Well, today was my first day in class (as my title indicates). I woke up this morning at around 7:30 before we had breakfast at 8:15, because I still had to shower. Spain is currently experiencing a serious drought, so I had to take what they call a Navy Shower, where basically I got wet, turned the water off, washed, and then turned the water back on to rinse. In and out in about five minutes. The water was also either scalding or freezing so it was better that way.
We then had a nice breakfast with yogurt and toast. Inma also had a nice warm mug of hot chocolate waiting for me which was delicious. Actually, here in Spain, they refer to what we think of as hot chocolate as cola-cao. When you ask for chocolate caliente, which literally translates to hot chocolate, you get very thick, goopy chocolate which you can’t really drink. What most people do is dip churros in it. Churros are a kind of bland, fritter-like pastry, very common for breakfast.
Inma then walked us to the Center so that we could go take our first class, a five hour Spanish class. At first I was nervous because it was five hours long, but the time really flew by. We talked for the first hour or so about differences we’ve noticed in Spain, either culturally or linguistically, which was very interesting. Then, at about 10:15, Javier, the nicest man in the world and our program director, came to take us on a tour of the center. He showed us around to all the offices, introduced us to the maintenance man, and brought us up to the student lounge that they have. It has couches, computers, wireless internet, and a beautiful terrace that we can go out and sit on. Then after about half an hour to forty-five minutes we went back to our aula (classroom) for a couple of minutes to meet with our teacher before our coffee break, something very traditional around 11:00 or so. When we went in, our teacher had written numerous words on the board, all of which were drinks one could order at a coffee shop. She said that we had to go to one of the local coffee shops and ask the people there what each of these drinks were, and then come back and tell her what they were. There were things like cafe bombon, which is coffee with evaporated milk, cafe solo, or black coffee, and several other drinks. Me, I had another cola-cao, which was mighty delicious.
We then went back to class for a little while and started doing a review of vocabulary and grammar. I felt to silly, because I learned all of this stuff back in 7th and 8th grade, but no one has ever gone over it since then, so I had forgotten a lot of basic words and phrases, so it was really useful to have someone go over them again. Finally class ended and we all went downstairs to exchange numbers and go home for almuerzo, lunch.
Here in Spain, lunch is really the big meal of the day, whereas in the US the focus is more on dinner. We came home and it smelled absolutely delicious. Inma made “macaroni boloñesa,” which reminded me a lot of baked ziti. She also served it with salchichas. Salchicha means sweet sausage, but it actually reminded me more of a small hot dog. She kept on serving us more food and I felt like I was going to burst! But, everything was absolutely delicious. So far I’ve loved all of the food that I’ve tried here in Spain, which bodes well for the next few months. We talked a little bit more at lunch about what we should make when we cook our traditional “American” dinner. Inma was talking about what the last students who came here made. She couldn’t remember the word, but after describing it a little bit we figured out that she was talking about french toast. When Danielle was talking about chili, I mentioned sour cream (because I had mentioned that I’m not particularly partial to spicy food), but neither of us new how to say it in Spanish. We tried to describe it to her, but I’m not sure how far we got.
Right now it’s siesta time in Spain, when most people rest, relax, nap, things like that. We also tried to describe the concept of a “power nap” to Inma, which she seemed to grasp much better than sour cream. That’s essentially what people do, take a power nap versus really sleeping. Me, I’m blogging. I’ll probably read some more of my book too. I’ll be bummed when it’s over! We’re going to go out a little bit later to explore, shop, and then get some tapas! In Granada, it’s great because whenever you order a drink, you get a free tapas with it. It makes eating dinner very cheap!
Well, it’s about quarter past four here, so I think I’m going to relax a little, but I know that in the US it’s more like 10:15, so to you I say, buenos dias!