It was a fun five weeks in Sevilla, but all good things must come to an end. Last Saturday I said goodbye to Isa, thanked her for everything, and rolled my way to the train station a couple blocks away. I’m still darn proud of myself for only bringing one suitcase, and even more for resisting the urge to shop while in Sevilla so that I could still fit everything into the one suitcase. It was a short two-hour train ride with three other girls from my program. We parted ways after arriving in Málaga as they went to the hotel the program had booked for us to stay in while searching for an apartment.
I was lucky enough to have my apartment already and took a taxi straight there where the (English speaking!) landlord was waiting for me with my keys and contract. A friend of mine lived here last year and put me in touch with the landlord. I have had my living situation arranged since before I even came to Spain, but I didn’t fully appreciate just how fortunate this was until this past week. All of my new friends have been desperately searching for a place to live, becoming more frustrated each day as the prepaid nights in a hotel draw to a close. Some have looked at as many as fifteen apartments, trying to find a place they’re comfortable with, roommates they can communicate with, and a price they can afford. I got to completely skip this step and move into my home for the next year while others were just beginning their search.
|My beautiful new home|
I did have one task to complete as soon as possible: I needed to find a roommate. Within 24 hours of being in the apartment I had accomplished this. Go me. I had been talking to a few people via various housing websites and one of them came to look at the place the same evening I arrived. By the next afternoon we had both agreed that we seemed a good fit, and as easy as that, mission accomplished.
To further add to my good fortune, and my list of accomplishments for the week, I have a second job already. Not ten minutes after I had signed the contract, gotten my keys, and the landlord had left, he called me and said “I forgot to mention, I have a friend who runs an English school and he’s looking for a teacher. Can I give him your phone number?” After picking my jaw up off the floor I muttered every response in my English vocabulary (and some in Spanish) signaling an affirmative response. Not only did I get an amazing apartment dropped in my lap, but it also came with a job! The very next day my landlord’s friend called me, asked if I could meet him that evening to go tour the school, and start teaching classes the following day. I got a job offer based on the fact that I speak English fluently and call myself an English teacher. It was by no means an interview. It was more like “Here are the classrooms, here are the materials, this is what I’ll pay you, want to start tomorrow?” It all seemed organized and trustworthy (by Spanish standards), so my response was a resounding yes.
I am still completely in shock that so much happened so fast. To recap:
2:30pm – Arrive in Málaga, go straight to apartment, get keys, sign contract
7:00pm – Potential roommate comes to look at apartment
Late morning – Potential roommate calls, living situation confirmed
Afternoon – Director of school calls, offers job
Evening – Meet director, visit school, accept job
5:00pm – Begin teaching
And so my life in Málaga has begun. The rest of the past week has been filled with wandering around my new city, getting lost, unpacking, and filling the kitchen with food and apartment with life. My other notable accomplishment was getting my NIE, which is my ID number as a foreigner residing in Spain. It involved paperwork, photographs, and waiting in lines, but I’m now a legal resident of Spain. I also went to the elementary school I’ll be teaching at during the day, introduced myself, and was told to come back on Monday to start work. I still don’t know what my schedule will be like but I’m crossing my fingers for Fridays off.