Thing 1. My German roommate gave me a present yesterday because it’s a tradition in Germany to give children gifts of school supplies on their first days of school. She gave me stickers, pencils, alphabet ice cube trays (definitely my favorite), a notebook, and candy – because today was my first day of school, too. How cute is that?
Thing 2. Every day I love Santiago more. I feel as if it’s been a long time since I’ve felt so at home in a place, even…at home. It’s got everything – it’s got a rich history and a monument that brings pilgrims from all over the world, it’s got a modern side with all the comforts of city living (I sound like a brochure), it’s got La Alameda, one of the prettiest parks I’ve seen, it’s got the old side of town with its tiny bars and coffeeshops, it’s got pine trees AND palm trees, rain and blue skies, it’s close to Coruna but far enough to retain its smallish town atmosphere. And I keep discovering things about it that make me even happier, like the fact that every Wednesday, people come from all over Galicia to trade livestock and farm fowl on the outskirts of town. In a word, I love it here.
Thing 3. My roommates regularly make me homemade Italian pizza and pasta, and on Saturday they made gnocchi by hand. I’m going to learn to make tiramisu soon, and I’m making a tortilla espanola tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s just the amount of fresh markets here or if it’s because I’m on my own, but I’ve gotten really into cooking lately and am looking forward to being able to stun my American visitors (hint hint) with exotic European delicacies.
Thing 4. I had my first day of work today. I am now working for three different places, and also starting to arrange private English lessons. I taught a class of 3 children at Christian’s house, the German professor who is opening a language academy and whose children already speak four languages at the ages of 7 and 9. Then I taught two adults at the other academy down the street from my apartment. I don’t like teaching children as much as adults but I like going to the house because it is a beautiful house with a garden, a view of the city, and a cat. It makes me feel like I have a surrogate family here, even though they are a little bit crazy. Also, they live a half-hour walk away and at the top of a steep hill, so I get some exercise every time I go there. It is also nice to know that I am now earning money and being somewhat productive in the world. Contributing to the good of society, if you will.
Thing 5. I finally got around to taking some more photos of Santiago, so I will post them to Shutterfly within the next few days. I hope to send out an email about this, but I now have my own Shutterfly website, so instead of having to email you every time I take new pictures, you can check back to this site whenever you want and see what I’ve added. The link is: