It’s about to be 3 weeks since I landed in Spain and among some of the things that I have learned, being patient has been the most challenging one. I am lucky to speak the language which has allowed me to transition more easily than some of the other students. However, learning to be patient has not been easy either.
It is the small things such as not having access to my phone and having to wait until Monday to be able to purchase a SIM card, or having to sign a contract for Wi-Fi and having to wait more than two weeks to have it installed. This situation has stressed my roommates and I because school started two weeks ago and we are having issues to do our homework at home. We usually have to go to a coffee shop or just stay long hours on campus. I am aware that there are worse things than that, but you really have to learn to be patient and understand that some things are out of your control.
I also had to get a debit card here because my card from the US charges many fees if I decide to use it. The card took more than expected to arrive and as a result, I had to choose between withdrawing money from the ATM and paying the fees or limit my spending because I was running out of cash. None of those situations were ideal. It is also difficult to get used to the banks closing at 2 PM and having to plan ahead when to buy groceries because most of the stores close for “siesta” (from 2 PM to 5 PM), and they do not open at all on Sundays.
Looking on the bright side, I know these experiences are helping me to be more responsible and plan things ahead instead of relying on services and things that sometimes I take for granted. Not having Internet in my apartment has allowed my roommates and I to get to know each other more since we spend a lot of time together in the living room instead of being in our rooms using the internet.
I am learning from all these experiences and even if they are not ideal, it is all part of the process. You only learn if you get out of your comfort zone.