I've learned a lot living in a foreign country for a whole semester, and I've compiled a small list of random facts I have picked up over the past few months:
- If you smile at someone in the street it means you're making fun of them (if they're the same gender as you) or that you want to have sex with them (if they're the opposite gender). I didn't learn this until a few weeks after I arrived and hadn't shaken off my Minnesota Nice habits. Whoops.
- If you are crossing the street and a car is coming, even if they are about twenty feet away, they will honk incessantly and SPEED UP as if you were a target in Grand Theft Auto.
- Even though they're supposed to, people never clean up after their dogs. There are also a lot of strays, and obviously there is no one to clean up after them, so you really have to watch your step.
- Bars here close at four A.M. Clubs close at seven A.M. I am going to have serious problems adjusting my weekend schedule when I get home.
- It is now illegal to perform music in the streets (at least in Granada; I don't know if it applies to the rest of Spain) but people still do it anyway, which I love. Nothing makes your day a little brighter than an adorable Spanish guy playing violin.
- They greet each other here by a kiss on each cheek. The first person to greet me this way was my gorgeous host brother. WIN.
- Schedules here are pretty relaxed. From classes to meal times to meeting friends, "on time" generally means "ten minutes after we agreed to meet." It's nice in the sense that you're rarely ever late, but if you're a spaz like I am and have to be on time for everything, it takes some getting used to.
- The Spanish pronunciation of Laura and "la hora" ("the time/hour") sound very similar, which often results in me looking around, confused, and then feeling like an idiot.
- People here are loud. It's difficult to tell if people are fighting or just having a very animated conversation.
- Swear words here are called "tacos." This will never fail to make me giggle.
I'll probably only update this a couple more times before I go home. There are still quite a few things I want to do and see before I leave, and with those on top of finals looming around the corner I probably won't have much time to write here. I promise at least two more posts before I leave.
OH, unrelated to Spain, but last week I was voted president of Sigma Delta Pi (national Spanish honor society) and found out that something I wrote is going to be published in Satori, WSU's annual literary arts magazine. I'm really excited about both pieces of awesome news from home so I felt like sharing it here. :)