The Honeymoon is over: An Englishman Abroad

Okay, it’s been a month here in Cordoba, Spain, and I’m starting to earn a reputation. People are calling me the drunken Irish/English guy. I’m the guy who always wants another drink, who wants to go to another club, who wants to dance harder than anyone else. I’m the guy who wants to Marry the Night, on the Edge of Glory, and although it is similar to the reputation I had at Royal Holloway, I don’t know if it’s what I want. The British are different to every other nationality here, our little island is a zany place in comparison to the rest of the continent, but there’s not much I can do to change this oh so glamorous lifestyle I have acquired.

The point of the Erasmus experience is to give you the opportunity to experience and become a part of another culture and way of life. I know it is not going to happen overnight, but I’m starting to learn that I’m never going to be part of this Spanish lifestyle. It’s completely different from England; it’s slow here. Everyone is relaxed and nothing gets done. Banks are only open eight til one. The Siesta, the only time I ever seem to have to buy anything, means the shops are always closed- a source of intense frustration and regular bouts of starvation. I haven’t had a regular, decent, completely filling meal in the whole month I have been here; it’s all nibbly Tapas, a bit of bread and ham here, a sardine there, and I just want a GIANT CORNISH PASTY, AT 3PM, WHICH WILL FILL ME UP SO I CAN ACTUALLY CRACK ON WITH STUFF. oh wait, the shops are closed, again. I want to dance to a song that doesnt sound like Eurovision. I want Camp Stewie from Family Guy, not this Stefán carácter. The Spanish have broken Family Guy.

My rant’s over. I’m not complaining. I’m certainly not downing a bottle of vodka and perusing the Easyjet and Ryanair webpages. After spending last year with only an hour a week at Royal Holloway, working menial jobs just to pay rent, living on a “Christian Bale from the Machinist” diet (Apple, tin of tuna, and as many fags as I can pilther); the fact that I am being given money to turn up to classes astounds me enough to acclimatise.  As an Erasmus student I get credit for just turning up to these classes, even when los profesores don’t, which can be often. My fellow students and I have been known to walk out when the teacher doesn’t mind, or has a speech impediment (we’re sorry, but if the rest of the class can’t understand, how is a girl form Norway with two weeks of Spanish going to?) As the matriculation office is only open for two hours, four days a week, the university has no actual record that I am here. I could be dead for all they know, if I didn’t continually tweet about things being so weird here and Instagram everything out of unceasing boredom.

So, although I shall remain the drunken Irish/English guy, I will take this reputation and do with it what I can. It can’t be worse than the monotony of the British Daytime TV circuit, having to beg the parents for money for baking ingredients, or being far too excited to live-Tweet during the X Factor. I’ve got a Siesta to kill, it’s thirty-three degrees outside, and coffee is less than a Euro. Life could be worse.

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