we moved to Spain (Galicia to be exact) at the end of August 2014. so we’ve had some time to settle in. we are loving it here. our daily life is very different from back home in Toronto. let me tell you about it!
the best thing is having lots of free time. in Toronto i worked in retail until mymy was born and then a year after she was born i started a daycare in our home. i did love my daycare, but not having to work and getting to spend lots of one-on-one time with mymy is amazing. in Toronto it’s almost impossible to survive on one income. where we live in Spain it’s totally doable. we found in Toronto we woke up, worked, ate dinner, went to bed. repeat. repeat. repeat. it gets old fast and we found ourselves wishing the week away just so we could enjoy the weekends that went waaayyy too fast. here life seems to happen at a slower pace. i find the days go slower but the weeks go by fast. kinda weird. josh works in the evenings so we get to spend the whole day with him. then after siesta mymy and i head outside to hang out with her friends for a bit. then when daddy josh gets home we have a late dinner (typically Spaniards have dinner around 8-10) and hang out for a bit before bed. lots and lots of family time, outdoor time, and overall enjoying the day and all it brings (well most of what it brings. if the day brings a lot of toddler meltdowns i can’t say i enjoy those)
the people here are super nice and friendly. we’ve made lots of really great friends in less than a year. we’ve met most of them at our closest park. there are lots of small kids in our town and parks are packed around 5:30-8 every evening. that is one big thing i noticed here. everyone likes to be out and about. during siesta (2-5) it’s like a ghost town but after 5 everyone is out going to parks with their children, to their favourite bar or just walking around. it’s really nice because you get to know everyone’s face and it makes me feel more comfortable and safe. one thing mymy isn’t used to is people touching her. it doesn’t help that she is very timid of people and definitely doesn’t like being touched by anyone other than me and Josh. but i’ve noticed it’s a thing here. especially older ladies. they like to do the whole cheek pinching thing you thought was only in movies. mymy backs away and gives them the look (you know, that look that says “don’t you dare touch me or i will shoot fire at you” 🙂 ) this usually gets them to back off, but sometimes they still try to win her over. it’s during these moments i wish i spoke the language to tell them they have a better chance of flying to the moon on a unicorn than having mymy smile at them. in all fairness, i wouldn’t want a stranger touching my face either. just because she’s small and cute doesn’t mean she’s more of a doll than a person. trust me. she’s her own person. so yeah, we don’t really like the uninvited touching by strangers, but other than that we love the people here.
some other great things about our home in Galicia (in no particular order)…. we are about 30 minutes away from multiple beaches :D. trains are really cheap to take here and go faster. walking around cities with buildings dating back hundreds and hundreds of years is pretty cool to say the least.1€ can buy you a bottle (yes, a whole bottle) of wine. a 6 pack of beer is about 2.50€. a glass of wine and a beer at a bar will come with a little plate of food (tapas) and will set you back about 3€. wow, i really sound like an alcoholic! but i still just can’t get over that. baguettes (or barras, which are like a Galician baguette) are around 0.45€ each and are so so good. we have a bidet which i love, not for the intended use, but for a little sink for mymy and a good place to dump mop water. everyone hangs their clothes outside to dry (love that!). they love their public holidays here which means even more time with daddy. and football (soccer) is a big deal (dare i say a religion) which makes josh happy.
it’s been a little bit of a challenge for me because my Spanish (and Galego, because most Galicians speak Galego or a mix of Galego and Spanish) is not so great. languages have never been my strength. i do understand enough to get by, but life would probably be easier if i was more fluent. josh is pretty fluent in Spanish and understands a lot of Galego so he does the ordering of food, translating between me and our friends, and basically anything that involves talking. poor josh. i guess me not speaking the language is a challenge for him too! if you ask mymy, she says she speaks Spanish AND English. i made the mistake of telling someone in the grocery store that she doesn’t speak Spanish and she quickly informed the lady and i that she does indeed speak Spanish. oh mymy. in all fairness though, she
probably understands more than i do.
i hope you enjoyed a little taste about our lives here in Spain and why we love it so much.