Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Spain!

So I feel like I should inform people of what's been going on. I've been trying to make facebook status updates but those only go into so much detail. Because I have a limited amount of time tonight (and won't have the internet again until Thursday), I'm going to speedwrite so forgive any errors or non sequiturs.

To begin- I flew into Madrid and it was a looong day. Super mega long. I lugged my suitcases up to my room and then took a shower. Briefly spoke to my roommate (who was from Normandy, France) then we headed to dinner. I ate with some Brits who were osom and totally hilar. Then crashed. The next day was training re: things I already knew. So I learned about Galicia, learned about some activities for conversation in English, and learned about the Spanish education system (thanks to lessons from Manu, living in Santiago and working at KU). So at night I went to get a Spanish SIM card and hung out with Rafa. On Friday I had to get another SIM card because #1 didn't work. I lounged around Madrid and made friends with the concierge at the hotel and some random waiter from Ecuador. Then I caught the flight to Santiago.

In Santiago, me and Manu hung out while I adjusted to Spanish eating schedules and tried to fix the SIM card. SIM #2 was also sucky! I'm planning on getting SIM #3 in hopes of FINALLY having a flawlessly functional Spanish number. Over the weekend we did typical weekend things, hanging out in the park, meeting with friends, etc.

On Wednesday I rushed to Monforte de Lemos (to be known as mofo because me da gracia) to meet with the professors. They gave me a tour of the school and of the city (both about equal time haha) and then we all went out for some copas and tapas. I stayed at a local hotel which was sort of costly, but whatevs. Then the next day we hung out and had lunch and then I bussed to Ourense to then go to Santiago. I recuperated for a night then on Saturday I went back to Ourense to look for a piso. There were very few available since the school year had already started and things were filling up, so I was lucky to even look at any. I decided on an apartment that has a nicely sized room, WITH A WINDOW!!, although the view is not as picturesque as it could be, with a nice kitchen and an American sized shower (the other showers were like 2'x2'). There is no living room area - except the kitchen - and the internet hasn't gotten hooked up yet, but my roommates (three guys studying at the university in Ourense) are very friendly and talkative (and don't smoke in the kitchen like in the other pisos). So, it was definitely the best I could do with the options available (which were few [I'm a little parenthesis happy today haha]).

The rest of the weekend I spent getting used to the city little by little, went for a run twice, walks along the avenue and the bridges, and saw the Natural Springs. This week/end I plan to go for a run by the river which is supposed to be awesome and also learn more about the city center.

Today was my first day of classes: this morning was the intermediate level and I spent 45 minutes talking about me for class 1 and 45 minutes talking about me for class 2. My principal job is pretending I don't know Spanish. So I omit the truth about what I studied and where I studied. It's actually more difficult than I thought because when they ask the teacher something in Spanish to say in English I want to answer them but am supposed to be clueless. Oh well, a learning experience. This evening I was supposed to have 3 workshops, which are like small conversation groups depending on the level, but no one showed up since they weren't really advertised since it was the first day. So in conclusion, after catching a VERY early train (although not as early as I thought so I woke up super early kind of in vain) and having 'classes' until 9 where I've been catching up on websites... it's been a long day. Luckily I don't work Wednesdays(!!!!!!) so I can catch up on sleep/go to the police station to fill out my ID information/buy sheets. I know, very exciting.

Anyway, this weekend I'll be better at taking pictures so I can show everyone what my piso and the town is like, but until then I'm just taking it easy (fully adjusting to the Spanish way of life hahaha).

As for the language issues, when people talk to me slowly or NOT SUPER MEGA fast, we can have good conversations and some people are even impressed with my Spanish (!![this is why I like my standards low]), but when I met with the landlady she was like crazy machine-gun Spanish. So I'm mostly hoping nothing happens to my piso where I have to talk to her because she is not very understanding with my foreign-ness.. hm, another learning experience, I guess.

So, voila! That has been what has been happening for the last 2ish weeks. Will talk to you soon!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if you can help, my mother was born in a small village near Monforte de Lemos, called Las Fuentes de Reigada, back in 1920-I am just trying to find it on the map or at least know where it is for a family book I'm making, if you have any ideas...please email me at pete.cornejo@gmail.com- and I hope you enjoy your trip, I wish I could some day make it to that region, to see my roots.


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