This time last Friday, I was getting ready to go on my second night out in the new city I live in – Madrid! I am a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Teacher.
I live with two French girls; both sweet but distinctly different personalities. The first is C and the second is L. I was the first to move into the flat at the beginning of September, and then C joined me the next day, and her friend L roughly 4 days later. C is an Erasmus student and L moved here in the hope of finding a job in retail (however, there has been no luck in that department, as of yet) and they have been friends since Primary School.
So, back to last Friday, I went out with my roommates, and about eight of their French friends (all Erasmus students). It was at about 2am when I was stood in the middle of the street, with a Spanish girl to my left, pissing on the pavement asking us for “Protección! Protección!”. A couple Spanish boys in front of me, speaking to me in Spanish and I was pretending I knew what they were saying (and cared for that matter), and a small group of French girls to my right. When I realised; I’m living a very different life to that of my friends in Manchester.
I decided in that moment, to put my Creative Writing Degree and Masters to use!
I have to say, although some people reading this will think “Wow! A TEFL it must be so good and fun?” for me personally, I have found it a lonely experience.
Last year, I lived in the North of Spain (Cantabria region) and I seemed to spend most of my weekends on my own (although I lived with an English girl who was my age with the same interests as me). And earlier today it dawned on me, if I didn’t work in a school and teach 4 and 5 year olds, singing and dancing to the same repetitive rhymes, I would actually barely ever have a verbal conversation with someone.
C and L are very tight, and always speak in French (obviously) and my French vocabulary is extremely limited, beyond a greeting. On top of this, they enjoy spending their relaxation time in their bedrooms. They cook together, they shop together…
At the moment, C’s friend from France is staying with us. We exchanged a “Hello” and a couple air kisses this afternoon. After that, there was no conversation. I briefly spoke with C and L and that was hours ago. They went out in the afternoon (shopping and sight-seeing I assume) and now they are getting ready to go out until the early morning. Am I wrong to have expected an invite? Or would the language barrier perhaps of been too much of a challenge for them? (This is a good part to mention that C speaks very good English, I can have a conversation with L ,and the French guest seemed to understand what I was saying earlier).
However, with this in mind, I will be honest and say I am secretly pleased. I do not have an endless amount of money, therefore, there is no going out for tapas and beers, shopping or even buying luxury food items for me.
I guess, I will have to see what next Friday brings for me, otherwise I might run out of things to blog about.