Alcalá de Henares

Alcalá de Henares

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Relaxing Weekend en España

My first weekend in Spain was pretty successful if I do say so myself.

First a food report: The past three meals I've had have been interesting to say the least. I was in the kitchen when my mom began preparing Saturday's lunch and she said she was making lasagna. I was like, "Oh good! I like that!" Then she started pouring in some milk and other things into a pan and I was kind of confused but I figured it was probably something for the first plate. Then when it was time for lunch, she puts my plate down and there is not a tomato in sight. What? I guess in Spain, lasagna is made with milk? It was decent but definitely not like home. Today's lunch consisted of a seafood paella and I was surprised that I liked it so much! I had Paella from San Chez before I left and it was ok, but nothing to write home about. However, this paella is worth mentioning. When I received my plate of food, I looked down and saw some shrimp. I didn't recognize a couple other things on my plate but I figured it might be best not to ask what they were until after I tried it. So I put a little O-shaped noodle like thing onto my fork and tasted it. Not too bad, not a lot of flavor. I turned to my host dad and said, ¿Qué es? (What is this?) He said octopus. My face probably dropped. However, I didn't want to be rude and refuse the food, so I managed to finish my plate and tried not to thing about the octopus and didn't ask what anything else was in fear that the paella might be seen again later, if you catch my drift. Of course after most of the food was gone, my host dad said I shouldn't feel obliged to finish my plate. Ugh. However, the paella was rather good and I just had to wrap my mind around the fact that I just had octopus for the first time. For dinner tonight we had some type of fish and it smelled pretty bad but was actually decent as well. I just have to tell myself to keep an open mind and tell myself not to ask questions until after I've tried something.

So I must say that Spanish night life is very interesting for me because I don't go out that often in the U.S. Last night my friends and I went to a small bar and a man offered to buy my drinks. Awkward yes. He asked where I was from and I tried to respond in Spanish. And then he said, "I speak English. I lived in Arizona." Ok? So I began to converse with him in English, just small talk while I waited for the bartender to make the drinks. After insisting multiple times that I was fine and I could pay for my own drinks, because I've heard very bad things about accepting drinks from Spanish men, I frantically gave my euros to the bartender before the man could pay and walked away. What an awkward night moment. But after that we went to another bar and I got a hot chocolate which is very different here. It's like a hot pudding and was much better than the Tinto de Verano and no awkward moments came with the Chocolate Clásico.

Today I walked to my school from my house and it took about 35 minutes. My sister Christina explained how to get there and it was rather easy if I do say so myself and I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty proud that I didn't get lost. I must say that I already miss Libby (my car if you didn't know her name), and will certainly miss her in the coming months. But I figured I have a pair of legs and walking will be good for me. On our way home, we stopped at a pastelería and I had my first Spanish pastry. It was kind of like a long john and was literally a foot long and lasted over half the way home! It was amazing!

But today I was reminded to always say I love you to the ones that you love because you never know if you will have the chance again. Cliché yes but still very important. Two Hope students passed away today in a plane crash and I didn't know David but I did know Emma through a couple different activities. My heart goes out to the Hope Community and I feel pretty helpless over here in Spain. I guess it's another reminder to live each day to the fullest (cliché again I'm sorry). But Emma you will be greatly missed because you touched the lives of everyone you encountered. "There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains." Once again, all my love to everyone back home. I love you all!

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