Headphones bumping “Applause,” I power walk to class as morning sun warms my face. My sandals click against the cobble stone to the beat, turning the 30-minute trek into a my own personal dance party.

Every day on my way to El Centro, I make a pit stop at Gloria Bendita for a café con leche. Yes, you really can buy happiness…and it only costs 1£. For espresso connoisseurs like myself, a Spanish café con leche reigns supreme in the kingdom of coffee and all things delicious. Today, I was surprised to see an unfamiliar face behind the counter.

I ordered my go-to drink in Spanish.

“You want toast, also?” the new bartender asked, in a thick Spanish accent.

The café owner and my newfound friend, the usual barista, appeared from the kitchen. In a stern tone, he corrected the newbie. “Ella habla español,” he asserted, flashing me a beaming smile.


Maybe, just maybe, I’m starting to blend in.

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