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Posts Tagged ‘return’

Crossing the pond, 2.0

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to write a journal entry. I start, get distracted, and then loose motivation. I’m sorry. My journey back to Spain began exactly a month ago. It was a rather uneventful flight, with a stopover in Frankfurt. It’s nice to see the terminal there progressing, as there was now space to wait that wasn’t at the gate. There’s actually a nice (!?!) McDonalds there, with a café unlike any McDonalds I’ve seen in North America or Spain. This certainly made the four hour layover less painful. My first few weeks back in Spain were an exercise in bureaucracy. I had to renew my identity document, open a new bank account, and get a few other chores done. Sounds easy, no? Well, when I went to open a new bank account my friendly neighborhood teller informed me that I already had an account open with my identity number. When I protested, she took a closer look and the account was in a man’s name. This raised a panic which involved me fearing the worse, and having to go to the National Police and then the Civil Guard (like the FBI, sort of) to have them run my identity numbers to check out what was going on. In the end, all was fine but it was a panic I never hope to feel again. The worst part of the whole ordeal was my interaction with the bureaucrat in the National Police Office. Now, bureaucratic posts here are SOLID posts. Do whatever work you want, you’ve got the job and it’s not going anywhere. Well, this can leave to some “fun” situations. When I asked the lady if she could help, she replied in an ever so Spanish-bureaucratic manner that it wasn’t HER job. When we told her we’d go to the Civil Guard office, she got indignant and insisted it wasn’t their job either. Having spent the day in a panic, and now frustrated that the “burro”-crat wasn’t willing to help in the slightest, I burst into tears in the middle of the city. Thankfully, I had a lovely Spaniard with me who helped me get things ironed out. So why am I back in Spain? I’m doing the same job as last year. I’m a “Language and Culture Assistant”, which means I’m basically the native speaker who helps out in English or bilingual classes. This year I’m in an exclusively secondary school, which is a bit of a change. I really miss the primary kids, as I had a lot more fun teaching their classes. However, there it is nice to be able to teach “older” subjects with my students. In the past week, we’ve talked about fair trade, body images, and other topics that aren’t all that appropriate for the wee ones. I’m in another small town this year. It’s a town of roughly 12,000 located on the Cantabrian coast. My school is located in the same industrial park as all the anchovy canneries, and other fish freezing/conservation factories. Needless to say, it smells interesting at many points in the day. The nice part, however, is that when I have a break between classes, I can meander down to the shoreline to relax. I’m really enjoying my second year back in Spain!

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