So here it is... a long blog post to sum up my entire weekend. Not sure it's actually possible to sum up 3 amazing days in Sevilla, but alas, I must try to shorten the details into a condensed story that people will (might) actually read. So here we go. (Don't worry, I'll throw in a few pics).
Friday. Friday was the first day that my orientation group didn't have assigned orientation activities, so I spent the majority of my morning cowering in my bedroom to avoid awkward interactions with Chari (my house mom) since my Spanish is still somewhat rusty (who am I kidding, I suck). The good news is that I had a goal for 2013 to read 25 books, and since I pretty much alienated myself for a good chunk of my day, I've gotten pretty far. I finally emerged from my lair around 3 for lunch (skipped breakfast) and then told Chari that I was going to my meeting with Oscar to choose my classes for the semester. What are my classes for this semester you ask? Magazine Reporting and Writing, Podcast Reporting, Contemporary Spanish Film, and a Cooking Class. Too bad I have no idea if I'll receive credit for the last two classes because my schedule got messed up from the classes I got verified with Elon beforehand. Whatever. If I want to taking a cooking class, then I'm going to take a cooking class. Keep in mind that all of these classes are in Spanish, as we are not allowed to speak in English, so should I kiss my GPA goodbye? Most likely. Side note: on my way home from this meeting, I got harassed by a five-year-old for being blonde. I mean, it's cool I guess.
Then we went and saw a Flamenco performance. So cool! But the man and the woman never danced together...but maybe they don't do that in Flamenco. Either way, their feet moved so quickly it was ridiculous. Great experience. The guitar player put everyone who plays guitar in America to shame. The singer was really into himself.
At night I explored Calle Betis with my friends for drinks and fun. We met a guy from Hungary who spoke English but not Spanish, which my friend Tori didn't seem to understand, as she kept trying to speak to him in Spanish. We also went to a club called "Belindo" where I met a guy from Germany who was pretty neat. He has only taken English for five years and he made me look incompetent with learning a language. The walk home was kind of scary because being blonde and it being 4:30 in the morning, it was pretty much like I was wearing a neon sign that said "Hey, come rob me! I'm American!" So, instead I shoved my purse down my shirt and hummed Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" as I sped walked home. But not before I saw a woman let her dog pee against someone's car and another woman let her dog poop in the middle of the street. And then she left it there.
Saturday. Beach day at Matalascañas! A group of my friends and I ventured over to the bus station and purchased a roundtrip ticket to the beach for about 15 euros. When we got there, my friend Tori decided she had to use the bathroom and so being the nice person that I am, decided that I would accompany her. We never found the bathroom. But we did buy 2 Dora the Explorer beach towels for 5 euros.
Instead, we walked along the beach in the wrong direction for over an hour and ended up in a National Park before realizing we probably weren't in the right place, and backtracked until we located our group. When we did find them, we encountered a gigantic boulder-type thing plopped in the middle of the ocean. Um, what? To me it looked like it used to be a part of a castle, and an angry giant ripped it off the castle and chucked it straight into the ocean. Nobody else seemed to agree with me. But see for yourself:
While at the beach, I decided to forget how close we are to Africa and the Equator, and opted for the "no sunscreen" route. When we got up to leave, everyone was so surprised when I wasn't sunburnt. I tried to explain that I never sunburn. It's just not for me. As we were leaving, I decided that I wanted to buy some gelato. I chose my flavor, got the smallest size (not trying to get fat while abroad), and went up to pay only to find... oh, wait, I have no euros left! Awk sauce. And of course they didn't accept credit cards. I honestly have really nice friends here, because they lent me a couple of euros and spared me from having to walk 2 miles to the nearest ATM.
Remember that sunburn I talked about? Ohhhh right. When I got home, I looked in the mirror, but it wasn't Leah staring back at me. It was a bright, fluorescent red lobster. So much for never burning, huh? I should probably buy some sunscreen. But I probably won't.
Chari made me dinner and we keep having this internal battle over the bread. I eat so much bread here that I don't want to eat it with every meal, and she keeps pushing the basket of bread towards me every time, and finally she just started putting a piece of bread literally on top of my food. Thanks, Chari. Point taken. Aftewards, Chari went out with some friends and I spent the night in like a loser and watched SpongeBob in Spanish. Because apparently I'm 5.
Sunday. Sunday was another "no plan" kind of day because all of the shops close down in Sevilla. A few of us decided to go bop around at the art market that was set up in front of the Museo del Arte. That was very cool, because all of the artists are so different from one another yet all of the art was still magnificent. While perusing some painted bookmarks, I looked down at my dress to see that I had bright white deodorant stains all over the front of my dress. Literally all over it. I must have been blind or asleep when I put it on, because I still can't figure out how that could have possibly happened. And my house was too far away at this point to change. Then I wanted to get some euros from an ATM after remembering my incident with the gelato from the day before, and happened to see an ATM located conveniently across the street from the art market. Remember how Leah is the luckiest person on this planet? Well the ATM decided to be a doll and took 97 dollars from my bank account but gave me no euros in return :) It was super generous of the machine, because now I have to figure out how to get my money back. Luckily, another ATM down the street worked. But then again, it's still not that lucky, because I'm still out 97 dollars.
Later we went to the Alcázar of Sevilla, which is a royal palace. The building was beautiful and I love what they did with the place, but when I go on a tour of a historic building I really like to see some furniture. When the guide brought us into a room and went "And this is the bedroom!" I was like, where? Because all I saw was some walls and a floor. It didn't help that I was beyond tired because I couldn't fall asleep the night before. As we left the "living room," I stumbled over my own feet and fell into a plantar. I think the guide thought I was on something. But again like I said, the palace was magnificent. Just throw in some furniture, and they could totally up the price for tours. Just saying.
When we left the Alcázar, the group went to a restaurant just to sit outside and maybe get a tinto de verano. But I didn't want one, so I ordered a water. "Do you want a bottle?" The waiter asked. "No, I want a cup of water." The man stares at me with his pen and paper in hand. "So, do you want me to pour a bottle of water into a cup for you?" I tried to be loving in this situation, but it was hard. I smiled politely. "May I please just have a cup of tap water?" Then he lost it. He started yelling at me for not ordering anything that actually costs money, yadda yadda, then he started yelling at the whole group. Dude, seriously? Everyone else was ordering a drink. I was the lone ranger ordering the water. He wasn't losing that much money. AND I was thinking about ordering a tapa. But after that showdown? Sorry not sorry that I just ordered a water.
Then my friend Tori and I got harassed by the horse carriage people on our way home. They wanted us to pay for a 30 minute ride, when I really wanted to take the 15 minute power walk back to my home. They followed us down the street so we took a secret detour and somehow I ended up ordering donut ice cream. It was pretty great.
On our way home we walked passed the homeless man that lives in front of the abandoned library, and every time we pass him, Tori is always closest to him (hah). But there he was again, playing his little harmonica next to the bike with only one wheel. Then we sat down on a bench and just talked about life. How school is going by so fast, how we will only have 3 semesters left once we get back to Elon, and how we're not ready for life after college. I'm definitely not ready to graduate, but I'm going to stay in the present, here and now, in the magnificent city of Sevilla. It may not always be a smooth ride, and I may want to cry, scream, and punch holes in the walls almost everyday that I'm here, but it's an adventure. And I love a good adventure.
Until next time,