As the title of this post suggests, I’ve had a fairly eventful week…I went on a free walking tour of Seville with some other auxiliares, travelled out of the city for the first time for my induction in Madrid (more on that later), and saw my first flamenco show.
The week got off to a good start on Tuesday (minus having to get out of bed stupidly early to catch the bus into town) when I went on a free walking tour of the historic centre of the city with some of the other auxiliares. Our guide was fantastic and told us a lot about the city. Really nice to hear the background of some of the buildings I’ve been walking past most days as well as some Spanish history. For instance, the town hall of Seville remains only partially decorated because they ran out of money half way through building it.
Classic. I also hadn’t realised that the pillars on the Spanish coat of arms represent the pillars of Hercules (i.e. Gibraltar and the matching ‘pillar’ on the African shore) and that the Latin motto ‘Plus Ultra’ was designed to inspire young Europeans to travel out and discover more of the world. The more you know. After the tour we wandered for a bit and I got my first churros con chocolate of the year aka the best food ever invented.
After Tuesday’s escapades, Wednesday brought along an even bigger adventure: it was time to travel out of the city for the first time since arriving here and head to the capital for my induction. I may as well have called this blog post ‘a love letter to renfe’ as that’s exactly what this next bit is going to be. Spanish high-speed rail is by far the greatest mode of transport I’ve ever taken. Super clean, super efficient, super convenient. Needless to say, will definitely be travelling by train again this year. My return tickets from Seville to Madrid weren’t even that expensive considering I bought them four days before I was due to travel.
The induction itself was quite helpful. Lots of ideas for lessons, information about how to get the documents we need and open a bank account, and a talk on safety from the British Consulate in Madrid. Useful stuff. However, after coming back from Madrid I was struck down by an awful case of food poisoning. Up every hour on the hour to go to the toilet. Now, I’m not saying it was the mystery meat we were served for lunch (seriously, I couldn’t tell if it was beef or pork), but it was probably the mystery meat we were served for lunch. Thankfully it only lasted one night and I’m now back to normal.
After spending Thursday floating around generally feeling sorry for myself/recovering from the mystery meat, I went to go see a flamenco show at Casa de la Memoria with one of the other auxiliares who’s moving to her pueblo this weekend. And what a show it was. The singing, dancing, music, and general energy was fantastic. I wish I could dance half as well as that. Definitely an important part of Spanish culture that I’d like to revisit at some point this year.
Not long now (three days to be exact) until I start my new job, so I’d better go and prepare an introductory presentation for that. Until next time.