Where: My lovely bottom bunk in the dark
Listening to: "Chasing Pirates" by Norah Jones
Word of the day: "churro"
Well, things have gotten interesting. One by one each of the lights in our side of the apartment (first my room, then Tricia/Laura's room, then the hallway) have gone out. So either the wireless is using too much energy or someone is coming to get us. Good thing I have seen I have seen Taken.
Imminent kidnapping aside, it's been nice to finally have our Internet back. It costs 30 Euros a month, averaging out to 5 per person, which is about what we spent in a week at an Internet cafe. We were overjoyed to get it. We can talk to people at more normal times and do not have to spend the day trapped inside our school, attempting to do every single thing we need in an hour.
We attend the Spanish American Institute of International Education, founded in 1984. I think it's a bit like the equivalent of University of Phoenix in the sense that it is inside of office building and doesn't feel real. We always joke that we are in high school, since we are back in the same classroom from 10-3 and have packed lunches. Most of my classes are from 5-8 people, with my largest at 18. There's about 10 classrooms and they are all literally blindingly white and bright. Sometimes to the point that it's hard to see in the middle of the day so we have to close the blinds (which look exactly the hurricane shutters...weird).
This morning as I was getting ready for class and Tricia was just waking up, Senora Vicki told us she would walk to school with us to pick up her paycheck. She bought us churros on the walk there, making us eat four. This was the first time I have felt full this entire trip. Even though we were late to class (really not surprising), it was a nice walk and good to have something with flavor. Senora Vicki told us that the reason of why we were late on that Tricia needs to wake up earlier. Haha.
That was my first time to have a churro, even though it's not a very unique food. I like to think that I've done a good job adapting to Spain. I've traveled to a lot of places, so I'm used to different lifestyles. This is still a little bit of a shock though since it's strangers and not family and I am alone. I wear jeans everyday. My Mizzou friends will be shocked, I usually refuse to wear them. I definitely dress up more for class and have only worn a t-shirt once. I do wish I had just another pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt because our apartment is constantly freezing.
Adapting to the food has been a little bit more challenging. Breakfast is a piece of toast, which we didn't even eat until this week. Lunch is usually the biggest meal of the day, served at 3 p.m. Since we have class at this time, we usually have bocadillos, sandwiches, with ham. I am the only one that likes ham, the most popular meat in Spain. It's been a small battle to get Vicki to understand that the other girls don't like it and would prefer turkey. One time we had a ham sandwich with an egg omelette. The other girls were worried about it, but it ended up tasting fine.
Dinner is around 9, usually later in our house. That has been more interesting to eat. We've had a potato tortilla, gazpaucho, paella, chicken soup (without chicken and with a potato scoop), and last night's interesting egg and broccoli mix. It was broccoli and asparagus mixture, chopped up to look almost like a cow pattie if you will. You couldn't easily identify what it was, but it still looked familiar. A partially cooked egg was on top of the broccoli mix, topped off with a strange sauce. Laura did not want to eat it when she saw it. It actually wasn't that bad, but definitely not something you would see in a restaurant menu. Coming to dinner is often disheartening, waiting all day for a full meal like we are used to only to realize that this is all we are getting. It's very basic, without any strong flavors. Sometimes I just want a spicy Chipotle burrito that will satisfy my hunger and senses at once.
Though it hasn't been the best food-wise, the smaller portions are definitely awesome. Tapas is the perfect size for a meal. I've never felt overstuffed since I've been here. It's teaching all of us to understand what we really need to eat. And what we don't.
Tomorrow we head off to Granada, a smaller city due east of Sevilla. Granada has a lot of Arabic influences in design, much like here. My friend Becca just spent a semester there and I can't wait to see her city. Almost everyone in our group is going and I can't wait for us all to get closer together.