25 February 2011

a tad borracha: a letter to spain

dear spain,
thanks for being awesome.  after over a month of residing within your borders, i can say with certainty that you are fantastic!  even your cheap wine that comes in cardboard packaging (1 euro) is very delicious and causes me to be a little borracha in public places, like the park.  but the best thing about you is that it is completely normal!  it seems as though public drunkenness is part of spanish culture, just like meeting your friends to go out at about midnight, since it's apparently not late at all.  children are often still outside when i'm going home to sleep.  but spain, despite your amazing wine and cheap beers and free tapas (all the time, everywhere as long as you purchase a drink), there are few things about you i just don't like.  for one, why does everything have to happen outside the house? i would like to have a few friends over to watch a movie, but you just won't let that occur. entertaining from home is amazing because you're in your own comfort zone, it's cheaper, and you can be obnoxious as much as you want without people staring.  luckily, you seem to have almost no rules at all, so public drunkenness, public displays of affection, public EVERYTHING is totally acceptable.  also, why do you have to charge for water?  water should always be free. that is a little ridiculous.  but all in all, you're pretty amazing, spain.  so, thanks.

11 February 2011

time flies...

...really, really fast.  it has been almost three weeks since i arrived in spain, and this is my first entry in that time.  it simultaneously feels like i have been here for months and just a few days; it's surreal.

i've been dreading this blog because now i feel like it's necessary to describe every tiny detail about spain, even those i haven't really encountered yet.  but i'll start with the basics: mi casa, la comida, y mi senora.

i live on the 6th floor of an apartment building near the center of the city.  the walk to the IES building is about 15 minutes, so really it's the same as when i'm in the EEUU...just less hills than ithaca.  i have my own room, but another IESer lives with me in the apartment:  Cynthia!  she's basically awesome.  it's really nice to have someone else around to share the experience with and have more people to chat with.  also, she's much better at speaking spanish than i am, and it makes life slightly easier and less nerve-wracking.
showers in spain are not allowed to be any length of time higher than a few minutes. however, the detachable shower head helps this immensely because i can wash my hair before any other part of my body gets wet and cold. then i just turn the water on and off so i don't waste.
my senora is awesome!  she is in her mid-60s and has been hosting students from various countries for over 25 years. she likes telling stories about other students and about her life...no details are left to the imagination.  and ooooh can she cook!  every day we eat la comida between 2:30 and 3 (14:30-15) and everything has been fabulous!  we usually have some kind of soup and bread to start off, and then salad or a side dish (such as potatoes!) and a main dish of..well, usually jamon. there is so much jamon here it's crazy.  but i have not had anything here that i don't like!  it's all amazing; i can't even describe.

i didn't have internet here until YESTERDAY.  i survived, of course, but it's been hard to do anything significant other than take ten minutes to check my e-mail while at school. however, the lack of internet has made me much more excited to just go outside and walk around the amazing city of granada.

fun fact:  the word "granada" means pomegranate!  i had no idea.  everything here is shaped like pomegranates, which i find really awesome.