21 May 2009

If I don't show up in the States, you'll know where I am.

Palabra del dia: el final -->the end
I can't believe it. The end is near, too near. Three days, to be exact. I will be moving out of my homestay in three days. However, the good thing to note is that I'm staying here for another week because my flight doesn't leave Spain until May 28th. Haha, suckers!! Just kidding. Kinda.

I know it's been a while since I've blogged, but I promise I've had a good reason, and his name is Rayner. My Kiwi friend (that means from New Zealand) came to visit me on May 7th for a week and a half or so. It was SO FUN! I had prepared in advance and gotten most all of my homework done so that I didn't have to worry about it while he was here. I was determined to show him the magic of Granada without my homework on my mind. In the week and a half he was here, I'm pretty sure I saw more of Granada and explored more here than I have in the 4 1/2 months I've been here. Lame, I know, but sometimes things just don't get done, ya know?!

So what'd we do? Well, let's see. I took him to all my favorite tapas places, and there's a lot. We walked around the city and saw the history of it all. In the afternoons, we stopped for ice cream or a drink at an outside cafe and watched the sunset (at 9:15 or 9:30pm, might I add!). We wandered around the Albaicin, the old historic district of Granada where all the hippies live. On Sunday, we went to Nerja, a beach about 2 hours from Granada by bus, with my friend Montana and her Spanish friend Ivan. It was so fun just the four of us. We lazed on the beach, ate the heaps of food we had, swam in the freezing cold water, and got sunburned. Ahhhh Spain. I'm livin the life, I'm tellin you! If it weren't for the homework, it'd be perfect! Let's see what else did we do... we ate a lot of ice cream. There's this great ice cream place that I always go to and they have the BEST dark chocolate ice cream. I don't know how they do it, but it's fantabulous! On Tuesday we made a day of going to the Alhambra, something I hadn't been able to go see yet. It was gorgeous, especially when we were at the top and the sun was starting to set. I took some sweet pictures you'll see soon. On Wednesday, Ma (my host mom, as I affectionately call her) invited Rayner over for lunch. She made paella, a traditional Spanish dish. It was quite interesting because Rayner doesn't speak any Spanish, and Ma doesn't speak English. The translators were Nacho (my host brother) and I. However, I know Spanish a little better than Nacho knows English, I think, so I did most of the translating. It was weird to be in that position but gave me a lot of confidence in my Spanish skills. There were even times when I would hear Spanish and forget to translate it in English, because it doesn't seem foreign anymore. I like the sound of that! We also went to Parque de las Ciencias, a museum that was pretty cool. I hadn't been before, mostly because it's literally on the other side of the city and hadn't had anyone to go with, but it was cool. And they had an Antarctica exhibit which was a nice relief from the hot weather outside! Besides that, we just explored the city, did some shopping at the Arab stores, you know, all the great stuff about Granada.

My favorite part of the week was being able to hang out with someone that I met randomly in Europe and just talking and learning about one another. We're from different sides of the world, literally, but we have so much in common. I'd laugh at his funny Kiwi words he'd use and he'd use his incredible sense of direction to figure out where we were when we took streets I didn't know. We had so much fun just hanging out, and it makes me really thankful I was able to have an experience like this in Spain. It is definitely something that I did not expect, but it's one of my favorite memories from studying abroad.

Now to the sad part. Most of my friends are leaving in the next three days. Our last dinner is tomorrow night. We got an email from our director telling us about how we're going to miss Granada and have an "olive-smelling emptiness" when we return back to the States. I don't quite know what that means, but I know I'm not going to like it. I'm going to miss walking to class and seeing all the people I see on a regular basis: that guy with the hat and scarf that I always pass, the kids on their way to school, the guy who takes off his shoes and talks to himself in Gran Capitan Plaza, the cute guy that works in the fruit store on the corner of Plaza Trinidad, the adorable old lady that sells bread in the same plaza, the flower guy who always says "buenos dias," the construction workers who always look at me weirdly cause I'm obviously not Spanish, and all the hippies who mingle in Plaza Nueva, to name a few. I have taken it all for granted, I'm sure, but I know I'm thankful for it. These past 4 1/2 months have been the most unexpected, challenging, growing, life-changing months of my life. I am not the same person I was when I left in January, as I have said before. I hope to not return to the person I was before when I get back to the States either. I think I've changed for the better, and I'm proud of who I am today. That being said, those of you who will be around me a lot when I return, please be patient as my transition is not going to be smooth I don't think. And please just nod and smile and look interested when I say funny Spanish phrases or tell Granada stories. I just need to share my excitement, okay?!

Nerja, compliments of Rayner. He's a really good photographer, he just won't admit it!

Cafe con leche y tostada con tomate at my favorite cafe!

Stopping to smell the roses in the gardens at the Alhambra.

Palaces at the Alhambra. These kings were filthy rich!

This is one of my favorite pictures of me at the Alhambra.

Coolest. Picture. Ever. At the Alhambra, of course.
Us at the Alhambra. Smile Rayner!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay so I need to add more pictures, I know. But it's tapa time, and I'm late. Hasta luego!

No comments:

Post a Comment