So, i've arrived in Vigo. First impressions; a lively, gregarious city that feels like a town. I've never been to Spain before, in my life. But Spanish people seem friendly, loud and lovers of life. They also seem to live at a pace that befits the sunshine and tapas; much slower. There is a bar or cafe on every corner and an olde worlde feel to some of the exchanges on their patios and terraces. I'm currently sat in a cafe near the high street where one man in a flat cap reads a newspaper and another two play chess. Its making me feel like writing a novel.
I've had the pleasure of meeting some of the other teachers. There are 17 new teachers starting at the school in September so I won't be alone! I have so far met about ten of them. They are mostly 22-30 (the youngest being 22, the oldest being 37). Some have come to escape the UK education system, some have come for the sunshine and the lifestyle and some have come for the "fresh start". For me, perhaps its a combination of those factors, but i've realised how glad I am to have established other income streams for my stay here.
I have already (after 2 days) found myself a flat. Rents are cheaper here. 450 Euro for a one bed flat with large bathroom, garage and store room which is apparently bigger than the flat itself. The potential to create a sports room is weighing hard; think table tennis table, dart board et al. Anyway, the flat is within a five minute walk from the "old town" where everything is happening. I wanted to be close to the action so in that respect, its perfect. I also have my car. My trusty Corsa (created circa 2000) survived the 30 hour journey driving from Liverpool to Vigo, via Plymouth and Santander to take its free parking space opposite the hotel. I have been ridiculed for some by cramming in an arrangement of M and S croquery, a vacuum cleaner and a toaster. They might be laughing now, but wait until i'm living like a 1950's housewife and they will no longer be scoffing.
School starts on the 1st of September although we have 1 week of insets, so brilliant for planning. I get my own classroom, so no moving about - always a bonus. Class sizes at KS3 and KS4 are small and all the students speak immaculate English apparently which will be helpful. I have bought a phrase book but languages have never been my strong point. I'd better get cracking. The school itself is situated up a big hill with apparently stunning views. It will be a 15 minute drive to work from my flat. Happy days. School is 9am to 4.15pm so it will be strange not leaving the flat at 7am after scraping ice off the windscreen. My Brexit is complete, although no man is an island (to quote "about a boy"), I do plan to immerse myself in this culture.