Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dreams of the Alhambra

¿Qué pasa? I’m sorry that I didn’t get to write yesterday! We began our classes for the intensive Spanish course and the homework load has been a little heavier. So, to all of you who think that I’m just running around the city to different discotechas and spas all the time- you’re only half right. Yesterday, we had class at 9:30am at the Centro de Lenguas Modnernas (Center for Modern Languages). It was very intense. Quite obviously, a course named “Curso Intensivo” is going to be intense, but it kind of took me by surprise just how intense it was. Let’s use the word “intense” one more time, shall we? However, I am pleased to find just how intense this course is, because I think that it will be an appropriate preparation for my other classes which are all in Spanish and begin in October.

After class, we all went to the same little store (that I think I spoke about previously) that literally has everything you could ever want- including those little golden, waving cats that are at every Chinese buffet. Afterwards, Pam and I returned to our house for lunch and then we began our many homework assignments. After many grueling hours of work (and breaks for Facebook) we completed our homework just in time for our daily cultural meeting with Teresa. Our activity for the afternoon was to visit a Tetería in a neighborhood close to Albaicín.

I’m not sure if you know this, but I am an avid tea drinker. The idea that there are many Teterías in this city where you can enter, find a type of tea that you have never even dreamed of and order a crepe to go with it is very exciting for me. These eateries are very much within the Arabic tradition from the décor to the hookah pipes that are available for indulgence (I might sit that part of the cultural experience out). I ordered a honey crepe and a tea called, “Dreams of the Alhambra.” It was very good, but I would like to return to taste different teas and to find one that I prefer. While we were sipping our tea and nibbling on our snacks, Teresa informed us that one of the Irish Pubs (that’s right, there are multiple Irish pups in Spain) would be having a “Pub Quiz” tonight. We all decided that it might be a fun experience to go and would probably be a bit refreshing as they speak English there.

With an hour and fifteen minutes to spare until we had to arrive at Hannigan’s II, Pam and I raced home so that I could shower and so that we could both scarf down a quick dinner. As we had to fend for ourselves, dinner was cereal. By 9:00pm we were ready to go so we ran across the street to the Bar to meet our friends. I would like to pause the story for just a moment to explain that the bar is across the street from the school and that both are literally about two minutes from our house, door to door. Greeted at the pub by the Englishman who would be the host for the quiz, we began organizing our teams. About eight of us from the program showed up to play the game and we had to split into two groups. I was in a group with Amy, Paul, and Jayson. We lost miserably. However, it was quite fun and it is so good to get to know the students just a little better. Pam, John, Molly, and Mark were also a team and they actually ended up winning the game. When you are the losing team and you have lost miserably to your friends, it is difficult to live down.

Today, we had class at 9:30am once again and we had- once again- a very intense class. After class ended around 12:30pm, we returned to our house to do homework. Lunch at 3:00pm gave us a nice break from homework and- as usual- was delicious. We ate Paella, which is a popular Spanish dish that literally has just about every piece of seafood in it. After lunch we completed our homework just in time for our outing with Teresa. It was quite obvious that everyone was very tired and not very interested in what we were doing. However, Teresa showed us where the campus for the University of Granada is and here is a public park right outside of it where the individual can exercise or play sports. Pam, Liz (one of the other students) and I took the time, after we were finished with our lesson from Teresa, to go on a run in the park. It was good to exercise again, and I am glad that I have other people to do it with. By the way, if you know Pam you must know that she is a beast at running (this is a good thing). After our run, we returned to our house and here I am. ¡Buenas noches amigos!

PS Love you mum, dad, PJ, all my beautiful aunties, Ashley, Pam’s family, and whoever else may be reading this! May your days be bright and shiny, and may you find Irish Pubs wherever you may go.

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