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An ode (however poor) to Oviedo

This is me, getting sappy and following a meandering trail of thought.

overcast 13 °C

so, I'm not going to bother trying to fill you in on the past few weeks. I've been busy, stressed, and a little overwhelmed by life in general and there's been no time to really catch up on this, but today was a pretty good day, so I want to share that with you.

Today, there was no classes. El Día de San Isidoro was yesterday, but for some reason they changed all the classes at the last moment to be cancelled on Friday instead of Thursday. But despite that, I was up at quarter til 10, after preparing a presentation from the night before, and for once in my life the past two weeks, I left on time for something, which just so happened to be my internship. But I didn't dress with the modicum of niceness that I usually do; I was going to do things casual. Today was my "off" day, why not? I was rocking my purple jacket, my black and rainbow superman tee, a tank top, and my dark jeans. I felt pretty freaking stellar. I was afforded the luxury of being able to just bring my hippy bag with me, something I've not done for a long, long while, because I've usually got my backpack and it holds everything I need anyway. But I stow away my kindle, a 20 euro, my travel card and my house-keys, and we're off!

A 20-minute walk and a (extremely, unusually crowded) 30-minute trainride later, I'm walking in the front doors to the Instituto de Jovellanos, up to the art room, and prepare to teach my first class by myself. Despite technical issues, I get it up and I don't think I'm talking too fast because there's not any confused faces, just intent ones, and the kids actually stay quiet. For the most part. If you have ever been in a secondary-school class in Spain, you know how much of an achievement that is. They bear with me when I don't know how to describe certain abstract things, and only are loud when I ask them if they've seen anything related to what I'm showing them in real life, because everybody wants to respond. Overall, I'm pretty proud of them. But then the end of the class comes all too soon, and the bell rings, and I gotta shout to get everyone's attention, because I waited a few seconds too late and they're all getting their stuff together. I tell everyone thanks for being great, and if I don't see them again, I'm glad I was able to come and help with their class this semester.

Ascención didn't know it was my last possible day, so she freaked out on me and talked my ear off for the next 15 or so minutes. it turns out I was a week ahead of myself, so I will be there next week, and I was informed it'll strictly pretty much just be a talking day, focused on me. "My day," she kept calling it, and I've resolved to bring the kids cupcakes or something. I don't know exactly how well that'll turn out, having to walk with them to class, then all the way across Oviedo and all the way across Gijón... but I'll work something out. Those kids are worth it. Then after that, I went searching for my next class. I always freaking forget which floor I'm supposed to go to... so I go up and down and down again once I realize "d'oh, you're getting your definition and their definition of second floor screwed up again" and finally end up at the right room and start to poke my head in the door... only to find an empty class.

I wtf'd. There were bookbags and papers and stuff, but no people! I finally find out after stalking the halls, the english department room and then the administration office that there's award-giving going on and that's where they all went to, so I end up getting done an hour and a half plus earlier than I expected, because the period after that, too, was cancelled for me. But when I get to the train station, the train that's sitting on the line doesn't have a destination listed on it, and is pretty much empty. some guy tells me it's leaving at 1 (it was 12:53 right then), but when I sit down and wait around, someone else else comes around and is like, "This thing doesn't leave until ten until two, but there's a different one that'll be leaving at 1:30. So I wtf again, get sad, resign myself to not sit around for the next half hour in the chilly wind and let myself out into the café and get myself a café con leche and talk a little with the same guy. He was heading to Oviedo, too, and his daughter had studied abroad in Tacoma for a while. He, like everybody else I tell, when I tell him I want to stay in Spain longer, he smiles and laughs and encourages me to at least come back again. I don't know how or when, but I resolve to myself once again that I will.

