So I'm here, I'm adjusted, I'm off and running. And I am HAPPY to be as such.
My apartment is pretty much the model of absurdity: 9 people. 3 bedrooms. And best of all: 1 BATHROOM. Uno. That being said, it is quite a fun place to live, despite the sardine-like conditions. 2 Mexicans dudes, girl from Agentina/Miami, guy from New Zealand (who was the exec chef at the Fillmore in SF, coinicidentally!), kid from Portugal who speaks 5 languages (known by most as 'The Professor'), a Spaniard, a Korean, and Kevin from Oklahoma. The partridge and the pear tree arrive next week.
The restaurant is one big ass-kicking, making me realize I really have never done a hard day's work in my life. So for the next 10 weeks I will be making up for lost time. Best of all, the guy telling me what to do as of now is a jet-black Nigerian named Monday (what?!), whose favorite sentence-ender is 'fuck off.' Seriously. King Asshole of the land of assholes. Yesterday he screams at me: "YOU ARE NEW! IF YOU DON'T KNOW SOMETHING, YOU ASK! UNDERSTAND?! NOW FUCK OFF!" Lovely, I know. Then today, I ask him a question about rolling croquetas, and he screams at me: "DON'T ASK ME ANYTHING, EVER! JUST DO WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO!" Sweet.
That being said, he's not hard to figure out. I just work as hard as I can, as fast as I can, and he ignores me. Those are his only 2 settings: Angry at you or Ignoring you. Hmm, I'm going to go with Option B. The really hard part is that he insists no one speak in the kitchen. At all. So when we want to have conversations, we have to be really quiet and then shut up whenever he walks by. Dude makes the Soup Nazi look like Mister Rogers.
Best of all, our work day starts at 9am and goes until around midnight. For reals. There's usually about 20 minutes for lunch at noon (yesterday was tripe, today was beef tongue... can't wait till tomorrow!) and two hours for siesta at 5. At least I can take comfort in the fact that any job I take back in SF can't have hours much longer than this one...
I think I'ma do some exploring in San Sebastian this weekend, stay tuned for that. I now have regular, free wireless at the cafe across the plaza from my apartment and they make a mean cafe con leche (yummy...), so I imagine most of my siestas will be spent here basking in the glow of the internet.
All in all, the adjustment is complete, and while I can't say life is easy or luxurious, it is definitely good. I am happy, albeit usually exhausted, and I can't wait to start exploring Spain, continuing to learn from those around me, and, most importantly, EATING THINGS!!!