Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Que Pasa

Friday afternoon some of my friends and I decided we'd go to a little village outside of Sevilla, called Carmona, for the afternoon to have a nice quiet lunch and explore new territory. After a long journey of trying to figure out where to catch the bus (if you ask someone for directions you get the same response no matter where you are) and then a delightful meal of salad, porkchops, and french fries we set off to enjoy the day. As we were walking up to the lookout in Carmona we saw these 2 guys on a motorcycle. Well, I turned around to look at them because they seemed like they were up to no good, and as I did the guy on the back grabbed my arm trying to steal my purse. My cell phone went flying and hit the ground and at that point I realized that my arm was throbbing. Luckily I am fine and they didn't get anything. However, I do have a nasty bruise to show for it.

Saturday night kicked off Carnaval in Cadiz, Spain in anticipation for the season of Lent (similiar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans) so we took a trip there. Four of us dressed up as the characters from Peter Pan (I was Tiger Lily) and enjoyed our time there. It was one of the craziest experiences of my life - I have never seen so much alcohol. There were over half a million people there and at one point I wasn't even walking, yet I was moving because of all the pushing and shoving. I'm glad I got to experience it at least once, but I do not think it is something that I ever want to do again! We didn't get home until 6:00AM so Sunday was a day to catch up on sleep!

There's a Cirque de Soleil, Valekai, show playing right now in Sevilla so we went to that on Sunday night. It was a lot of fun - I can't believe how flexible some people are. We couldn't take pictures inside the show, but if you ever get a chance to go to a Cirque de Soleil I highly recommend it!

That's all for now....I might need to go do some homework :)

Monday, February 16, 2009


What exactly does maomeno mean you ask? Well the first time I ever saw it written was in a text message and I thought the person just didn't know how to type. Oh how I was wrong. It really means mas o menos (more or less), but it is just spelled like it is said here in Sevilla. One of the biggest problems I've had since being here is understanding what is being said because they cut all of their words short. Day by day I am slowly learning what is really being said, and it makes me think about whether un extranjero in Greenville/the United States would be able to understand me when I'm talking with my friends or family.

Saturday I spent the day in Jerez and Arcos, two pueblos near Sevilla, where we went to a bodega (winery) and a horse show. It was a fun, relaxing day, although sampling sherry at 11:00 in the morning is a little too early! On Sunday my roommate and I went out with some locals and really immersed ourselves into the culture. It was really fun, but as I was meeting one person he said, "You aren't from around here are you?" So goes the story of my life..... :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Una mezcla de dos culturas

I was fortunate enough to have my parents be able to come and spend some time here in Spain with me. My host family was adament that they come over for a lunch one day, and as most of you know lunch is the most important meal of the day here in Spain. I thought this was incredibly considerate of them inviting others into their house, especially not really knowing anything about my parents. Well, I knew it was going to be an interesting experience seeing as how my parents do not know that much Spanish (although to my Dad's credit he does know more than I thought he did) and my host family knows some English. I was definitely apprehensive knowing that I would have to be the one to translate and make sure everyone understood what was being said and the like.

My parents took flowers and a bottle of wine to Macarena and Tato (my host parents) as is customary when you go to another's house in Spain and I think this was a great icebreaker. They were so welcoming from the time my parents walked into the house, and this really meant a lot to me. After introductions and besos, we sat down for an incredible meal. We had seafood paella, a typical dish in the southern part Spain, and spinach salad with raisins and apples - one of my new found favorite dishes. From the very beginning I knew everything was going to be ok - Macarena would tell a story in Spanish and I could translate it for the most part with help from my roommate and then tell it to my parents in English. Then my parents would say something in English and I could translate it into Spanish. By the end of the meal I was exhausted and my brain hurt from all of the translating, but obviously that is why I am here so it was a good thing!

This was definitely a learning experience for all of us - a mixing of 2 cultures. It showed me how much I have in common with the family with whom I am living, and I am glad my parents could experience a lunch with the family, although the children didn't eat with us because Macarena wanted it to be a calm quiet lunch. I think if the children had eaten with us it would have been a completely different experience! Overall I think this has been one of the highlights of my trip.

Monday, February 2, 2009

This past week my parents and I spent the week traveling around different parts of Spain via a rental car. Needless to say it was quite an experience! At one point we were backing down a street because we realized at the end of the road the car was too big to fit through the narrow opening, and this was after we drove over some cathedral steps. Just another typical day in Spain! We spent some time in the mountainous region and then headed down to the Mediterranean Sea - gorgeous views all around. I am really fortunate that they were able to come and spend some time with me. It was great to be able to show them where I live and my daily life here in Spain; on Thursday they are going to come eat lunch with my host family! That is going to be quite the adventure - I guess I'll be the translator, although my dad knows more Spanish than I thought he did. Who knew!?!
Today we started another class - an intensive period of grammar. This will be good for me because even after being here for a month my grammar is still very rusty. My professor is very fun so it should hopefully be a good 3 weeks - not that everyday hasn't been good! I'm trying to live everyday to the fullest and take as much in as possible - I'm learning more about Spanish norms and customs and am trying to keep an open mind even when I do eat boiled squid. I'm quickly finding out that it's the little things that make a culture so unique! Until next time mucho amor!