Saturday, February 13, 2010

'Tiana y el sapo' y el autobús

Several important things have happened this week. Let's catch you all up:

1. Our 'Seminario cultural' class ended. Actually, it will be officially over once we turn in our corrected essays next Thursday. But for simplicity's sake, let's just say its done.

2. Actual classes at the MCP center started. I've decided to only take one class at our center, and four at la Universidad. I feel like this will give me a more authentic experience here, and also allow me to make more Spanish friends. The class I'm taking at the center is Taller de escritura creativa (Creative Writing). Watch out Pablo Neruda, I'm about to write some beautiful Spanish poetry.

3. We celebrated Nate's (a boy in our program) 21st birthday this week by going to La carbonería. The only thing I can think of to compare it to would be the House of Blues, but with a more relaxed, local feel. Musicians come and give free concerts, and usually go on to be famous. I was surprised we were all able to find it; it's located on a curvy, narrow street near the center of the city and doesn't even have a sign outside, which actually of makes it cooler. We all ordered 'Agua de Sevilla,' which is a drink that has whip cream on top. ¡Delicioso! After, we went to a discoteca where Nate and I subsequently had a very American dance competition. (I'll say that he won because it was his birthday, but next time...)

[Me, Allie, Khemi, and Melissa enjoying our Agua de Sevilla.]

4. I received a package from my family on Monday (thanks guys!), containing 4 chocolate bars and about 20 mini twix bars. Four twix bars remain...

5. Chantel's friend, Lindsey, came to visit from Barcelona. Thursday night we went out to a bar in 'La alameda de Hércules' , literally translated, the Tree-lined Avenue of Hercules. This name is ironic because there are no trees there. We visited this very cool bar that was void of any other Americans (something that we try to look for wherever we can). Lindsey doesn't speak very much Spanish, her program is English-based, and so we were all speaking English. A man came over and in slightly tipsy Spanish told us to stand up and mingle with the rest of the people at the bar. We attempted to explain to him that we had a visitor that didn't speak Spanish, but to no avail. It turns out he was French, and a jerk. At one point, he tried to tell us that all American girls are the same. We weren't about to take that kind of treatment, so we peaced out of there en poco tiempo.

I think the coolest thing that has happened this week, so far, occurred last night. Melissa, Gayle, Haley and I decided to see our first movie in a Spanish theater, and chose "Tiana y el sapo." You can find the trailer here: All three of them live in Nervión, which is a completely different neighborhood on the other side of the river, meaning that I had to take the bus. While waiting for it to arrive, a girl came up and asked me if I knew when the next C2 was coming, the same bus I needed. I explained that I wasn't from here and had no idea, which sparked our 30 minute conversation that lasted until she told me that I needed to get off. We talked about cultural differences, the high rate of unemployment in Spain, why theaters here have assigned seats (to try to stop people from sneaking into other movies), and how she is afraid of flying. I even asked her how young people do stuff here, since they all live at home. She laughed pretty hard at that, and told me that people pay for hotels! Either that, or they call their boyfriends/girlfriends as soon as their parents leave. If they're really desperate, dark parks. Needless to say, PDA is very, very common here.

Tonight we're going to Cadiz for Carnaval, which is like New Orlean's Mardi Gras and Halloween combined. Costumes are a must, and my friends and I have prepared well. Channy is a nerd, Melissa is a devil, Gayle is the night sky, and Haley is a lamp. Chencha and Rocío helped me with my costume last night, but I'm going to keep it a secret until my next blog, because without pictures, it sounds lame. I guess you'll just have to check back soon...

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