Sunday, January 16, 2011

Monday: We had to wake up at around 7:30 in order to go to the CLM (Centro de Lenguas Modenras…the name of our school) to take a placement exam. It was verryyyyy long but not difficult. There are 9 levels and I placed in level 6. Most of the people from Bucknell are in level 5 or 6 but we range from level 4-8. There are 2 schools one is much prettier than the other but the architecture of both is very Arabic. After the exam we went and got more passport pictures taken for our school IDs. Then we had the afternoon free! I went with a bunch of people to this store called El Corte Ingles that sells American things. It’s very expensive but Katie and I found a cheap blowdryer. There are soooo many sales going on right now! I haven’t bought anything yet but I found this blazer today that was only 29 Euros that I loved, I might go back and get it tomorrow. After shopping we went home for lunch and had soup and these weird empanada type things filled with tuna and tomato. After lunch we met up with all the Bucknell students at the Bucknell office to fill out more paperwork for our classes. Next, we went on a walking tour of the city with Professor Delgado. We saw many churches that used to be mosques but during La Reconquista the Catholics conquered the land and turned the Arab’s mosques into churches.
Then…we went to my favorite place in Granada so far. If you come and visit it will be the first place that I take you. We had to climb a hill for almost an hour and we were exhausted (and sore the next day) but along the way there are these water fountains that have water from the mountains. I’ve never tasted better water in my life. So after climbing and climbing (and it’s a little bit scary because they aren’t really traffic rules in Spain…if the car can fit down the alley…it’s a street. So when a car comes and we’re in a narrow street we all have to stand very close to the wall so our feet don’t get run over) we finally arrived at my favorite place. It’s called Plaza San Nicolas and it looks over ALL of Granada and La Alhambra (the most famous castle in all of spain). There were many people in the plaza playing music and simply enjoying the view. Words cann’t describe how beautiful it is. I was almost in tears with happiness. Afterwards all 28 of us (26 students and Professor Delgado and his wife *side note: professor Delgado reminds me of Mr. Fredrickson, the old man in UP, at the end of the movie when hes happy and funny) packed ourselves into una tetería which is an Arab tea shop. We had many different types of tea and crepes (all paid for by bucknell (im very lucky)). After tea we went down to get our cell phones. This was a terrible experience because the cell phone plans are very confusing and none of us could figure it out. We spent an hour in the shop and all the people there were very annoyed with us because we couldn’t understand the plans. Finally we got phones! Mine is very little and is white and green. I have named it La tortuga (the turtle). For dinner we had tortilla Espanola and cabbage. So far I think tortilla Espanola is my favorite dish. Its kind of like an omelet but made with eggs, potatoes, and garlic. They eat a lot of potatoes here. After dinner all of us met up at the main fountain in the center of the city and went out for mojitos! Nobody really goes out on Monday nights in spain so everything was closed for the most part but we found this great place that is really cheap that I’d love to share with anyone who comes to visit. We went home kind of early because we had had a busy day. That was when I realized that la Tortuga could call the United States for very cheap! I called my mom on the way home and talked to her very briefly and it only cost me .50 euros but it made me SOOO happy because without internet communication has been veryyy difficult. I slept okay that night (its still kind of hard to sleep at night).

Today was our first day of class. For the month of January we have only 1 class but its very day. Katie and I (because we’re both in level 6) have the class from 9-1. We got very lost on our way to the school because the streets in that area are very short and aren’t labeled (similar to Paris) but we were still there before the professor. Time is a strange concept in Spain because it doesn’t reallyyy matter. In my class there are 5 bucknell students and the rest are from different parts of the united states. Our professor said that its really rare that we have a class with only students from the US in it. For the first 2 hours of class we had Adolfo as our teacher and for the second 2 hours we have Lola. They are both really good professors and I like them a lot. Lola is easier to understand than Adolfo but generally I can understand everything that they’re saying. After class we went to the office in order to use the internet. It was so nice to finally go online (that was when I posted my entry from Sunday). After the office we went home for lunch and had another type of soup. After lunch we showered for the first time at our house. Our showers have to be less than 5 minutes but we CAN keep the water on the whole time (contrary to what I had originally heard). It was kind of cold but it felt so good to finally shower. After the shower we had our siesta! It was nice to sleep. I sure love my naps. Afterwards Katie and I wandered the streets of Granada and went shopping a little bit. I’m in search of school supplies! We got home around 9 and had dinner. Dinner tonight was very strange. We had French fires, hot dogs, and an egg. I ate it all (por supuesto) but I prefer when she doesn’t try and copy American dishes. We spent almost 3 horus at the dinner table watching TV and talking. I absolutely love my senora. She is so adorable and cares about Katie and me mucho. She helped us with our homework tonight and explained words that we didn’t know. As it got later and later my Spanish began failing me and I went off to bed.

