The day after our course ended, several of us made a mass exodus from Gandia to Valencia, all of our luggage in tow. Philippe put me to shame with his tiny little suitcase, while I lugged my two large bags around. We met our landlady to get the keys to our place, sign our contracts, and generally be filled in on other pertinent information. Unpacking was surprisingly relaxing and having a place for all my crap makes my room feel a lot more homey and welcome. A group of us met up again for dinner, hitting up a “Chinese” buffet that can best be described by saying that it resembled Yobagoya (the taste will destroy ya, the cheapest bucket of beef in Illinois-ya!). Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but let’s just say I’m still keeping an eye out for a good Chinese place here (there are surprisingly more options than you’d think).
Maddie and Alyssa are somewhat far from my place (about a 15-20 minute walk), but there are several metro stops close by and we plan on subscribing to Valenbisi, a program that lets you borrow a bike from a nearby station and return it to any other station in the city… pretty handy! … so it won’t be too difficult to trek over there whenever necessary. Also, Philippe is pretty cool, so living with him is going to be great, as far as I can tell. I’ve only had short exchanges with our other roommate, Robin, but he seems really friendly as well. I’m glad that we have most of our necessities in terms of blankets and sheets and plates and the likes, because the only store we were able to find initially is El Corte Ingles, a huge superhypermarket that has everything you’d ever need, but at very marked up prices. I’m sure there are smaller stores that are less expensive, it’s just a matter of finding them. Generally, everyone seems to be settling fine, barring a few people that don’t have a place yet.
Monday we went to the school for an introduction meeting where we were to learn more about registering for classes and other pertinent information like that. Overall, it wasn’t very organized and there were several moments when I longed for the simplicity and efficiency of Enterprise back home, like when we found out we wouldn’t be able to register until Monday or access course material until the 20th. Their favorite phrase also seemed to be “Ask your mentor student!” – it was their reply to almost any logistical question anyone posed. Luckily, however, everyone was in more or less the same boat, so it was easy to commiserate. We were met with similarly vague, unhelpful responses the next day when we went to turn in more paperwork. Considering we couldn’t really go to any classes (we could figure out when they were, but not where… derps) for the rest of the week, I joked that we should just pack up and leave the country, a joke which was soon taken a little too seriously. But that’s a story in and of itself…
– from Feb. 12