Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Sista-Motha-Friend

Surprise!! This blog serves as an excellent way to procrastinate, so here's another post only one day later!

As promised in my previous post I will now describe the interesting dynamic of my homestay.  I live with a young woman in her early thirties' and her father in his mid-fifties. Her parents are divorced, and her mother lives about two blocks away.  Coincidentally, her mother also has a girl from my study abroad program staying with her (and her overly-affectionate boyfriend, but that story is for another post...).  My homestay mom is awesome.  I admit I was very nervous before I came to Spain.  When I received a very brief email giving me all the information my program deemed necessary for me to know about my homestay (i.e. name, address, and phone number, that's it, no pics or nothin...) it only served to increase my anxiety instead of relieve it.  I had been enjoying a fantasy of a medium-sized Spanish family made up of a mom, dad and kids, with an old Doña ruling over the roost and cooking delicious meals she made from an ancient recipe book that she had to hide behind the fireplace during the Franco-era because the recipes were too progressive.  But instead I was placed with a woman and her father, and honestly now that I am living with them, I think I much prefer this reality to my fantasy.

I often forget who I am when imagining things.  I enjoy my privacy, I like it quiet when I want it to be quiet, and I am rather independent.  Measuring myself up to my Spanish family fantasy, I now see I probably would have gone crazy up in that house.  People yelling at one another in Spanish, having to wait for the bathroom to be free, having to communicate with multiple people with my limited vocabulary everyday; all of these things are scenes from a nightmare.  Whoever places people in homestays with my study abroad program did a good job with me.  My homestay mom is young, fun, engaging, and understanding.  She made me feel comfortable in her home, she is patient with me when I destroy the Spanish language, she is a great cook, and she is an awesome club partner (yes, I club with my Señora).  She respects my privacy, but is always ready to laugh, joke, explain, or just plain talk to me about stuff.  She loves the same music I do, which makes choosing a club to visit so much easier, and she understands my shopping addiction, which is actually a bad thing because I think she might serve as a bad influence on me; especially considering we are in REBAJAS right now, which is, for those who don't know, the equivalent to Black Friday in the US except it happens twice a year and it lasts for like two months.  Because I vibe with her so well, and because she is so young, I hesitate to call her my Señora, and feel more comfortable calling her my hermana (sister).  She calls me her sister all the time, so I think it's already a done deal. So, in conclusion, she is awesome, my homestay is awesome, and you should be jealous.

The other members of the household also definitely warrant mentioning.  As I said before, her father also lives in the apartment.  When I first arrived lugging one of two suitcases weighing over fifty pounds (I always over-pack, ALWAYS), I entered the apartment to find my him wrapped in blankets on the couch watching television.  He hasn't moved much from that spot during the two weeks I've been here; he's either on the couch or chilling at the cafe downstairs.  In fact, if he's not on the couch, I worry because it's like something is wrong in the apartment.  My first night in the apartment was difficult because I thought there was some horrible late-night construction going on right outside my window, but then I realized it was just him snoring on the couch.  But after more nights, I have become used to his electric saw-like breathing, and it no longer bothers me.  Everyday we greet each other with an hola or comó está and sometimes we watch television together (my favorite show to watch thus far is Dos Hombres y Media a.k.a. Two and a Half Men and Hombres y Mujeres a.k.a. trashy Spanish dating/talk show).  In conclusion, he is a nice, simple guy that lives on the couch.

Now, last but certainly not least, is Lolita.  She is tiny but oh so feisty, and honestly I haven't decided yet if I like her or not.  Some days I find her adorable and other days it is all I can do not to throw her into her room and close the door quickly.  I am starting to like her because she is useful as a heater, and the first few nights were freezin' up in this place, like, no joke!  She is also undeniably adorable, especially when my homestay mom/sis puts her front bang in a ponytail.  What's keeping me from officially deciding whether I like her or not is that she has this annoying habit of frantically scratching at me whenever she sees me.  I could have just entered the house or been sitting in the living room for hours; no matter what, it's as if I'm her long lost love and she must feel me against her paws, repeatedly, to make sure I'm real and she isn't dreaming. She gets really excited and starts sniffling and sneezing all over the place, and has this weird habit of swallowing frantically.  For such a tiny thing, she is so noisy.  Oh, and also, she is a freakin' magician.  I will close my door and get in bed and she will magically appear beside it, scratching away, trying to figure out how to jump up into the bed with me.  I swear I even locked the door once and she still found a way in, freakin' magician perrita.  So yea, I'm on the fence about Lola, but I think in the end I will like her, she is a really cute dog.

