Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sevilla is a dangerous city

My professor started class with that sentence our first day. She said, "Sevilla is a dangerous city." She then explained that it's dangerous because Americans/travelers in general don't want to go home. I already feel this way. I know I have an entire semester ahead of me, but Bloomington really doesn't seem all that appealing.

Tomorrow I have a midterm! It's for my two week class, but it's very important that I do well. My grades transfers directly into my IU GPA and thus appear on my transcript. My professor told me not to worry about it, but I still can't help it. Hopefully it will be as easy as she says. I hope this won't be like her promise about the museum being open. I have all day tomorrow to study, so hopefully it will sink in.

I think that my family is starting to warm up to me. My señora came into my room today to show off her new boots. They're great looking! I asked her where the store is, because I want to get a pair. Absolutely everyone wears boots here. I feel like I need a pair to blend in. The easiest way to spot Americans is to look at their shoes and coats. Gym shoes, Uggs and North Faces are all big No-Nos.

This morning I had an assignment to go to the Universidad de Sevilla to ask students questions. As I previously mentioned, the point was to compare Spanish and American student's perspectives on higher education and life in general. I'm not sure if it worked like we had planned. Nonetheless, it was a good opportunity to get out there and practice my spanish.

Today for lunch we had peas and a fried egg all mixed together. It was interesting to say the least. I'm not a huge fan of peas, but I said I liked it. She said that her boys won't eat it, so she has to make it when they're at their dad's. Tonight I had a frozen pizza. It was halfway decent. Antonia and Antonio went to the movies, so I'm camped out on the couch. I can't say I really did any studying like I had planned.

The food here has certainly been something I've needed to adjust to. When I first got here I told Antonia that I didn't eat pork. She said that they didn't eat a lot of pork, just ham. Needless to say, I've been eating a fair amount of pork. I also had fish for the first time ever the other day. It wouldn't be something I would order at a restaurant, but I still managed to eat it. I told Antonia that my mom said thank you for making me eat it. If I understood her correctly, she said that she'd make it for my family when they come to visit. There's still a fair amount that's lost in translation. I just try to smile, laugh and nod my head. Even in the week I've been here I've noticed improvements.

The TV shows aren't really getting any easier to understand. Every single day we watch the same game show at lunch. After that it's Antonia's favorite show, el amar en tiempos revueltas, rough translations: love in rough times. It's a soap opera that is supposed to take place in the 1950s in Spain. I love the theme song, but that's about all I can understand. On today's episode the police showed up at one of the character's houses. It was a mess.

I've really enjoyed not having to cook, or do anything for that matter. I have been trying to keep my room clean...and so the saga continues. My señora did all of my laundry and cleaned my room and bathroom the other day. So I really have no complaints. The only thing I do around here is help set the table for meals. I've really lucked out.

I thought of another different custom, but I'm afraid it's escaping me at the moment. One difference is the importance of turning off the lights. Mom and Dad, hopefully this is something that will transfer back to the US. I've always known the importance of turning the lights off, but I know I could have done better. (Mom and Dad please take those smirks off your faces.) Point being, since it's so expensive here it's really important that as soon as you leave the room you turn the light off. This was something they told me right away. I thought I was being good with it until my señora asked me to turn off my bedroom light for the minute I was in the bathroom. When the boys are home she's always yelling at them to turn the lights off.

Here is the entryway to my apartment

My room! It's quite small, but it works. It's really strange, the door has a large glass panel/window. It's tinted, but you can still see through. When I first got here, I was like wow, this is going to be interesting. My señora quickly put up a curtain, but I'm not sure how much good it does. It's sheer white, so when the light is on you can still see in. I basically change in my closet. I'm having trouble loading the other photos, so I'll try again soon.

Ok, well I should probably take my dishes into the kitchen before Antonia and Antonio get back. I don't want them to know that I literally haven't moved since they left 3 hours ago.

Hasta luego,

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