I have been in Spain for una semana (1 week). Here are a few things I had to learn muy rapido (very quickly):
Spain is in the middle of a “crisis.” As you may know, Spain isn’t doing too hot financially. All Sevillians are constantly talking about the “crisis.” The “crisis” is usually at fault for most bad things that happen daily, por ejemplo (for example): your shoelaces brake or you step in a puddle.
Do NOT walk in the bike/elderly/roller blading lane. You may die.
Use the word “servicio” for service (such as cell phone service in other parts of the Andalucian area)…servico means toilets.
Don’t go out for drinks before 11 PM.
Snacking is AMERICAN…still working on that one.
If you need to pay your bill at a restaurante (restaurante), don’t use the verb pEgar…that means to hit. So your waiter will think you want to cage fight him. The correct verb is pAgar. Uffta, that could have been a close one.
This week was orientation with the program that I am working with during my stay here in Spain. During this week I have meet so many awesome people, walked ALL over Seville, siesta-d, and have eaten waaaay too many tapas. The last two were really difficult. My program CIEE has been so helpful, they have literally helped me with every step of the way to get to Sevilla and they will still be helping me even as I live in Bollullos. In my 4 week Immersion there are about 50 of us hanging out for the week. I have already made some great friends (many of them will be in my providence of Huelva too!), and have had a chance to see much of the city!
Since I have a lot of free time right now, I was able to visit/experience many things this past weekend. On Saturday my friends and I (yes, I FINALLY have friends!) took the train to a city called Cadiz located in provience of Cadiz. For the day we walked around this historic center, laid on the beach, and ate tapas. It was a very difficult day. Some geography of the area, the city of Cadiz is a peninsula, meaning that it is a strip of land surrounded by water on at least three sides. Cadiz is also a port, so there were many mercados (markets) full of fresh seafood. Although every Sevillian says city in Spain is beautiful, Cadiz has found a place in my heart!
Such a rough day at the beach:
This week I have moved in with my new host Senora, Margarita. She is amazing. Literally. When she was younger she was the best flamenco dancer in her town. She is a great cook (don’t worry mom, I am still being fed waaaaay too much). And she has a cat named Leo (pronounced L-eh-o) who likes to watch me from my window. Let’s just say we are working on our relationship. So for the month of September, I will be living in the northern area of Sevilla called Macarena, it’s about 20 to 25 minute walk to the center of town.
Also this week I started my Spanish class! I am in a Pre-Intermediate class, so I finally get to learn how to talk about things in the past and future!!! Already I am loving my professora Elo, she is super bubbily and really has a passion for teaching Spanish! I will be having Spanish every week day for about 4 hours each morning, and then have my afternoons and evenings free! I really like CLIC not just for the education aspect, but they also have so many other activities outside of school! I have gotten to tour the bull fighting ring and museum, visited a beach in Huelva (again very rough day) called la Playa de Cuesta Maneli, and this weekend I have a day trip to a city called Ronda in Malaga!
Although I have only been in Sevilla for little over a week, I am already feel like this city is my home. It is such a beautiful city with so many amazing aspects. I am enjoying every minute of this experience. And yes, I have had my spurts of homesicknesses, but I am having the time of my life here!
I guess I should continue to adapt to the Sevillian culture and get my siesta on! Hasta Luego!