Coffee and Comfort in Zaragoza, Spain

The smell of the infamous Criollo Cafe hit me as soon as I gripped the huge door handle and pulled with quite some force, along with the flashback to when I still pushed the door, even thought it clearly stated “tirar.” Some might tell me that six minutes isn’t enough time to get coffee and bound up the school steps in time; well, they’re wrong.

My friends and I made the bold decision to jump off a stop early on the reliable bus 21 and stride in the direction of the white-washed, jazz-playing cafe and order un cafe para llevar.

I could describe the hum of the French lyrics in the background, or the sharply contrasting heat inside compared to the alert cold outside, but my moment of realization for the day happened when I was walking down Paseo Independencía on the way to school.

You sometimes forget you’re not in the place you’ve lived all of your life until you pass a statue with Spanish writing underneath or hear a local expression or see a university student running to catch the train. Already, it’s only been a month and I feel almost, if not exactly, as comfortable in this city as I do at home in the United States.