Friday, May 7, 2010

going home

Well, it looks like the Sevilla trip isn't going to happen. My travel buddy is backing out on me two days before we planned on going; so much for that. Needless to say I'm not too happy, but I guess I'll have a little extra money in my pocket, which will be good for when I get home and I have to pay rent. Aww, man...that's right. I have to get back to real life and be all responsible and junk. Boo.

I'm going home in nine days. With final exams breathing down my neck, I'm looking forward to those days flying by so I don't have to worry about tests and papers anymore, but I don't want to rush the little time I have left here. This has been an amazing experience and I know I'll miss Spain the second I set foot on the airplane in Madrid. Still, I know I'll be happy to be home.

Things I miss in Minnesota:

Those of you who know me well know that my family is really tight-knit. I've never gone longer than a couple months without seeing them, or at least knowing that if there was an emergency they were only a couple hours away. Thank God for Skype. I don't know how I would have survived five months without getting to see their faces occasionally. I can guarantee there will be tears on my end when I see my parents and sister at the airport.
I've met a lot of great people here, but I miss so many people back home. I've missed birthdays, performances, weddings, and other important events of theirs that I would have been at in a heartbeat if it hadn't been for the inconvenient distance.
I love my pets. Misty may be a fat lump the size of a bear cub who leaves a disgusting layer of gray fur over all of my clothes, and Jones may be certifiably insane and use my hand as a scratching post/chew toy, but darn it, I'm going to cuddle the hell out of both of those adorable furballs when I get home.
I miss my ridiculously comfortable bed. I miss my beautiful electric keyboard that I can't play to save my life but can plunk out melodies and sing along. I miss having a shower bigger than a vertical coffin where I don't have to worry about cracking my head against the wall bending over for a shampoo bottle. I miss living in a house where the air isn't permeated with the smell of cigarette smoke and seafood soup. I miss having the freedom to invite friends over and just hang out, order pizza, and watch a movie, rather than feeling forced to go out every weekend.
I've had the strongest-and strangest- cravings while I've been here: macaroni and cheese with hot sauce, orange chicken and cream cheese wantons from Dragon Palace, loaded burritos and chips and guacamole, pancakes drowned in syrup, bacon and scrambled eggs, raw veggies and dill dip, peanut butter and pickle sandwiches (I KNOW it sounds weird, but don't knock it until you try).
Spanish is a beautiful language. I wouldn't be majoring in it if I didn't like it. But I miss my native language. It's really hard to be sarcastic when you have to translate it first.
I don't mind walking everywhere for the most part. It's good exercise, and now that the weather's nice it's really enjoyable. It's not as much fun when it's down pouring, though. I've also completely worn out my sneakers; they look ready to fall apart at any second. I definitely miss the convenience of driving.
I miss stores that have EVERYTHING- clothes, food, movies, medicine, whatever. The only place like that here is Corte Ingles, which is basically a mall and ridiculously overpriced. I miss Target and Kohls and Walgreens. I miss stores that don't close for the afternoon (one downside of siesta) and stay open later than 8:30 P.M.

Things I will miss about Spain:

More specifically, the sweets. Churros con chocolate, sugary pastries the size of my head, super rich ice cream, the strongest, most delicious coffee I have ever tasted, pikotas (these sugar coated strawberry flavored chewy candies)....I have no idea how I managed to lose weight here.
I've met so many great people here. Not just Spaniards, who helped me with my Spanish and taught me about the culture, but other students from all over the U.S. who were going through exactly what I was: the culture shock, the new experiences, the classes. Hopefully we'll stay in touch after we leave.
I don't know why they don't do this in the U.S., especially in college towns. Cheap drinks that come with delicious free food? Yes, please.
There is SO much to do here. Live music, dancing, eating, drinking, exploring- all until the wee hours of the morning.
The river has become a popular hang out spot for my friends and me. We go to the supermarket across the street, buy a ninety-nine cent package of juice-box sized boxes of wine (because we're classy like that), and sit against the wall and talk until sunset.
I'm not much of a napper, but I love living in a country where there's a designated time period in the day to be lazy. This really should be established back home.
While I might not be a fan of the store hours, I LOVE their merchandise. I've gotten a decent amount of cute clothes here, and thanks to rebajas, these crazy sales that go on in all the stores from Christmas to March, it was all pretty cheap.
Classes here are ridiculously easy. Teachers assign little to no homework. They show up about ten minutes after class is scheduled to start. I'm looking forward to my classes in Winona next semester, but I'm going to have to get used to actually having assignments and tests given regularly.

Yeah. It's definitely going to be a bittersweet goodbye. I love being here, but I could never live here. Hopefully I'll have more chances to visit in the future, especially since there's so much of Spain that I still haven't seen. If I do end up teaching high school Spanish maybe I'll get the chance to chaperone some school trips. If that doesn't happen, I could always marry rich. Yes, that is my backup plan if teaching doesn't work out.

Anyway, since this next week is going to be filled with finals and essays I probably won't get another chance to update, so this will be my last post (I know I said I'd have at least two more but...I lied). Thanks to everyone who's been reading this blog. Even if you haven't commented, my mom has told me that a lot of you have been telling her how much you've enjoyed it, and that makes me happy. I can't wait to see everyone when I get home and ramble more about my adventures to your lovely faces.

Nos vemos pronto (see you soon)!

PS: Not sure why it says I posted this on the is the 13th. Silly blogspot.

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