Sunday, February 26, 2012

Planning Trips and a Spanish Feast

The title of this post describes my day in a nutshell. I woke up early, got on Facebook, and talked to Jason for awhile because he had just gotten back from going out. Then, I took a shower, and tried to arrange some things for my Sevilla trip next weekend. While I was in my room working on scheduling the trip, my host mother knocked on the door and asked if I wanted to eat lunch with the family and some friends. I was really excited because she was setting up the dinning room table which usually means that we are going to eat a delicious feast (as in unbelievable amounts of food).

So, what exactly did we eat for lunch? Homemade macaroni and cheese and snail. Yes, snail! They were shocked that it was my first time eating it, but when I think of snail I think of millionaires being served escargot by snobby French waiters with bow ties and curly mustaches. The snail we ate was nothing like the image I had in my head. In fact, it was equally as messy and delicious as barbecue. We had to use tooth picks to take the meat out of the shell, and then we dipped it in a spread called alioli. I think the best entertainment my family and their friends had all day was trying to watch me take the meat out of the shell. It's actually quite difficult for a first timer. The macaroni was also delicious, as was the wine and bread.

I enjoyed talking with my host family and their friends this afternoon about politics and the differences between Spain and the United States. I brought up the fact that in Europe, students learn that there are five continents, and in the United States students learn that there are seven. (In Spain, North and South America are one continent, and Antarctica is not a continent.) My host father explained to me that there are five Olympic rings because each one represents a different continent. I'm pretty sure that he was joking, but he continued to explain that America is red because Native Americans have red skin, Africa is black because Africans have black skin, and Asia is yellow because Asians have yellow skin. His explanation for Australia and Europe? Europeans have blue eyes and Australians have green eyes. Everyone began to laugh after his final explanation because all of the Europeans at the table had brown eyes, not blue.

We also talked a lot about how homosexuality is a lot more accepted in Spain (and I presume most of Europe) than it is in the United States. We were talking about Cyberbullying because my host parents and their friends are all involved in education, and I explained to them what happened at Rutgers last year. I think it was difficult for my host mother to understand because homosexuality is accepted so much more in Spain than in the United States.

Danni called after lunch and asked if I wanted to meet to rent hostels for Semana Santa and buy our plane tickets home. I walked over to Farggi which is very close to my house to wait for her and Lauren Swanson. When I got there, I saw my friend from Indiana University, Phil, and sat with him and his friends for awhile. It was only my second time seeing him since we got here. Their trip ends at the end of April. I'm glad our trip doesn't end that soon because I don't think that it's enough time to really explore Europe, but it would be nice to get home a little sooner to find a job and start classes.

Tomorrow, I hope to talk to Alberto about my final in Realismo y Naturalismo en Espana: La Novela. I'm really glad that the CIEE staff is here to help us and talk to our professors. I hope to get my final moved a few days earlier because I need to get my wisdom teeth taken out when I get home, before I go down to Bloomington for the summer.

Although I am stressed out about a few things, my trip is getting better and better. I am really starting to feel comfortable with my host family. I feel like I'm able to joke around with them which makes me feel more relaxed and at home. I am very lucky to be a part of this family for a semester and can't wait to spend more time with them.

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