Settling In

I’m here! I have a place to live and groceries in the fridge and cabinets. I have a Spanish phone number. I’m meeting with everyone at my school tomorrow… I can’t believe it! The last couple of days have been very busy and tiring, but I wouldn’t trade that for the alternative. I’m meeting some others from the program in 30 minutes so this is a quick post, but I wanted to add some random photos. I’ll try to post more often!

 

Euro Venture 2011 Pt. II Spain “Try Not to Be an Idiot Foreigner Next Time”

This is a continuation of the story here. It’s been interesting how many details I’ve remembered while writing these posts. Hopefully having them here will be a good way for me to remember the little bits.


After my morning journey to the hostal and jet lag beginning to kick in I found myself completely exhausted. I showered and napped for a while until I couldn’t ignore my stomach and my hunger. I roused myself to make myself Madrid-presentable. Both adapters shot sparks around the room when I tried to plug anything into them. After that, they both seemed to be completely worthless. That’s the last time I buy from that Amazon seller. 


While out wandering the streets, I found myself at a chain called “Casa del Jamón“, or “Mundo del Jamón“, or something like that. The serrano and melon hit the spot, but the waiter raised an eyebrow when I ordered vino tinto AND cafe together. 

“Urr…” It seemed he was looking for a polite way to tell me I was an idiot foreigner. “Just to let you know… Most people prefer to drink their cafe after the meal. It is best that way.”

“Oh, yes, I understand. It’s just I have terrible jet lag right now and I’m afraid I will fall asleep if I do not drink it sooner.”

“I see. Really, it is best after the meal. Are you certain?” 


In the end, I drank my wine and coffee at the same time. 

Don’t worry. I won’t do that again. 

Jamón hanging from the ceilings! I think I like this country.



After I found some replacement chargers for my camera and iPod I headed back to the hostal to wait for my Penpal to arrive. I was nervous. What if this person I’ve known for years is crazy? What if she is totally different from what I imagined? Will we kill each other? Eventually, I heard an Australian accent drifting from the reception area. I shyly opened the door and went out to greet her. 


It was wonderful to finally meet her. I think we were both a little shy around each other at first while we both tried to figure the other out. She told me stories about her weeks of travel before meeting me in Spain. I told her about how I arrived at the hostal. We both shared our excitement about the upcoming program. We are quite different from each other. She seemed straight-to-the-point and bold whereas I believe I tend to be more shy and keep my feelings inside. 


We explored the area around our hostal that night. The streets were absolutely full of people. I remember wondering whether this was a very popular part of the city, but later I realized that people seem to take to the streets everywhere! 


We found some interesting things like giant balls where you were supposed to write your dreams on a sheet of paper and then drop it into a slot in the ball. We also found the Desigual store. Sometimes I wish I could pull off wearing all of their crazy creations…


A nice sentiment, no?






Our first dinner together was entertaining. My friend doesn’t really speak or understand Spanish so I found myself doing the ordering and translating even though my Spanish abilities were pretty horrible. In the end, we ordered and ate about six different delicious offerings of tapas. 



The next morning, we visited the Palacio Real. I wish I could illustrate how beautiful the interior is, but we were not allowed to take any photos. All I have are photos of the outside. 




In the afternoon, we travelled to Casa Patas for our program orientation. The “Anglos” enjoyed a flamenco show, paella, and the company of the people they would be spending most of their next eight days and nights with. The newcomers and program veterans all spoke excitedly about what was to come. The next morning we would all file onto a bus for a four-hour trip to La Alberca. 

May 15, 2012

Surprisingly, it’s not impossible to wake up at 4:30am to get 2 hours of overtime in a day. It’s really especially easy when I know I’m saving money for a purpose. :}

I’m actually a little anxious because I was supposed to hear back from my potential future employer today or yesterday, but still I have not heard a peep! Once I get a definite answer I’ll explain more. Also, things are shaking up at my current job. The person who handles all of the high-priority cases for my module is being promoted….and I’m taking her place on Monday. Holy crap. This could either be really awesome or really stressful. I’m still not sure how to approach the whole “I-could-be-leaving-in-a-couple-months” conversation with my managers. I was waiting to tell them after I submit my acceptance for a new position, but with this recent mini-promotion… I don’t know. What is normally the best method of doing this???

On a totally unrelated note, I took some random photos around the yard and messed around on my iPad. (Also unrelated: iPad bluetooth keyboards are awesome) Has anyone used a photo editor called Snapseed? It was pretty entertaining.

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