On Monday I strolled into work about 10:35. My first lesson started at 10:30. I was going to go to the staffroom, put my stuff down, maybe grab a drink, and then head upstairs to my class, and probably still arrive before anything really got underway. On the way to the staffroom I passed my bilingual coordinator. I gave him the standard “Buenas días” and a smile, but he responded with “¡Amy! Hay una carta para ti. Está en mi oficina.” “¿De la Junta?” I asked. “Sí” he replied, and ran off to his class.
|The auxiliar’s magic eight ball, and my employer|
¡Por fin! My placement for next year had come! I turned around and did my best not to run all the way to his office, fumbled with the key to let myself in, and there it was, glowing on the desk (At least it was to me, and there was no else there to refute it, so yes, it was glowing).
I ripped open the envelope as I locked back up and headed to the staffroom. I yanked the letter out and looked straight to the middle of the page where an address was written. Actually I just looked at the bottom line of the address:
29640 Fuengirola (Málaga)
My first response was an expletive. Fuengi?! Really? I then looked to see what type of school I got. A primary school. Again. Slightly weaker expletive.
I requested a secondary school in either Sevilla or Granada. I was excited and ready to set up a life in a new city and get experience teaching a different level. What does the Junta give me? Another primary school about 25 km from where I currently am. Of course.
I had imagined an extension of the month I spent in Sevilla last summer, full of late nights roaming about Triana or barrio Santa Cruz with la Giralda as the backdrop. Or eating enormous tapas in Granada in el Albayzín, looking up at the Alhambra. But instead I get this little town I haven’t even visited because its reputation for being overrun by tourists and old retired English people frying on the beach didn’t exactly tempt me.
I go teach for an hour and a half with this weighing on my mind. But during recreo I finally had time to let it sink in and think about it. I had said if I got a placement I didn’t like I wouldn’t come back to Spain. I’d follow up with one of the other jobs I’ve applied for. I was actually recently offered one teaching in the Dominican Republic. I had some analyzing to do.
Loads of people commute from Málaga to Fuengirola thanks to the Cercanías train. I could stay in Málaga. I really wanted something new, but coming back here wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. The more I thought about it, the longer my pros list got. I’ll be able to come back to my apartment, many of my friends, and most likely my roommate and my private lessons, all of which are good things. I’ll still be on the beach. Even better, I’ll work a short walk away from a new, supposedly prettier beach. Sure, I’ll have a 45 minute train ride to work, but just think of all the reading I can do during that time! I won’t get the high school experience I wanted, but the next hug I got from a six year old later that afternoon quickly gave me ganas to work with little niños again. Commuting will be more expensive than my zero transportation costs this year, but coming back to a city I know I’ll have ample opportunity to do more (and charge more for) private classes. I’m going to miss my little trouble makers dearly, and now I’ll be able to stop in to visit any time next year.
To summarize, I decided that returning to Málaga is not just acceptable, it’s fantastic. I’m going to the Oficina de Extranjeros tomorrow to renew my resident card another year and make it official.
Málaga, get ready. I’ll be back.
|Many more days in the sun with these people to come|