Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dinner-time conversation

"Alli donde fueres, haz lo que veras"

I learned this saying tonight at dinner when my host mom was telling us about her crazy sister-in-law that is from the DR and refuses to accept Spanish culture even though she is married to a Spaniard and is living here. For all of you non Spanish speakers it basically just means that wherever you go you should do what you see. Embrace culture. 

This got me thinking. Sure, we all have our own culture and our own ways of doing things. We want people to know and understand where we come from. I am American. I am an Arkansan. I am a student. I am a writer. These are parts of me, parts of my culture. However, I am always changing and bringing new parts of culture into my world. My past cultures affect the way I do things and view the world, but I must have a constantly changing perspective. We can't have a set way of doing things and expect that to be the best and only way of doing it. And when we are in a new place that isn't our own we must keep our eyes open. It is such an invigorating feeling to know your way around a metro system and which bus to take to the train station. It is exciting to feel like you belong somewhere that you didn't previously call home. 

So, while I'm off in different lands I do my best to "hacer lo que veo". Here in Spain I eat meals at odd times, I only use public transportation, I relax in the Plaza, I go to bars for tapas and coke, I get excited about futbol games, and if I decide to go out to a's not until 3 or 4 in the morning. It's interesting though, how "my" culture will always be a part of me. We can't ever get rid of where we grew up and the way we are used to things. And that's how I like it. I am me and I am exploring other people's worlds. And maybe our worlds can affect each other in good ways. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I finished this book a few weeks ago and my roommate is almost done reading it. We enjoy discussing the thought process of Oskar and why these people are acting they way they are. It's a mini book club of sorts between ourselves. 

"Well, what I don't get is why do we exist? I don't mean how, but why.' I watched the fireflies of his thoughts orbit his head. He said, 'we exist because we exist. . .we could imagine all sorts of universes like this one, but this is the one that happened." 
-Johnathan Safran Foer

Mainly we enjoy how the book actually makes us feel. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

No Pasa Nada

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Granada with my Spain besties. We have to wake up tomorrow to return to Alcala after four days of bliss in the south of Spain. Since the last blogpost things have been a whirlwind of crazy consisting of festivals, castles, palaces, flamenco, boats, and dreadlocks. 

"We eat tons of bread (Spaniards can't get enough of that stuff) and we often talk as if we were Ron Burgundy. During long bus rides we turn up our ipods to drown out the sound of boring tour guides and laugh when the director tells the "secret couples" that he's not stupid and once again goes over the rules. We have way too may inside jokes. We stay up way too late when at hotels and run off of way too little sleep. We have animal spirits, we rock hammer pants, we visit museums, we love Kebabs, we have band, we sometimes crave McDonald's, we tell way too many "that's what she said" jokes, and we get yelled at by scary Spanish women. We are excessive amounts of ridiculous." 

In other news, I can cross off dreadlocking my hair from my bucket list. I rocked dreadlocks for approximately 24 hours while living in Spain. I'm still in the process of taking them out. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Calle Violeta

I've been out of touch for the past few weeks, but for good reason. I am currently residing in Alcala de Henares, Spain. My internet is the slowest thing ever, hence the lack of blog posts. So here's a brief update on life:
I currently live with a host family that consists of my "mom" and my two brosephs. They are some of my favorite people ever and they constantly make fun of me for getting lost or wearing ridiculous articles of clothing. I am eating the best and most I ever have in my life. I might engordar, but I'm thinking it's worth it. Hopefully all of the walking balances it out. I go to Madrid at least once a day and can't get enough of the churros con chocolate. The people in my grupo are all great and I feel like I've known them way longer than a week. There is so much to tell, but I'll let this little blurb sum it up. Instead of listening during class today we wrote this:
"We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the universe. We frequent bars, we speak Spanglish. We shop. We laugh. we aseo it up in McDonald's. We love chocolate, hammer pants, and new catchy sayings. We hate class, we vaguely appreciate the little things. Nothing is a big deal. We all have crushes, some have crushees. Whats up. We always crave sweets. We get reprimanded in trains, we accidentaly make fun of each other, we sometimes cross the line. It's only been a week. Everyday is an adventure. We are the walrus. Some of us are Pandas. We seduce teachers. We hella enjoy when the teachers respond positively. We sentirnos bien. We cross the line. We might be Tyler Durden. Always scandal. Always rumors. Always churros. Above all we keep it hot and we keep it real. Espana. Always. Everyday. Me gusta."
Dan Ellis, Tessa Farnsworth, Julia Knecht