Holy moly! This is quite unlike me not to write for a while. So many details so little time!
Well, as I said before on Sunday I met up with a friend who I haven’t seen in a couple of years. She studied in Granada last semester so she already knows the city pretty well, so she was able to show me around a lot. We went to get some tapas for lunch which was delicious, and then we went somewhere called Cafe Futbol to get coffee. I ordered something called a mokachoc, but the waiter said that I should get a different drink which he thought was better (I forget what it was called), so I did. It was the strangest thing. About a pound of whipped cream on top, very thick hot chocolate (somewhere between a cola-cao and chocolate caliente), and it had little pieces of cake or something in it. Not quite what I had been intending to consume, but oh well, it still tasted pretty good. Then we just walked all over the city. It was a great way to start getting acquainted with how things are connected so I could start getting around on my own. I even found a Dunkin Donuts! Here it’s called Dunkin Coffee, but still, they have it! Dunkin Donuts was my last meal in America because I thought they wouldn’t have it over here, but lo and behold they do! So exciting!
After my day I went home and we had hake for dinner. It’s a kind of white fish that I have never tried before, but it tasted very similar to every other white fish. Then we had some vegetables in some sort of sauce but I forget what it was. I forget what I did for the rest of the night, but it was probably relaxing.
Monday in Spanish we talked about clothes and vocabulary you might use in a clothing store. Then, we had a really fun activity. We were each given a piece of paper with the name of a store on it, and we had to go out into the city and ask for directions to the store. Once we got there, we had so ask the people who worked there how many of that store there were in Granada, if you can return clothes, if the clothes can be returned for money or merchandise credit, and how long you had to return clothes. It was a lot of fun and I got to scope out a few places to go shopping for all kinds of fun clothes! I also went back to Cafe Futbol and tried churros con chocolate, a traditional Spanish breakfast, for the first time, and it was ALL KINDS OF DELICIOUS. There was a ton of food and it was incredibly greasy but totally worth it. After class was over, we went back home and had more hake, this time in soup. Inma told us again that she didn’t think that we ate very much. I told her I thought I was eating more than the first day I got here, but apparently she thought I should be eating even more! My body just isn’t used to eating my big meal so early in the day, but I’m quite sure I’ll adjust. Later we had the first part of our language exams, the written part. We had a few short answer questions and then sixty multiple choice. It wasn’t super difficult, but some of the multiple choice was tricky, because a lot of it was grammar that no one has gone over with me since high school, so I’ve forgotten some of the rules. Oh well. No pasa nada. I have my oral exam tonight, so hopefully that goes well.
Yesterday we talked about food in Spanish, and we had an activity to go out into a nearby market called Mercado de San Augustin. There were fruit and vegetable stands, meat stands, fish stands, chocolate shops, all kinds of places to go. We were each randomly given a recipe, and we had to go out and ask someone how to make that particular recipe, and then come back and tell the class how to make it. I got gazpacho, which is really easy to make. Basically, take tomato, cucumber, a little bit of garlic, if you want to you can add zucchini, carrots, whatever you want, and beat it. Tadaaaaa now you have gazpacho, a traditional Spanish cold tomato soup. It’s very popular in the summer, because you’re more thirsty than you are hungry, so it quenches your thirst as well as satisfies your hunger. Very clever, Spaniards.
When we got home we had soup (which Inma actually considered more of a stew) which a whole bunch of stuff in it, but I forget all the ingredients. I can tell you there was red pepper and that’s about it. Yesterday I ate a little bit more. And by a little bit I mean a lot. I had three bowls of the soup, some bread, and I don’t know what else. I thought I was going to explode, but I was hoping Inma would be pleased with me eating more of her delicious food, and indeed she was. I didn’t need to eat anything for the rest of the day, which was good because I went out with my friend who is in Granada for a couple of days with her architecture program at about 10:00. We went to a bar called La Bella y La Bestia which I had heard made really good mojitos, and so naturally I ordered one. It ended up being enormous so we shared it, since she had only ordered water. We hung out until about midnight or 12:30, then I walked her back to her hotel and made my way home (via taxi).
This morning we talked about the differences between American universities and Spanish universities, and there really are quite a few. For one thing, it only costs one or two thousand euro to attend a university in Spain. Most of the universities are public, which is why it’s so cheap. But even for me, if I were to attend an in-state public university, I could certainly still expect to pay at the very least ten thousand dollars a year. Also, they don’t really have the concept of a “major” here. For example, if I was studying anthropology here, that’s literally all I would study. I would only take anthropology classes, nothing else. That’s why there’s no such thing as a major, minor, electives, distribution or general education requirements, nothing like that. So if someone asked me what I studied, I would just tell them that I study anthropology, Spanish, and education studies. If I told them that those were my major and minors they would have no idea what I was talking about. Later we went on a tour of some of the buildings of the University of Granada, which were beautiful. I’m not taking any classes at the actual university, because it would have been hard for me to get credit for them, rather I’m taking classes where University professors come to the center and teach. It works for me!
Now, I’m sitting back at home relaxing. We just had lentil soup with chorizo for lunch, and a little bit of manchego too. Again, I ate a ton, but apparently not enough. Inma put a laurel leaf in the soup, and she said that if the leaf lands in your bowl, it’s good luck. We never ate enough to have the laurel land in either of our bowls, and I certainly could use the extra luck for my oral exam today. I guess I’ll just have to use pure skill. Hopefully it all works out well! I’ll have to write about it sometime later. Hasta luego!