19th of October 2016 – 9 pm
Brushing my hair
Have you ever seen the movie Frozen? Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with the movie, but do you remember Sven? The reindeer? Well, if you don’t: basically, there is a friendly reindeer called Sven. Ok, now I’m done with Frozen.
Now here’s what I wanted to tell you about Sven:
So this morning was the very first day of school with Katherine, my host. If I were, to sum up how it went with one word I would say: tumultuous. You’re probably about to pull our a dictionary but wait… I was just about to explain what it means. Tumultuous is chaotic and loud and turbulent. Everyone felt the same way about the first day. Katherine has 8 or 9 classes a day! Each class is 55 minutes, and her breaks in between are only 3 minutes. Then you have her lunch break, which is a little less than half an hour.
Since we aren’t used to it, we felt as if we were moving classes every ten minutes. We would sit down, do an activity or two, and there goes the bell! Oh, and have I mentioned how these students have adapted? The second the bell rings, the whole class shoots out of their seats and into the hallway. In a split second, they’re up and gone – no joke! They also speed walk everywhere. I could barely catch up with them.
Even though the day was tumultuous, I met tons of people. All of Katherine’s friends asked me questions, as well as a bunch of random curious people. I loved talking to everyone there and failing at remembering all the names that were hurtled at me and laughing at myself with others. It felt like moving to a new school. It felt like making new friends all over again. It almost felt like I had a new life in some other place away from home.
Am I going to be remembered as that same person two years from now? Are they even going to remember my name? Probably not. But I might as well enjoy it while I’m here.
Anyway, after school, Katherine came to pick me up at the principle’s office. We all had to be checked out to make sure we were with our hosts. Surprisingly I talked a lot more with Katherine than I’m used to. I’m usually quite shy with other people. Especially new people. We walked down the maze they call their school, and down to the parking lot.
Right before we stopped, Katherine affirmed: “This is Sven, and oh he rides a van. Get ready to listen to music from the eighties.” She giggled briefly before she looked around and pointed at a silver vehicle in the distance. I’m not sure if I thought she was joking or not, so I just smiled.
As the dusty van pulled up, I got a glimpse of who I assumed Sven was. The window at the driver’s seat was pulled down. I saw a pale face with dirty, golden strands of hair cascading down on both sides of his face, reaching the length of his shoulders. His eyes were shallow blue and his smile was friendly. He kind of reminded me of my brother, Unai. The same hair; almost the same smile.
Next to him was a younger boy, also with long blond hair. His hair was shorter, though. He sat next to him and his feet were up on the dashboard. He was wearing light gray Nike shoes that made his eyes look more gray than blue. Much later I realized his name was Nils and that he was half German, half American.
Katherine opened the door that slid open sideways on rusty hinges. “Typical,” I whispered to myself. She climbed into the back, struggling while doing so. I hopped into the van, not having said anything to Sven yet. As I sat down onto the stuffy seats, I guessed that I had to close the door, since I was the last one stepping inside. I pressed a weird-looking button situated on the handle of the door. The button released the clutch that held onto the door. It slid slowly and I tugged on it slightly to get it going faster. With a dull thud-click, it closed.
Sven turned around and opened the door again, that seemed to not have closed well enough. He slid it open and pulled on it harder than I thought he would. The door closed this time with a satisfying click. Not a dull one. Still looking backward, Sven sparked a conversation. “Hi there, my name is Sven.”
I looked straight at him. He was tall and I assumed he was about 18. “I’m Amaia. Nice to meet you, Sven.” He smiled. He looked very welcoming, or maybe he was just in a good mood today; who knows.
This is Nils sitting in the front with his feet up.