Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. -Francis Bacon

This week was a week of frustration; but also a week of learning more about myself and the Spanish culture. Also, I learned more about how God is teaching me how to trust Him with simple things like classes and understanding more about those around me.

I had high hopes for Monday. I thought "First day of classes in Spanish. I am going to make new friends and learn some awesome stuff!" Well, I was so tired the night before that I set my alarm for 9 instead of 8, when my class started at 9. It would have been fine if I had heard my alarm, because then I could have gotten up for my second class, which was at 10:30. But, since I slept through it, I woke up at 11:30. My host mother came in to check on me and make sure I was doing okay and not sick. Sick only of not being able to get up in the morning. Same me, different country I guess.

Instead, Elise and I went shopping. She still had not yet received her suitcase, which the airline had lost, so she needed clothes; and badly. I needed a few things too, but I didn't buy/spend as much as I could. :P But she found what she needed/wanted, which was the only reason we went.

The next day I made it to one class: Grammatica Espanola: Sintaxis. It is a very interesting class. However, the bus was late, so I was late to class; and extremely embarrassed. I didn't have coffee in the morning either, and so I was extremely tired. Made for a good first class ever in Spain.

After that class, Elise and I tried to go to another class, but that whole set of classes (1st year) don't start till the 20th of September. *Sigh* Wish that was posted somewhere on the plan. Instead, we decided to go get some coffee. We went to the Cafeteria that I went to all last week during the Intensive Spanish course. I walked in and saw Alexandra! It was so nice seeing a familiar face. So we all talked about classes while drinking coffee. Then we decided to go to el centro, where I live. All three of us took the bus down there, and it was packed, as usual. We decided to go sit and have raciones and drinks. Elise hadn't had a drink ever in her life, and she had just turned 21, so she wanted to try one! So we went to The Book, an Irish pub in the same plaza as my house. I had calamari and my first *real* beer in Spain (my first dark one). Elise had a sangria and Alexandra had a glass of wine. It is customary to drink alcohol here any time of the day.

While we were sitting there, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I was like, Oh great. Now someone knows I'm an American and wants me to say something in my weird accent. I turned around, prepared to say Howdy or something, and it was my host sister, Laura! I was like OH! What a nice surprise! So she sat with us and chatted. Her and I decided the day before that she was going to take me shopping for a few things, so she just waited for us to finish.

Once Elise left for the bus and we got Alexandra on the right path to home, we did some light shopping. Then we came back home for lunch. After lunch, I took my siesta. I think my host family thinks there is something wrong with me that I drink so much coffee but can still sleep as much as I do.

I woke up Wednesday morning in a good mood. I heard my alarm clock, had enough time to talk to Ryan online for a bit, and sit and chat while eating breakfast with Begona. I got to classes on time too!

It turned out to be a frustrating day. For more people than just me, it turned out.

I found out that there is something else that frustrates me more than someone not understanding what I am saying in Spanish. Two people decided that I was not understanding what they were saying in Spanish, and hence switched to English. I was able to understand them just fine, they just weren't being very clear in what they were saying. I wanted to punch them in the face. I wanted to say Don't insult my intelligence by thinking I am like other Americans who expect you to explain things to them in English. I know what you are saying; don't pretend otherwise. I was so insulted and upset (plus I was pms-ing at the time too), that I went to the cafeteria during break, ordered a coffee and drank that while writing out my frustrations in my journal. Then I went to my second class of the day.

However, I seemed to have dressed too warm for the weather. During class, I was dying from the heat. It is this little room the size of my room here, but they still manage to squeeze 12 students and 1 rather large teacher in it. Once he released us from our agony, I left because otherwise I was going to die. I came home, changed into summer clothes (instead of the fall ones I was wearing) ate a little something, and took a quick nap.

Begona took Laura and Irene to Vitoria (where Laura goes to college) for orientation in the morning. They had left soon after I did, and they were there the whole day. I thought they were gone so long because of shopping or something, but their car ended up overheating or something. So they had to take the taxi home.

When they (finally) got home, Laura heated up some leftovers for me while her mom was getting the car in Vitoria. I ate a plate of spaghetti, a bowl of veggies, 2 pork fillets, bread, tea, and hot chocolate. I'm sure she was like, "Mom! She is eating us out of house and home! What else do I feed her?!" When Begona got home, she came in to my room to chat a bit, as she usually does. She said with a little smile, "Laura said you were hungry and ate a lot!"  "Yeah, I don't know why, but I was SO hungry." "Well, you didn't eat much of anything that I had left for you!" "Oh...yeah...that would be why."

Thursday rolled around. Went to campus, but NO one was there. It was like a vacation or something and no one had told us. So Alexandra and I were like, you know what? Fine. So we took the bus back down to the center of town (where I live) and drank coffee, window shopped, and talked in Spanish. It was nice that even though we didn't have class, we still learned from talking Spanish with each other and with people on the street. It helps a lot to speak with another person who is learning like I am, and isn't a native speaker. I probably learned more words this week than any others, since I had to look them up to be able to understand things like 'Sales (rebajas)' , 'Size (talle)', 'Earrings (pendientes)', 'Watch (reloj)', 'Necklace (collar)', 'bracelet (pulsera), and 'Scarf (foulard [which is french as well]), as well as various numbers.

No class on Friday as well (getting to be ridiculous), so Alexandra and I decided to meet up again. We ran into Elise, who had some errands she needed to run. So we went with her. She finally got her suitcase back, which had been lost on the flight or something. So she needed to get things that weren't in there, like a coat, shampoo; those kinds of things. After all that, Alexandra and I decided to meet up the next morning (saturday) to go to a few museums and see the sights.

View next post about the weekend. I think I need to learn to keep up on these things more, so that they aren't so long!

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