I’ve been working for four weeks already. Alicante has been treating me well. My usual working hours are from 8-16h and we could leave early in one of the last four weeks. I work 40h a week and in Spain it’s normal to have the lunch break included. Except that it‘s not a lunch break but more a „2nd breakfast/in-between-meal-break“ around 11h. I don‘t really get the times because I have breakfast on the way. More than one hour on the train let‘s me have time for many things… We can leave for twenty minutes doing whatever, usually I walk some blocks or get some empanadas, sandwiches, food for the rest of the day. Lunch is around 14h and we just eat at our desk. That‘s the usual way of my work schedule. As it‘s finally officially summer now, we changed the schedule. No more break and we get off at 15h. What a day! It takes me around two hours to go back home but still, when I‘m there, there‘s a lot of sun at the pool and I get to relax before I prepare meals, dinner, do laundry and stuff like that. Here are some thoughts on my last four weeks:
- „it’s summer“ changes a lot of things. Nothing is open in the afternoon and everyone gets off early. Life starts again at night, but usually I am already asleep by then. I am not sure how to go to the doctors, have a meeting at the bank (luckily I did all of that in June), or do anything that requires governmental/legal/office support
- Public transportation is not really big around here. We only have one car so my boyfriend drops me off at the train station in the morning – because the first buses leave around 10am. I take the first train in the morning at 6:40am and it arrives close to 8 to Alicante. Besides me, there are many people running outside, trying to make it to their offices before 8am. I hardly make it, usually it’s a 50/50 week. The train runs late but there‘s nothing I can do about it
- My consumption of energy drinks has gone up again but who can survive a day like that without having enough sleep? Some days it’s simply impossible to go to bed before 10:30h.
- Going uphill is not my forte – still. I has gotten a lot better though. We live uphill coming from the train station. So when I go home I walk around 30 minutes in the burning heat, after having spent 80 minutes on the train. My legs were sore in the beginning now I just consider it my workout of the day, sweating it all out
- I am not a bookworm. I usually spend my time on the train with audio books (and I need recommendations…) or using my language app. In the first weeks I joined a group and was in lead with the most points. Well, I guess that no one else spends 160 minutes commuting every day. Lots of time for vocabulary and some grammar revisions
- People are really used to their in-between-break. Why cant you bring more food? We all bring our lunch to work but since we don‘t have a break anymore my colleagues are super hungry during the day…
- Breakfast in Spain is so cheap in the restaurants, even in Alicante you can get a sandwich with cheese and tomatoes for less than 2€. Honestly, there is nothing you can get for that in a German restaurant. Maybe olives…
- Working clothes are overrated. My wardrobe has changed and I am using mainly dress pants and nice shirts at the office – but I am the only one. It’s time to go back to shorts!
- Air conditioning is really amazing! During the heat wave in June the temperature outside was almost unbearable to work in around 9:30am. Our office is always around 22°C.
- We hardly talk in the office and I have the feeling I don‘t know my colleagues at all. We send messages via Skype, which makes it a lot harder for me. But at least by now they don‘t ask what I meant after every message :).
- I have noted so many times that I am used to working in the non-profit area. All of the offices I’ve worked at were less „number-focused“. Now we do reports, analysis, and evaluations all the time and I like it… As soon as I understood what the numbers meant :).
- My digital marketing skills are improving a lot. We do weekly sessions on AdWords, I have time to improve my knowledge with tutorials during office hours and my colleague hasn’t stopped explaining me how everything works. He will be done with that soon I guess but until then I will soak up more information.
Another classic: Sin noticias de Gurb – Guía de lectura (Biblioteca furtiva)