Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I like late-night skype talks about poetry

So I told Ella I was going to sleep. Oops. Didn't mean to lie, and I do have an awful headache, but I just had to post. Ay, mi.

I have a 3-page list of things I miss from home, ranging from grass (they have NONE here!) to 24-hour supermarkets (lazy effing Spaniards and their siesta) (no hatin' on the siesta, but srsly) to my dad's singing "Oh what a beautiful morning" to wake me and Mark up. It's probably not the smartest thing to do, but I can't help it.

Talked to my director today, finally; I'd been avoiding it, thought she'd be mad at me, but it went well. It's official:

I'm coming home in December.


Love always,

P.S. Read "El Exilio," also by Alberti, about his friend Federico Garcia Lorca, who was killed in a mass execution. "Federico./ Tú te reías como nadie / decías tú todas tus cosas / como ya nadie las dirá." Me rompe el corazón.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

for those who never took spanish, and for those who did

Hace unas semanas, en mi clase de Literatura y Otros Artes, leímos un poema de Rafael Alberti. Me gusta mucho:

Los Niños de Extremadura
Los niños de Extremadura
van descalzos.
¿Quién les robó los zapatos?

Les hiere el calor y el frío.
¿Quién les rompió los vestidos?

La lluvia
les moja el sueño y la cama.
¿Quién les derribó la casa?

No saben
los nombres de las estrellas.
¿Quién les cerró las escuelas?

Los niños de Extremadura
son serios.
¿Quién fue el ladrón de sus juegos?


The children of Extremadura [a forgotten, poverty-stricken region of Spain when this was written]
go barefoot.
Who has stolen their shoes?

They are wounded by
the heat and the cold.
Who ruined their dresses?

The rain
soaks their dreams and their bed.
Who destroyed their house?

They don't know
the names of the stars
Who closed the schools?

The children of Extremadura
are serious.
Who was the thief of their games?


I don't know, I just like it. And I told Andrew I'd translate it...kind of silly, recommending a poem to someone who doesn't speak the language. Oops.

Btw, I'm coming home in December. I have to work it out with school and housing, and not let the director here convince me to stay, but this time it's certain. I can't stay here until May; I just can't. I don't have to be a fiercely independent world traveler. There's no shame in admitting that I need to be closer to home. And every time I think about being home in 2 months instead of 7, it makes me incredibly happy. How's that for an answer?

Love always,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oleeee, ole ole oleee! Ole, ole!

I've been in Spain for exactly two months. Currently counting down the days until my family comes to visit for Christmas; they'll be here (well, Málaga, which is several hours away) the 19 of December. I can't wait. I've been needing a sandwich hug for as long as I can remember.

My brother is trying to punk out and not come. Um, hello, querido hermano mio, but I think you can spare a week away from your girlfriend to see your only sister who will have been away from home for 4 months by that time and who won't see you for another 5 after that. Porfa.

(Btw, "Porfa" is one of my new favorite things to say. Even those who never took Spanish will know that "por favor" means "please." Porfa's just way more fun. And the Spaniards actually say that! What a world. We also figured out that OMG translates to ADM - Ay, Dios mio! Good times.)

I'm not sure if it's a good sign that, instead of lamenting that I only have seven months left here en España, I'm counting down the months 'til I leave. My homesickness comes in waves, and sometimes hits me at the most unexpected times. I miss random things, like answering the phone in my own house (and having everyone tell me that I sound just like my mom), or coming home from work and plunking myself down in grandpa's chair and watching Law & Order: SVU marathons. Man oh man, I miss TV in English. Although I gotta say, Fresh Prince and That 70s Show in Spanish are still pretty fun.

My favorite thing about Spanish culture so far, I think, is that almost all of their social life happens outside. All day long, and late into the night, you can find tons of people still hanging out in the plazas, talking, laughing, rollerblading, everything. I love watching the conversations, especially the groups of old ladies. They're so cute, especially when they say "No me digas!"

These past couple weeks, I've finally started going out to the bars with students from our program, and it's great because I get to meet really fun people - from all over Europe, too - and learn to drink with friends who are responsible and far more knowledgeable about it than I am. Made the mistake of telling my dad what I'd tried when we went out in Salamanca; gotta be careful with how my stories go. Oops. P.S., though, absinthe tastes like black licorice and is actually delicious. And it doesn't make you crazy like in Moulin Rouge. No green fairies or anything (which was kind of a let-down). I'm still making good choices, so never fear. I'm still too self-conscious and self-aware to ever let myself get drunk. No worries there.

I miss everyone and everything from home. Not even joking. The end of May can't come soon enough.

Nos vemos en siete meses!

Love always,

Saturday, October 11, 2008

cobblestone streets

I was walking home from El Corte Ingles (shopping mall) on Thursday when it hit me.

I have to stay.

All along, I guess, I'd known that. Deep down, it was always there. There's so much more I want to do here. So much. I couldn't fit it all into the next two months. I love it here. I love the people, the pace of life, the knowledge that rest and conversation are more important than 40-hour work weeks. And I love that I just walked home at 3:45 in the morning and felt absolutely safe.

I also love caramel vodka. First shots of my life = success.

Love always,

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

decisions, decisions

To stay for a year or go home in December.

That's the question.

Pros of going home:
1. I'd get to live with my dear friend/former roommate in a sweet apartment
2. I'd be able to complete my journalism major AND honors requirements on time (probably)
---I could just go with a Spanish minor.
3. I could possibly study abroad some other time, some other country
4. I wouldn't come home impossibly broke and thousands of dollars in debt to my parents
5. I wouldn't have to stay here after all but 1 of my close friends have gone home
6. I wouldn't have to go to Gibraltar to get Reese's.
7. I could see my family, friends, everyone
8. I could get a job and earn money, instead of just spending it (related to No. 4)
9. I wouldn't have to worry about my host dad doing another imbecilic flip-out on me
10. I would be living in a country whose language I actually speak.


I love it here.

I need to find a completely disinterested party (which eliminates parents, friends back home, friends here...everyone) who can make the choice for me.

....alguien? alguien? bueller?



Love always,