I made my way to my assigned living arrangements. Rode up the claustrophobic elevator. Entered my apartment. It was so much nicer than I imagined it would be. I previously thought I’d be living in a cramped little dorm. I had a nice little kitchen area, a living room with a balcony, and a bedroom (also with a balcony) that I was to share with one other person. So far, it was just me.
I began to unpack my belongings. I wanted this apartment to feel as much like home as possible. I explored my apartment, attended a welcome dinner hosted by the study abroad program – all of those “first day” rituals. Having just spent the past 36+ hours traveling/in airports, I was quite exhausted. I finally met my roommate upon arriving back to my apartment after the dinner. Her name was Katt. I am Kat.
Katt and Kat. We’d later become a dynamic duo.
The dynamic duo set out to explore their new city. We had only just met, but I figured, at the very least, we were all each other had for the next six weeks. We walked around various stores and cafes. There was a plaza just outside of our apartment – a beautiful, beautiful plaza. Cafes and restaurants with fun outside seating surrounded the perimeter. However, a breathtakingly beautiful church and a large fountain across the way were what really stood out. The architectural design of this church was like nothing I had ever seen before. We sat down at one of the plaza restaurants and enjoyed our very first tapa dish. Actually, we accidentally ordered some strange raw seafood dish. We couldn’t really decipher half the menu. So maybe “enjoy” isn’t the correct word. But that first night was special nonetheless.
I had been in this city no longer than several hours before I knew I was in love.