A Travellerspoint blog

Walk till your feet are about to fall off

And then take a taxi because its cheap and [usually] air-conditioned..

Today I had my translation class and my writing comprehension class. My professor in my translation class speaks rapidly, but I have no trouble understanding her (provided the a/c isn't making so much noise that I can't concentrate). I feel accomplished at my level of comprehension when listening to someone speak. Generally, it's a good thing because I can pick up on a lot and, when I can't understand exactly what's being said, I can string together the words I do know and do some quick thinking to try and develop an understanding. However, it must be emphasized that my listening comprehension is good at the sacrifice of my speech production. I freeze up when someone is asking me a question in Spanish. For example, today I was purchasing some stamps [sellos] at the Estanco and did not realize that, here, stamps come in individual quantities, you ask for however many you need. My friend informed me later that this is possible at the post office in the states as well but, having only ever bought books of stamps in my past: I had no idea. So when I asked for stamps and the man at the counter just stared at me [waiting for me to state how many I needed], I was internally having a panic attack ("what else am I supposed to say? Maybe that wasn't the right word? Why won't he just say something to give me a clue as to what else I'm supposed to do??). All turned out well in the end and I got my stamps.

I need to start taking some pictures of the food that I'm eating and upload it here.

For breakfast, I generally eat toast and drink a cup of coffee. For lunch, it ranges amongst a wide variety (today I had some chicken in a creamy, delicious sauce that was mildly garlic and onion flavored and a bowl of lightly cooked mushrooms). Dinner is a wide variety as well; today was a bocadillo and some sort of spinach concoction (which was yummy). And of course, bread with it all.

My host mom asked me at lunch if I liked mushrooms and I told her I did, because I do. Then she proceeded to joke with me about that I'm allowed to not like things and I should tell her if there's something she serves that I don't like. At dinner, she asked the same question about spinach. I told her then that there aren't many foods that I don't like, which she found funny since she has been witnessing it firsthand.
We have both been concerned about a cat that keeps howling from one of the buildings next to ours. After dinner tonight, I thought I had spotted it in the street, but it was only another cat coming to investigate. There are lots of animals here and very few leashes. Overall, however, I think the animals tend to stay with their owners a little better than pets do off-leash back home. We listened to a bunch of dogs barking the other night, which my host mom jokingly called "the lost symphony". I like her sense of humor, it makes it easier for me to talk to her.

Stephanie comes to visit Wednesday night!!! I'm super excited. We are planning on spending till Saturday morning here and then heading to Cádiz for the weekend. It should be a good time. The group seems to have found some sort of river-boating that you can do in the Guadalquivir, along with a glass of tinto and armed with my camera: it should make for some pretty photos.

The catchy song my dad showed me a few month's ago seems to be playing everywhere here, which is good because it's an enjoyable song. I just find it kind of funny that I never heard it anywhere in the states except at home and here it's playing around every corner ("Au si eu te pego").

I should probably get to sleep so that I can wake up when my alarm goes off and double check that all my homework is done!

Posted by krystenj08 18:37 Comments (0)

Embrace the moment

And eat bread with everything

I spent a nice time this evening (which doesn't technically "exist" in Spain, just fyi: it goes morning to a long afternoon to night) chatting with my host mom about all sorts of things. Picked up a few new words and expressions, some of which I understand the meaning but not how to explain it in English:

Traer a las chicas
Mire de pijo
Palomitas [popcorn]

I picked up an unlocked phone yesterday from El Corte Ingles, which will be much more convenient to reload than the other phone. It also means that I can use this phone when I get back to the states; however, it does have some keys which will be used very seldom once I get back (such as a few Spanish letters, the euro symbol, and an upside question mark). I really like it though :). Also, I watched a movie yesterday at one of the theaters in the indoor mall, right next to the Sevilla team stadium. The popcorn was AMAZING, lightly salted and nothing else, as compared to disgusting American movie theater popcorn, which always smells better than it tastes. After the movie, we exited to find an exciting and excited crowd of people awaiting the end of the game, which turned out to be a win for Sevilla!

Last night, a few of us went out to Calle Betis to start the night and then headed to Chile to finish it out. We met a few fun people but one who steered me wrong! He told me that if I ordered a 'gin & tonic' the bartender would know what I meant, but alas, no such luck. When the bartender gave me a blank look, I re-thought it and ordered it as "ginebra y tonica" and SUCCESS! Lucky for me :p.

I wanted to go to Cadiz for the day Saturday with the rest of the group but, unfortunately, my poor sense of direction prevailed again. Had I been able to locate the bus station, I would have had plenty of time to purchase my ticket. Sadly, I ended up turning around and going home after looking for half an hour (and then proceeded to see a sign almost immediately, which had previously been blared out by the sun, pointing to exactly where the bus station was). Such is i]my[/i life..

Not too disappointing though because I ended up having a great day through and through, just didn't go as I had originally planned.

Today was altogether a relaxation day. I did not go exploring or wandering at all (decided it was time to give my feet a break- they have cuts and scrapes all over them from new shoes and tons of walking). I feel refreshed for school tomorrow, which I suppose is a good thing :P.

