A Travellerspoint blog

Marruecos, Roma, y padres

Oh my!

Ahhh what a delay I have experienced in posting here. I have been all over from place to place and taking full advantage of my relaxation time (aka procrastinating anything, except for relaxing, to the extreme).

Starting with Morocco:
It was a long weekend with many, many hours spent in transit [mostly buses but also a ferry to cross the Strait of Gibraltar].
We saw many interesting things in Morocco and were given the chance to experience a culture that is quite the opposite of our own (ladies, cover your knees and elbows [Morocco is a very conservative country]). There were many different things to see and experience. Many of the small, close-quartered streets had vendor after vendor selling everything ranging from raw meat to fish (much to the delight of the abundance of stray cats that reside in Morocco) to vegetables and so on.
I, of course, was struggling with all the cats we saw. I wanted to personally take care of each and every one of them. Just to give you an idea of the limitless amount of cats present in Morocco:
However, many vendors did share fish with the kitties, so this fact made me very happy.
The first night, we were able to put our feet into the Mediterranean [a first for me!!].
On Saturday, we saw a beautiful cave that opened into the ocean:
On Sunday we rode camels [my goodness, who knew they were so tall! And when they stand/lay back down: they put you at a diagonal!!] Also, boy can those things move!

Rome, Italy
Oh, what a beautiful, wonderful, and altogether marvelous place Rome is. My friend Grace and I had an absolutely fabulous experience during our first trip to Italy. From the get-go, it was a pleasant experience: our taxi driver was a cute old man who understood Spanish and proceeded to answer our never-ending list of questions on ways to say things in Italian. We quickly learned that a conversation between Spanish and Italian, although everyone has to speak clearly and use more basic words, was really quite easy to accomplish. This was a big relief. In fact, we got a lot more use out of our Spanish in Rome than our English [not to say that we didn't use our English at all but Spanish seemed to be more widely understood, so it was usually what we tried first]. We spent the weekend sampling all sorts of delicious food and wine, sightseeing, and shopping. It was incredible! The history of the city simply resonates through just about every inch of it and, of course, not enough can be said about the food. Every single restaurant we tried had something delicious to offer. We made sure to make a full experience out of dinner every night and progressed through the weekend by trying a different type of wine each night, using each waiter's recommendation [Friday-white; Saturday- Rosé; Sunday- red]. Every single wine was also delicious.

We saw every single sight we had on our list, save one [okay, okay- this one was really only on my list: old ruins that have been converted into a famous cat sanctuary] {On a side note, I swear I'm not a weird cat-obsessed person, as much as I seem to be coming off as one in this post; in fact, I'm equally as obsessed with dogs and most other animals, so I'm not sure if that makes me seem better or worse: regardless, I just happen to see/have opportunities to see cats more often on my trips:p}

I have plenty of pictures of Rome that I will add, along with some more details/anecdotes about our trip later this week (I'd like to post more tomorrow but, pending the length of my midterm studying, we shall see).

My parents came to visit me for the past few days [they arrived on Wednesday and left Sevilla yesterday afternoon]. We had a really good time, despite the unusual amount of rain Sevilla appears to be receiving this year. Thursday night we had a little get-together with some of my friends from my program. Everyone really enjoyed being able to hang out at someone's 'place' rather than having to actually go somewhere to hang out [it's not as common here to just invite friends over to your house]. We all also enjoyed eating spicy food [also uncommon in Spain] and good company. Friday, we did lots of wandering about the city. Saturday, my parents and I went on a day adventure to Marbella, which was beautiful despite being a little dreary for the second half of the day. Sunday, my parents were able to meet my host mom and we all had coffee. It was fun to watch them interact with her and I think everyone had a good time. It was amusing to watch my dad, who can communicate effectively in Spanish, struggle with understanding some people when they spoke (those with super-thick Sevillano accents). Of course, I was not laughing at him, per se, but rather thinking back to how much trouble I had deciphering what was being said when I first came here [not to say I always understand everything that is said to me now, not at all, but I have improved significantly]. Here they speak differently and use words differently than they are normally used (for example: dos is often doh'; escuchame= cuchame; and so on). Once you start to pick up on how things are said differently, it is much easier to understand [or if you run into someone that is living in Spain but moved from somewhere in Latin America, my understanding still takes a huge upward swing when this happens]. I found out from my host mom that almost an exact translation of I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you exists in Spanish, and that would apply perfectly here because I understand exactly where he's coming from. Our main problem with the transition is that we did not learn Spanish using Castellano with a Sevillano accent. It just takes an adjustment period [which, unfortunately for me can linger for awhile].

Overall, my parents trip was a success :). They were able to see and experience some of the wonderful parts of Sevilla and Spain.

On another note, I think I now have two intercambio partners, both of which seem like types of people I could really get along with (now if only I could be less shy about speaking!!). My timidness in terms of speaking comes from my limited experience with just making small talk in Spanish but, I suppose, the only way to learn is to just do it: take risks, make mistakes, grow, learn, and enrich.

Posted by krystenj08 14:33 Archived in Spain

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