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La Primera Semana: Impresiones

September 10, 2010

Once I moved in to my homestay, something a little traumatic happened: first, I didn’t have an adaptor. I managed to find an El Corte Ingles – basically the Spanish equivalent to Macy’s – and the man there managed to understand what I was trying to ask for and find me just what I wanted. And I came home and plugged it in and my computer wasn’t zapped from that high European voltage.

And then the internet didn’t work.

Minor freak out (in my head, as to not worry the hosts) and a day later the internet man arrives and it’s been working mostly okay so far. Whew.

I wasn’t prepared to not be connected to home constantly. To not be able to communicate at all with anything I knew, and that was too difficult.

But luckily! Here I am! Back connected! Video-chatting and trying to figure out how I could call the family.

I keep getting happier and happier with my homestay. There is this perfect degree of freedom – I come and go as I please, but have someone nearby who cares a lot about my comfort and safety. I feel at ease joining Manuela, my señora, watching the news or the telenovellas, or Los Simpsons and Walker Texas Ranger – she was sure to point out to me that the Nazi’s were the bad guys and that Chuck Norris was the best one. I tried to explain to her that jokes about Chuck Norris are very popular in the US, but I’m not sure she understood.

If you don’t either, there’s this: http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/

There’s this awkward aspect of living here, where I am served my meals and eat totally alone and am told not to clear my plates of what I don’t eat, much less take them to the table or pour my own water. I fight those last to, insisting that, “¡Necesito hacer algo!¡Necesito ayudar!”

But Manuela won’t let me do much.

Leanor getting her picture taken!

It’s hardly us alone, though. Someone from Manuela’s family is always here. Her granddaughter just started her first day of school today – even though she’s only two – and she spends a lot of time here. Her mother (whose name I keep forgetting! It’s so bad!) is very, very pregnant and her new son Manuel will be born any day now. Leonore – or however you would spell it in Spain – has really taken a liking to me. I hear “Te quiero” an awful lot.

Randomly, I added a clause to my housing application about how if there were pets in the house, it would be fantastic. And I am now so happy I did. My immediate best friend is the house puppy named… well I have no idea how to spell it but her name is pronounced Like-uh. She is little and great and nothing like Andy. She’s obviously not used to sitting on people’s laps, or on furniture, or held. She sleeps on the floor.

Like-uh! In my room.

She doesn’t come until she’s called, and sometimes she’ll just stare at me waiting to call her over and pet her. She’ll lie on her back so I can pet stomach and she’ll sit next to my feet while I eat breakfast in the kitchen.

I could go on, but I won’t. I’m just so glad she’s here.

My room is small, but I have everything I need: a lamp and a desk and a chair and a bed that’s comfortable and plenty of room for my clothes.

And a fan.

The important, important fan. It is still very hot outside and I totally understand this siesta thing now. I have been getting very used to an afternoon nap and hours allotted to not doing much at all.

We’ve explored the city a lot, a lot more and walked so, so much, even though we’ve mainly stayed with El Centro. When I say “we,” I mean the six of us Teaching Development Program students – well, sometimes it’s the five of us that live in the same apartment area – Amy (who lives right above me and goes to PSU), Charlotte, Tim, and Sarah. Annette lives far away in student housing, so it’s proved difficult to meet up with her when no one has a phone but Charlotte.

I never stop being surprised at how beautiful everything is. We walked into a church down the street from our homes just because the doors were open, and all of a sudden we were in this amazing church that would be pointed out in any US guidebook. My jaw literally dropped. I really wish I had gotten a better picture of the altar – an amazing Last Supper scene meters in the air. It just pulls you in.

Entering la iglesia

I wish I had taken a better picture of the altar. Oh well.

The ceiling de la iglesia

Anyway, more pictures from our walk today. Sorry this is sooo loooong. Whoever you are reading this and making it all the way through.

We’re going on a scavenger hunt around the city, so there will surely, surely be more pictures tomorrow, if nothing else.

¡Hasta luego!

Some graffitti. There seems to be a lot more in our area than downtown.

Some more graffitti.

The Sevilla bike share, Sevici!

Sarah and Tim sitting in the plaza of our apartamientos, right across from my current residence.

Part of the Universidad de Sevilla

The ceiling of the post office.

p.s. I do start taking classes on Monday. This isn’t all vacation and fun. In addition to wandering the city this afternoon, we figured out our registration and class schedule this morning, besides the class that I will be teaching. Scary scary. More on that when we get there.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. ANA! permalink
    September 11, 2010 6:08 pm

    well holy beeznitches! my little sofie, i would like a dog. i want to meld our china/spain experiences. this sounds amazing. YEAH i made it all the way though your post, it’s enthralling! but who is to say if the beer helps or hinders. keep blogging, this is the besttttt!

  2. Polina permalink
    September 12, 2010 8:22 pm

    Laika!
    In Russian Laika is a type of dog, a husky maybe? And a very popular dog name.

    Love you sof!

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