Thursday, January 14, 2010

Map = una necesidad

Maps.Maps.Maps. I love maps (I also love the song Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs… but that’s not the maps I’m talking about right now).

I feel like the biggest scoob always walking around Alcalá holding a map out in front of me, but I also feel like such a champ when I arrive at the destination I so desperately sought out. Yesterday I walked all the way from La Plaza Cervantes (which is right by la Universidad Alcala) to Primitiva Ruiz’s apartment. It took about 25 minutes, but only because I stopped every 8 feet to look at the map haha! Las Calles (streets) are not in a grid at ALL like most cities in the U.S… they’re just randomly starting and ending wherever they want. One street will take a sliiiight curve and then all of a sudden be called another street! This is how I got lost today. I was walking back to la Universidad (after eating a delicious lunch of broccoli soup) and all of a sudden I realized that I didn’t recognize anything… so I stopped... looked at my map… and saw that I was about 5 blocks off of my route. It’s okay, I just held the map out in front of me while I walked (fitting in perfectly with the locals? NOT!) until I found my way back to the university! Hahaha! Whoops!

Everything is so beautiful here. So what it rained all day yesterday (yes… all day…), even the rain is pretty! There are so many amazing buildings that have so much meaning and history, I can’t wait to memorize the map of the city so I can actually soak in all the wonderfulness while I walk around instead of just staring at the map, hahha!

Also, I discovered the bus system here in Alcalá. That’s another map I need to be familiar with! It’s extremely confusing, but so helpful and convenient too!!

We went to Madrid yesterday! About 20 of the American students and some of the directors of the program took the train and explored the capitol city for about an hour and a half or so, we would’ve stayed longer but it was pourrrring down rain! It is SUCH a cool city, I think me and a few friends might go back this weekend and actually hang out when we can actually walk down the streets and not canoe due to the large amount of rain.

This morning at breakfast, me and Primi Ruíz talked the entire time (in Spanish of course haha) about Santa Claus [known as PaPa Noel here]. It was hilarious. I’ll admit that sometimes when she got going real fast I only caught every 4th or 5th word, but it was still funny!

First day of classes today: I had Spanish Civilization and Culture at 10:30 and then Los Maestros de Pintura (great painters of Spain) at 12:30. They were both very interesting and I'm really excited for this semester to learn more about Spain and get better and better with the language. I had a nice 30 min. break in between classes so me and my delightfully funny new friend Lauren Poindexter went and had cafe' con leche (coffeeeeeeeeee!!!) at a cute lil coffee shop in la plaza de cervantes. Gotta get my caffeine fix for the day.

Now I'm done with class for the day and I'm about to walk back to Primitiva's apartment for some lunch and then probably a lil siesta. This evening we're all going out for some fun! No class tomorrrrrowwwww = Time to explore the city!

It's weird that it's early afternoon here and I'm done with all the things I really need to do for the day, but in Oklahoma people are just now starting. Crazy. Probably won't get used to that for a while.

My “jollys” (+) and “oh gollys” (-) :

+ I love my Spanish/English dictionary.
- I don’t like the time change. It’s weird.
+ I love café con leche.
- I don’t like that Spaniards talk 300 miles per hour.
+ I love my hilarious new friends that are sharing this amazing experience with me.
- I don’t like that a phone call home is so expensive.
+ I love spanish wine and free tapas!
- I don’t like that I still don’t have internet in the apartment and can't figure out how to work the university's computers. McDonald’s free wifi rocks... but really.
+ I love that I can feel God’s protection as He guides me through each minute of the day.

Okay, es todo para hoy! I miss all my friends and family and wish ya’ll were here with me.

Katie [pronounced “Kah-tee” here in Spain... hahaha ]

p.s. Happy 21st Birthday Anna Mackey!

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