Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Venga! Vamos!

Well, its raining GATOS y PERROS a fuera.  In Spanish, the phrase "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane" from My Fair Lady translates to, "La lluvia en Sevilla es una maravilla". I got a little picha happy with the lluvia.

alright guys, lets get real.  It's list making time.  Probably my most favorite time of the day. Here are some lists I am working on right now.

Weird things about Spain:
1. They don't have "door close" buttons in the elevators.  So if your having a bad day and don't want to talk to the person associated with the *clip clap* you hear coming around the corner or you're trying to push your roommate out of the elevator so they have to walk 6 flights of stairs, not gonna happen baby.
2. There is always a 50/50 chance the public restroom you are about to walk into doesn't have a toilet seat.  I dont know why, I don't know how.  Possibly to ensure optimum level of squattie potti-ers?  Maybe breaking a toilet seat is some sort of weird initiation to a teenage gang of toilet vigilantes.  Either way, count on working those thigh muscles.
3. They eat breakfast at like 8am.  Lunch at 2pm (no earlier and sometimes later).  And dinner at 9:30pm (again, no earlier).
5. That being said, there are starches EVERYWHERE. Bread, french fries, potatoes GALORE. with every meal. Oh and no butter.  anywhere. not. a. drop.  They put oil on their bread instead. OH! and oil on their salads.  Like, that is the dressing.
6. I cant decide if this goes under the "weird' or "good" category.  I guess it just depends on the day.  But there is A LOT of walking.  I have a 30 minute walk to class everyday.  And then you walk to wherever you want to go in the city.  And then you walk home.  Haha, my roommates and I have become very familiar with the shops next to our house.
7.  There is a McDonalds right next to our house AND another one on our way to school.  It has become my food safe haven for bad days or after meals where the animal I am eating is looking back at me. Oh and they serve Nutella with the apples. oooooh, nutella.
8.  Spanish women are all about being beautiful.  I know, that should be a great thing right?! Well, they are NOT into being "CUTE".  Therefore, no cute little sweatpants or hair bows.  No sparkle headbands or caricature adorned Deliah's shirts in sight.
9.  Did i mention its like WILDLY unfathomable to walk down the street in sweats?  Sorry all you VS Pink fans.  The first week I was sick, I damned the man by wearing pajama pants and my cowgirl booties to the grocery store right next to my house.  re-bel.
10.  The stores close at WEIRD hours.  A MAJORITY of them are open in the morning, close from around 3-6pm (for siesta) and then re-open again for a few hours.  HOWEVER, some of them just close WHENEVER THEY WANT.  AND they don't post the store hours ANYWHERE.  "Umm yah, lets be open from 6:34AM to about 12:50pm.  Re-open at 1:15pm and when we see the girls from apartment 6A coming, we turn the lights off and hide."  As my roommate so eloquently put it, "Its like Spain doesn't want us in their country but is trying to be really subtle about it.  Like 'we'll let you in, but we're not going to tell you when any of our stores are open.  You just have to guess'."  Sojourner truth.
11. They dont snack here.  Like at all.  Ever.
12.. I never REALLY know what I am ordering at restaurants.  I find myself spending money on little surprises.  So far I haven't had too bad of an experience with the quality of what I order.  However, there have been MANY times where I order something and it is either WAY BIGGER or WAY SMALLER than I anticipated.  For instance, when the roomies and I searched forever to find a Tex-Mex restaurant for an enchilada only to be given what looked more like a pasta dish with a ton of melted mozzarella cheese in a tiny little bowl.  Like, baby....dassss not an enchilada.
13. On that note, I never really know what I am getting at the grocery store either.  The other day I bought "original' flavored yogurt.  Ok, "original" does not mean "NOT!!!".  It tasted like sour creme.  And my host mom said it's supposed to taste like that. I gifted the rest of the pack to her.
14. The money conversion is 1 euro=$1.33333. That means for every $100 you take out of the
bank, you loose $30 right then and there.  It just evaporates into Spanish air.
15. Movies don't come out here for a really really long time.  Like, Tangeled is just now hitting theaters.  I saw a "coming soon" ad for Black Swan this morning on my way to school.
16.  People still answer me in English.  Like, I'll ask for directions or algo asi, and instead of answering me in Spanish like I would prefer, they pick up on the accent and answer me in English.  It was extremely insulting at first.  But I have come to terms with the fact that they don't mean to be rude, they are just trying to help me understand in English.
Some of the girls and I at Bachillerra, the school where we volunteer!

