Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm HOME! ( last blog)

Hi everyone! Italic
Let's see...the last few days have been pretty crazy. Thursday I woke up around 7:45 to study a little for my Oral Exam in POE. The exam was at 12:30, and went decently well...not as well as I had hoped. I think I was just too excited that I couldn't think straight! I got back to Jardines and started to pack. It took about...3 hours. We had our last lunch with everyone, and that was sorta sad. After lunch I packed for a little more and then walked with Chryssi, Florian, Adam and Lauren to drop Marisa off at her bus. After that Merete and I walked around a bunch, taking pictures and getting gifts for people. I guess a lot of people had that idea, because we saw a TON of AIFS kids walking around getting presents for people! We had our last dinner at Jardines (hot dogs and eggs), and we said goodbye to some of the people. Marta kept saying "que pena", which basically means 'how sad'. She just sorta wandered out of the comedor, looking sad. It made me even more sad to be leaving! After dinner, Merete packed a little more and I waited for her before we left for the bar Odeon to meet all of the other AIFS people. A few of the kids, Armand, Colby and Max had been taking photos the whole trip of people not paying attention, etc. so they had put together a movie to show everyone. Unfortunately it didn't work when they tried to play it at the bar. We all then went to this disco called Metro, where a lot of the Spaniards met up with us. That was really fun, because it was like a big goodbye party. Everyone was there! We left around 3 to say goodbye at Neptuno to the first busload of AIFS kids leaving to catch their planes in Malaga. It was really sad. However, Colby had brought his computer so we got to see the video they had made! A few people had told me that they saw part of it, and that I make an appearance that was the best part of the movie, so I was a bit nervous as to what that included, haha. It ended up that the song they used at one part was a popular one that goes "Maria Mariaaaa", so when that song started there were like 6 pictures they had taken off of my Facebook and just thrown in there. Haha.
After that bus of kids left, we went back to shower and finish packing. Florian came over around 5am to Jardines to help us bring our stuff to Neptuno to our bus. Leaving with me was Merete, Breana, Will, and then Adam and Florian with us. It was super sad! After we finally made our way to Neptuno (those bags were first one was 83 pounds before I evened them out!) we said our goodbyes. Inma was there to send us off. Florian looked like he was about to cry, and he reminded us about the first day he was there and how he remembered seeing Will and I in the basement when he was getting a tour of Jardines. He goes "you guys were my first friends here! It won't be the same!" Aww. He made me promise that when he goes to New York in July that I'll come visit. That would be so much fun!!!!!
Well, our bus left, and as we pulled away, Colby, Jacqui and Max mooned us. Wonderful. Haha. It was very sad driving out of Granada...
We got to Malaga and Paula was waiting for us. She had been there with the first group of kids. She helped us get through the check-on process, and then said her goodbyes and told us we were on our own! Yikes! There was a rather large group of us...about 20 on that plane, so that was fun, even though it was only about an hour and a half to Madrid. Once we go to Madrid, we ate some food, and then waited for our plane to Dallas/Fort Worth. That plane ride was 10 hours and 55 minutes, but it actually didn't feel that long at all. They showed the latest Harry Potter movie and Madagascar 2, so that helped. We had 2 meals, but I was so confused as to what time it was that I couldn't tell if I was supposed to be hungry, or what, haha. We landed in Texas around 5:30 and made our way through customs. The guy at customs was super nice, and all he asked me about was why I had dyed my hair...he liked the blonde. Weird. Anyway, we said our goodbyes to people who were leaving to other parts of the airport, and those who like in Texas. There were 6 of us (Taryn, Liz, Breana, Yuri, Will and I) on the Dallas to Minneapolis flight. We all hung out while we waited for our flight. It was weird being back in the states where everything was in English. Well, actually, Dallas was sorta a middle-ground for getting back into English, since there were a lot of people speaking Spanish there too. We all got smoothies...yumm...but I almost ordered in Spanish! I kept thinking prices were in Euros, and was like "Geez, a 4 Euro smoothie...that's like 6 dollars. Maybe I'll pass." Haha. Will said he by accident talked to one guy in a store in Spanish, but the guy just answered him in Spanish so it worked out. Haha.
Our plane was delayed by half an hour, so we ended up leaving there around 9:15pm. That flight seemed to take the longest since I was so excited. As we got into the Minneapolis area, I could see the snow on the ground! Yay!! We landed around 11:30 and then headed to the baggage claim. We got our HUGE bags and said our goodbyes. Will and I waited for my mom, and when she got there, we somehow managed to get all of our bags into our Camery! Wow!
Our traveling took 24 hours total, and I had been awake for over 50 hours. The last time I had gone to bed was after Granada 10 on Wednesday night. Haha.

