Wow, I can´t believe I have been here for a month already. It seems like a week ago I was packing my things in my huge red suitcase and waiting anxiously to start my adventure!
I have had a pretty uneventful week, just school and lots of homework! Insane amounts actually, I spent 7 hours over the weekend doing homework and I only got about 3/4 done. I don´t even spend that much time on homework in 5 days in the States...
I didn´t do anything super fun over the weekend because I have been really sick for the past 4 days. Thursday morning I went to the police station to get my visa extended and a Spanish ID card that all citizens are supposed to have. Saturday I went on a much needed shopping trip in Ponferrada to get winter clothes. I completely underestimated how cold it gets here and I did not come well prepared. I guess you can take the girl out of California, but you can't take the California out of the girl. :) When I was unpacking all my clothes, the first thing my family said was that with the clothes I brought, I will not get out of the winter alive. After shopping, we went to see mis abuelos (grandparents) because they had gotten a little puppy that day, then we went out for some ice cream. On Sunday, my cold was majorly acting up so I stayed inside all day and relaxed. I taught Raquel and Sergio how to make cookies, though!! They didn´t turn out right and I thought they were bad but everyone else thought they were good! They only probably thought that because they do not know what real and delicious cookies should actually taste like :) I think the reason they tasted a bit grain-y is because their sugar, especially the brown sugar, is different. It isn´t as fine...actually it is as thick as sand. While the three of us were preparing the dough, Sergio started an "ingrediant war," we starting putting flour, sugar, and the dough on eachother´s faces! It was a mess but so much fun! Also, it was the first time I had taken part in any type "food fight."
That was basically the extent of my weekend.
Since the update part of this post is so short, I think this is a good time to give people my List of Observations, or things I have noticed that are different here.
1. In school, the teachers are religious to the textbooks, Everything we do is from the textbook.
2. When people speak in Englsih, they speak with British accents. It makes sense since they learn British English, I just had never thought about it before. My first day of English class I legitimately had to cover my mouth the whole time because I kept laughing!
3. Driving is insane. I can only assume the rule here is if no one dies then it is legal. It is scary. Crosswalks are supposed to be a safe way to cross the street, I thought... Here, they´re not. I don´t think cars have to stop for you, only if you are in the middle of the crosswalk.
4. People go out walking just to walk, like not for exercise, as a pastime. They don´t have a destination in mind or anything, they just go out walking then they always run into people they know so they chat for a little bit, then maybe go get something to drink. It is actally quite fun, and who knew walking around town could be such an adventure!
5. Things here are not that expensive, especially compared to the US. I think things are extremely reasonably priced. In Spain, if it didn´t cost a lot to make/produce then it won´t be expensive to buy. However, in the US, even though it cost little to make/produce, the price will be high because people will still purchase it.
6. Teachers and students are very laid back towards eachother here. They call teachers by their first time and for example, a boy in my class told the teacher to calm down and it was totally normal.
7. I knew coming here that Spaniards are very touchy, but the kids and teenagers like to hit one another, and the head and shoulders are very popular targets. It´s very strange. It´s not violent or anything, always playful but it´s definitely more than just small shove or light pat on the shoulder that we might do in America. It is very odd for me to to watch.
8. The portions are insanely large here. Everyone here is skinny, though, it doesn´t make sense. Also, you have to say "no more food" about 10 times before they realize your stomach is about to explode. It is a trap because if you say "poquito más" (a little more) you will get a another serving size and I´m pretty sure it is considered rude to not finish everything on your plate.
9. They eat all fresh foods here, except the milk, it doesn´t need to be refridgerated until it is opened (aka, not fresh). I was surprised when I was in the grocery store and the milk was on a normal shelf next to soda.
10. The last different thing I care to mention about food is that "un postre" (dessert) can (on just a normal occasion) mean a yogurt or a piece of fruit, but for breakfast they have baked goods that in America we would consider a desert. Basically, it is just switched.
Please feel free to leave comments! It is a great way to contact me! It seems that Mondays are going to be (in general) the day that I update my blog!
Until next week!