Sunday, January 25, 2009

help me ronda! help help me ronda!

This weekend we went Ronda, a small town about two hours away in the mountains. Just the bus ride there was kind of hilarious. I was sitting in the very front row squeezed in next to this man wearing a beret. So there I was enjoying the beautiful scenery, trying to ignore the man's leg touching mine and (here's the best part) listening to music. Very eclectic mix of things going on, but it went by pretty fast. Ronda was beautiful. It was nice to get out of Sevilla for the day and get in a change of scenery. We basically just walked around all day and avoided going in anywhere that involved us having to pay to get in. The city is pretty small but it has a lot of history. The bull ring there is the best one in Spain. Its the one all the matadors aspire to get to. We weren't there for too long but I think we saw most everything there was to see. Then we went out on Saturday night to Buddha, this gigantic discoteca. We stayed there and danced for awhile before we headed back. On the way back these guys started shouting at us and following us. We were planning on walking but figured we better take a cab back when they wouldn't stop following us.
Thursday night was also really fun. Three of us from UNC went over to a girl from Britain's apartment. When we got there a ton of girls from all over the world were there. There were girls from Germany, Belguim, Hungary, Britain all gathered to watch Sex and the City. This one girl kept offering me fudge from the birthplace of Shakespeare. It was a really fun/funny that Sex and the City was the thing that brought everyone together.
love and miss you all!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2 weeks notice

So i´ve been here exactly 2 weeks. It feels like so much longer. We've kind of already gotten into a routine of things. I'm still not sure how much Mercedes understands me when I try to talk to her. Today for instance I was trying to tell her that classes at Chapel Hill were cancelled and I think she thought I was saying classes here were cancelled. Also I was trying to explain to her how I met Bush, then the next day in class I found out I had used the wrong verb. So I probably said something along the lines of ¨my family and i found president bush¨. whoops.
We went out this weekend and to prove ourselves real Spanairds did not return until 5 am. It was really fun but everyone we met spoke english. I was trying to talk to someone in Spanish and he kept saying ¨in english!¨ Hmm...these things are really making me question my spanish speaking abilities. Oh well - I'll keep trying, people will probably just be really confused as to what I'm talking about.
Sunday we went for a really long walk along the Río and it was really pretty. We got ice cream and sat along the river. There was a ton of people outside just walking and enjoying the day. I've never really seen people do that in the U.S. So many people just out and about with friends and family. We also went and explored the Plaza de España which is huge and really cool.
On Monday we went into the Cathedral and we went up into the Giralda so we could see all of Sevilla. The Cathedral is HUGE, its the third largest in the world and it was beautiful inside. Unfortunately it wasn't the clearest day on Monday, but it was still really neat to be overlooking the entire city.
Then last night we went out to a bar for the inauguration. It was an Irish bar but it was decorated for the inauguration and there were a ton of people there celebrating. There were also a bunch of news people there filming so I might have made it onto some local news channel - this could be my big break! After the inauguration was over we went out for tapas which were just as delicious as I heard they were. life is good.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

settling in spain

hola amigos!
I almost survived the first week of classes. I still have one more day to go. Its still kind of hard to tell how classes will be because the first week is always kind of relaxed. I had one teacher tell us it was going to be really intense, but I also had another teacher tell us it was going to be easy. He said no one wants to work hard when its spring and when youre in spain, etc etc. So who knows what to expect. The really good thing is that I can mostly understand all my professors with one giant exception of a professor who I cant understand at all. I mean really nothing - Im lucky if I catch a word or two.
The really weird thing about classes is that Im only taking 12 hours. This means on Monday and Wednesday I only have 1 class. Im used to being so busy and having so much to do I dont know what to do with myself. Now when I only have one class two days a week and I dont know what to do with myself. Nice change of pace :)
Yesterday my friend and I went running around the city. We were running through these really narrow alley ways when out of nowhere appeared a gigantic, gorgeous, gray cathedral. As in THE cathedral, the one Sevilla is known for. Despite the fact that we were in the middle of a run, we were sweaty and grossly underdressed we thought we should stop in. Turns out you have to pay so that plan failed pretty quickly. But still - imagine going on a run and finding yourself facing that. Pretty awesome.
I think Im starting to understand my señora a little better. Although yesterday afternoon when I was leaving to go for a walk she asked me if I was going on a run. This was unfortunate because in my mind I had already told her that I went for a run that day.
I watched my first fútbol game last night! My señoras son Roque (remember Roque??) and his girlfriend (sigh) came over to watch the game. When they were talking to each other I basically had no idea what they were saying. But I still felt pretty special sitting there with them drinking a cerveza and watching futbol. I think thats all for now.
Te quiero, ánhela

Sunday, January 11, 2009

this was bound to happen

It was absolutely beautiful here today. So I decided I would go on a run. As I was running I was too busy gushing over how beautiful and exciting it is here to pay proper attention in order to get myself home. I think you know where this is headed...
After I was too tired to keep running, I ended up walking around doing my best to ask people where I was. The good news is that everyone (yes I asked more than one person) who I asked was really nice. Eventually I finally got home and decided to pay a little more attention next time (duh). But it really was so nice outside and I went running through a park that had a lot of people sitting around just enjoying the day.
We went out last night to the bars on the river. It was a pretty long walk from our apartment but it was so fun. There were a lot of people out and we met some nice guys - who I talked to entirely in spanish! I think he had a little more patience with me than I expected so I was more comfortable trying to talk to him. On our walk home we got a little turned around (sound familiar?) Wherever we were had that movie-set feel to it again. I just can't get over this place.
Reality will most likely hit me hard tomorrow because classes start. I'm determined to not let classes get in the way though! That sounds a little backwards - basically I'm determined to not get stressed out - "que sera sera"
Hasta Luego!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

how to successully make it so spain

I´m here! Lots of delays and frantically running through airport got me here in time. The main highlight involved getting to T4 in Madrid where I had to exit the airport and get a bus that got on the expressway seemingly driving away from the airport, but no worries I was on the right one, although all the while I was thinking the bus was kidnapping me. I met all the people on my program last night and we went out to dinner. Walking to dinner last night we wound through all these alley ways and it felt like I was walking through a movie set. The restaurant was very spanish as well. It still hasn´t entirely sank in that I´m here, but going through those alley ways really helped, it was so cool. We slept in a hotel last night and then this morning I met my señora, Mercedes. Already, I love her. She speaks zero English and her husband died only a couple months ago. She seems to be doing really well despite what must be a really difficult time. She is really sweet though and kept offering me tons of food, all of which was delicious. Her son Roque also came to lunch, who I also love. Mercedes is a painter and all of her artwork decorates her apartment. The room I´m sharing is pretty small, but it has a lot of character.
Here it goes - four months in Spain. Don´t forget about me!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

i'm leaving in how many days?

I'm leaving for four months in Spain in 2 days. I think the more I say it the easier it is for me to comprehend that it actually is happening. I'll be staying with a Spanish family and taking classes in Spanish. Mostly I will be having the time of my life and I can't wait. I'm going to try to keep this updated as much as possible. But for right now, I have lots left to do.
Talk to you in Spain.