It's weird to be home. I keep thinking in terms of things in Spain: Everything is still in Euros to me, the toilets flush funny here, and it's SUPER QUIET. I miss everyone that I met over there, but I'm definitely happy to be back home. It really is starting to feel like Christmas time now, with the snow and everything.

Well, I just want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blogs. It really means a lot that you guys could enjoy my experiences with me through my writing. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I hope I get to tell y'all even more stories the next time I see you! Have a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year! Thanks again!

Hasta pronto!
M :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guess what...



All packed and ready to 5:45 am. We're all going out and not sleeping, so I'll already be on MN time. Wonderful :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Profesor Florián

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I got up a little early this morning to study some more before my 12:30 Lit test. It is sooooooo much information to remember, but surprisingly, I think I actually memorized my 9 pages of notes. I got to the room a little early to get settled, and it seemed like everyone else was there, studying, as well. Cram session! Mariangeles handed out the tests, and I got started. I wrote an essay on literature in the 50s, and then another essay on literature in the 60s and 70s. Then, we had to analyze this one poem by Blas de Otero which we had done in class, so that was decently easy. Overall, I think it went well, except my hand hurt really bad from so much writing (I basically wrote everything twice because of the scratch paper I wrote on as well). Whew. At least that’s over. Now it’s on to Grammar studying.

Hopefully I get enough done before tonight because people are going out for Chinese food to celebrate Lewis’ last day here before he goes home for Christmas. So far I have about 3 pages of my study guide done and it’s only 3:00, so I think I’ll make it! This is my last big test, and then I just have my POE oral exam and the POE paper, which I already had Mariangeles read through. YAY!


Well, we went out for Chinese food. I had been studying the whole day, so it was nice to go out. In total, there were about 17 of us in the little restaurant! A lot of Lewis’ friends from the University were there (including some of the girls from the other night at Florian’s). It was fun just hanging out with them.

After dinner, Florian came over to help Will with his paper, but ended up trying to tutor us in grammar. It was really funny, but very helpful. We ended up online, doing exercises on different websites. On one of them, (after Florian ‘approved’ the answers) we ended up getting 4 wrong. He was horrified. We went back through, and a few that I thought were wrong WERE wrong! HA! J Because of that, we decided to try one in English and have Florian fill it out. He learned a new word, “whose”, so I consider it a successful night. It was definitely interesting trying the English version of the exercises we do in grammar class!

I hope Sr. Florian’s help follows me to the test tomorrow! Merete and I plan on getting up around 6 to study some more. So…if nothing else, at least I’ll be awake for the test by 10:30…or falling asleep during it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tire su basura aquí.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Today, as I mentioned, it DID snow. However, it wasn’t nearly enough for it to stick, it just looked like it rained a bit. I got up a little earlier than normal (around 7am) to go to school a bit early to study. I went down to breakfast earlier than normal as well, so I sat with some different people. I had my notebook out and was studying some of my notes, so the Spaniards I was sitting with asked me about my exam. They said it was mean that I would have a Spanish test at 8:30 in the morning. They said they’d hate it if they had an English test that early!

So, I took my Culture test, which I was a little nervous about. Pilar told us the format, and once again, it was a bit different. She said since it was a lot more information than the mid-term, that the questions would be shorter. I thought that made sense, and was expecting fill in the blank questions, or just short 2-sentence questions. It turned out it was a 6 page test with 6 questions. We were expected to write everything we knew about a few select topics that she chose. YIKES. I felt bad for the people who hadn’t gone in depth with their studying, because I even had trouble remembering some of the details! (My 15 page study guide was just enough!) I think it went okay in general, though it’s always an odd feeling after taking a big exam like that. At lunch, the Spaniards checked in with me about the test. Luckily I felt like I could say it went well!

I started to study for Literature after lunch. I went pretty well because I had most of the study guide done already. It’s just a LOT of information—from the literature Generation of 1914 to the 70s. Whew. Time for some hard core memorization!

Will and I went to Dunkin Coffee for a short break, but brought our study stuff along as well. While sitting there, we realized that some Spaniards are VERY messy. People just leave their trays on the tables (as we’ve also seen them do in places such as Burger King), even though the trash cans clearly say “throw your trash away here” (in Spanish). There was this one guy at Dunkin who was sitting at the table behind us. He was done with his tray and I watched him get up and walk toward the trash can. I thought for once that maybe he was going to throw his food away, but he stopped about 10 feet short at this table where a group of girls were just leaving. He asked them if they were leaving and when they said yes, he placed his tray down and walked back to his table. The girls didn’t think anything of it, but I was shocked. Why didn’t he just walk the extra 10 feet to throw it away, rather than just leave it for one of the poor workers to clean up! I almost felt obligated to go clean it up myself. It was a very odd situation.

