Thursday, January 14, 2010
A day in the life...
[The photo is of me, Nate, and Chantel eating ice cream in between classes today. So tasty!]
In a word, today was maravilloso. It was the first time that I didn’t feel like I had “AMERICAN” written in bold on my forehead; the first time I felt even remotely like a Sevillano.The reason? I finally have a home and a family! Instead of walking to class with 35 other Americans (some of whom are still speaking English…ugh), I strolled along the river with Chantel after an authentic home meal of chicken, rice, and salad. And speaking Spanish the whole time.
Our Mom, Chencha, is incredible. She lives on the first floor of an apartment building in un barrio (neighborhood) that is called Los remedios. Chantel and I are sharing a room, which is what we asked for. Our room has enough closet space for the two of us, although Chantel brought 70% of the clothes we have here. Also, we have our own bathroom. Which has a badai. A question for the Europeans: why do you love badais so much? Why? Whatever, it is beyond me…
So, what can I say about Chencha? To start, she is incredibly welcoming. As is the custom here, she gave us two kisses, one on each cheek, and then proceeded to bear hug us. All Sevillanos are touchier than Americans, but Chencha was especially warm.
In addition, I have a feeling that Chencha was a little bit of a wild child in her youth. She has already taught Chantel and I many bad words in Spanish, most of them over the dinner table. (Hayley and Lauren, I’m going to be able to insult you so much when I get back!) As a present, I gave her an Oregon calendar, soap made with Oregon rain, a bag of Beaver Brittle, and a box of truffles. Our gift-exchange conversation went as follows (translated into English):
Me: Here is a calendar of Oregon, a bar of soap, and carmels. And these are truffles, or sweets.
Chencha: These are chocolate?
Me: Yes, they do have chocolate.
Chencha: Oh, wonderful! For me, chocolate is the substitute for sex. I LOVE CHOCOLATE!
That’s Chencha for you. She also has a son, who still lives at home. He’s 45 years old. Yes, 45. Apparently this is not strange in Spain. Mom and Dad, how would you feel if I was still living with you at that age?...That’s what I thought. ☺
Tomorrow, we have a meeting in our center about safety, followed by a bus tour of the city. I can feel “AMERICAN” coming back already…