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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Postcards From Granada

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Mary Elizabeth Snyder
ME Snyder teaches Middle School Spanish at Tower Hill School in Wilmington. She is a 2011 UD graduate who taught English for a year in Grenada, Spain.

Hola a todos!

 

After an extremely stressful few days of trying to find an apartment in a foreign country, I finally settled in to my new life in Granada! This was my first full week here and a lot happened. I moved in to a new apartment, I started at a new school, and I met new people. But although I love it here, this past week has been all about adapting to a completely different lifestyle than I’m used to. For example, my apartment doesn’t have an oven, a dishwasher, or a dryer. When I bought sheets for my bed, I stupidly washed them at 6 pm, thinking it would take about a half hour to wash, then I’d hang them out to dry, and everything would be done by the time I went to bed. Fast forward two and a half hours later, when the washer was finally finished (apparently they are energy efficient washers, so it takes longer?) and I was hanging my sheets out in the dark. Note to self: start wash as soon as you wake up in the morning, or else you will stay up late waiting for your things to dry. Also, my first shower was ice cold. In some apartments, people still use butane tanks for hot water. My apartment is one of those. And when I arrived here, my Spanish roommate was in the process of getting a new tank, since the old one had run out. No butane tank= frozen shower.

 

Living in a country that doesn’t have all the amenities that we have in the U.S. is such an eye-opener. Spain is by no means a third-world country, but things like a dryer and an oven are special appliances, and most people don’t have them.  It really makes me appreciate a hot shower!

 

But on the other hand, there are things here that make life ten times better. For instance, my personal favorite is the siesta. Everyday between two and five in the afternoon the city shuts down. Almost all of the stores close, and the workers go home to eat lunch and take a nap. It makes me wonder how I ever made it through the day without a nap back home! Another thing I love about Granada is that here, the tapas are free and absolutely delicious. In other parts of Spain, you have to buy the tapas along with your drink. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a place that basically serves a whole meal as a tapa!

 

Finally, everyone here is so laid back. Nothing seems to bother them. There is never a rush to get anywhere, and certainly not a rush to drink their coffee. One Spanish person I met could not understand why Americans get their coffee to go, instead of sitting down and enjoying it! I love this mindset, and since I’ve been here I’ve started walking slower, enjoying coffee with friends, and just slowing down to enjoy everything.

 

So even though it has been a bit of an adjustment during this first week, I have no doubt that I’m going to adapt quickly and have a fantastic time here!


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