We have been busy throughout our time in Spain. From attending class, to visiting museums, venturing to other towns and trying new foods, it has been quite the adventure! This trip has taken me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to encounter many new opportunities. I have gained a great deal of knowledge regarding the culture of Spain, as well as life in general. Here are a few things I have discovered about the culture:
- Pan (bread) is vital for survival. You can find it anywhere and it is eaten at any time of day. Do you want a sandwich or just a snack? The answer is pan. After you finish your food wipe that plate clean using your pan!
- Cafe (coffee) is amazing in Spain. Starbucks, Mill Mountain, any other coffee shop cannot even touch the level of joy found in these cups of cafe con leche.
- Breakfast is not necessary. Be ready to eat your weight in food at lunch. Dinner may or may not occur, but if it does, do not expect it before 10pm.
- Walking around with a blonde girl (Scarlett) causes us to get many looks of confusion and fascination. In fact, at our house, she is referred to as rubia (blonde) rather than her actual name.
- Cars…Who needs them? But you better watch out because they do not slow down or stop for anything.
- Europe is made for small people. Doors, beds, shower heads, tables, chairs, etc are the perfect size for those of us with less vertical existence.
- No one is on time, but you better be.
- Doorknobs are often found in the middle of doors….decorative rather than useful.
- Street name signs are not important. Walking through the city is not a daily routine but rather an adventure. “Lost? No! I am just taking the scenic route.”
- When in doubt, act like you know what you are doing. Eventually someone will correct you if you are wrong. Either that or they will laugh and talk about you, assuming you cannot understand them. Although, then it is fun to kindly let them know that you do indeed understand. These are just a few of the fun lessons I have learned while in Spain. Overall, I have learned much more about the culture and history of Spain, as well as gained new perspective on life. I will certainly be returning home with a new mindset and a bit of confusion regarding my previous daily customs.
Today we had class in the morning, then most everybody went to work on their procrastinated school assignments including site journals, blog posts, and papers. It was a relatively pleasant day in paradise, the majority of which for Julia, Quint, and me was spent in a café writing, (or pretending to write if you were Julia), socializing, and dancing/singing to an assortment of Spanish and American music videos. A copious amount of café con leche was consumed (as usual), and it was a good, traditional Spanish way to spend one of our last afternoons in Spain. Also, we went through a lot of the pictures we had taken throughout the trip and reminisced on our experiences together. Additionally today, I enjoyed a traditional Spanish meal for lunch which included scrumptious pasta in homemade salsa with the most tender ribs in the world. After I inhaled it in a blink of an eye, my homestay mother presented flan sent from heaven. It was quite possibly the most magical substance on earth, or at least it was until I ate it in less than ten seconds. Afterwards I had no choice but to embrace Spain´s customs and take a nice siesta before my body completely shut down from too much delicoius food. Although we all enjoy the site visits extensively, it was nice to have a free day after class to relax and take in the Spanish culture one last time before we head back home.