them actually like it
• Seeing a double rainbow outside my kitchen window the day before I left
• Hiding my purse under my jacket in order to avoid the ryanair checkin fees
• Having my students confuse the word sheet and shit and having to explain the difference
• Hiking in Cinque Terre along the Mediterranean
• Seeing my students compete in the Model UN conference and having them win top honors
• Stumbling upon an 80% off Salvador Bachiller outlet sale, ie running around the entire store and grabbing every purse in sight and figuring out after the fact if I even like it
• Having it be sunny until 10 pm in the springtime
• Taking my parents to my favorite Chinese restaurant which is located in parking garage
• Receiving the sweetest goodbye cards from my students and getting a standing ovation as I left the classroom
• Taking a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi with my mom clutching onto me for dear life
• Seeing my landlady trying to unclog our sink after pouring four bottles of drain-o down the sink by using a coat hanger and plunger (she was unsuccessful and finally agreed to call a plumber)
• Spending the weekends in the park reading, relaxing, and napping
• Staying up all night to watch the presidential election results