I have a terrible confession to make… When I was originally planning my adventure to Spain, I had grandeur dreams of being a travel blogger. I had imagined myself as a travelling Carrie Bradshaw, writing daily reflections and musings for the masses of fans. There are a few flaws to this daydream:
- I don’t have masses of fans
- I’ve been so busy with school, additional classes, skype chats, travel planning and actual travel, that I have been incredibly slack and have only written my first post about my new life in Spain close to 3 months after the fact.
But that is about to change *hopefully* (well, at least the second point). Having lived “sola” for the first 2-ish months, I was pretty preoccupied with finding a piso, setting up internet, opening a bank account, getting a sim card, organising extra classes and just finding my way around lil’ ol’ Pozoblanco (more details can be found here). However, the good news is I’m no longer “sola”, as my Guy has arrived, therefor lifting some of the time-consuming chores of day-to-day life. He also dreams of me being a travel blogger, and won’t let me be slack any longer! So here it goes….
My introduction to Pozoblanco was lovely. After 60+ hours of travel from my home in Canberra, I finally arrived to my hotel for the next 5 days in Pozoblanco. I had booked 5 nights, allowing me time to find a piso of my own, while still enjoying the comforts of free wi-fi (so important nowadays!) and a hearty breakfast. Hotel Zoom is one of the few hotels in Pozoblanco (I think when I did an initial search, there were 2). The staff were very welcoming and friendly. As travellers’ luck would have it, I arrived in the middle of the town’s Feria (or country fair – think a small scale of the Ekka or Easter Royal Show in Australia, including the smells of farm animals). It was a great way to fight off jetlag by walking to the Feria and taking in the sights (and aforementioned smells) and of course, my obligatory first ‘chocolate con churros’. Everyone was happily walking around, eating, dancing and playing shooting games at the stalls, vying for that larger-than-life soft toy. Girls were showing off their Feria dresses, the typical polkadot dresses with the frills, something which I hope to buy myself to model at the next string of Ferias in 2015. After a spot of people watching and churros eating, I headed to a flamenco show. Unfortunately the exhaustion set in and I am only a little ashamed to admit that I may have had a couple of micro sleeps during the show (in my defence, the show didn’t start until 10pm, which was now 2.5 days of limited, broken sleep since leaving Canberra). What I did see though, was fantastic and entertaining and I left feeling inspired to go out and find lessons to start as soon as I could. The only downfall of arriving during a Feria, is the reduced commercial hours. Everything had closed down for the weekend, which put pressure on finding a piso, getting a sim card, opening a bank account and connecting internet. In the end, I managed to score the piso and get the sim card and sort out the rest during the week (after business returned back to their normal, but-still-somewhat limited hours – who knew siestas were still such a serious thing!).
So what is Pozoblanco like, you may ask? Well, Pozoblanco is a small “pueblo” or town of 18,000 residents. According to Wikipedia (who, let’s face it, is everyone’s go-to source for random information), the town grew up around a well that had turned white from the excrement of chickens, hence the name Pozoblanco, meaning “white well.” Charming, right? Well, in my 3 months there, I have not seen any live chickens, but I have spotted a couple of white wells (coloured by paint). It is a nice small town, with friendly people, but the key word here is small. My wonderful piso is in the middle of town, and I can walk 15 minutes in essentially any direction and reach the edge of the village. This location is handy, since the trusty powers-that-be in my program placed me in two schools at the opposite ends of town (a decision everyone involved is still questioning). If I were to walk another 5 minutes past either school, I would find myself in a paddock. It is probably most famous for the death of a bullfighter, Paquirri, who died on his way to hospital after being gored by a bull in 1984.
There are pros and cons to living in a small pueblo. Pros – you get to know everyone relatively quickly, and just about everyone has been friendly enough. I’ve met some amazing people and made some friends. The other pro is that you also get to know the town quickly. Cons – you get to know the town quickly. After walking around for a couple of days I realised, “that’s it”. The shopaholic in me is limited to a small number of shops, no big fast food chains (which is probably for the best, really) and not a whole lot more. After the initial shock, I have come to accept and appreciate the simple pueblo life. My weeks essentially involve Sleep. Eat. Teach. Repeat. However, come Friday, I am ready to go! I’ve managed to travel on all-but-two weekends since arriving in September, and the money I’ve saved from not buying things for the sake of buying (due to lack of options) and eating out continually, has allowed me to appreciate the simpler things in life and also really appreciate my weekend travels. Which is the whole point of being here and provides more inspiration for this blog!