Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tell someone they look like they’ve gained weight.

<<¿Quieres jugar?>> I think that this is Jaime’s favorite phrase. He literally uses it 300 times a day, give or take a few (it means, “You want to play?”). Sadly, we didn’t get to play with him this morning, but we did get to meet the other students in the program (there are about 10 of us). They were all very nice and it was good to see that most of us are basically on the same level with our Spanish comprehension. We also met Teresa for the first time. She is a hilarious little ball of fire! She is about my height, blonde, tiny, and one of the funniest people that I have ever met.

After everyone arrived at the fountain that we were meeting at, we walked to the university where our classes will be held (it is closer to Pam and my home than the fountain is). We introduced ourselves and Teresa and Amalia explained a little about the program. By 1:15pm, we were finished for the morning so Pam, John, Amy (two of the other students), and I walked to an electronics store and a “dollar store” that Ana had showed Pam and I earlier. If you are careful, you can buy things very cheaply in Granada.

Slight side note: I find myself starting to think- or sometimes even write!- in Spanish. I literally wrote the first couple of sentences in Spanish before I realized what I was doing. Perhaps this is a good thing?

When we returned to our house, Jaime was ready to play once again (¡por supuesto!) so we played video games again. About a half an hour later, we joined the rest of the family in the dining/living room for lunch. We ate chicken (yes, I AM eating meat), vegetables, a salad each, and afterwards we had a dessert of melon and bananas. I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this but for me, Spanish food does not look like it’s going to taste good, but when you eat it- it’s fantastic! After lunch we played more games, and then by 7:30pm we had to return to the fountain to meet our group again.

Amalia and Teresa took us for a little walking tour of the main part of Granada, pointing out both practical and historical things. Granada is such a diverse city meaning that in ten minutes time, you can walk from a historically Spanish part of the city to a very modern area to a very historically Arabic part of the city! I got to see the Alhambra for the first time today. It is very impressive from a distance, but I really want to see it up close because I feel as though its greatest treasures are hidden within! I suppose we shall see…

After our tour was finished and Amalia had gone home, Teresa brought us to a bar where we tried Tinto Verano. This is a Spanish drink that is a mix of red wine and fanta (Mom, could you revive dad and tell him that I’m sorry?). In Granada, most bars are “Tapas bars.” This means that when you buy a drink (usually for only about 2 or 3 euros) you get a ton of food for free with it! While we were enjoying our drinks and the food, Teresa gave us a pop-quiz about Spanish culture. She gave us a series of questions that we needed to say whether it is appropriate to do these things or not. I was very surprised to learn many of the things that are not accepted in Spanish culture and those that are. For example, it is completely normal to tell someone that they look like they’ve gained weight. In fact it is almost encouraged!

I love the Spanish culture… but I don’t think that I am going to tell people that they’re getting fat, and I don’t think that I would respond very nicely if someone said this to me!

¡Tenga las dulces sueños!


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