As I write this, I am sitting on my bed in my host family’s apartment in Seville, Spain. I am covered in a fresh layer of sweat, because as I walked home from the metro and a morning of shopping in my old ‘hood (shoutout to Nervión), it was just reaching the daily high of 109 degrees. Thankfully, the apartment has AC, or else this would be the last you’d be hearing from me.
These past few days have been a large adjustment. With jet lag, the heat, and the sudden realization of how few people I know in this city (on this continent, really), it hasn’t been the smoothest of sailing. I remember my way around better than I thought, even living in a different neighborhood than last year, but seeing familiar places where I used to go on a daily basis with my friends brings about a sad nostalgia for which I wasn’t prepared.
Today, I will be going to swim at the country club with my host family after lunch. It is the only thing you can do in this heat that won’t drive you insane (if you’re ever considering coming to southern Spain in the summer, don’t do it. It’s a bad idea). The family has a housekeeper who comes daily 8:15-4:15 to do all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry. I came home this afternoon to a freshly made bed, clean clothes ironed and in a neat pile, nail polishes organized on my desk next to other belongings that just this morning had been strewn about. It’s an odd transition from living on my own for two years and taking on the responsibility of all chores (which usually meant leaving my dishes in the sink until they grew moldy and I threw them out, but you know what I mean). I guess I can’t complain about being pampered, but if I didn’t experience culture shock last year, I am definitely feeling it now.
Soon I will be looking for work as an English teacher in private academies. There are dozens throughout the city, but you need to apply in person, which means trekking through the heat with resumés in hand. Hopefully, once I start to establish a more consistent schedule, and once I get the lay of Los Remedios (my current ‘hood), I will feel more at ease. Until then, I am taking it day by day, and hoping the Spanish sun has mercy on me.