Pages

10 September 2015

Valencia Erasmus Diary - My First Impressions

In these days I've had no time to do the most basic things of daily life. Moving to a new country, as organised as you may be, is stressful and unpredictable. You'll find out new things you had to do that you handn't planned, but at the same time you'll have pleasant surprises about the place you chose to spend a part of your life in.
I say moving to a new country for a few reasons. The first one is that going on your year abroad feels like leaving your home completely with a very far perspective of going back home. Living in a different country from five to ten months doesn't correspond to having a two week-summer work / study and travel experience; it means getting a new house for a while, struggling with a new culture and system, speaking a different language all the time. The second one is that saying that you're moving to a new country makes you feel like a pro.

So, from this slightly philosophical introduction which you might think is typical of my blog, let's get straight into the main topic of the post: what has being in Valencia for a few days meant to me?

Well. I'm still very, very confused about all this. But I obviously did get some impressions of the city, the people and how things work in here.

The first few days were rainy and gray; controversial first impression. Aren't Valencia and the South of Spain supposed to feel sunny and happy until October (at least)? Everyone was saying how weird it actually is to get rainy days in Valencia, and yeah, I was lucky enough to witness two of them.

My flat's first impression was a positive one. It's a nice flat and I've been lucky enough to have two lovely girls as housemates (we're still missing our third flatmate, but I'm positive about her being another kind girl). My room isn't massive, which also makes it very cozy and right for me. I've found two scented candles that someone has left (in vanilla and red berries flavours :D) which make it even cozier!

As for the organisation bit… not a great impression. It seems that everything in Spain revolves around partying until super late and ir a picar algo (go out to have something to eat / drink), and definitely not working. Ok, this is a fun stereotype I'm making but it is partly true. I arrived in Valencia on Sunday and when all shops around my house weren't open I thought it was because it was the weekend, but the thing went on even on Monday morning! I was thinking, what do Spanish people do for a living? Is their only job eating paella?

My impression on the city was a positive one :) As most people had told me, Valencia is a great city. It's very big, but you can get everywhere on foot or by bike (there is a bike service called Valenbisi so you don't have to get your own). The beach is very cool - I love the ensemble of beach + promenade + small skyscrapers in the Barcelona style.

 As for the city centre, I still haven't seen much of it. I love the big avenues which at first reminded me of Paris. I still don't feel home, but I'm hopeful that this will change with time.

The people seem friendly everywhere you go, even if not as much as in small cities (but this rule applies to all countries, right?). What I'm mostly happy about is how nice all Erasmus students seem to be. It makes you think that regardless of one's personality, if one's willing to make friends with you it is only their intention that matters. In only two days of socials I've met plenty of friendly people, and even if it's quite overwhelming it's also fun.

Here are some pictures of my first trip to Valencia's beach (Playa de la Malva Rosa).



The ones in the back are the Valencian and the Spanish flags!
So, for the moment this is all for my Valencia Erasmus diary!  I hope you enjoyed reading, and please make sure you comment down below about your experiences abroad or just on the post itself (you can do it through your Google account, Wordpress, anonymously and in other ways. :)

10 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you noticed the lack of organization and "lack of work" around here... lol. I'm from Portugal, but I've been in Barcelona for 3 years and it still bothers me. Commerce here closes from 2 to 5 pm for lunch (what?! - isn't it crazy?!).

    I wish you all the luck in this new endeavour, I know how hard moving to a new country can be :)

    have fun and make the most of it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it different in Portugal? I've never been but definitely would like to see what it's like.

      Thanks for understanding <3 I appreciate your kind words :)

      Assia | www.assiashahin.com

      Delete
    2. totally different, it's very rare there that a business can close for more than 1h30min at lunch time. We also have most stuff opened at weekends and holidays... ;)

      Delete
  2. How exciting that you've arrived and are starting out! Makes me wish I could go back to this time last year and do it all over again! It definitely takes a while to settle in and feel like you're at home but it sounds like your place is quite nice and cosy at least :) Good luck and looking forward to reading about your adventures this year!

    Summer Isn't Over

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand... It must have been such a crazy and amazing year for you, as from what I read on your blog you were in Paris! I'm so jealous haha! Thanks for your wish and kind words, I will keep you updated ;)

      Assia | www.assiashahin.com

      Delete
  3. Exciting! In my nomadic youth, I had somewhat different feelings – if ever stayed somewhere so long that it started feeling like “home,” I knew it was time to move on. Buena suerte, chica! Or as my old friend Agamemnon used to say, “We’re burning hecatombs for you!”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never heard of that! Why were you scared of feeling home? I love when I can finally settle down in a place and then going back in the future and remember my feelings. Every traveller has its own personality though :) P.S. I'm still waiting for your book! :(

      Assia | www.assiashahin.com

      Delete
  4. I just loved the feeling of always being in exploration mode -- and didn't like sitting still. I recall my mom describing me as a "good but fidgety" kid. Maybe "fidgety" explains it. I sent the book on August 31. Give it another week, and then send me a brief prompt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the hecatombs thing, if that's what you hadn't heard of, comes from The Odyssey and such Greek classics. It's a burnt offering of 100 bulls to bring you good luck!

      Delete
    2. Yeah, that makes sense. It's good to be mobile :) I forgot to comment about that, yes I studied The Odyssey at school (and liked it) but I didn't know what hecatombs were. Wow, so many bulls! Thanks haha :)

      Assia | www.assiashahin.com

      Delete