I’m Beginning to Fit in

Today is Thursday and I have now been living in Santiago for three and a bit weeks! I started school on Monday….my biggest challenge yet and the longest ‘camino’ I will experience for sure. It is great fun but it’s not easy.

From day one, Monica and I have been sitting opposite each other and I noticed yesterday that we are the only class whose screams of laughter echo down the hall. We set each other off and seem to be making our mark wherever we go. I’m determined to master this language thing but I’ve discovered I will need to guzzle water all the time so I can pronounce the ‘g’, ‘j’ and ‘h’😳🤣🤨. It’s like speaking Welsh!

this was our first day of school. We had a cultural excursion…ended up in the bar.

The other day, I was having a siesta (yes it’s now a daily recurrence) and the bell at the gate rang. Within minutes, everyone was yelling out that I had a visitor! I thought no one knew my address, so I cautiously went down and found a Spanish family from up on the hill behind us….and a young Australian girl called Grace from Darwin. They came in and I shared a packet of Tim Tams with them. Grace is here for immersion Spanish. She is 16 and from Darwin. She almost cried when I gave her my tube of vegemite! She was so glad to speak with another Australian who ‘gets’ the lingo and sense of humour. I know how she feels and I’ve only been here under a month. I never realized how Australian I was until I came here. As Gonzalo says, we speak Australian , not English. I’m always having to re-structure and translate my phrases so people can understand me, and we are so open, it sometimes shocks people.

Apparently Monica and I are the talk of the town. The two strange laughing women are giving the local gossips a lot to talk about. (It was them that sent Grace to visit me as they heard there was another Australian in the area). They actually come out of their houses and just stare at us! Perhaps I need to pop my pinny on so I fit in with the local madres, and have my hair ‘set’. Note to self…I need to buy some sensible but oh so fashionable small heeled court shoes and stockings too.

So although I haven’t really had any adventures this week yet, my life continues to fascinate me as I settle in to a proper daily life with structure. Each day begins with a beautiful walk down the hill to the bus stop, past the local bar (the only sign if life in our village), past some huge houses with enormous veggie gardens and past a small paddock (field) with goats and sheep. Spring is emerging and the scent of roses and jasmine fill the air, along with the fertiliser on the lush veggie gardens. As much as I love to see the chooks, I wish that rooster would shut up.

The buses, like most things Spanish, seem to come and go whenever they feel like it, sometimes early and sometimes late, so we’ve had a few mornings being whipped by the wind and huddled in the corner of the shelter trying to keep warm and dry as we wait for our ride. The house opposite the bus stop has a colony of rabbits in their garden, and the lawn is strewn with carrots and cabbage leaves, so we are always entertained by watching their antics. Life here is simple and relaxed.

We did a road trip to A Coruña yesterday after school. Before heading for the never ending ‘yellow brick road’ of IKEA with the intent of buying some stuff for the house, we steeled ourselves for the occasion by stuffing ourselves with the all you can eat Italian buffet. (They even have wine on tap next to the coke machine). Two hours later, our wonky wheeled trolley laden with proper pillows, rubbish bins and coat hangers dragged us down the escalators and we then had the search for the car in the elusive red zone with a camel sign. Exhausting!

Our dogs are also settling in quite comfortably…

This is Kaia

This is Kaia. She sleeps sitting up in the ready position, just in case something exciting happens.

This is Lily. She couldn’t care what’s going on really as long as she has her blanket and a couch.

The only other exciting thing to happen this week was on the way home from the bus stop yesterday. The unfamiliar sound of a very expensive car vroom vroomed around the corner, nearly wiping us out. We caught a glimpse of the driver, a cool dude with slicked back hair and dark sun glasses, wearing all black of course. He was leaving the local bar….so out of place in this village. We can only assume he is the local drug lord. (I love to imagine people’s stories). I’m sounding like the local madre gossips now aren’t I? … I think I need to join their coffee mornings!

3 Replies to “I’m Beginning to Fit in”

  1. oh my gosh, how fantastic. this story I am definitely going to follow. How marvellous to actually be living in Santiago!! wow. I can just imagine all the old biddies hanging over the doors to watch you walk by LOL How brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just loving reading your stories each day Marg…..I am always assured of a laugh as I read through your writing and I am loving the photos which you post as well. I came home from hospital yesterday and was wanting something to read and, up popped a note in my email of another new post, so, you have made my day happier and given me a much needed ‘Spain fix”. As an aside, you may be like to know that the Documentary, Camino Skies, which Claude and I participated in last year, is definitely going to be shown in cinemas here in Australia and also New Zealand…..it also had some really good reviews last week after its premier at The Newport Beach Film Festival in San Francisco……and now, I want my foot to get better so that I can get to be walking once again. In the meantime, I shall be inSantiago via your posts…..enjoy your Spanish lessons this week.

    Liked by 1 person

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