Well, time for more studying. Wish me suerte with my Literature final. It’s gonna be tough!

Welcome, Minnesota. We've been expecting you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

This just made my day:

Scarlett in the kitchen: “¡Elena! ¡Elena!”

Elena upstairs cleaning: “¿Si?”

Scarlett: ¡Hay nieve!”

I went rushing to the window, and sure enough, it’s SNOWING.

Florian (from the Canarias) later at lunch: “Geez, it’s cold outside. How cold do you think it is?”

Me: “Well, about 0, because it snowed.”

Florian: “It didn’t snow.”

Me: “Yes it did!”

Florian: “S*** I missed it!”

I hear MN got some snow as well. I also heard that it might be snowing on Friday, as we're trying to fly into the Twin Cities. Regardless, I guess I'll just have to send Florian a photo of snow when I get home. Oh, and Daryl too.

What'd you do today? Studied.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Today I did end up meeting Daryl’s parents. I felt bad I couldn’t go out to eat with them because I had so much studying to do, but studying gets me good grades, not eating. They came back to Jardines after they ate (at our Chinese place!) and so I met them there. Daryl actually brought me leftovers! Aww. They were super nice, and it looked like they were enjoying their time in Spain so far. I just hope it doesn’t snow tomorrow like it says it’s going to! Yikes! That would be an interesting Alhambra trip!

Well, as I said, I spent literally the whole day studying for Culture. That’s the exam for tomorrow. It’s about…50 pages full of info that I decided to make into my own study guide. It only ended up being a 15 page study guide. No pasa nada. My hand just hurts, and you know you’re in for a tough exam when the study guide uses up a whole pen. Oh well. It’s worth it in the end. It’s just hard to watch other people whose grades only come back at pass/fail. They’re all “come play futbol”, “let’s go out to tapas”, but I have to studyyyyy. It’s really an unfortunate way to spend my last week in Spain.

Will went out and grabbed 2 pizzas from the NEW Dominoes. They re-did the whole store, so we hadn’t been able to get food from there, but Will says it's nicer now! It was a 2 for 1 deal, so we both spent the rest of the evening with our study guides on top of our pizza boxes. Mmm.

I was over with Will and Adam, studying when Victor came to the door. He told us that he was leaving in the morning and came to say "farewell". It was first goodbye! He was really easy to talk to, so I enjoyed sitting with him at meals. I thanked him for his help, once again, with our Canarias project. He said we're always invited to visit. Mom? Dad? Let's go!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A crazy meal for a rather boring day

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This morning was really funny. Everyone got up just before lunch (well, I had to get started on some homework so I was up a little before it). Merete and I walked downstairs and everyone was in their sweatpants and sweatshirts, chattering away, waiting for the comedor to open. We went in, and the first thing Elena says is “Alguien quiere cerveza?” Haha, I thought she was kidding because of how everyone looked, but she wasn’t! They had so much left over from last night that she was just going around and pouring people cerveza. Oh, Jardines. Then she came around with Coke and Fanta (I opted for Coke). We had our normal sopa, but then came the meal of the century. It was all of the leftovers from the party last night. Chips, potato salad, thin sliced pork with sauce, fried ham and fish, croquetas, cookies, apples, oranges, etc. It was awesome! (And I’m sure Scarlett liked that she didn’t have to cook…just microave!)

Then I did more homework…until about 11:30 pm. I did some more of my Literature study guide, and then started on my Grammar. I took a short break around 7:30 to go see all of the Christmas lights in the streets turn on, except they never did. That seemed normal though, because Spaniards are never on time! We waited until about 8:10 and then gave up. A lot of people were waiting around for them…oh well. Will and I wandered up to our Shwarma place to get one last one before we leave on Friday. It was soooooooooo good, as usual. I continued with my homework and then Will and I watched Good Luck Chuck, and then I went to bed. It was a rather thrilling day. I assume Sunday will be about the same.

Oh! Daryl’s parents are in town…I get to meet them tomorrow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My last Friday in Spain...

Friday, December 11, 2009

In the morning I headed over to the AIFS office to give Paula and Inma these little “goodie bags” that Mom had sent over to me as thank-yous. They included some candy from MN and a homemade bracelet by my mom! Inma wasn’t there, but I gave Paula hers and she LOVED it! Well, first of all she said she loves Nut Goodies…who woulda known. But, she also said green is her favorite color, so I guess that made the bracelet even more perfect for her! She put it on right away and said she was going to wear it to our goodbye dinner later that night. I left Inma’s for her, so she’ll get that on Monday!

