It has been 4 weeks since I escaped from the drudgery of bedpans, medication rounds and 5.30am alarms to come and live in the land of sunshine, sangria and siesta. Surely the best solution to nursing burnout.
Having taken a month off work in July to do a CELTA qualification (Certificate in Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages) I applied for an 8 week programme teaching English in a language school in Seville. Despite speaking no more Spanish than Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2 (hasta la vista baby!) the programme seemed to offer just what I needed to ease me into living abroad. The Erasmus programme, ‘Teach Seville’ offers a work placement, accommodation, flights, Spanish lessons and an allowance. Shame Brexit happened and these opportunities might not exist in future.
Since arriving I have been a little lazy with learning Spanish, however a good opportunity to speak Spanish and meet new people is during language exchanges which happen weekly in cafes and bars around the city. These exchanges are called Intercambios which is essentially a type of speed-dating without the dating part. Though I’m sure many relationships have blossomed from that first ‘hola, ¿cómo te llamas?’
Living in the Macarena district, outside the city wall, remember that ‘90’s classic with the killer dance routine? Well anyway it took a good day and a half before I got that ‘wow!’ moment and discovered what makes Seville so special. Not to discount the charm of the Macarena district the main highlights of Seville are found in the central Casco Antiguo district or Old Quarter.
On our first evening we ventured to the ever popular Alameda which is a wide pedestrianised area with cafes and bars. We ate some montaditos and drank what would be the first of many Cruzcampo cervezas. Montaditos are tapas-sized filled rolls and Beer or Cervezas are drunk like soft drinks in Spain and are cheap, with a caña generally costing 1 Euro.
Living in Spain so far has been a refreshing experience. It’s the middle of November and although we have started using the Brasero (Typical Spanish under table heater) the days are bright and warm and Edinburgh isn’t calling me home yet.
Tell me about a risk or leap of faith you’ve taken?