Sunday, September 30, 2007

Estoy viviendo la vida


I don’t believe I’m ever going to be able to eat a Hershey bar again. I don’t know why America doesn’t know how to make chocolate like Europe, but it really is so much better over here. There are these places called churrerías where you go and get, well…churros. Churros are soft sticks of fried dough that you dip in chocolate sauce and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever tasted. Afterwards, you drink the remaining chocolate, and it is literally hot chocolate. Our favorite churrería (also the only one I’ve ever been to) is called Valor and it has more than just churros. Today we had fondue which is just fruit with the same chocolate dip. They also have Godiva-type morsel chocolates, chocolate drinks, chocolate everything…sometimes I really think I’m dreaming that I’m in Europe and I’m gonna wake up and it won’t be real.

Gina, Anne, and I were talking about that today – about how sometimes we have to pinch ourselves to make sure this is all real because it still seems too good to be true. Salamanca is the perfect little European city to study in because it is a college town full of stuff to do, but it’s also really old and full of culture. None of us ever dreamed this place would be this good. I’m a little sad because Anne, our German roommate, is leaving tomorrow. We all went out the other night, for the first time and the last. Anne brought her German friends and Gina and I brought our American friends, so we were a group of 10-12 Germans and Americans in this Spanish bar the other night (that is a REALLY big group by Spanish standards). At any given moment, there were 3 languages being spoken within our group that night – it is crazy for me to think about that because I have never experienced that before. All of the Germans speak English perfectly, that is the language they all learn first. It’s a little…um, humbling when you are speaking Spanish together and then someone whose first language is German tells you “Ok, I have to say this in English because it’s too complicated to say in Spanish”, and then you remember that English is their second language, not their first. I’m still working on my second and they are on their third and fourth languages. It’s a shame. Regardless, that night was really fun, and I’m really going to miss Anne because her, Gina, and I all arrived the same day so we connected more with each other than any of us have with our other roommates.

In general, I have been speaking Spanish more than I did the first couple of weeks. It’s still a little difficult to speak all the time in Spanish to my American friends, but we try. Today, though, we spoke a little more English than we have been (terrible I know) and my senora was making fun of me all through dinner. I tried to tell her something when I walked in the house before dinner and just could not get the words together, so I stopped talking and went to my room. The first thing she commented on when I returned to the kitchen for dinner was how she could tell I hadn’t been speaking Spanish all day. You kind of had to be there to tell, but the conversation was interesting and comical.

I never thought that I would live to see the day that a hummer would appear in Spain, but I saw one today. It was the get-away car (or honeymoon car, whatever it’s called) for a wedding that we passed today. Wait, it gets better…I also saw a Native American in the street today playing the flute all decked out in his headdress and moccasins. A hummer and an Indian in the same day…no lo creo! My senora said that hummers are very unusual for Spain, I’m not even sure she really knew what it was, we had to explain to her that it was a big SUV that you can find everywhere in the U.S. Anyway, for Spain’s sake, I hope they remain unusual in this country. I don’t even know how they are going to drive through these streets in that thing. I apologize if you are reading this and you own a hummer, but I’m obviously not a fan of them.

I think I’m going to take a siesta now. According to the daughter of my senora, the only people who take siestas in Spain are the foreigners :) I think that is probably not entirely true because all of the stores still close in the middle of the day. Nevertheless, buenas noches y hasta luego…


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