After that, I did homework for about 4 hours. I started working on my Literature study guide and only got 1/3 of the way done. Ick. I guess that will be what I do tomorrow too.

Then, at 7 we left for Neptuno to meet all the AIFS people for our goodbye dinner. There were 3 little mini-busses that were there to take us. There was a LOT of traffic, but somehow our bus driver managed to not go below 30 even in the tiny streets of the Albyzin (where our Flamenco restaurant was). It was crazy…and a bit terrifying!

Dinner was…decent. All it really was were a bunch of plates of tapas. First it was jamon Serrano, then we got little tortilla espanolas, then we had some fried shrimp, calamari and fish, and then some pork. There was a dessert tapa too! At around 9:30 the Flamenco show started. There were 4 musicians on the stage, 2 singers, one flute player and one guitarist. Then there were 4 dancers who came out and each did their own sort of “showcase”. I really liked it…but I actually think the show we saw in Nerja was better. Regardless, some of them were very talented! And I liked having the live music, rather than recorded music! After they finished, we left, but a lot of people took pictures with the band, etc. It was too crowded for me, and I sorta just got shuffled out the door. Oh well. It was probably good I saved my camera battery anyway, because…

We all got dropped off at Neptuno, and people were saying “come to Babylon, come to the Chup”, etc. but I just decided to go back to Jardines. I heard that Jardines was having their annual party, but it seemed odd that they had planned it for the same day they knew all of the Americans would be gone. We were all a little upset with them. We got there, and EVERYONE was in the lobby (Eugenia, Scarlett, Elena, Fig, Julia, ALL the residencia kids…) and there was music blasting from someone’s room upstairs. It was ridiculous. Florian answered the door and was super excited to see all of us, but it seemed like no one else was. People started shuffling into the comedor and I saw there were plates and plates of food. All sorts of appetizers. I was still hungry from the lack of food at our dinner, so it all looked good, but the Spaniards gave us weird looks, and Elena and them disappeared and didn’t say anything. I felt like the kid who didn’t get invited to someone’s birthday party across the street. Everyone was there and you can see them all, but you couldn’t go over there. Marisa, Adam, Daryl and Chryssi left for the Chup to meet up with people, but Merete, Will and I just hung out in my room for a bit. I decided I was hungry, so I went downstairs to leave. I was caught by Scarlett, Eugenia and Elena who were all like “porque no?” and said that they wanted us to join in. We kinda said that we thought it was just for the other kids, and they were horrified. Scarlett said she made so much food that they would never be able to eat it, haha. So, I kinda felt stupid not knowing anything about the party in the first place, but they really seemed to want us there, so the three of us joined in. It was totally fine by then, because a lot of the kids already had wine and beer and were up for chatting with whomever. As soon as I walked in, Elena handed me a glass with some yummy sparkling wine. Then, Florian made me a large plate of food (that I never finished). It was a LOT of fun. We literally spent about 3 hours just taking pictures with everyone, singing with the songs, and trying to decide what to do next. The 5 Jardines ladies were all dressed up. Well, everyone was really dressed up, but it was fun seeing Scarlett and Elena in their normal clothes for once! I gave the 5 Jardines ladies their little goodie bags of MN goodies (no bracelets though...), and they were SO happy. They couldn’t stop smiling, and Elena just started munching away on some of the chocolate I had added in.

There were some Jardines “alumni” who came over for the party. There were about 4 kids who had stayed here last year that aren’t here this year who know just about everyone. It was funny to see them come back. Then, Scarlett and Elena hosted the “Jadines royalty” election. I guess everyone voted for a king (rey), queen (reina) and orange (naranja…the person they like the most). Eloy (a boy) got a lot of votes for reina, because Florian and friends decided he needed to be treated like a queen (haha, they had already started treating him like one yesterday...bringing him his food, bowing to him, running him through "crowds" like they were his secret service, etc.)…but at the end, Isaac and Maria Ramos won. I’m pretty sure they’re sort of a “thing”, haha. Technically I got a ton of votes, because no on wrote down which Maria they were voting for. Haha, sweeeeeeet. Elena got voted the naranja even though it was a close match between her and Scarlett. I think some of the boys have third-grade-esque crushes on her.

As I said, we went around and talked with everyone, and took pictures with everyone. Elena told me she wants the one of us, so I’ll have to email that to her at some point. Scarlett liked hers too, and continued on to tell me that I look like Bella from Twilight (but Will doesn’t look like Edward…harsh). Haha, crazy lady. I have a lot of funny pictures. A LOT.

