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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

El Primer Día

Today is the start of the next four months of my life. I'm actually living and studying in Sevilla, Spain and it is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities I've ever been to.

Now let's be real.

I'm homesick, I miss my friends, I miss the food I grew up with, I miss American culture. But hey, I guess that's why they call it culture shock. They wouldn't give a name to something that didn't actually exist.

After hours and hours of waiting for planes, planes being delayed, long layovers, confusing flight attendants and three cups of red wine on my flight to Madrid (FREE I must add, and after which I completely passed out), I made it to the Sevilla airport only to discover that one of my bags didn't make the trip. I think I must have psychic abilities, because I told everyone I met throughout the day that at least one of my bags wouldn't make it because I have the worst luck ever. Sure enough, the bag with my shower stuff, face wash, toothbrush, clothes, shoes... you know, essential travel items, didn't make it. Yay Spain.

Then I meet up with my CIEE group (well, just the advisors at this point because I was the last one left after my baggage struggles) and came to another astounding realization. Understanding and speaking Spanish after being asleep for a few hours is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It sounded like everyone was mumbling Chinese to themselves, to which I responded with the worst case of Spanglish possible. I mean, it was pretty cool I guess. Then I hopped into a Taxi and away I went to my homestay location! (Side note: thank goodness my parents gave my iPhone the international plan before I left, because I forgot to print out the address for my homestay and if I hadn't been able to access my email... well, I'd pretty much be screwed).

My homestay family is AWESOME. My "parents" are actually 29 years old, and their names are Chari and Antonio. They also have a dog named Maya, who decided that throughout lunch it would be a grand idea to lick my foot. The entire time. Non-stop. But she's pretty cool, because dogs aren't your friend based on what language you speak, so no matter how bad I am at Spanish, Maya and I have already become best friends. (Insert "Step Brothers" quote here: "Did we just become best friends?" Yes, Maya. Yes we did.)

After a tour of the house and lunch, I gave my gift to my host family and Chari LOVED the hand towels I gave her. She thought they were beautiful! I struggled to tell her that the reason I gave them to her was because Maryland is known for its seafood, but I gave up halfway through and just sounded dumb. Typical American. But hey, I'm trying!

Then my favorite part of the day: SIESTA! My three hour siesta was difficult because our house has no air conditioning and you can hear the neighbors yelling at each other, but it was nice to spend some quality time alone. It's great because I don't have to pretend like I'm fluent in Spanish when I'm with me, myself, and I. We understand our lack of skills perfectly.

I met up with my CIEE group at 20:00 p.m., and we went to a bar for tapas and drinks. My Spanish has gotten better throughout the day, and I was able to carry a great conversation with Oscar, one of the advisors for the CIEE journalism program in Sevilla. ¡Qué bueno!

After meeting up with our group, it was time to head back to our homes for the night, but I forgot how to get to mine (of course, why would I ever think I would remember?). So one of the advisors brought a group of us back and dropped us each of at the door to our homes, and I was the last one. I had a great conversation with her (in Spanish, of course) and we compared the river in Sevilla to the "L.A. river" which I explained is a complete joke because it's only about 2 feet wide.

I successfully made it into my house and got ready for bed, only to realize that the door to my balcony was left open (because of the lack of air) and I had my bedroom light on... and now a swarm of insects has infested my room. I guess I'm sleeping with the bugs tonight. But shout out to my parents, good ole Bob and Diane, for making me paint our yard fence because it made me get used to encountering ugly bugs. Now I feel like I can somewhat conquer the infestation that's lurking above my head. Also, shout out to Matt Spain for being awesome and having the same last name as the country I'm currently in. Kudos to you, Matt.

Until next time mis amigos,


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