One great thing about how UCC does finals is that it includes a study break that’s at least a week long between the last day of classes and your first final. I got a break of almost two weeks– two weeks I know that I could not spend the entirety of studying. Making sure to block off two solid days before my first final to study, I planned my “study break” around Europe. Read More »
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I feel like I am becoming more and more like a local- which I have to say is a pretty fantastic feeling. Some odd things that have made me realize this: I have lowered my voice (people here are really quiet when they talk, and I hate being in a place and hearing loud Americans ruining a perfect afternoon with their screaming voices), I stand on the left side of the escalator at the metro and scoff when people don’t (for context: if you don’t walk up the steps, you stand on the left of the escalator. People who walk stand on the right side. No one likes that ignorant person who stands on the left side, and you have to walk up to them and angrily say “perdon” so that they move), and I have started to talk more and speak more in Spanish. When I first got here, my first question to people was “Hablas Ingles?” But now, I speak to them in Spanish- and have made full transactions and conversations work in Spanish. I am also trying to think in Spanish, or think in English and think of how I would translate that. My Spanish is really improving here, too- which isn’t saying much I guess, since I am still a pretty big gringo.
Another thing that I realized this week was that I would much rather hang out with my residencia friends than my American friends. Not that there is anything wrong with my American friends- though many of them are in Greek life, which I despise. It is more because it is cool to talk to people from different cultures on a regular basis. My best friends, who I eat dinner with, go out at night with, and talk to daily, are from Mexico, Holland, Italy, Cyprus, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, and Italy. Everyone has a different take on any subject, has a different accent, loves something different, celebrates something differently, etc. It is great experience to speak Spanish with them, and hear them speak it all the time, but I more just love that we all get along, are all friends, and fate has brought us together for 4 months to grow as global citizens.
Anyway, I had another amazing week (which, I am sure you can guess, considering that I am literally living in paradise).
On Monday, I went to dinner with my friend from Holland. The next day, I watched a movie with my residencia friends after studying for my marketing midterm at a cute coffee shop in Gracia.
On Friday, after a nice long 4 mile run, I and went to George Payne’s to watch the Men’s Olympic hockey game. George Payne’s is an Irish bar in the middle of the city, and it was really cool! I felt like I was in America because everyone was speaking English, and they sold hamburgers. I got a euro Estrella Damm, and hung out with Blair, Marissa, Sammy, and Callie, while watching the game and listening to a lot of Canada chants from the obnoxious Canadians.
I went to some pretty awesome parties this week. On Wednesday night, my friends from Holland and Mexico and I went to Shoko, a beach club. They had a special where girls got anything and everything free for an hour, so we took advantage of all the specials, danced for a while, hung out at the beach, and had a fantastic night. On Thursday, I went to Bling Bling and (yet again) enjoyed the chocolate fountain (which is actually becoming an addiction). The music is always good, and I am down for free chocolate and fruit! On Friday, a group of us went to CDLC, another beach club, though the music wasn’t that great and we ended up leaving pretty early. Everything here is free because of promoters, and I love it!
This weekend, I got to go explore Spain! On Saturday, I went to Figueres, Banyoles, and Girona! The trip was pretty magical. When we arrived to Figures, we went to the Salvador Dali museum. It was centered around an interesting courtyard with a car and a boat in it, and the architecture was pretty interesting. I only knew him for the “time” painting (which, unfortunately, it in New York), but his other works were intriguing. He was completely in love with his wife, and a lot of his work was dedicated to her or about her. We also saw jewels that Dali designed, and I can’t fathom the fortune that Dali had access to in order to create those gems. For lunch, Kiara, Jordan, Blair and I went to this fun place with a good menu del dia, and ate in the sun with a lovely conversation. It was really nice to get away from our big group, and I was getting so exhausted of the sorority girls. They spend way too much time being particular about every little thing, say “oh my god” way too much, and don’t have conversations that interest me.
We next went to Banyoles, where we went on a bike ride in the mountains. The weather was absolutely perfect, the lake water was crystal clear blue, and the grass was vivid green. We rode around the bikes for about an hour, and I had casual conversations while enjoying the views.
We then went to Girona, where I walked around and got to know La Rambla and the beautiful town a little better. A group of ten of us had dinner at a nicely priced placed and then we kept walking around and started bar hopping. We went to a couple of different bars and eventually landed up at a cool club. Sunday was also magical. I had such a delicious breakfast (included with the hotel- I had 3 fresh crossaints, yogurt, two apples, pineapple, and a tomato sandwich). We then we went on a pretty cool walking tour of Girona, and I got to see new and beautiful sites. The town has “the best restaurant in the world” as well as “the most romantic restaurant in the world,” as well as an old city wall, a romantic history, and more. We had some free times, so Kiara, Jordan, Blair, and I went to a cafe and hung out in the sun, and then I went off an a 45 minute adventure to see the city more while my friends kept chilling. We went to lunch and I had bread, cod fritter vegetable soup, sea bass and vegetables, flan, and a lot of wine (all included). What a fantastic trip!