Do you ever have the feeling everything has been perfectly aligned? Things have fallen into place in an unexpected way? That’s how my life has been feeling the last few weeks. I’m loving life.
Two weeks ago, when I walked into the café next to the high school during our 3o minute recreo (break) a teacher immediately introduced me to a woman sitting at the counter. This woman is a substitute from Cadiz, about 4 hrs by car from Roquetas, who had seen my flier posted in the entry way of the school regarding my extra room for rent. A week before, I glanced at my flier and thought, “I should take it down, it’s been up for a month, I doubt anyone will be calling me now…” but I left it there. She had taken a pull tab with my name and number, having just arrived the night before in Almeria, and she was in quick search of finding a place to call home while working for the next 15 work days at “my” high school. She asked me where I lived, how much is rent and how I get to school since she’s with a car. I was surprised at my feelings, How would it be to share space again? Do I want a flat mate? I really like living alone, I mean really love it! I was comforted by the fact her stay would be temporary.
A teacher helped give her directions and we agreed 6pm was a good time for her to see the room. She came over, she glanced at my piso and said (in Spanish) “well, it’s a room, I’ll take it.” After all my crazy experiences of meeting potential roommates, I didn’t hesitate. She’s a woman, she’s a substitute teacher, it would be for a handful of weeks and I’d be helping her out. I’m grateful to all those who helped make my transition in Spain much easier ( friend introduced me to my first, calling to look at, having a place to stay for a week, etc.) because without them, my first few weeks would have been more daunting and difficult. She left and returned an hour or so later with her suitcase and some groceries.
In the spirit of giving back and knowing what it’s like to arrive without knowing anyone or anything, I gave her a tour of Roquetas the next day. It felt good to be the one sharing “my town” with her. She had lots of questions and lots of worries; normal when you’ve just arrived and everything is new. She was curious where people hang out, what to do and most important, where are the guapos (good-looking guys)? She was worried about how she’d get to work and despite reassuring her I get a ride from teachers everyday and wait at the corner in front of the theater, she wasn’t so sure. Within days, she arranged with other teachers who had the same schedule as her, and I for the last few weeks haven’t taken the 8 minute walk to wait for a ride, a few teachers come direct to our door to pick us up.
On reflection, it’s strange to think I had any apprehensions. We get along great, she’s just as eager to see places, try foods, and meet people as I am. And just as important, I speak Spanish all the time with her. Though she understands English (which helps), we’ve never spoken more than a handful of words. Better for me. I still struggle with Spanish and the idea of where I want to be, where I think it should be and where it is.
This past weekend her parents were visiting Almeria and got an extra room for her. She invited me and I unexpectedly spent the whole weekend in Almeria with her. I love the unexpected. Moments before she returned home Friday evening to grab her bag for the weekend, I was wondering, What am I going to do this weekend? She had mentioned she was staying in Almeria for the weekend but I hadn’t seen her all afternoon, which was strange. I quickly packed a bag and did a poor job, I left my wallet and toothbrush behind. Gee.
We had a great time. We checked out the nightlife both Friday and Saturday night and I was reminded of how going out in Spain is often
overrated. the same. Same music, same clubs, same people. et the music always seems to be the same 7 songs. It’s sad I’m yearning for Top 40 trash music in Spain because it would offer a little more variety to the poppy beats being played. I often feel “old” and I wonder, where is the eye candy?
She’s leaving this Friday and I’m sad. She has plans this weekend but I’ve invited her to return just to “vacation” for the following week (or whenever she wants) while she awaits her next assignment. Ironically, when she first arrived, she wasn’t so sure of this place and now she doesn’t want to leave. She doesn’t want to go back to her town. And like her, I’m beginning to appreciate where I live (after 6 months of resisting). After all I have a spare room and now a new friend. She’s showed me what a great room-mate can be- fun, go out for tapas, go out on the town, talk about life and relationships, enjoy the beach and the benefits of a Spanish flat-mate: help me improve my Spanish.
So I may be sad to see her go but I’m grateful for the 15 days with her. I’ve learned a lot from her in the short while she’s been here. I know there is a reason she came into my life (and she may just feel the same, I’m the first flat mate she’s ever had!) and I hope her and I will cross paths again soon.
Have you had a similar experience? Or an experience where you were nervous about something/someone and then the experience was better than you could have imagined and then question why you were unsure in the first place?