J&J Books and Coffee

Today was just like any old day in the U.S., or . . . not so much. Resulting from the poor state of Spain and me being located in the capital, where there is constant striking, we had the day off from school. I was shocked that this was regarded as the norm here, and that as students we got to decide which days we went to school this week. I remember mumbling to myself in English, “This would never happen in America.”

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In the midst of all the chaos, my school here has been making a lot of adjustments - including changing the teachers’ schedules around. On Monday our new English teacher took me aside to have a chat. She commented on the fact that her class obviously won’t teach me much at all and said that she didn’t want me to sit there and do nothing all year (which I was sort of looking forward to). Well long story short: my new assignment was to find a classical English book and hand in a fifteen-page book report every semester. To some this may seem like a drag, but for someone who loves to read as much as I do, I really don’t mind. But, finding the book was up to me. So, with all my Google-ing done and a free day I set off in search of “J&J Books and Coffee”.

It took about a half hour, but I eventually found myself browsing through the shelves in the basement of the cozy, second-hand, English bookstore. While climbing the stairs, my fingers clutched tightly my selection: “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë. Upstairs, I was greeted by a British man behind the bar and a small café - where everyone was speaking English! I made polite small talk with my fellow foreigners as I waited for my tea to steep. I then, nestled into a comfy armchair and placed my computer on my lap.

And now here I sit, writing this blog, in the back of J&J Book Store - my new safe haven. I’m not looking to make this my second home or anything, just a life raft if I ever find myself drowning and in need of some oxygen . . .and tea.


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