|After another great morning of sleeping in, I packed my things and headed out of the apartment. Since Enrique, the guy from whom I rented the apartment, has another guest coming this evening, I had to be out by noon. Unfortunately, my train for Madrid was set to leave at 3:41, so that left close to four hours to wander around Salamanca and entertain myself. I remembered seeing a panadería that caught my interest when I arrived to Salamanca, so I made a point to head there once I vacated the apartment. I had a coffee and messed around on my phone for a bit, and then I headed to the train station where I had about two and a half hours to kill until my train left. I managed to keep myself busy with random websites and Facebook, so time actually seemed to pass fairly quickly.
It was brought to my attention that today is my last Friday in Spain. When I was asked if that makes me sad, my response was Yes, and no. I've been here a long time—almost five weeks. And, for the most part, I've been doing it by myself, which still amazes me that I've done as well as I have with surviving abroad. So when I reflect back on these five weeks, I know that I've seen a lot of amazing sights, and I've learned a ton about the country, culture, and people of Spain. That's what I came here to do, and I feel that I've done an admirable job of that. I will definitely leave here with a fresh perspective, and I can already feel a change to my understanding of the language and culture. As a result, I know that I will have many ways to share this information with my students. In a sense, I feel rejuvenated.
That being said, I will be excited to return to the States come next Friday. It will be nice to be around familiar people, and it will be great to relax the last two weeks before school starts. I do feel a level of comfortability now here in Spain, and it's a feeling that didn't come until recently. What I mean by that is that I wake up in the morning and I know where I am, like it's a feeling I would have when I wake up during the summer in Indiana. I can do what I want, and I know how to go about doing it. Maybe I'm not articulating this feeling very well, but trust me that it's a good thing.
I got back to Madrid around 7:00pm, and my first priority was to get a haircut (the sides were looking a little shaggy). At 9:30pm I met up with Kara, a friend whom I met through a former teacher at Avon. Kara teaches Spanish in Columbus, Ohio and is taking a year off to live in Spain, so naturally we had a lot to talk about. Her roommate, Eva, joined us some time later, and the three of us got a table in a nearby terraza, had a few drinks, ate some tapas, and did a lot of talking—in Spanish. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and thought it was a great way to end an otherwise uneventful day.
There's still a lot to look forward to. Sunday afternoon I head to Málaga for a few days, and I am incredibly excited to experience the beach there. Aside from the beach, there's also a fortress and a Picasso museum that I'd like to check out. So time is slowly running out, and while there's a thousand and one things I could do yet, I'm satisfied with what I have experienced up to this point and with what I still have yet to see. I'm just going along with the flow of life here, and it's not a bad thing to be doing!