In Euskara, they don’t say “adios.” They say “agur.” The word rolls off my tongue as if I had known it for years. I look at the calendar and I can’t comprehend how today is my last day in San Sebastián. I picked up my diploma and as I walked back home I thought of all the little things that made this trip unique and memorable.
To my host mom: I have never met anyone so feisty in my life. At 81 years, you proved to me that the value of my life is only as strong as my willpower. I promise to get a job, marry a decent (and decently rich) husband and to write you when that happens. I’ll never forget how you took care of me when I was sick. Thank you for talking with me and cooking for us. But please never make bunny stew or cow brain sandwich again. Please. I hope one day I can return to Donostia and visit you with my family. They’d love to meet you.
To Lacunza: I loved everyone in the adult class. I loved my teachers. I loved how you were located in a sketchy alleyway. Over the past six weeks, I’ve seen six murals painted. It’s amazing.
To the man who walked his whippet at 9:25 a.m. every day: Thank you for being a way to tell if I’m running late.
To Café Iru and Bar El Rincón: Thanks for letting me mooch off your wifi for hours for the price of a coke after school. I wouldn’t have been able to call my parents otherwise.
To my roommate: Margaret, thanks for not being a complete psychopath. You’re so relaxed and funny. I’ll miss it when you accidentally pop yourself in the face with water at dinner. I’m glad I’ve been able to introduce to you a ton of space-related movies and tv shows. I’m sorry if you’re addicted now. Your Spanish has improved a ton and I’m so proud of you. You don’t even know. You’re gonna have a blast this upcoming school year. Senior year of ups and downs, but you’ll get through it.
To Emilia: Thanks for being my pal. I’ll visit you in Sweden someday and I can finally have authentic Swedish meatballs. I loved having class with you and Laura and Carmen. Thank you for introducing me to the wonders of the kebab. Truly life changing.
To Playa La Concha: Thanks for sweeping up my stuff that one day. You gave me a funny story to tell my parents.
To the Tabakalera: You are the coolest art space and work place I’ve ever seen. I wish I could take you home. The views from the fifth floor are astonishing.
To Boulevard Gelataria: Never get rid of the Tarta de Fresa flavor. Although he didn’t think I’d notice, shout out to the dude who gave me a medium cone for the price for a small.
To Donostia-San Sebastián: You became my home. You were everything that I could’ve ever dreamed of when I signed up for this trip. And more. I have no words to describe how much I’ll miss walking to school and passing by the ocean every day. I’ll miss the best weather in the world. I’ll miss the life of pintxos and gelato. No other town has made me want to be a more easygoing person. I admire the pace everyone seems to have and the fact everyone has a dog. The culture here is unsurpassable. It’s no surprise that you were the European Capital of Culture this year.
Well, agur, Donosti. I know I’ll come back one day. It won’t be long.