Wednesday, April 28, 2010

no puedo dormir.

i can't sleep.

.... So I thought I'd write a bit!

Well, it's finals time. Yes, they happened again... every year around this time they pop up.. it's inevitable. Dang. However, this year it's a tad different because they're all in spanish.. wooh spain! I have one paper and one presentation out of the way, but i still have 1 paper, 2 presentations, and 3 exams left. Eeeek! But, it's alright, I'm truckin' along.

This past weekend had a great turn for the better.
You see, I was supposed to go to Ibiza (a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea) for 3 days, but because of that awesome volcano and its mounds and mounds of smokey ashes floating around above Europe, the university of my friends (whom I was supposed to be traveling with) prohibited anyone from their school to travel by plane. It was rather silly because if you have seen ANY of the news or have internet and can google "CRAZY EUROPEAN VOLCANO 2010" you would see that the ashey smoke stuff hasn't come this far south... and we would've been totally fine (as in.. the airport wouldn't shut down while we were still on the island.. because the smoke would never actually reach Ibiza unless it was like thooper dooper thpeedy thmoke.. super dooper speedy smoke.). Howeverrrrrr, rules are rules and we follow them. So since they weren't allowed to go, and it was unsafe for me to go alone, the trip was cancelled altogether. Pooooop!
Buuuuuuuuuuut, instead of going to Ibiza, I had a wonderful weekend here in Alcala/Madrid. Thursday night I went into Madrid with a couple of my friends from Mexico and saw an opera in Teatro Real (royal theatrrrrrre). It was so cool! I'd never seen an opera before.. much less in Spain! It was all in Italian, but they had a screen above the stage that had the Spanish translation of what they were singing in Italian. It was pretty tight cuz about halfway through I realized.. 'HEY I understand what's going on... and I understand what they're singing... because I understand what I'm reading... and it's all in Spanish...... TIGHT.' And that's exactly what I said in my mind. Another cool thing about the night was that usuallllllllly tickets for the opera are REALLY expensive, but we got there an hour early and bought the left over tickets that had never sold and they were about 90% off the original price. So my ticket was 14Euros... and all the people that sat in my same section paid more or less 130euros for the exact same ticket.... DAG YO! what a steal!

Then Friday morning was "El Dia de Libros" ("Book Day") in Spain... it's like a national holiday and everything. And since Miguel de Cervantes (the spanish equivalent to Shakespeare) was born in Alcala de Henares (where I live), it's a big deal here. For the last 2 weeks there have been lil book stands set up in the plaza selling books and promoting new authors and stuff.

I bought a novel (which I've read like 15 pages of so far.. it's pretty good!), a children's book, and a cookbook (all in spanish might I add. woop. practice.)! Yahoo for reading!!! But the best part of this day was that the King... yes... The King... The King of Spain..... came to Alcala to present an award for the best author of the year. And there was a big procession of him coming into the plaza.. the soldiers were all lined up and they were playing the national anthem on their lil trumpets, and there were soooooo many people there! The Queen and Prime Minister were there too! So... that was a good time.

Then afterward I went and got a limonado slush in Plaza de Cervantes and chilled with my friends for a bit.

and then watched these guys sing... and then watched them sing to US. hahaha

Later on Friday I went to Madrid with Ale and Brenda and met up with some spaniard friends that I met in my hostel in Rome (small world!). We went to dinner and then later went and drank some wine in the park (it's a normal spanish thing to do... they love drinking in the outdoors... and I love the outdoors... so naturally I love this tradition), and then went to a discoteca and boomshackalacka dance dance danced the whole night! It was a lot of fun!!
The rest of the weekend was pretty chill. I worked on homework and presentations, started studying for my finals. On Sunday morning I went to Mass at Santa Maria... the children's mass to be specific.. I love it because the kids do all the readings, the homily is always somewhat simple to understand and he talks slow so I usually understand it! Also, during the Lord's Prayer, all the get to go up to the altar and form a big circle around it and say the prayer with the priest. It's so cute! And you just hear their lil voices and it makes me wish I was a spanish child so I could be that cute when I speak Spanish... but alas.. I often sound like a robot. During Mass I got really sad though because I was just thinking how normal it is to hear things in Spanish all the time, and how I'm so into my normal routine here in Spain and how I love it so much, and how this semester is coming to a close SO quickly and how I've loved the past 4 months SO much... and I just got quite sad.
Going home will be rather bitter sweet. It'll be great to see everyone, especially my family (and dogs!), but it's just going to be so weird switching back into American mode so quickly. I've always heard that when u return home you experience a similar "culture shock" as when you arrived in the foreign country. When I got here in January it was SO hard to adjust to Spain at first, everything is just so different than how I was used to living! But, eventually I adjusted and now I love it here! However, I feel like going home is going to be quite the same. So, with that said.. I'm reallly excited to go home, but I'm also really going to miss it here. agridulce. (bittersweet.)
So anyways, after Mass I went and sat in the grass under this really pretty tree in the plaza near our school and read my new book for a while. It was quite enjoyable. Then on Monday I decided to go back because I just enjoyed it that much, but my tree had been claimed by 3 teenage couples who were enjoying their make-out time under it... ewwwwwwwww P.D.A. ewww! gross. I'm kinda used to it now actually, kissing in public really is not a big deal at all here. Oh those spaniards..

