Two months. It has been two months since I said goodbye to my crazy friends, my cosy dorm, my heavenly home, my daily habits and my lovely family. The last two months, I have been meeting new people from all over the world, I have been exploring Spain and its isles, I have been trying new food, I have been learning new things and I have been discovering new sides of myself.
Two months ago, I left for an Erasmus adventure full of parties, exploring and learning. Although I can check off these things of my list concerning the last two months, my studying abroad life is changing now. My university life is getting serious and I am not living the typical Erasmus experience anymore. As literature student I have to read a lot, not a few books, loads of books. No es normal! But according to my atypical studying abroad life without lots of parties, sunny citytrips and random drinking, I experience the city in an other way most students do. And I like it the way it is. (I still have a social life, do not get me wrong. You can perfectly combine getting a drink or partying during the night with morning readings in bed accompanied by sunshines finding their way through the curtains.)
I am always looking for new sunny reading spots in parks, at beaches or in bars. The last few years I lost my love for books and reading a bit because I had to read so much for my literature classes and I was not able to read the books I wanted to read. Now, I have to read even more than ever before but I start appreciating every book in its own way. I appreciate every story, every author, every reading spot, every reading moment. I appreciate that the metros are filled with chairs so I can sit and read during my metro trip to the seaside, while before I thought those chairs were only a space-filler. I appreciate that my room is at the southern side of the building and I appreciate my super tiny balcony so that when I am to lazy to go out of the apartment I have a sunny and comfy spot as well.
I love this reading spot in the Jardines del Túria. Near El Palau de la Música you can find this columns to support you while reading. (Thanks to my mom for this picture, which captures the moment perfectly.)
While my fellow students are best friends with Wikipedia and book summaries, I actually like to read the books I have to read for class. “If not know, than when?” (Once said by feminist genius Emma Watson, literature students as well). With every book I read I wanna read more.
So far, I have been reading this semester:
- Niebla by Miguel De Unamuno
- El Árbol de la Ciencia by Pío Barojo (A MUST-READ)
- Soledades, Galerías, Otros poemas by Antonio Machado
- Crónicas de Indias
- El Perseguidor by Julio Cortázar
- Rayuala by Julio Cortázar (A MUST-READ)
- El Infierno Tan Témido by Juan Carlos Onetti
- American Colonial Writing edited by Elena Ortells
- American Emergent National Literature edited by Elena Ortells
I am sure these books will be as good in their translations as they are in their original languages. In my free time I have been reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which became one of my favorite books I have read so far. This book is a must-read! I can recommend it to everyone, it won a lot of prices and it handles lots of present-day social issues such as gender inequality, racism and much more! If you do not know what to do on a cold winter day, go to the bookstore, grab a cup of coffee and read one of these very good books!
I will share some of the snapshots I made on my walks through the city in search for a cosy reading spot.
In front of the famous Valencian club L’Umbracle is a little park, which you can enter for free (only because the touristic season is over). It is a little, quite spot with lots of different flora and with a view on La Ciudad des Artes y des Sciencias.Even more than the famous dried river, I like the park next to the university. Jardines del Real is a peaceful oase in the city where you mostly find locals playing with their dogs on the big grass fields. The park offers lots of places to put down your sheet and read. In the middle of the park you can find a cosy cafe as well.
My favorite reading spot will always be the beach. Now it is November there are not that many tourists anymore and it is the perfect place to read and tan with the sound of the waves in the background. Although it is fall the temperatures still rise until 28 degrees Celsius which is perfect for a beach day and a swim as a break.
Enjoy life and a good book!