Englishman Abroad: In Place and Starting Tomorrow

Slightly surreal… the only way to describe it, being here but not on holiday.

Wasn’t an auspicious start either, with a three hour delay leaving the UK and the taxi driver struggling to find my accommodation in the near midnight darkness when I finally arrived. But I’m here.

I’ve arrived and so has my luggage…result!

First bit of advice: when your suitcase has wheels, don’t put it down at the top of the hill to close the gate. Had to chase my case down at speed before it knocked on the front door to announce my arrival. But, yes, I made it with inches to spare.

I have a decent room with a decent bed, haven’t yet met my flatmates (where ARE they? Hiding?) and the landlady was quick to sort the few things missing when I asked this morning. Nothing too much trouble.

The cupboard was bare of course so my first job after a night in a newly-made bed (actually this was my first challenge on arrival last night) was to find a cafe open at 9 on Sunday morning. Breakfast. There’s something wonderfuly about a people whose language has a verb ‘to breakfast’.

Then to the supermarket. Checked out the space in the fridge and freezer before heading out (he says smugly) but didn’t check the supermarket opening times. Monday to Saturday. Oops. Find another… Problem solved.

Nothing magic or mysterious about supermarkets everywhere. Plenty of time to track down the interesting little shops later, but a little familiarity does no harm when you’ve just arrived. Some local stuff, some home comforts. For me that’s jamón ibérico and queso semi-curado, some local bread and a box of PG Tips. What’s yours?

So the cupboard and cold storage can now keep me going awhile. Time to unpack then go for a wander. It’s all as expected, the hotels, the bars, the tourist shops, the tourists. The sunshine. The heat. It helps that I’ve done some research, so it’s what I expected, avoiding the immediate culture shock, but different enough to know there’s a challenge on the way.

Ready for anything? Let’s get to work and see…

…And after

Published by John Humphreys

Education and leisure industry professional with over 30 years' experience and a focus on delivering international experiences and employability development.

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