Hola from Spain

I've been in Spain for 10 days yet it feels like I left Scotland so long ago! I really really miss my UK adventures and friends there, but Spain has been a completely different experience so far. For those that don't know, I am being an au pair for a month in Pamplona - a city up north in Spain. I'm living with a wonderful family that has three kids, ages 3, 6, and 8, who I take care of while the parents are at work and also am teaching English to. They are quite a handful and it's very, very difficult because of the language barrier but we manage!

During my first two days in Spain, the dad took off work because it was the week of San Fermin! This is the famous week of the running of the bulls, parties, festivals, etc. It was crazy overwhelming but a great first impression for me of Spain. Since we were with the 3 little kids, I only saw the "family-friendly" version of San Fermin -- none of the night parties or anything like that. But it was really fun! The streets were absolutely flooded with people -- both locals and many tourists -- wearing red and white. It was nerve-wracking for me the first week just being constantly surrounded by foreign people speaking a language I don't know that well. I got frustrated many times because I never knew what was going on or what anyone was saying. I'm starting to get used to it now and have learned to just go with whatever comes my way. During the last two days of San Fermin that I got to experience, we saw the parade of giants (which symbolize the different kings and queens of countries) and these creepy big-headed giants that hit the kids with a foam ball on a stick.


We watched a puppet show, which I was confused about the entire time since I don't know Spanish. We also did a kid version of the running of the bulls, in which adults chase kids with fake bulls on wheels. It was really cute. In the morning we went to the huge bull ring and watched brave yet stupid men run around with the bulls in the ring. Only one bull came out at a time and the people in the ring would agitate them to make them charge. It was exciting to watch in real life but also sad. I could see marks on the bulls from where they've been consistently branded and poked. The entire time I was nervous for the people, especially when they would get caught on the bulls' horns and flung on the ground or up in the air. It was an insane sight. We didn't stay long enough for the actual bull fight since the kids are too young for that, but I didn't mind so much. To end San Fermin on the final night, we watched an amazing fireworks show.

Days alone watching the kids have been veeeeery up and down. I don't want to spend too much time writing about that but I'll just say that it started out rough and is getting better day by day. I am the first au pair the children have ever had so they are not used to a strange, older, American girl living with them who does things very differently and speaks a language they are not that familiar with. But it's a learning experience for all of us and I'm gradually getting more comfortable with the family. Plus, the youngest little guy is insanely adorable and we are always laughing together.

On Sunday we drove to San Sebastian, an amazing beach an hour away. It was extremely crowded but we were able to find a spot on the sand. I was a bit shocked at first to see numerous topless women just casually tanning or walking around. Every other child was naked as well, playing in the sand. I tried not to stare at the nudity all around me since it was clearly a normal part of their culture here, but I never did get used to it. San Sebastian was a beautiful place and I'm hoping to return there next week if I can to explore more. Oh man, back home in Wilmington I always feel super pale next to everyone else around me but here in Spain it's at a whole new level. I don't even care anymore, but it's just pretty funny seeing my white skin tone against everyone else's tan complexion. Also, I have yet to see a single fat person. They don't eat a lot here (small breakfast, normal lunch, tiny dinner) and I swear my family probably thinks all Americans like to do is eat. It took me a week to get used to the different meal portion sizes so I was always snacking. Luckily my family is really sweet and considerate; the dad is always asking me if I'm hungry, tired, etc.


Thank goodness the family I'm living with knows friends who have an au pair as well. Her name is Kelly, she's from Canada, and she is 21 years old like me. It has been WONDERFUL having a friend here to hang out with, talk to, and explore the city centre with. The first time we met last week it felt so strange to be able to talk English in a normal way, no longer slow and simple. We're pretty similar and get along really well. I am so, so happy to have her here with me in Pamplona because now it's much more fun during my free time. We like to get lost in the city centre, walking around the winding streets, eating dinner outside in big beautiful plazas, and shopping in odd tourist shops.

It's been a nice first week and a half in Spain! I'm beginning to miss familiarity though -- like American food (oh, Panera, where are you?), my friends and family, and even random things like being able to watch TV at 1 in the morning or driving a car. I don't wanna go back to America yet but at the same time, I am really starting to miss my usual routine back at home. Luuuuckily tomorrow I am taking a train to a new city in Spain to meet up with one of my best friends from college!!! Anna is being an au pair in another part of Spain for the entire summer and I am SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED to see a friend from home! I'm so stoked for this upcoming weekend with her.

Posted in , . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Thank you, I appreciate your comment!

Powered by Blogger.


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by LiteThemes.com.