Then, around 2am, Daryl, Chryssi, Marisa, Adam and some other AIFS people came to Jardines. They were like “WHAT is going on” haha. Everyone was back out in the lobby dancing to ridiculously loud music. Armand showed up, and he hadn’t ever been to the residencia before, and we had to try really hard to convince him that this WASN’T how it was every weekend, haha. They left after a bit, but so did all of us. We walked up to El Camborio, up in the Albyzin…right next to our restaurant! Geez, what a long walk! Let’s see…it was me, Will, Florian, Merete, Marisa, Adam, Luna, Esteno, Ricky, reina Eloy, and Gerardo. Florian knew the girl who as working the tickets (go figure), so we got a discounted price. WOO! Anyway, Camborio was a lot of fun, even though we got back reeeeeeeeally late and my throat hurts from all the smoke in there! The walk home was a bit painful too, because the flats I was wearing didn’t quite agree with my feet during the 4 mile walk (there and back). Whew.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Classes, ceremonies and cantantes

Thursday, December, 10, 2009

LAST DAY OF CLASSES! YAY! I really like Mariangeles, so I was a little more sad to be done with POE and Literature than I was to be done with my classes yesterday. However, I won’t miss sitting through 4 hours of her talking on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I mean, I figure I understand about 80-85% of what she says, but it’s just the LENGTH of the classes that gets to me! Anyway, we reviewed a bit for the finals, and then after class I asked her to take a picture with me. She was so embarrassed that she was “SO” much shorter than me. Even though she’s not really. Then, at around 2:45 in the middle of the CLM courtyard, they had the trophy presentation ceremony for the intramural teams of basketball, volleyball and soccer. AIFS almost got the sweep, but ended up as “subcampeons” for volleyball. Oh well, they still got a trophy! Inma was there with her little video camera, getting all of us yelling ridiculously. I got some photos on my camera too! The soccer trophy was the biggest of them all, and some people said they wanted to bring it to botellón tonight or to our goodbye dinner tomorrow night to drink out of it, haha. We also got t-shirts…hunter orange t-shirts. Very classy, CLM. I said we should all wear them the day we leave for home, so we can all get off the bus at the Malaga airport and look like some funny tour group…just in case we already don’t stand out enough! Haha, it was a fun little ceremony!

Oh! On my way TO school, I found my first fire hydrant. I had been wondering about that, since I hadn’t seen one yet…and I started wondering in general what they do about fires and stuff considering I still have yet to find a fire alarm in my room… Anyway, the fire hydrant is actually just this red rectangle on the ground in the middle of the street that says “BOMBEROS” (firefighters). No wonder dogs just pee in the street! All they’re trying to do is pee on the fire hydrants! J

On the way home from the ceremony, Will and I decided that since we weren’t going to make it back to Jardines in time for lunch, that we would go out…to celebrate. We chose Burger King! I mean, it’s literally RIGHT on our way home, so it worked out. We got their “King Ahora” meal which is 3 Euros for a chicken sandwich, fries and a pop. Yum!

At dinner, Florian told us that the movie the Spaniards had wanted to go see with us was only showing really late, so he decided to have a party at his flat instead. I figured it’s one of the last days to hang out with people, since I’ll be stuck in my room studying the rest of the weekend and next week, so I said I’d go. Marisa, Chryssi, Adam and I went from Jardines, and Lauren and Erika met us there too. Victor, Lewis and Florian live in the flat, so obviously they were there. Florian also invited some girls from his class (he’s such a ladies man), so those 5 were fun to meet. At first they didn’t think we knew much Spanish, but then picked up on it when we laughed at things they said. We shared funny Youtube videos with them, which was really funny to hear what they thought about them. Apparently one of them is from the Ukraine, one is Latvian, and one was from Sevilla, etc. They were from all over! They thought it was really cool when we told them where we were from. I said “Minnesota” and Alicia goes “OOOH! Cerca de Canadá, ¿no? Canadá es muy, muy bonita!” Haha, so at least she knew where Minnesota was…I was impressed! After a while at Florians, we went to Hannigans for some Karaoke (but stopped for a Shwarma on the way). It was super crowded, and by the time we got there they were almost done with the songs for the night (well, it WAS like…2:30), but Florian charmed his way into getting us a song to sing. What did he choose? White Christmas. Haha. All of us went up there when it was our turn…it was pretty funny because the Spaniards knew the song better than us! Haha. I’m sure those photos will be fun to see! Some German kids were singing a German song right before us, and before that there were a bunch of Spaniards singing Lady Gaga. It was just a fun mix of people.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

¿Quién es Luis Rosales?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

AHH! No one knows anything about Luis Rosales! I have to interview at least 3 people, and everyone I have asked so far doesn’t know anything about him! Mariangeles was sure people would know something about him because he’s from Granada…I guess it’s like asking someone in MN to talk about Charles Shultz. Anyway, I asked Florian, Victor, this other kid at dinner (whoops, forgot his name…Lloyd? No…that’s not Spanish), Esteno and even Elena. Victor goes “the first time I heard about him was just now.” Elena told me to go online and look at peoples’ thoughts on him and then put her name to one of those thoughts. Uh oh, I might have to!

