At first I wanted to write about how terrible my long day of travel was due to exhaustion and sickness, but that feels oh so minuscule now that I have some positive things to report.
The awfulness was prevalent for awhile, though, so I’ll touch on it.
5 hours in the Dallas airport blowing my nose and eating candy, 9 hours in the air to Madrid trying to sleep, groaning, and being the personification of sickness itself, 5 more hours in the freezing cold Madrid airport (the crux of that experience was feeling nearly flu-like and uncontrollable exhaustion). The positive aspects of my trip shall now commence.
I saw my roommate, Julia, whom I had performed Facebook recon on, walking onto our plane to Granada (my final destination). I abruptly approached her and even though I freaked her out a bit at first, it ensured me a compañera in the taxi and to our homestay.
In the taxi, I felt like a baby who had just been born: in total awe gazing at a world I had never seen before as well as not at all knowing how to talk. We arrived at a street which appeared to be completely in the center of all the action, just the way I like it.
Carrying our bags through the gate and then some was a complete nightmare, but praise be to something that there was an elevator.
Our host mom introduced herself as “Paqui” and instructed that we do not refer to her in the formal usted, but instead the casual “tu”, which set a nice foundation of comfort and warmth for the remainder of our five-month stay. Paqui gave us a tour of the house, told us her rules for living here, and gave us hugs and kisses before bidding us off to our room to unpack and relax until dinner at 8:30 pm. I fell asleep immediately.
It seems I beat jet lag completely with the help of sleep-inducing cold medicine. I had a beautiful night’s sleep, woke up naturally in time for breakfast, got ready for school and walked to el Centro de Lenguas Modernas (CLM–a program within la Universidad de Granada) with Paqui and my roommate. During the walk, I again felt like a newborn baby seeing the world for the very first time.
Today all we had was orientation, which meant filling out a lot of forms and listening to the program directors give us advice, talk about safety, etc. Afterwards, we were given a numbered list as our first homework assignment: a city-wide scavenger hunt of sorts. Somehow I managed to feel socially adequate and found myself in a small group to walk around the city with. Finding everything on the list took awhile, but it was fun and I spent my entire day casually speaking in Spanish like it was nothing. It already feels like it’s coming more naturally to me. (Except for vosotros, still gotta work on that). I also made friends and we had cerveza and tapas after finishing the list.
All I have to do now is eat dinner and study for my placement exam tomorrow, but I feel like what I know is what I know; where I get placed should be true to my actual Spanish abilities.
Also, possibly the coolest thing ever is that despite all the cultural elements that make people distinct and different, the sound of laughter is the same in every language. That’s some universal stuff that no one can deny the power of. (Sometimes sentences need to end in prepositions)
That’s all for now. ¡Gracias para leyendo, hasta luego!