Apparently a large number of people from our group now have el gripe, the flu. Everyone is apparently sick. Me, my allergies are out of control today, but I don't feel like puking, so I'm a hundred paces ahead of everyone else. And I still don't have pinkeye, though itchy allergy eyes started my heart racing the other morning. I'm doing really well, I guess. Cross your fingers for tomato and onion salad for la cena and if a miracle occurs, tortilla española too.
So, I leave for Barcelona on Friday. How fantastic is that? It'll be a great time, I know, except that the forecast calls for rain all Saturday, which is our principle day because there is 6 hours of traveling on Friday and Sunday. No worries though.
I'm doing well in school so far, I'm starting to have at least 1.5 sided conversations with mi madre, y it was greater than 60˚F here today. What a beautiful day! I'll take walking to and from school for 2 full hours in one day over a snow day any day. Even if I did only have 4.5 hours of sleep last night. I was up late doing homework because I'm a procrastinator. Like right now. Instead of doing homework... well, I have all day tomorrow, right? I'll probably stay up late doing it tonight too, although I tried that Monday night and didn't end up waking up until 12:30 on Tuesday and ended up embarrassing myself. My roommate is up every day before 10am, so there are expectations, I guess.
Let's see, what's been going on? I've been a bit down here and there about being in Spain and failing at Spanish, but some people have been saying that it took them the full four months before they felt comfortable speaking and could understand. I guess I'm okay with that. I just want to do well in my classes. I've been trying really hard, like much harder than I every have in United States school, to participate and I think I'm doing a good job. I hope I don't seem pompous or anything, but I feel as though I should try. It's a different story in Civilization because there are so many people in that class and it's very intimidating to stutter out something that doesn't make much sense in front of all of those people. However, after a little chat with my teacher, I think she likes me and that makes me feel a lot better about trying.
I've also been a bit down about the food. I am so sick of bean soup. I hate beans. I mean, I can eat them and on occasion, they are pretty good, but every other day is too much. Beans aren't that good, I promise. And the fact that the Spanish have two courses basically. The first is usually a vegetable dish, and the second is a meat dish. Like last night, mi madre set down a giant bowl of mashed potatoes in front of me. Just mashed potatoes. No gravy, no salt. I can't eat an entire plateful of mashed potatoes (unless they are my mother's mashed potatoes) just by themselves. So I pushed them around a bit until she brought out a plate of fried chicken breasts. Just fried chicken breasts, which isn't as weird as just mashed potatoes, but I still prefer a bit of ketchup or barbecue sauce to give it some flavor. I ended up dumping my bowl of mashed potatoes over the chicken, much to the confusion of mi madre, and ate them together. It wasn't bad that way, but I'm missing my foods. Peanut butter and jelly and tomato soup sounds fantastic right now. Chocolate chip cookies and brownies. We have "postre" every day after la comida and la cena, but it is limited to jello, pudding, flan, rice pudding, yogurt, or fruit. Outside of the pudding, nothing too exciting there.
Carla and I booked our tickets to Valencia the other day. It's especially exciting because we are going on the night of the festival of Las Fallas. A falla is a monument made of word, cardboard and other combustible materials. They are a variety of heights, up to 30 meters. The monument is about a real-life subject and is satirical in tone (last year they had one of Bush). The celebration with marching bands, fireworks, partying, etc. begins on the 15th of March. At about midnight on the 19th of March, all of the fallas are burned. We will arrive in Valencia on the 19th of March, where we are going to sprint around the city seeing as many fallas as we can and then we'll stick by one to watch it burn. I'll post so many pictures when I get back so you can all be amazed too. If you have time, I suggest looking up images of las fallas just to get an idea of how cool these things are. Maybe I'll steal a picture from the internet and post it.
Well, that's enough for now, I guess, but I feel like I should be going into more detail about things everyone experiences. Like how disappointing it was to find out that we aren't attending "The University of Alcala", we are attending a puny, out of the way satellite campus where they stick the foreign students so the Spanish students don't have to deal with them. I forget the name of the school. I need to get a picture of it at some point. Like how my books were only 11 euro total (did I mention that already?) which is amazing considering I spent over $500 on one class one semester at BGSU (although I totally got screwed with having to buy a brand new OChem book). Like how even though they tell you that you should expect to see wine everywhere, including at lunch and dinner, almost no one has had wine with any of their meals at their houses. Like how, even though there may be a few people that you can't decide how you feel about, there is a real bond between everyone in your group as you work through this experience together. Like how, if you're just coming out of 202, you're more screwed with the language than the program tells you. Like how, if you've only have professors that speak with a South American or Central American accent, you're even more screwed than the rest of the kids just coming out of 202.
Anyway, I'm done for now. Really. I'll write again when I feel like procrastinating. Maybe tomorrow because I'll be really busy Friday through Sunday in Barcelona.