Learning Galore: Week 4

8 Oct

So it has been a month already! It is hard to believe how fast time flies. I am still having a great time and am enjoying learning a ton. But the real question is, do you miss me yet?

Monday morning started out bright and early with a lovely placement exam. Think AP Spanish exam, but harder and more painful. It was a straight 3.5 hours of testing. Needless to say, a joyous way to spend a Monday morning. However, after the exam, the day got incredibly more magical. Why, you ask? The answer: because I went to Burger King. That’s right, my trip to Burger King made my day magical because there, I had diet soda for the first time in 4 weeks. Incredible. Oh yeah, and there were free refills too!

The rest of the week I did not have class and most of my amigos were going on trips, so I explored Granada solo. Just me, my map, and my hyper-vigilance to ensure that I did not get accosted. Don’t worry, I survived.

One of my favorite adventures was the olive oil tour that I went on. I went with 2 other girls in my program and there were also 6 other American tourists in the group. My friends and I were the only persons under 80 taking the tour. But as usual, one of the older gentlemen loved me and gave me grapes that he picked off of the vine as well as a sip of his wine during the wine tasting. It was not creepy, I promise! But the tour took us through a grove of olive trees surrounded by the Sierra Nevadas, through the oldest oil mill in Spain, and for a taste testing. I tried an olive right off of the tree and it was absolutely disgusting! Although, it could be because the olives are not ripe yet. My older gentleman friend got a kick out of my face after trying the olive off of the tree. The tour was a lot of fun and it was also quite enjoyable to get to taste test the oils. In order to be like a “professional taster” though, I had to drink a bit of each olive oil sample. I would not recommend that. Stick to dipping it in bread. The worst part about the tour happened afterward. After heartily enjoying lots of bread, olives, and olive oil in the afternoon, my host mom decided it was a good idea to serve bread, cheese and olive oil for dinner. I’ll spare you the gory details, but needless to say, it did not sit well.

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Olive trees in front of the Sierra Nevadas

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(Attempted) Artsy shot of the olives on the trees

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Me pushing the press at the old oil mill. See that large, heavy rock? Yeah, I made it move!

After frolicking through the olive groves, I spent the rest of my weekend at other museums. I went to one which was interactive, meaning that I had a fantastic time standing in front of a giant screen and moving my arms around to watch movies. Don’t fret, I was the only one there bright and early on a Saturday morning, so I was not embarrassing myself in front of anyone.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, I went to the movies. Yes, I was by myself and the movie was in Spanish. Two firsts for me! I managed to understand most of what was occurring on the screen, but not all of it. Of course, the parts that I did not understand were the racy jokes. Everyone else in the theater would start laughing and I would just sit there not entirely sure about what was being laughed about. So, there were some awkward moments. But on the bright side, I got a free t-shirt just by buying a ticket. Of course, that made my day.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any going out stories for you this week. That is because I stayed in and went to bed early every night! I am pretty sure my host mom thinks that I am an anti-social loser, but hey, it’s about how I feel about myself! It does make me feel old though, when I am going to bed at 11:30 and I can still hear little kids playing on the streets outside. But oh well, I enjoyed my long night’s sleep!

So this weekend was mainly about getting to know Granada a bit more and I would say that I succeeded. I took many a walk through the city, wandering in and out of shops and exploring new territory. But of course, only in the day time and in brightly lit locations. On these walks I definitely saw/heard/learned some interesting things that I will share with you:

-A knife store. Yes, an entire store dedicated to knives, and all different kinds. Basically anything ranging from small kitchen knives to machetes and swords. So many knives. Needless to say, I did not go in or purchase anything there.

-A girl making a Your Mom joke in Spanish. Absolutely hilarious, and yes, I understood the joke and started laughing awkwardly to myself on the street.

-Some Spanish people came up to me and asked me for directions in Spanish. I am not sure if they did so because they thought that I looked Spanish or because I was the only other person on the street. But, for my confidence, I will go with the fact that they thought I was Spanish.

-And, once again, the unleashed dogs. I almost stepped on one. No, not on purpose, I promise! It is not my fault that this little rat-dog decided to walk in front of me when I wasn’t looking. I think the owner thought that I was a terrible person.

-Sadly, I learned that dark chocolate M&Ms do not exist in Spain. As you can imagine, I was quite depressed about that. These poor Spanish people don’t know what magic they are missing.

Besides for the fact that I could not purchase dark chocolate M&Ms, Week 4 went well. I am still learning a lot and am practicing my Espanol every day. It is strange to think that it has been over a month already. Time is flying by and I know that it will be December before I know it. Enjoy your week and please, think of me while consuming dark chocolate.

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