Tuesday, January 12, 2010
A.N.O. (Americans' Night Out)
I took two showers today, one actually in the bathroom, and one when I went outside into the city...Yes, its pouring here in Sevilla, a very rare occurrence here. At least thats what all the Sevillanos keep telling us. I´m glad most of them don't know I'm from Oregon, otherwise they'd probably blame the weather on me. (Considering some people think it rains EVERY single day in Oregon. You know who you are...)
Last night, all of the people from our program decided to bond through a night on the town. Seeing that it was a Monday, the night life was pretty...scarce. As in, nobody else was out. Literally, we were the only ones in the bar, except our bartender, her friend (obviously there to keep her company on boring Monday nights), and whoever was on the video screen at the time. Don't think that this means Sevillanos don't like to rock the party...Channy and I saw a man during lunch today have a bottle of wine. By himself. At 1:30 in the afternoon. Oh yeah, they like their alcohol.
It turned out to be a good thing that we were the only ones out, because we weren´t afraid to act like who we really are: annoying Americanos. We took an irritating amount of pictures of ourselves, we sang along to Guns and Roses, and we kept screaming "ESTAMOS EN SEVILLA" randomly. Yes, I would say that we stuck out just a little bit. In the end, it helped us get to know one another better and be more comfortable around each other. After all, these people are going to be the closest thing I have to the States (how exotic does that make me sound?) for the next five and a half months...
Besides attempting to avoid the rain while sharing my one, small umbrella with Channy (she was able to fit 24 ball point pens and a basketball in her suitcase, but failed to bring an umbrella), I began my Seminario Cultural today. This is a month long seminar run by our program center that intensively teaches us about the culture of Sevilla and España in general. Each week (Monday through Thursday) we study a different topic; this week, its the history of democracy (or lack thereof) in Spain. In addition, we have a grammar class each day. Normally, grammar is not something that I look forward to at all, but the professor seems funny, so it should be interesting.
The program center itself is beautiful. It's located on the 2nd floor (it's actually the third, but in Spain, the first floor's number is zero, unlike in the states) this old building, constructed in the 1920s. It has an old elevator that you have to close the doors to for it to operate. I'm not brave enough to try it yet, plus it takes energy that I don't need to waste (love mother earth). Anyways, the view from the center looks out onto the river that runs through Sevilla, Río Guadalquivir. If I ever need inspiration I'll simply look out the window and see how beautiful and romantic this city is..
So far, I think the hardest thing has been that I have absolutely no idea where I am at any time. It seems to me that the architects that designed this city had an extreme aversion to straight lines and order, because almost every street is narrow and curvy and just plain confusing. I've only just begun to be able to recognize important landmarks. Thankfully, Channy has an excellent sense of direction and has been able to lead us around. I provide the umbrella, and she makes sure we don't get lost. A perfect partnership!
Time to get to mi tarea for tomorrow. ¡Hasta luego!