Friday, 29 April 2016

Happy days

Now starts the time when we can count down the weeks until the semester ends. We already started planning our last weekend together and it is going to be amazing! But it also means that the time like I am spending it right now is coming to an end which makes me kind of sad. Funny thing: some of my friends here are not really sad about it and already looking forward to going back home. Sure, they said they would like to spend some more time together, but not here. So I was wondering why they experienced the time here so different than me.

 Sure, if you compare it with being at home, comfortable, able to do and eat whatever you want because you are at home and you are used to how it works, life is harder and more complicated here. But I must confess, I never think of it like that. For me, everything is like a huge adventure and also a kind of challenge - how do I manage to live in a country that's so different from home? And that's what I guess is the key to happiness. Because everything that happens that makes life more difficult is like a new challenge to conquer and everything good feels like you earned it. This makes you able to enjoy every single moment.

Even if I do have some trouble enjoying the cold shower on a cold day. Or the disgusting sweet bread they sell as "not sweet" to eat with ham or meat. Or the difficulties to find the post office ("Post office? What's that? No, I have no idea where we have that in Ibagué"). Or doing work for the university entirely in spanish. Or feeling pain in your stomage after trying something new to eat. It's really hard sometimes. But in the end I feel proud I did manage it.

They actually started calling me "la chica feliz", the happy girl, because I am always enjoying my time and find a reason to laugh in most of the situations. Also, I am "experta de chistes", expert of jokes, because I know so many jokes. Unfortunately, not all of them work here, like the one "what's white and disturbs you while eating? - An avalanche" that failed because nobody had ever seen an avalanche. I mean, how could anybody not know an avalanche? Strange world. I won't say poor people because I guess they can actually consider themselves lucky not to be bothered by avalanches.

Nevertheless, time is really great here! I mean I just need to count the times I was in the swimmingpool in the last months or some days ago someone told me I start looking like somebody from here, so no more the gringa that came from Austria. And everybody is impressed how fluently I can speak spanish already (it's not like I had a choice but I do agree now with everybody saying "it's just about the motivation to learn a language") and everybody is even more impressed when finding out I can actually speak german AND english AND spanish. I never mention that it's not that special in Austria because why should I?

And now that my spanish improved that much that I can also participate discussions and understand what's going on around me, life is so much easier. Also, we are going to San Andres tomorrow, so 5 days of caribbean feeling are waiting for me! How can it get any better?

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