In conclusion, that is my Spanish family.  A sista-motha-friend as a Señora, her father, and her magic dog. A small but awesome family, I look forward to getting to know more about my new relatives.

 Thanks for reading!

P.S. I am going away for the weekend, so don't expect another ridiculously fast post like this.  But on the other hand, I will be experiencing three days, in the desert/sierra/whatever talking only in Spanish and doing lots of cool things, so I'm sure I will have plenty of interesting things saved up for my next post.  For now, hasta luego!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where are the Words...

Before I began my year abroad, I had grand plans of writing about all my adventures.  I planned to sit and write each day's events, wrapping them in witty descriptions about my latest encounters with the natives of the country I was in.  Then reality set in, and I had to remind myself of how lazy I can be, and the idea of writing about my daily life became a chore that would take to much energy to keep I never started a blog...until now.  Too much has happened in the past two weeks that I have spent in Seville for me to not dedicate at least ten minutes of my time describing it.  My expectations for this blog are as follows (they are in order from most to least likely to occur):

1.)Only my mother and I will read this blog.
2.)I will often forget that I have started a blog and thus forget to post.
3.)I will reference people, places, and things so obscure and random that no one will know what I'm talking about.
4.)I will only rarely forget to post...
5.)One of my friends will comment on my blog, prompting others to comment, leading to a mass facebook following of my blog.
6.)I will win a fancy award for blogs.

These are my expectations and/or dreams, you may laugh or scoff, I don't really care because I can't hear you.

Anyway, back to the occurrence that prompted me to start this blog.  I had been feeling guilty for not chronicling my awesome experiences up to this point, but nothing so dramatic/awesome/weird happened to actually make me put fingertips to keyboard...until tonight.

I am currently studying abroad in Seville, Spain.  I live with my host mom, who is really a host sister but that entire topic is for another post altogether, and her father. Tonight, I was eating dinner with my host mom/sis when her grandmother decided to stop by and drop off some food and, from what I could gather from her rapid spanish, some sweatpants she bought from some Chinese people around the corner.  I had just been telling my host mom/sis about this girl in my Spanish grammar class who is switching to another homestay because her host mom does not feed her well.  When my host mom/sis shared this information with her grandmother, her grandma said something along the lines of it not being so bad to eat a lot of soup because then you won't get fat.  She then proceeded to lift up her shirt to give a visual of how easy it is to get fat when you don't take care to eat a lot soup.  At first I was startled because I had only known the woman for five seconds, and from what I understand, although two kisses on the cheeks are normal over here, baring ones stomach to strangers isn't a normal "first meeting" activity.

What also startled me was the fact that the elderly woman seemed to have forgotten to put on a bra, so when she lifted her shirt, she flashed some boob.  I tried and barely succeeded to play it cool, and I'm sure my host mom/sis saw my discomfort, and she quickly urged her grandmother to put her shirt down.  But the grandma seemed to enjoy my discomfort and she lifted her shirt up higher asking why was it such a big deal, all three of us have boobs (or "tetas" as she called them).  I just started laughing hysterically because I didn't really know why this woman was showing me her naked body to prove a point about soup, and then I excused myself and retired to my room to start this blog.

I am both excited and frightened that this is but one in a series of weird/hilarious events that will occur during my time here in Sevilla.  I already have another odd story that I could share, but honestly setting this blog up took a little effort and I have three essays to write for tomorrow, so I'm done for now.

I don't know when my next blog post will be or what it will be about because I'm not that organized but, I will try to make my next post within a reasonable time frame, but no promises!

Thanks for reading.