I just reread this entry…my theory is correct. As my Spanish improves my English grammar is worsening haha. There simply isn’t room in my brain for both languages haha
Please comment and send e-mails to because I want to know what is going on in the US and I want to know your thoughts about my adventures.
Te amo y te extraño

Wednesday was really nice because we weren’t crazy busy so I could actually enjoy the city. The weather here is incredible. I definitely didn’t need as many sweaters as I brought. Nothing too exciting happened on Wednesday except I bought boots! Right now is las rebajas (sales) and I bought a pair of beautiful leather boots that were originally 200E for 60E!!! I was sooooooooo excited! Wednesday night we went out to a discoteca and it was fun but in general I don’t like to go out on school nights. Something that I love about the size of this city is everyday Katie and I run into some of our friends from Bucknell in the streets. It makes the city seem so much less intimidating and its so nice to run into familiar faces. It is sometimes very overwhelming but a few days ago Katie and I were asked for directions and we actually knew where to tell them to go!! After theyw alekd away we jumped up and down because we were so excited that we were finally getting the hang of things, and it hasn’t even been a week!
We had our first gross meal on Wednesday. She made various tapas for us and the main one was (ready for it, because its really gross) fried bread with potatoes, muchoooo mayo, and peas. It was so weird.

Thursday began the same way with classes and everything and the morning was a little difficult because we went out the night before and we were tired. However, we have 3 new students in our class that are grad students. One is from LA, one is from Vietnam, and one is from Italy. The guy from italy is HILARIOUS. His accent is soooo funny! And he says the funniest things, it made class today much easier. Having 4 hours of class in a row is really rough but we get a little break in the middle. For lunch today we had cucumber and cheese soup (so good!) and pasta with a mint sauce that she made from her garden. After lunch we slept all afternoon and then met up with our group for a class with professor Delgado. We ate churros and talked about our host moms (I prefer this class to the grammar class in the mornings haha). The churros here are different to the ones in Mexico. They remind me of funnel cakes a little bit but instead of sugar, you get a cup of chocolate and you dip them in it. Sooooo good. After churros we went for a glass of wine and tapas. When you order a drink you get tapas for free. There were 8 of us and we split 2 bottles of wine (the bottles here are much smaller) and we got 2 tapas. Tortilla Espanola (my favorite) and these really good olives. It was only 3.5E a person! After dinner Katie and I wandered home and Lolita knew that we were going for churros so instead of making us a big meal she made us a wonderful salad with hard boiled eggs and avocado. (mom when you’re here you need to learn how to make her salad dressing es muy sabroso). We had the funniest dinner with Lolita. We were laughing so hard we were crying.
Her phone company has sent her a router for the internet which should arrive any day now and then her son is going to come and set it up. Hopefully we have internet before Monday. It has been very difficult to not have internet but I’ve been reading a lot! I’m already done with one of the books I brought so I’m going to have to start trading books with people.
I’m very excited for the weekend so I can sleep a lot and wander around our neighborhood. We don’t know our neighborhood that well because we’re always on our way somewhere else. I also want to go back uphill to the part of the city that has the most Arab influence. The stores over there are soooo cool!
Obviously I’m miserable and hate spain. I hate my senora and the food is terrible I want to leave asap and never come back. (un broma) hehe me siento como la chica que tiene más suerte de todo el mundo!!
Mom- while I’m thinking of it please bring me dental floss. They don’t have it here and I keep getting stuff stuck in my teeth. I’ve gone everywhere and las dueñas say that you can only buy it at the dentist office.

Tal luego!

Friday & Saturday 1/14-1/15
I have the flu. It sucks being sick in spain. I haven’t left my bed since I went to class on Friday. My senora is being a very good nurse, bringing me medicine, tea, and toast. I’m feeling a little better today but I still have a fever. I took a cold shower today and it helped. I’m hoping to leave the house tomorrow because I’m getting cabin

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