March 6, 2020. A Coruña, Spain
This semester has been very different from the first semester, because everything feels more familiar. There isn’t the constant uncertainty involved with settling in to a new city, getting to know our host families, and trying (and often failing) to learn the Coruña public bus system. While last semester felt like a very long vacation, this semester, I feel like I really live here.
But while having been here for six months has certainly helped me feel familiar with the city, it’s really the people that make Coruña “home.” It’s being regulars at our favorite restaurant, Osampaio, where the waiters give us the customary two kisses on the cheek every time we see them. It’s the fact that any time I leave my apartment, I run into someone I know– Whether it be my host cousin and host uncle, the two little girls I babysit and their parents, the trainer at the gym, or even my professor, yelling my name out of her car window and asking if I want a ride to class. It’s how I miss my host mom when I travel and how dinners with my host family always feel like the best way to end a long day.
After class, Maeve and I often go to “tomar algo” at one of our favorite places, and feel like true Spaniards while enjoying café or cañas on a restaurant patio. The culture in Coruña is so special because studying/working/being productive doesn’t come at the cost of appreciating the little things and living in the moment. There’s a much healthier balance here than what I’ve observed/experienced in the US, and it’s changed the way I think about a lot of things that I deemed most ‘important’ before coming to Spain.
This has been on my mind more than ever in the past few days. This week, we got an email from Study Abroad saying that if the Coronavirus outbreak continues to get worse here, we will be sent home to the US. There’s no way of knowing if/when this will happen because the situation is constantly changing, so for now, I’m taking it one day at a time and making sure to enjoy & be grateful for all of the people and moments that continue to make this little city so special.
(Updates to come.)
Below are some pics from everyday life in Coruña!!!