Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spain: One Month Mark

What happened this week:

-two end of course exams Friday (i.e. the end of my month long class from 5-9 yayyy)
-I got a roommate for two days but for complicated reasons, she is gone now so I'm back to being pensive in the room.
-The two soccer teams of Sevilla played (Betis vs. Sevilla) and Betis won!!!!! My Spanish family cheers for them as well as Coop and I. Betis is the underdog in the rivalry and when we watched it in a local pub, we definitely high fived and celebrated with some really cute old men who sang the olay, olay, olay, olay song...
-I have realized that a large majority of the bars and clubs do not enjoy the presence of American college students in their city. A very mean bouncer has rejected us on more than one occasion from entering. Although he was a huge jerk, I can't blame him for not wanting us to enter. While watching the Betis/Sevilla game, one person from our group got sick in the bathroom and another broke a glass. And the large majority did not buy anything. Yes, we represent the very broke and unclassy social status of American college students.
-MY SPANISH MADRE GAVE ME A FLAMENCO DRESS!!! So one day after dinner, my madre just starts pulling clothes out of a bag that she wants me to have. Not all of them were gems...but she did give me a flamenco dress that fits perfectly. Her daughter wore it one year to Feria and then didn't want it. Paloma told me it cost 300 euros. I'm seriously feel so lucky to be here.


So I went to Ronda today--VERY FUN, cheap and simple day trip. I met up with Coop at 9 and we strolled to the bus station. Bought tickets to Ronda and realized that besides Coop, Elle, Andrea and I, 9 other people were going to Ronda that day.

Classmates + bag lunches + bus rides = field trip

Speaking of bag lunches, whenever we go on a trip all of our spanish madres pack us bag lunches. For me, it consists of two sub sandwiches (one with pepperoni, one with ham and cheese) and a fruit. Within 15 minutes of being on the bus, I already had started eating my lunch. The rest of the sandwich as well as Coop's tuna and tomato sandwich were gone by the time we got there despite the 5 signs in the bus that say no eating for higienic reasons (since when did Spaniards start worrying about sanitation--milk and meat are not refrigerated in the grocery stores). And then I found 5 euros on the bus...

After the scenic trip of mountains and sheep, we finally arrived in Ronda.

-mountain village. the guadalevin river runs through it and has created a huge and beautiful gorge.
-Ernest Hemingway used to spend time here and the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is based loosely on Ronda. Of course, Coop is reading it right now. How intellectual...
-the oldest bullfighting ring is located in Ronda.

Walked there, took about a million pictures at an overlook spot, randomly ran into an old man, who seemed a bit racist. He definitely asked Derrek, a friend of ours who happens to be black, if he was related to President Obama. I’ve learned here that Spaniards are not very sensitive. My Spanish family continually calls a family friend fat in front of her face and she thinks its funny. Also because there’s so few black people here and there’s no historical tension like in the U.S, Spaniards make note of black people in odd ways (i.e. they have the best tan, are obviously related to Obama, etc.) But it’s definitely not in a racist way. Spaniards LOVE Obama. My senora had a party for him winning.

Anyhow…after that, Elle had a great idea to hike down the gorge area and eat our lunches down there. Even though the hike back up was pretty rough, it was really awesome. You will understand if I ever get the pictures up. I didn’t even bring my camera because everyone else gets so camera happy and Coop takes really good scenic pictures. But seriously, at the end of the day, I was refusing to get in any more pictures. FB will be ridiculous.

Three more extreme highlights of the days:

-a kitkat bar (I’m really starting to miss American food. Huge Mexican food craving today)

-we hiked down a water mine of La Casa Del Rey Moro. It was a big zigzagging staircase carved in rock that led down to the Guadalevin river.

-Coop and I finally found him a hat. Pictures to follow….it’s amazing.

After a long day of hiking, I slept the whole way home on the bus. Surprise Surprise. Rice and Spanish omelet tonight YESSS. Classes at the university tomorrow….


  1. Sounds awesome. As always I am so jealous. PS- Get away from the Americans! How many times must I insist. I love you. Let's talk sometime tomorrow morning (my time) evening (your time).

  2. who is that strapping spaniard in the first pic?
    coop would be jealous if he knew you were hanging out with a dubious ruffian like that... ;)

  3. Coop looks cute in his hat, but he looks like an Irish man and not a Spaniard. Sounds like you guys are having a great time. I can't wait til we come to visit you in Spain.

    Love, Mom

  4. Hi Carolyn! I'm Derrick's Aunt in New York and I was reading your blog...don't ask how I got onto yours while trying to read his! But yes, the Spaniards can be a bit...much although they don't mean any harm...I visited Madrid and know what you're talking about. Be well and tell my nephew hi!

    Aunt Viv