Wonderful surprises:
1. There are babies EVERYWHERE.  One day, probably like our first day in Spain, I said, "you know what, I haven't seen ANY pregnant women or babies ANYWHERE".  And then BOOM.  As if i had wished those suckers into existence, Babies R Spain. Everywhere.  And because Spain is so dern fashionable, every single one looks like a tiny little fashionista.  I want to shop where they shop.
2. I practice my Spanish ALLL the time.  Spanish is everywhere! I try and listen to everyone I pass. creeper creepin? yes.  creeper learnin? ooooh yah.
3. I started volunteering at an elementary school.  A group from my program and I go down to this school and teach them English every Tuesday.  We just had an orientation this week but we will meet the kids and everything next week.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall in love.
4.  I don't have to buy any books for my classes!  The one book I thought I was going to have to buy is a small paperback novel and I ended up finding it on the API bookshelf.
5.  Our host mom, Fina, is a really good cook.   I mean, I'm no expert of Spanish food, but she makes some pretty awesome soup.  AND she will make us American food every once in a while.  Last night we had Cheeseburgers and french fries.
6. Spanish TV plays alot of American movies in English that I had forgotten about.  We watched Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and one of the Bourne movies the other day.
7.  Our host dad, Eloy, is REALLY funny.  The other day Fina was telling him that he had his glasses on crocked.  He put up such a fight, telling her that one of his eyebrows was just lower than the other.  And just now, as I am sitting on the patio typing this, he came outside and was shocked that I was outside (isn't a little post-rain cold).  I told him I had two jackets on so I didn't feel cold.  I coughed to clear my throat a few minutes later and I hear him from inside the house saying, "'re getting cooooooooooooold" haha, he cracks me up.
8.  It is perfectly acceptable to take a nap in the middle of the day.  In fact, most people do.  You are not lazy or a bum.  You're just a Spaniard.
9.  I have finally found a way to sound like a Spaniard.  It's just by repeating a phrase I learned from some boys on the street. You just throw your head back, mix a little bit of "drunk girl" with a dash of "Spaniard" and say, "oooooh myyyyy goooooooaaaaooshhh, wheeeeeereeee aaaareee yooouu frrroooooooom". and if your feelin REALLY Spanish you add, "yoooou liiiiike to paaaarrtyyyyyy?!?!".  I had to come all the way to Spain to learn an English phrase in order to sound Spanish. Cute.
10. Everyone here looks like me.  So I'm not the random white girl on the street.  This can also lead to strange situations.  When you are CERTAIN that a person is going to speak English, and then Spanish word vomit.
11.  I can sit on our patio and think. or write. or listen to music. or people watch. there is much to view from the sixth floor.

Foods I miss:
-mashed potatoes
-berries in general
-mexican food (specifically anything from Taco Bueno. "blah blah blah something about how Taco Bueno isn't real Mexican food".  It is when you don't have it for months)
-fast and cheap food (again, Bueeeeeno)
-cinnamon rolls (specifically the orange flavored ones from Pillsbury..ahhhhhh)
-chicken and dumplings

What to do with my life when I graduate:

1. Well I could look into seminaries.  I could stay at home and go somewhere close to Arlington.  Or I could see what it would be like to go to one a bit further away like Truett.  I could go straight into it next Spring or could wait a semester and start in the fall.
2. I could become a substitute teacher.  This is could do a bit while i was still in school in the fall and while I am still working for the ever-wonderful (AND EVER-MISSED) Pledger family.  I have been considering teaching elementary Spanish so this would be a great transition.
3. I could get my teacher's certification.  This would lead me in the direction of beginning a career as a Spanish teacher Fall 2012.  I'de like to stay around the DFW area if I did that though.  Stay at home for a bit while I got my bearings.
4. Marry Chris Brown.

Reasons I love my roommates:
1. Kerry likes to randomly through spanish words in her sentences.  Por ejemplo, "thats just something we're going to have to cambiar".  "are you making divertido of me?" "well, im just going to have to mirar at it." "Me gusta estos hamburgesas porque no tiene bastante grasa.' "Did something paso?!" There are more, I just can't fink of them.
2. we have successfully looked up two american movies online and had 2 girls nights.
3. Being woken up in the middle of the night by either one of them to tell me some random story they JUST thought of or to have a little late night thinking H2H.
4.  They are into Don Diego as much as me.  Don Diego is a diner/chocolate place right next to our house were we go for many a midnight chocolate run. And the woman that works there said I had a really good Spanish accent.
5. I have two other people to help me 1. translate our host parents spanish and 2. figure out how to say certain words.  The other day, when i was like ON MY DEATH BED, Fina was saying something to me and I just looked at her in amazement and then called for Kim.  Haha.
6. We celebrate every American holiday together!  We even got to watch the Super Bowl!
Yah, that's butter on top. Hahaha. And coconut in the middle. Dear Don Diego, be my Valentine.
Happy (late) Valentines Day, everyone!

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