Saturday, November 26, 2011

pertenencia

I am not an outgoing person. I find it very difficult to meet people and make new friends. In fact I can count my close friends on one hand. But what I lack in quantity I make up for in quality. That being said, I haven't met very many people here in Spain but the people I have met have been amazing. For example, my weekly visits with the doctor, I don't think he could possibly realize the impact he's had on my mental well being since I've been here. He is an amazingly upbeat, cheerful person and after our English classes I feel upbeat and cheerful! It's like free therapy without all the trauma. And considering he's paying me to speak English with him, he's always excited to explain the finer nuances of the Spanish language to me or discuss poverty in Spain or any other curiosity I might have about Oviedo.

 

Then there's internet café guy. You know that feeling when you become a regular somewhere, where people recognize you when you walk in? It's a feeling of belonging and that's what internet café guy has given to me. This sort of happened to me in Mexico too, you go to the same internet café enough times, you end up picking your favorite computer. I walked into the internet café here one day and internet café guy grinned at me cause my preferred computer was occupied. That simple nonverbal communication, a smile, made me feel instantly comfortable. Internet café guy even knows my preferred back up computer. I have to imagine this is what it's like when your neighborhood bartender knows exactly what you drink and when you need a single or a double.

 

Last week I met interview guy. Interview guy is kind of shy and nervous but that could just be because he has a major interview for a big job with a multinational corporation this week and the interview is in English. He's a bundle of nerves and he's already had 4 interviews for this job including a technical interview and they're flying him to Switzerland with two other candidates for the final interviews. I told interview guy, listen, at this point they already know you can do the job, it's just a matter of are you the right fit for them. You need to go in there and wow them with your sparkling personality. Make them see how great you are in person so there's no doubt left in their minds. Interview guy is not convinced. They gave him a long list of adjectives where he had to choose some that he thinks people would use to describe him and some that he would choose to describe himself. So we've deduced that they will probably ask him why he chose the words he did and that this is an opportunity for him to shine. Only thing is, some of his word choices were a little bit questionable. Interesting and coherent, really???? Out of all the possible choices. Ok so we went through each word and defined it and wrote out in English examples of why he chose this word and what he's done in his previous jobs that display the character traits. Word after word, interview guy was looking at me like I was a flipping genius!! I was surprised myself; I was pulling the most incredible examples out of thin air. Anyway, interview guy just needed someone to boost his confidence and he was super nice and I hope he gets the job. Also, Interview guy is the first car I've ridden in since being here in Oviedo. He lives in the suburbs and today we drove to a café to work and Interview guy exclaims, "I hate Oviedo! It is impossible to park here!" It's funny the worries you don't have when you're carless. I was sort of lamenting not having a car despite the fact that I haven't needed one once since arriving here but if I had a car I'm sure I could find all kinds of places to drive to. I miss driving.

 

Anyway, lest anyone think I've only met guys, my tutora at my school has been every bit as amazing as the guys. She's the one that found me a great centrally located apartment before I even got here and set me up with private classes so I'd make more money and has just generally been really really nice. Really, all the teachers at my school have been super sweet to me. The French teacher even went out of her way to ask her friend who oversees a group of American students from Iowa if I could go to their Thanksgiving get-together. I can't turn down an invitation like that even though I just went to a Thanksgiving party last weekend and I've been feeling kind of under the weather. And my landlord has been amazing too. She held the apartment for me even though I didn't get here until October, picked me up at the train station and drove me to the apartment my first day here in Oviedo, so I didn't have to stay in a hotel or find it on my own. She didn't know me from Adam. or Eve. And she emails me to check on me and see how I'm doing and if I have any problems with the apartment. Let me tell you, Oviedo's cup runneth over with good karma. There must be something in the water here. Maybe that's why the grass stays green year round here.
 
OMG *epiphany*
 
the grass really is greener on the other side.

2 comments:

Mom said...

I'm happy that you are meeting nice people in Oviedo.

rubireyes said...

Sounds like a great place to move to. Enjoy all of your new friendships.