Granada, Spain and The Whirlwind of the New

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I have now been in Granada for about a week and a half, and today was my first day that was “just okay.” My entire first week went by in a flash of new sights, smells, people, and words. It was exciting and educational. Spaniards are crazy about night life. It is normal here to stay out at the clubs or bars until 4, 5, 6 in the morning! The accent is still difficult for me to get used to. Everyone in my house is incredibly warm and friendly- like a big family- and many are foreigners so we are constantly learning together. There are 6 French; 5 Americans including myself, an Englishman; 3 German; an Italian, an Ecuadorian, a Colombian, and 5 Spanish.  I can’t believe how lucky I got with housing.  We live in Albayzín, the oldest neighborhood, and we have an incredible view of the Alhambra, the last Moorish fort before the Christians reconquered Spain in 1492! I have a view of this castle-like fort from all of my windows! There is so much history here.  The Arabic influence persists on every street.  There’s even a street filled with tea rooms (teterías)!

IMG_0979view of the Alhambra from my apartment in Albayzín bajo 😀

Classes started today. I didn’t understand very much, which was very discouraging. I don’t know how I will get good grades, or more importantly, learn anything. It turns out that most Americans who study abroad here attend the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, a school for foreigners that has language and culture classes.  I really want to stay at the Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, so that I am surrounded by the Spanish, but I also don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, and I have no way of telling from which I will gain the most knowledge of Spanish life at this point.  I’m feeling pretty humble today, after being sent from office to office trying to register for classes, and failing to understand most of what my professors said. I’m wishing that I had just entered the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, so that I would actually be with other lost folk. I feel very clumsy.

My assessment of Spanish young adults, based only on today and not on the past week of good-humored Spaniards, is that they are not as warm and smiley as I had imagined. They are more attached to their phones and dressed much fancier than my classmates in Missoula. But this could be attributed to the big city life.

I’ve been pretty overstimulated with everything new and everything seems to grasp my attention and generate enthusiasm for my future.  I’m trying to just soak in the present experience, but I keep thinking about future adventures!

Habré aprendido 5 idiomas
Habré dado la vuelta del mundo en velero
Habré dominado el tango, Judo, y Chi Kung
Habré sido profesora, doctora, y psicóloga
Habré salvado vidas y mejorado mas
Habré subido las montañas mas altas del mundo
Habré habido éxito con agricultura sostenible
Habré hecho queso de cordera
cuando echaré de menos este momento

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