Anyway, today was rather boring because it was just a lot of review in class. Pilar was back finally, so she just went over everything for the final. It’s a LOT of material! Then, in grammar, we finished up the Subjunctive verb tense and did this funny exercise where we had to go around and ask people if they knew someone who…can do/has something weird with them. We found out a lot of weird stuff. For example, we talked for a long time about the pregnant man, and then about this girl who has 2 different colored eyes. Then Will talked about color-blindness, and then Emmy told us that her brother (who we all met at Thanksgiving dinner) has 2 left feet and 2 right hands. No wonder he wouldn’t take his jacket off at the bar! Lola didn’t believe her, haha. Then we got into an interesting conversation about sex changes, because apparently it’s free here in Andalucía. Lola said that everyone here has to pay for dental work, but if you want a sex change it’s free! Mom…Dad…there’s something I need to tell you. Just kidding, the name “Mario” doesn’t suite me quite right.

I worked for a long time on my project today (even though I don’t have my interviews done yet!). I sent it to Mariangeles, so hopefully she gets a chance to read through what I have so far before tomorrow! I was surprised by how much I could actually write—without help from Google translate! Here’s a clip from it: Luis Rosales Camacho nació en Granada el 31 de mayo de 1910. Fue un ensayista y poeta español de la generación de 1936. En 1930 se traslada a Madrid para estudiar Filosofía y Letras, y finalmente obtuvo el doctorado de los dos a la Universidad de Madrid. Inició su actividad literaria con una revista dirigida por Pablo Neruda y José Bergamín, se llama Cruz y Raya. Rosales nació en Granada, pero eso no es todo lo que lo ataron a la ciudad. También había mucha familia y buenos amigos de aquí. Fue buen amigo de Federico García Lorca, que se ha refugiado en su casa de Granada durante la Guerra Civil. Lamentablemente fue finalmente ha detenido allí en agosto de 1936. Blah, blah blah.

Oh, then I took a break from my homework to make this masterpiece that all you Twilighters will enjoy:

Haha, ‘ta luego!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'Cause you're hot then you're cold...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Will and I are some of just a few people who are still at Jardines…which I guess it’s good for the people who aren’t here because there still isn’t hot water! Ugh! They said that a moto hit our hot water…which I don't quite believe... No one’s trying to fix anything, and she said it’ll be back on tomorrow morning. How convenient.

Anyway, Merete got home pretty early this morning from Barcelona. I got up and began on my final project for POE. I have to choose a famous Granadian and find their plaza or street, etc. that they have named after them and do a short paper about them. I chose to do Luis Rosales, but had a rather hard time finding my little plaza! I Google-earthed it, but it still was hard to find. Will chose to do Manuel de Falla, who was a composer. He has this huge orchestra hall named after him, conveniently placed next to the Alhambra. So, we hiked up there today…in t-shirts and tank tops! It really felt like fall(a…haha), with all of the tress with leaves falling and such.

We wandered over to Dunkin Coffee for breakfast/lunch. After that we walked around a bit more down towards Neptuno Mall. They have an ice skating rink outside of the mall…it’s kinda funny just to go watch everyone because it literally seems like almost all of them have never seen an ice rink before. I kinda wanted to join in and help hold some of them up. It looked painful falling that much! Haha. They all looked like they were having fun anyways! Hopefully I can make it over there sometime this week…before finals and everything starts! Yikes! Only a little over a week left!

People started arriving back at Jardines once we went back to start on our papers. I was a little upset when we watched older Julia walk into the basement room (where the presumed hot water valve is) and then walk back out. I’m still waiting for my warm water! It’s freezinggggggg!

Once almost everyone got back, we went out for Chinese food, since the staff here is still on “break” (meaning they don’t cook/clean/do laundry over holidays or the days that follow). It was quite yummy.

Well, time for a sink-bath. Yay…

Palm Christmas trees?!