Posted by krystenj08 17:22 Comments (0)

Sleepy, sleepless, and with a slight sinus infection..

I can only blame it on the jet lag?

Three classes today: Biochemistry [which is conducted in English, although I would personally prefer the professor spoke Spanish, considering how thick his accent is], Spanish Culture Up Close [which I don't even know if I will be able to get into, it was so full; but I would love to do it because it involves volunteer work], and Historia de Sevilla en su escenario [which involves touring different parts of the city and will be AWESOME but is at the absolute worst, sleepy, siesta time of day... okay its at 5:30, so kinda past siesta but I was still super sleepy].

Throughout the day, I've had increasing sinus congestion, talk about annoying. I went over to the Farmacia and picked up some sort of nasal spray for congestion. Tomorrow, unfortunately the only Friday I have class, I have the same classes I had today. I sense I will get an awkward sense of deja vu. I bought a new pair of gladiators that were made in Spain and are not eating my feet alive like the other pair I bought. Hopefully, once my feet have healed, I can try them again -they're a gorgeous royal blue but definitely needed to be broken in. My host mom is so cute when she talks about lunch, offering to make me a bocadillo or 'sangwee' (sandwich) to take to campus if I need to stay there. It hit 105/106 degrees Fahrenheit today and yesterday. Less humid than Virginia with the combination of the temperature being displayed in Celcius encourages me not to think about it too much, unless its right around 25 degrees Celcius (which I know as room temp from my science courses :P.

I believe tonight we will be going out to meet up with the German study abroad students, who were a lot of fun last weekend. No one wants to stay out too, too late because we have classes tomorrow -.- blah.

Posted by krystenj08 13:38 Comments (0)

Words, words, palabras

All sorts of new things!

Words/phrases I have learned in the few days here: [I'm making a concerted effort to learn at least one new word every day]
Trensas [braids]
Tirando la casa por la ventana [kinda the equivalent of sparing no expense when celebrating: 'going all out' or 'to roll out the red carpet' if you will]
Resaca [hangover]
Descalza [barefoot] because I made the mistake of wearing heels out when we still don't really know our way around.
Calcetines [socks]
Mantel [tablecloth]
Manta [blanket]
Sonámbulo [sleepwalker]
Por la mañana [in the morning]
Por el mañana [for tomorrow]

That 'Lo siento' is not the correct response unless you feel really bad about something, however 'perdon' can be used frequently.

I'm super proud of myself because Saturday night I was able to hold a super long (~1 hour) conversation with someone who spoke little to no english. That's the longest spanish conversation I have ever had, with the widest range of topics! Granted, it's much easier with some liquid courage :p, but it was nice to know that I do have the ability to have a conversation and be understood. Saturday night we also met some German students participating in the Erasmus program who will also be here all semester.

I have yet to get in contact with my friends that showed me around in Madrid, which makes me sad because they were pretty awesome.

I'm determined to make some friends who are locals, everyone I seem to be meeting is not from around Sevilla.

Sorry for the delay in writing, I kept saving this one as a draft and meaning to add more words. Therefore, I seriously doubt these are all the words I have learned, but they are a sampling, at the least. Everything above this mini-blurb I wrote before today and saved it.

Today I had my first day of classes, starting with Spanish-English translation at 10:30 and then with Lectura y redaccion at 12. The classes run for an hour and 20 minutes. I was late for my first class because the campus has absolutely no order to it's numbered buildings and was completely wrong in attempting to find building 25 near buildings 21, 24, 19, etc. It was a little bit closer to 10, 12, etc. I was only slightly late and the professor was super understanding, which was great. We took a practice translation test, just so she could get an idea of where we stand. I don't think mine went super well, which is funny because that's normally what I am good at, but we were on a time crunch (~25 mins with two page-long essays to summarize/translate: let's get something straight here-> I don't do well with timed assignments :p). My second class we went through the usual interview/introduce type 'get-to-know-each-other' activity. The teacher also seemed very nice. Tomorrow I have three classes, which I can tell you about after I have them!

Posted by krystenj08 17:43 Comments (0)

Gaining a new understanding

Of things that give you away as an American

Apparently, Europeans don't put braids in their hair. I found this out last night in one of the bars we went to, news to me! The guy who told me, first asked me if I was American and then proceeded to explain that he knew because of my hair.

We started the night splitting two bottles of wine between everyone in our group that came out. It was quite the experience being about to sit outside in a park and be able to drink, especially when you get to sit with some beautiful architecture on one side of you and a river on the other. After that, we headed across the bridge to bar hop. Drinks, for the most part, are super cheap here. A shot of tequila or a glass of tinto de verano, usually 1€ (depending, of course, what type of bar you're in: the extremely popular ones tend to charge more). We wanted to go dancing, as well, which generally starts around 3 am. However, we decided it would be better to try it tonight when we were all more appropriately dressed because some of us were a little dressed down for a nice club (including me). We got quite a few recommendations for this one place so we plan on trying it out tonight.

For today, SHOPPING. I want either a dress I can wear with my red shoes, or new shoes that I can wear with one of my dresses.

Posted by krystenj08 18:18 Comments (1)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 14) « Page 1 [2] 3 »