One more exciting thing! Today we had our "Graduation" from our university! It was a lil ceremony at 1pm today with everyone from America, and we all got called up to the stage one by one and received our lil diploma. Then we had a picnic behind the college with finger foods and chips and peanuts, etc etc etc.. yummmmm. But after that we were still hungry so some of us went and got tapas... oh how i'm going to miss tapas.

mis amigas y yo after graduation

one of my professors

high school musical graduation jump! wooh!

My last Flamenco class was today :( So sad! Our teacher was so awesome..we learned so much! Primi has already given me all her Flamenco C.D.s to upload to my iTunes, so I can totally keep practicing! haha!

my teacher and me

Here's a link to a video of me and my class dancing! hahaha (just copy and paste it into the search bar thing)

Here's a link to watch professional Flamenco dancers.. they're a bit better than us.. hehehee!v=LIG0r0CCBBw&feature=related

Well..... I think that's all for now..... I should probably go to bed, I have class in the morning and it's kinda late.
Katrina/Katalina/Kahtee/Kathy?/Katie :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The countdown begins...

There's less than a month left of classes... I can't believe the semester is almost over! It passed so quickly! But then again, it seems like forever since I've seen my friends and family (and dogs, i miss them a lot too!).
However, last night I had a dream that I was back in Oklahoma and I was trying to make chocolate milk but I didn't now where anything was in my kitchen! It was a very strange dream because the kitchen in my house was the kitchen in Primi's apartment, but every time I would open a drawer to look for a spoon or a cabinet to look for the colacao (it's kinda like the spanish version of ovaltine haha mmmm), it was completely different! Then other really weird things happened (I cant remember everything though) and i just felt so strange being in the united states! it was a weiiiiiiiird dream! I just remembered I cried and said "I miss Spain!" a lot!
So obviously my feelings towards going home are going to be quiiiiiiite bitter sweet! I can't wait to see my parents in May and travel with them for 2 weeks! I think that'll be a nice transition from Spain to going home, and by that time I'm sure I'll be really excited to get home and see the rest of the fam and my friends (and dogs. can't forget my 5 best lil friends. jajaja).

Well this past week has been really relaxing, which was great because after Semana Santa I needed a rest! It's kind of funny because Semana Santa was like our Spring Break, a 13 day break from school, but I feel like after the break I needed to take another break to recuperate from the break (ahhhh yeah who just busted a rhyme?). Luckily this week we only had 3 days of classes, and there weren't any tests or papers or anything due, so it was a pretty chilaxxxxxable week. Also, the weather was absolutely wonderful!!
Wednesday morning I ate breakfast and read my bible outside on the porch, and then went on a brisk jog and enjoyed the lovely spring time weather.
Thursday afternoon I hung out with Lauren in Plaza Cervantes and we got ice cream and basked in the sun and made bracelets and just enjoyed the warm sunshine.
Friday morning I went on jog by the river, and then went to this cool outdoor gym and worked out there for a bit. It's so nice because there's so many people walking their dogs and jogging on the trails all the time, a perfect people watching atmosphere. haha! Then that afternoon Brittany, Kim, Spencer, and I went to this feria (fair!) on the campus, they had sangria and music and LOTS of spanish students haha! We played frisbee and once again just basked in the sun and enjoyed the beautiful weather. The theme of the Fair was Hawaiian so lots of people had leis, hawaiian shirts, coconut bras (hahhaa mainly los hombres which was funny), and were drinking out of coconut shells! It was a really fun afternoon! Then last night Rachel, Brittany, Kim, and I went to Madrid to hang out with a friend that Brittany and I had met over Semana Santa who lives in Madrid. We met in Plaza Espana, hung out there for a bit, drank some wine, and then went to a discoteca and danced the night away! We left the club at about 6:00 when it closed, went and ate some breakfast, and then we headed back to Alcala on the train. We didn't get back until 9! I was so tired! But it was a really fun night! I'm going to miss the night life in Spain. I feel like in the United States if you "go out" at night it's just going and drinking and drinking and drinking and not doing much more than that. However, here there are really fun places to go dancing, and the DJs are awesome! You don't have to drink at all (first of all drinks are WAY too expensive, 2nd why do u need alcohol to dance?) and everyone still has a great time! Also, when I go out in Spain I speak Spanish to everyone because everyone speaks Spanish because we're in Spain.. hahaaha duh, however in Norman not many people speak Spanish.. haha bummer!

Well, I think tomorrow morning I'm going to Madrid to run a 5k in el Parque Retiro. It's cool that Madrid is having a big race this weekend because the RedBud is this weekend in Oklahoma City which I usually run in! Then we're going to the Rastro, Spain's biggest outdoor market! wooooooooh junk! this is my weakness.

[This is a shout out to AbbyJuneMcCune back in okc... go read your book, but only if simon says so.]

Coming soon.... exploring the world one country at a time.... pictures from Semana Santa...