Friday, December 4, 2009, Saturday, December 5, 2009, Sunday, December 6, 2009, Monday, December 7, 2009

Well, like I said, we left in the morning on Friday for Marbella. The bus ride wasn’t that bad, as it sometimes is on the way to Nerja. We just found our little hostal and got settled before we wandered around. It was a very pretty town, and my favorite part was just walking around and looking at the cute little buildings on the side streets. It feels a lot bigger than Nerja! Unfortunately, my camera died basically as soon as we arrived. I thought I had packed my charger, but it turns out I grabbed my wrong “electronics” bag. Well, at least I had my flashdrive incase I needed to transfer some files, haha.

It wasn’t warm enough to swim either of the days we were there, but that was okay. I hadn’t really planned on it anyway. It was obviously “off-season”, because a lot of the tiendas, and even some of the hotels near the beach were closed until around March. Regardless, there were still some touristy stores open, and we found a nice pizzeria and a Mercado to get some food.

Sunday we made our way from Marbella to Nerja. The guy at the hostal laughed when he saw us there again (for the 3rd time), but was very happy to have us back and offered us coffee with him right away. We got settled in, and tried to make it over to see the donkeys/pigs/horses again before they closed at 2, but we were just a bit too late. Oh well…maybe next time, haha. We headed over to the Balcon, where they were setting up Christmas lights all over. It was weird to see Christmas lights on palm trees…that was a first for me! Then we walked over towards Playa Burriana for a stroll along the beach during the sunset. It was kinda chilly, but nothing like the -6 or so I heard they were having in Minnesota! I couldn’t believe it was December and I was just in my sweatshirt! Anyway, after our walk along the beach, we hit up our regular Indian place for dinner. They were funny when they saw us again, too. Will walked in first and the woman goes “Welcome back, Will!” Haha, the people in the restaurant probably thought we used to work there or something. The food was wonderful as always, and they even threw in some extra Chicken Pakora for us! Yay! After dinner we went back to see the Christmas lights. It was SO cool! The whole Balcon was lit up, and there were TONS of people. I didn’t even know that many people were in Nerja, since it’s off-season! It was fun to watch all of the families with their little kids. It made me miss home though…I want a Christmas tree!

The next morning we got up and wandered around some more, heading up more towards the mountains. We considered going to the small town of Frigiliana before out 7:15 bus home, but decided against it, considering the river still wasn’t even visible (they dam it up, and I still have yet to see it un-dammed…if that’s a word).

Well, we caught our bus home to Jardines. It really is starting to feel like a second home! Except for the fact that they had turned off the hot water…I don’t think my mom has ever done that to me! That was an unfortunate end to the weekend, but it was still a lot of fun and I’m glad we went!

The empty garden

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Well, Merete left this morning for Barcelona. Adam, Marisa, Daryl and their group left at 2:30, and Chryssi is leaving tomorrow morning at 5am. Jilian is leaving sometime in the morning too. I’m pretty sure Mirella’s going somewhere…so it seems like it’s really empty here at Jardines!

It seems as though that trend followed us to class today, because in POE there were only about 7 of us, and in Literature there were literally about 12 out of the 30 or so. It was nice and relaxed, but we still got stuff done! Mariangeles definitely isn’t a slacker! We read this theater piece in Literature, and I volunteered for reading it. I ended up being the guy who is in love with this other girl, but whatever. It was funny…and I got my participation points.

Will and I finally figured out what to do over the break…finally. The hostal we’ve stayed at in Nerja has a sister hostal in Marbella, another town we wanted to visit. They said that if you book both they’ll take a 10% discount, so we decided to stay 2 nights in Marbella and 1 in Nerja. Fun, fun! So we leave in the morning on a bus.

At dinner, we had an interesting conversation with Marta and Florian. They were trying to come up with interesting English words that they think are funny…like “broad”, so we had to tell them certain things they can and can’t say. They told us some in return. (Like the difference between ‘de puta madre’ and ‘te puta madre’…)

Time to get some sleep before Marbella tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A whole mezcla of things

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pilar was sick again, and we had Amelia as the sub for the second time. Sadly, a lot of people just left when they saw it was her again. Since we had already finished the book, we just sorta reviewed some stuff about flamenco, and then watched this documentary by Carlos Saura about flamenco (one of the filmmakers I wrote about in my Powerpoint). It was really cool! It really made me want to go buy some traditional music like that!

