So I've just sent out about a million emails to prospective roommates here in Bilbao. Hoping to hear back soon... it is really stressful not having a place to live. I'm starting to understand the people who prearranged their piso situations before getting here! BUT I've been couchsurfing (last night and tonight) and it has been delightful to hang out a little and have actual conversation!! The couple I'm staying with showed me around Bilbao some last night, then we went back to their house just outside the city (in the mountains!! it's cool!), had dinner, and they helped me start looking for apartments. All in all they have been super helpful and welcoming. Thumbs up for couchsurfing.
And, best news, I finally found a pension (like a B&B) that is nice and cheap and well-located to stay after tonight. It was getting a little tense because I kept calling places and everywhere with a reasonable price was filled up! And I have my cell phone set up now, so I can communicate when I'm out, which is always good.
But... I am still struggling really hard with homesickness. I don't know what I was thinking getting here this early, if I had waited to go when the other auxiliares got here I would have had some instant friends, but now I'm in Bilbao and I feel like I don't have any friends. I know this is the hardest part, that it only gets better, etc, etc, but somehow that doesn't help as much as it should. When I'm logical about it I remember how much I loved the last two times I lived abroad and how much I love Basque Country so it makes sense that once I settle in I'm going to love it love it here, but I'm struggling right now not to wish I could go home. I have to remind myself that it's not irreversible, that in the unlikely eventuality that I settle in here and still can't adjust, I can always go home. I mean, I probably won't, but it's good to know it's there. Also, apparently lots of people get "expat flu" where they get sick right when they first move abroad, so maybe I have that and it's not just nerves that have been messing with my stomach.
And every piece of homesickness advice suggests I list the reasons I moved here, the things I like about my new home. So here goes:
Getting better at Spanish.
Walks along the river.
Trips around Spain & around Europe.
Delicious Basque food.
The laid-back, genuine vibe here in Bilbao.
Tamborrada in January.
Futbol, in bars and at the stadium.
Let's end on a high note. Yesterday as I was riding in the car with Casey and Asier, they put on a Basque language lesson CD and we were all repeating after the CD and it was great fun and then came probably the most useless thing ever:
"Sevilakoa naiz, baina Madriden bizi naiz." That means: "I am from Sevilla, but I live in Madrid."
ahahahaha how many people in that situation could possibly be learning Basque?? haha, awesome.