It was refreshing to take things at a leisurely pace, and I got to read a lot. On the way back, I got myself in a snug little two seat near the middle of the train and had a lovely ride back. When I got there, I meandered around for a little bit, then walked down one of the rutas de vino and stopped in front of La Tagliatella like I usually do, pondering to myself. Well, this time, I gathered up the courage to go in. And then I asked for a menu and they put one in my hand, and before I know it, I'm sitting down and I've ordered an entire pizza to myself, and I'm totally surprised at how nice the restaurant is. I didn't know it was a branch, but it is, and this one is a lot nicer than the one I saw in Barcelona, or at least it appears so to me. When it comes out, they forgot the basil but it doesn't matter much to me. I slice it in half and attack one side of it with vigor, promptly ceasing when I finish exactly that much. I go back to reading, have another café con leche instead of dessert, and leisurely finish then head off back across the city, pass by Nakama and see it's closed for siesta(D:!) but end up back at home and relax for a little while before having to run out again to meet with some people at McD's on Calle Uría to get some work done. And thank you GOD, it doesn't rain. But I bring my umbrella anyway, because this is Asturias, and anything's possible.

Like how I did when I was walking through Gijón today, I lifted my head up and took a little more notice of everything that was around me. It's hitting me hard that I soon have to leave this place that I've come to love so much. Morning's not going to consist of groaning that Carmen's waking me up 10 minutes earlier than I need to be because her clock runs fast, of walking everywhere, of stopping and watching the sports being played in the park by the university, or smiling to myself as I meander through the groups of families outside the school across the street from my house either in the morning or when they get out. I won't be able to go to Los Prados and walk down the starry hall when I want to go see a movie at Yelmo, or a walk up into the city when I want to go to the Antiguo and hang out with friends. The conventional meeting place won't be La Gorda, and I won't hear every day about how people went out last night to B12. I won't coo "puppyyyyy" at every single leashless dog I pass, because, let's face it, people generally don't wander around in public with their dogs at all in the US, much less without leashes. Snow-capped mountains won't linger in the distance, and there won't forever be new places to explore with friends, my mental filling in of the map of Oviedo will cease because I will simply cease to be here. I'm terrifed. TERRIFIED. Walking around dog poop in the middle of the sidewalks and fighting for space on them with the pidgeons and people-watching has become a part of my daily commute, and I don't know what I'll do without it. Will life seem much less... alive when all my travelling is done with a shield of metal and glass between me and the world that passes me by? Will I be able to adjust to having actual textbooks and homework again?

Of course I miss everyone at home. I miss my friends, I miss my family, I miss my Jess and my Rachel. (Yes, you two are important enough you get your own categories. Revel in it. <3) I'm looking forward to probably moving to Oxford and sharing an apartment with mom and Jess, and to all the adventures that are sure to come in the rest of my three years of my college experience, but I've got this terror that I'll never see this place again. It's like the terror I first got when I left, that my world would suddenly be changed and turned upside down and never be the same again in the four months I was gone (and in some ways, that's come to pass), but this is different. There is no assurance that I'll be coming back this time. And even if I do, there's the realization that things won't be the same. When I do come back (And I seriously hope to!) it won't be to go back to the history and literature classes I love, and all the friends I've made will most likely be back in their own countries, doing their own thing.

"Animo!", I tell myself. It's a part of life. All things end, and each ending brings a new beginning. It's a part of growing up. Well, fault me for it if you want, but I wish I could stay in the Neverland that is Oviedo. The time's been magical, and I'm not looking forward to parting with you.

And it's the little things that are somehow making it okay. Like today, the handmade clothing store that I've eyed for months happened to be open when I walked by, because usually I'm either going past it too early or too late in the day. They've had advertisements for €10 camisas for a while, and it turns out the €15 one I eyed and liked happened to be on discount so it was 10 after all! Yay! It was really artsy and fashiony, and I had finally gotten to check out that neat little store like I wanted. It's things like that, filling in a few of the gaps, you know?, that let start to put me at ease. There's still new things for me to look forward to, always, whether they're here or there or in some other other new city or country I've never been to yet.

So keep on rockin', Oviedo. Our fun's not over just yet, and I don't intend on letting things end on a sad note!

Posted by Locksharp 10:03 Archived in Spain

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