Today in Grammar, Lola started trying to tell us about something that happened on the plane when she was flying to the US. Since she learned “British English”, so she was not used to the pronunciation. I guess the stewardess asked her if she wanted “water”, and she didn’t understand at ALL. She was used to the British “wah-tuhr”. Well, you get the point. Anyway, she picked up on it finally, and when she was in the states, she was in Texas and her friend who TEACHES English in Spain couldn’t understand a THING. She was proud of herself for understanding the southern accent, haha and related it to us being able to understand her and her fellow Andalucians. She said we’re ready for ANYTHING now…except Chinese (I beg to differ! J).

On the way home from class Will and I stopped at the AIFS office to fill out their evaluation form. There was a form for Jardines and one for AIFS. I think I was pretty nice, except I said older Julia (Fig) can be difficult to get along with considering how controlling she is over everything. That seemed legitimate.

On the way back to Jardines Will goes “we should send our Culture project to Pilar.” And right as he says Pilar, I look up and Pilar’s staring at us, walking towards us! Que Misterioso! She said she had gone to the doctor to get tested for Gripe A (Swine flu), and told us about how she was really sad she couldn’t teach about Gitanos and Flamenco because they’re her favorite topics! That’s too bad…she really did seem sick. Will says “well, at least we got our participation points for today”. Haha, true. Speaking of Gripe A, Victor is over his case of it, finally after over a week. He walked in to lunch today and got a round of applause, haha.

Tonight we went to this bar for Catherine’s birthday. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of people were there, so that was nice for her. It was really random though, because they were playing Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam on 4 of their TVs. Of course, people who have friended me on Facebook have slowly begun to figure out about the “circus thing” that I do, so I spent the evening trying to get out of answering 5 billion questions about it. I left sorta early because I have class early in the morning, but they were on their way to the disco called Vogue for the Michael Jackson themed party. Some people even had white gloves and sparkly shirts! Haha.

Gracias, Father Dease

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Today in POE we talked about tattoos and piercings. That was interesting. And then in Literature we finished up a lot about the poets and writers of the 40s and 50s in Spain. Only 2 more classes of each of those! AHH!

After class I worked for about 5 hours on my Culture project—a Powerpoint on Spanish cinema. I think it turned out pretty good! At 8, Will, Adam and I went and met Tim Dohmen at his hotel. Briana and Catherine were there too. Horray for St. Thomas! We decided to go to this Indian restaurant, because Tim really had no idea what would be a good place to just sit and be able to talk. He said he didn’t go much for the “traditional Spanish” food they had at lunch…so he was glad we chose the Indian place! He studied abroad for a while in England, so he was knowledgeable in the different Indian foods! I got this curry that had pineapple and chicken in it. It was really good! We all laughed about how Father Dease had just bought us 2 bottles of wine and a 100 Euro meal. Bueno.

Anyway, it was really interesting talking to him, and hearing his perspective. He said the same about us. We basically told him that we would all definitely recommend AIFS to anyone who was interested in Spain/Granada. The side trips are very fun and since they’re already planned for you, it’s fun to just be able to relax too! He told us about how the people on the board that is with him here in Granada right now come from all different aspects: some teachers, some advisors like him, and some heads of universities, etc. They sat in on some classes, and while some of the teachers were a little more picky about how they rated the classes, he said he thought they were wonderful (which I guess Paula liked to hear since she told us later that she like him and trusted his opinion most of all of the people on the board). He leaves to go see the AIFS Salamanca campus on Wednesday morning, and then is off to Poland or something for the weekend. Then he goes back for an unofficial visit to some UST kids in Barcelona and Madrid. Sounds like a pretty fun job!

Well, Catherine, Briana and I left dinner after about an hour and a half. Tim knew it was someone’s birthday and that we sorta had plans, but I felt bad leaving him and they boys there! We literally ran to the movie theater to meet Merete, Mirella, Chryssi, Kara and Marisa. Yay for Luna Nueva again! I was sad I missed out on tapas and crepes that they had while we were at the Indian restaurant…but free food is totally worth it! (Sorry Merete!) Will said that he, Tim and Adam had fun talking some more once we had left for the movie. At first at the movie it was Kara, Catherine, Briana and I, but then Catherine and Briana went to the bathroom before we went into the theater. Kara and I got seats, and when I went out to get popcorn, I ran into Merete, Chryssi, Marisa and Mirella. Marisa and Chryssi went to the bathroom, but Merete and Mirella came back into the theater with me. Marisa and Chryssi showed up just a bit later, and I was super confused as to where Catherine and Briana were...they still hadn't shown up in our theater! It turns out they had gone into the wrong theater, and it was already half over. Neither of them really knew the story that well, so they didn't realize it until the movie was over after only an hour! They said they just hadn't looked at their tickets to check the theater! Haha.

Overall it was a pretty fun day! …If it only hadn’t been for that Powerpoint I worked so long on!