Better than Home

Teaching English in a foreign country is fun, if not a bit of a challenge. I live in Barcelona, a glorious place laden with creative and exciting architecture. Everyone wants to learn my language which gives a lot of work. Because the city is advanced culturally, life is not as difficult as it could be in, say, Kenya or Tibet. It is a sophisticated environment that meets my every need. I found a beautiful flat which was amazingly affordable as it is a long walk from the city center. That is okay by me. I love to greet people as I make the trek.

When I first looked for living quarters, I had little choice. It was the high season for tourists. I made do with a cheap hotel until my current flat was available. I am so glad that I waited. It has a large picture window overlooking the park, where you will find me most evenings walking my dog. I love cities with energy. It radiates from every building and every tree. It is rather magical. The kitchen is small but well equipped with all the usual conveniences, even if they are apartment size. I like to shop daily like the locals, so it doesn’t matter what the size is of my refrigerator. I love fresh fare.

The bathroom is the best place in the flat. It is decked out in hand-painted tiles no doubt made by a local artisan. It is gorgeous as it covers the shower and the floor. It has a pedestal sink to save space and a wonderful modern oval-shaped toilet like the ones here. I didn’t expect a new one when I moved in. My friends tell me I am lucky. Their toilets are always breaking down. Mine is better than home. When I lie in bed at night and count my blessings, I remember how important toilets are. I have yet to call a plumber or handyman. Everything in the bathroom is in perfect working order.

I have plastered the walls of the flat with photos I have taken of the region. I like to explore and wander on weekends. You can walk for miles and miles. I am getting strong legs! If I want to go to the country, I will borrow a bike or motor scooter. That’s how it is done. Once, while out in the wilds, I visited a small, rustic café to use the restroom. The toilet was so archaic that I won’t even describe it. It was a cut above a hole in the ground with a small slab of concrete on either side. I really marvel now at my own toilet and how state-of-the-art it is. I think it is a Kohler. It is sleek and elegant, typical of the brand.

If I ever have to move, it will be hard to replace the accommodations I now have. Barcelona is an old city and they have only recently started to renovate the outlying streets.