Thursday, October 27, 2011

My other anniversary

Last month I celebrated  my 2 year expat-versary with Spain but this weekend I celebrate another anniversary...this one with the novio. Finding a boyfriend was about the last thing I wanted when I first moved to Spain, but it has made my 2 years here so much richer. 

I don't write about him all the time but he has definitely had a huge impact on my experience and my life in Madrid. Yes, sometimes being in a relationship where you speak to the other person in not your native language sucks but today I'm going to celebrate all the really amazing things about it too. 

Cutting the crap: Although communicating with Alberto can sometimes be frustrating a lot of times it makes the relationship a lot more simple. Magazines like Cosmopolitan are always writing articles about how to "win" or avoid the mind games couples tend to play. Well let me tell you, in Spanish this is not possible for me. My goal is to try to get my point across in a intelligible and simple way and not complicarme la vida by figuring out some hidden meaning in what Alberto says to me. 

Seeing a different side of Spain: I have mentioned this before in my post about enchufes but Alberto has really shown me a different side of Spain. Yes you can see a lot of Spain and learn about its culture through travel, but getting to do things like go to weddings or eat Alubias with him and his friends have shown me so much about Spain and Spaniards. It makes me love Spain even more! 

A bilingual and bicultural relationship: Many of my fellow ex-pats dating Spaniards will agree that the best way to learn a language is date someone who is a native. This couldn't be more true, I have learned and improved SO much more on my Spanish than I ever thought possible because of Alberto. I can talk to him and ask him questions without ever feeling ashamed or embarassed of my accent or the bazillon mistakes I make a day. Its given me a confidence that I would have never thought to have speaking a foreign langauge. 

But the coolest thing has been to be able to exchange stories and weird things about growing up in different cultures. I learn so much about Spain (and hopefully Alberto about the US) just by listening to him talk about what he did as a kid or in college. And I love being able to share my culture with him through stories, pictures and of! (gotta show off that southern cookin'!) 

Its been 2 amazing years and here's to lots more!