Writing to you from a small apartment in Skopje, Macedonia! I officially left Spain Thursday afternoon. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to fit all of my stuff plus what I bought while I was there in one large and one small suitcase. I feel pretty proud of that accomplishment. We'll see how I do on August 15.
My last weeks in Spain felt like ages since I was definitely ready to move on. The English classes got lazier as the month went on and my last week there they were almost non-existent. My family planned a nice dinner party with the neighbors and some friends on my last night which was a really nice way to go out. The highlight of the night was a quote from one of their friends, Lola, who was in love with my hair.
"What is this called that I'm doing...planching?"
"Ahh! Raping! I'm raping your hair!"
I was laughing so hysterically that it took me a minute or so to contain myself so that I could explain to her what she had said.
Thursday morning, I woke up early unable to sleep and finished packing. Before I walked out the door, I went into Patricia's room to say goodbye to her since she was still in bed. I waved and said "I'm leaving!" and went to shake her hand. She grabbed my hand and when I tried to walk away she wouldn't let go. I felt for the first time like maybe I really did connect with her and that maybe she really did like me! I decided to think of it that way instead of looking at it as she probably just wanted me to help pull her up out of bed since she had a tendency of doing that.
I arrived in Thessaloniki, Greece just after 7:30 and found my friend Aleksandra happily waiting for me. Her boyfriend, his brother, and the 2 of us went back over the border of Greece into Macedonia to stay the night at her boyfriend's family's small summer house, then yesterday we went back to Thessaloniki to spend the day. I suppose when people hear you say "I'm going to Greece!" they imagine you walking along the beach all day long and taking pictures of houses built alongside the sea. But Thessaloniki doesn't really look that way. It is along the sea, but the beach was pretty far away and the houses are farther inland. We spent the day walking around the city and going in shops. It was a good taste of Greece for the first time and now I am definitely looking forward to the day when I can go back to see Athens and other typical Grecian cities.
From Thessaloniki, we drove back to Skopje, Macedonia which is where Aleks is from. She lives in a small apartment with her brother and grandma who does not speak any English. I finally feel like I am experiencing something new since Spain didn't feel much different, at least not where I was living, and I was able to communicate in either Spanish or English with almost everyone I met. I've been told that the whole apartment building will be talking about the fact that there is an American staying here and that when we go out in the city, people will probably stare at me.
I'm really excited for the next couple of weeks but I am also very ready to be home again and to get back to my normal routine. And as I write that I can already feel myself eating my words.