Home away from home might not be the most ideal metaphor. For me this past week, my motto is there is no place like home. I have had the craziest couple of weeks in Spain. In my last post I told you about some great adventures, but this adventure was a little different. This also will explain why my blogs were so delayed!
To start, there's no place like home for two main reason. One, coffee will never be the same as it is at home. At least in my world. I grew up with a Colombian mother. Coffee always has to be fresh. You never reheat coffee—for her that's a sin to the beverage. So, living in New York my whole life and with my mother, I have developed an addiction to coffee. Although as a New Yorker, coffee-to-go is essential. You're always on the go, and without the caffeine kick, you're looking at a bad mood or headache to come.
Don't start reading this blog and think I don't love Granada because I most definitely do! I love the small town feel and how everything becomes this systematic routine. For example, every day I walk to school and leave my house at approximately 8:30 a.m. Every day I take the same exact route to school and the same exact crosswalk; at the same exact time I pass the same old lady. It's almost like we know each other because we see each other 5 days a week, although we have never actually exchanged words, only smiles. Then at about 11:15 p.m. every night my roommate and I smile as the same man plays the same song on the violin outside of our window. Sometimes we feel like we are getting serenaded. It's the little things about Granada that I fell in love with. Our professor told us, "There's a strange beauty about living in a small town. I believe the waiter at the restaurant down the road knows more about my life than my own mother does." It says a lot about this city.
Living in Granada for the past two months has been breath-taking and exhilarating but there are things I miss about home. "Por ejemplo" (for example), coffee to go. Since Granada is such a historically rich city, they like to preserve historical concepts as well. I love that everyone is always so relaxed and sits down to enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee, but I couldn't help but to wonder what if I just wanted coffee to go. Ya know, to have as I walk a half hour to school every morning. So at lunch I brought it up to my host dad. I asked him where I could get a cup of coffee to go. He wrinkled his forehead in confusion. So I literally said "I would like to walk on the street and drink my coffee at the same time." I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman the way he looked at me, like I was out of my MIND. My host dad is 76 years old, and coffee to go does not exist for him. I did find coffee to go but it isn't your typical venti-sized coffee cup from Starbucks. The cups are as big as my palm and there are probably only four MAYBE five places in the whole city that offer coffee to go (I have only found two).
So my adventure this past week that has inspired my motto, "there's no place like home," is that one of my fears happened: I got sick. I am not talking about I-have-a-cold sick, I am talking about down-for-the-count type of sick. I woke up Monday morning and my throat was hurting. I felt super tired and weak. I am allowed four absences so I figured I'll just stay home and rest. As the day progressed I only got worse. I started feeling really cold, which is a weird sensation to have when it's 100 degrees outside. I had a slight fever so I took so aspirin and went back to bed. Tuesday I got up and went to school. My professor asked me if I wanted to go home since I wasn't looking so well, but we had finals that Friday and I didn't want to miss review.
When I finally got home on Tuesday I told my host mom I wanted to go to the doctor. They gave me an antibiotic for my throat and said it looked like I had an infection. I'm going to fast forward and make this a long story short before I lose out on people reading. Every night I was freezing, with a fever that didn't descend past 102 until Sunday. My parents in New York felt so helpless and had no idea what to do. So as my fever kept getting higher, my parents called me and suggested it was time to go to the hospital and my host parents agreed. This was my first time going to the hospital for being sick. I have definitely had my moments of being homesick while being away from my family, but this was by far the worst. All I wanted was my parents. I don't care how old you get, I think it's always sensible to want your mommy.
So to finish up this horrible adventure I had I finally met with the doctor and I had a 104 fever. I was immediately put onto an IV. I finally started feeling better by Tuesday with a ton of new medicine. I'll spare you the details! As they say in Spain "POR FIN!" (FINALLY!) Being away from your parents or family during something like this is hard. Yet, I still have yet to regret a second here. I feel like coming to Spain was an experience in itself, but this experience has made me grow up a bit. Be less dependent on my parents.
They say every day you learn something new. Maybe not in the most ideal situation, but you learn. For any incoming freshman reading this blog or anybody in general who is about to embark on something new, don't feel ashamed to miss your comfort zone. It's normal. In my opinion you're allowed to miss home or your family or even your mom no matter how old you are. It's only human. Enjoy the little things, try and learn new things. Even if you have to learn to sit down and enjoy coffee, try it.