Leaving Valladolid was not easy.
When I got there, I often wondered what brought us to a place called Valladolid (pronounced Bayadolid).
I was always fascinated by the idea of living in Europe but I realised that it was completely different to live in a place and to visit the same place as a tourist.
There was newness everywhere, people, culture, food, language and timings, completely different to London. It is not easy to soak in the newness that life offers sometimes, but deep down, there is always a reason for things to happen.
Things and experiences that can change you forever and you are not the same person anymore.
A friend from London once told me to absorb everything. I was trying to find comfort in my new home, with the language, people and the city!
No traffic, no restless people, no rush at all! People are always kind, friendly and in no hurry. It was easy to strike a conversation with a stranger on the streets with an “Hola”! People were always eager to know where we came from and my son was an instant conversation starter. “Que Guapo” ( how handsome!) “Barca o Real Madrid ” ( FCB Or Real Madrid for all football lovers) “Tu donde eres” (where are you from) were some of the most frequently asked questions.
There were so many coffee shops but I had made no friends yet! I also understood that as one age slowly, the time taken to feel comfortable in the new skin takes time.
The first year was one roller coaster ride and there have been frustrating and vulnerable moments yet happier and memorable moments to reckon.
When I sat back and thought about the reason for coming here, there was only one answer that came to my mind and that was to form deep, profound connections with some people. Bonds which will last until death, bonds which are not blood-related.
I have met some of the most incredible people in Valladolid, people who have loved me as their own.
They would invite me for a cup of coffee although communication was almost impossible. Despite the language barriers, the conversations were always full of laughter and awe trying to know about each one’s culture and traditions, language and country.
I would be invited to have lunch or dinner although it was a nightmare cooking for a vegetarian family!
If it was my turn to serve them pakodas (onions dressed with Chickpea flour and spices) or bhajiyas (vegetables wrapped in chickpea flour) or parathas (Indian flat bread filled with a filling of our choice like potatoes or cottage cheese ), it was always relished much saying ” Que Rico”.
I should admit that I was unable to enjoy life in Spain to the full because of being a vegetarian and also because of not being able to appreciate wine or alcohol.
Food and Drink are the two main aspects in the life of the Spanish.
to be continue…..
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