Thursday, October 2, 2008

¡me encanta españa!

So Madrid is cool because unlike other cities in Europe, people don't speak English. I'm obliged to practice my Spanish, and it's a lot of fun trying to act like I know what I'm saying -- although it comes back to bite me in the neck when the people I'm talking to respond to what I'm saying and I can't understand. The director of our program is named Santiago, but we just call him "Santi" like "Santa" but with an 'i' instead of an 'a' so it's pretty fun. He kind of looks like what I would imagine a Spanish Santa to look like, exect he's not that old. He's really friendly and makes fun of us in Spanish, so only half of the people get it, but laugh anyway. It's one of those things I've learned to do when I really don't know what the person talking has just said -- slightly laugh, nod, and smile. It's that universal gesture that pretty much works all the time. We went on an orientation trip to northern Spain to learn about the culture, architecture, etc. It was so beautiful, especially the ocean. I had been missing it. Although I mosdef like the Pacific better than the Atlantic. I'm totally a pansy when it comes to cold weather. It is too much for me to handle. We also had a day where we visited tons of 'bodegas' (vineyards) in Léon. I like vineyards because of the trees and the ambiance, but I'm not going to lie... I felt pretty awkward being the only one not drinking/tasting the wine. Santi kept looking at me and shaking his head, laughing, as if I was like too young to appreciate wine or get past the bitterness of it or something like that. I don't know, I just slightly laughed, nodded and smiled. Here are some photos of the orietation trip -- Comilla, Segovia, Peñafiel, and Léon.


sienna said...

looks like you're having a good adventure. i feel ya on speaking the language. i love the pics of the ocean. i have to say i am partial to the pacific also, but it's good to be able to say i've given the atlantic a try.

Damaris said...

Noelle, this looks amazing. I'm glad you're getting a chance to adventure out into the world. Spain and Italy are the two countries I would like to visit in Europe.

If we ever have enough money can we hire you as a tour guide?

I have a friend who is from Spain and she says "vale, vale" all the time. I also think their accent is super pretty.

Right now I'm off to TA a class with a super left wing indigenous professor. The readings are about the awfulness of 1492. I'm still convinced that I'd like to visit Spain some day and visit all the old castles ad stuff.

Have FUN. by the way what yummy food have you been eating?

noelle said...
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noelle said...

i would love to come back as your tour guide. :) although i'm not sure how much of a help i'd be. but yeah, Spain is something different. it has a really amazing history and the architecture is distinct and different from the rest of europe.

oh, and since you asked -- the food is REALLY good. Oh my. I am loving the chorizo and jamón and sopas and the tapas and everything. My host mom made us a spanish version of "french toast" the other morning that was muy muy rico. I'll have to take notes so I can make some spanish food for you all when I get back. :)