One year has passed. I stare at the screen and try to understand this sentence. I arrived to Spain 365 days ago and I still remember it as it was yesterday. The long-long flight (I didn’t have a direct option because of Covid), the text message from my flatmate asking if I like veggie pasta because she wants to make a welcome dinner, being more than confused in the supermarket, when the cashier started to talk to me and feeling a bit lost in general.
There were times when I low-key hated Puerto de Sagunto. I grew up in the capital of Hungary with 2M habitants and I’ve always been a city girl, so you can imagine the shocking change of living in a small city of 44 thousand people. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that in contrary what I’m used to, here you can’t have the luxury of choosing between various cultural programs and hip places to go.
Fast-forwarding to this point when I gave back the keys of the flat and said goodbye to everyone in the youth center I hardly describe the feelings I have. This little factory town was my home for the last year and every corner of it has grown very close to my heart during this time. Maybe it wasn’t as lively as a big city but I saw the most beautiful sunrises on the beach, and sometimes I expressly enjoyed the bus ride alongside the chufa fields towards Valencia. By this time I know where they make the best patatas bravas, I have my café where the waitress already knows what will I order and I even have a favourite time and place to read outside.
But the most important reason why I will miss this city is the people who I met because they are the ones who made this experience truly remarkable for me. All the children who proved me that there’s no better thing than pure-hearted kids and all the grown ups who helped me to extend my vocabulary from rotulador or pupa.
So, here’s to you:
Antonio, Enrique, Maria, Maria’s whole family, Nieves, Rafa, Maite, Sheila, Chris, Carmen, Bea, Laura, Txema, Clara, Marta(s), Inma, Estela, all the amazing receptionists of Casal Jove, all the 150 kids of the summer school, all “my kids”, all the cool and nice parents, Erin, Vanessa, Mada, Bus Stop Friend and the whole crew, Beatriz, Manu, Pablo, Soma, Éva, Matt, “Sabes” group, DIGI cable guy, fellow volunteers and everyone else who I might forgot now.