Winter in Sevilla

I realized I haven’t written in a while about the things that have been happening in Sevilla! With the exception of Morroco and Italy, the past two months I have had quite a lot of free time here. My exams were really spaced out, with the first one in early December and the last one in early February, so I really didn’t have a short period of high-stress time like I do at home, for better or for worse. Most of my time I spent doing absolutely nothing, unfortunately, but there were a few exceptions:

For Christmas eve and Christmas day, I went to Lora del río, the town of my friend María Luisa. It’s close to Seville so we took a short train ride and arrived around lunch, which her mother cooked for us – how nice!Later we went to a coffee shop to hang out with her friends, and it looked like the entire town was there. It was so different from the US on Christmas eve or Christmas day. It is very typical to go out in the afternoon and a night on Christmas eve. That night I went to hang out with one side of her family and I was a little bit nervous because I didn’t want to impose, but it ended up being so fun! They made fun of me for being a vegetarian which I deserve here because Spain really is a country where vegetarianism doesn’t exist, but it was funny because it kind of reminded me of my own family. I’m sure they thought I was so strange for it, but either way they were so nice to prepare things I could eat while they chowed down on (literally) an entire baby pig.

It’s also funny that Zoey is such a hard name for the Spaniards because the “z” sound doesn’t exist, it just sounds like “SSoi.” María Luisa’s slightly senile grandmother literally could not say it and then sarcastically asks me “Zoey? Is that the name of some saint or something?” (Almost everyone here is named after a saint). After dinner we ate a delicious dessert and opened presents, although usually they do that January 6th. January 6th is 3 Kings Day, and that’s usually the biggest holiday and day for gift giving. And they gave me presents! The nicest one was from María’s mom- earlier in the day she saw me admiring María Luisa’s scarf and asking questions about her knitting, so she bought me a scarf! I felt so included and it really was so nice of them. Christmas day we went to the other side of her family’s house in the country, which was really beautiful and also really fun. I am really glad I got to experience a typical Spanish Christmas and especially that I wasn’t alone.

Last weekend I got a little taste of true Spanish night life and got to bond with my roommates. We all went out together to a club nearby and didn’t leave until 6 am! But we had an amazing time. I am seriously so lucky with my roommate situation. They are all nice, respectful, clean, and fun. They (hopefully) don’t get too annoyed when they have to repeat things to me and I think being here is definitely the best for my Spanish.

Another thing that I’ve really enjoyed in the past few months is grocery shopping for myself. It’s nice because I don’t feel like I’m spending my own money, and everything here is so much cheaper! Especially produce – produce in DC is ridiculous. It’s also interesting trying to figure out how to live without my meat substitutes – not that I was really super attached to them, but I do miss veggie burgers from time to time. It’s always the little moments that make me the happiest – successfully making someone laugh in Spanish, watching a Spanish game show on TV and getting an answer right, talking with my roommates… it’s times like those that really make me feel at home here.

Last week classes started again. Here’s what my Monday-Friday schedule looks like: Imagen 6

Wednesday is my worst day, but everything else is pretty manageable. My classes are –

1)French II: To keep up the battle to lot lose all of my French while in Spain. I had to fight with myself to sign up for this though, because two of the classes are at 8:30 and the third is on Friday…ugh.

2) Spanish Literature Twentieth Century: Although I didn’t actually know what Monographic meant and I’m still actually not sure, I think it has something to do with the fact that in this class we will be analyzing one or two works of literature as opposed to a survey of all 20th century Spanish literature. I think I would prefer the latter, but the professor is really nice and so far the class seems interesting. We’ve started by talking about the social and historical factors that influenced Spanish literature in the 20th century. I’m mainly excited because I feel like the other two Spanish lit classes I’ve taken have focused more on older literature, so I wanted something a little bit more mordern.

3) Sociology and Communication: This class seems awesome so far, mostly because I REALLY like the professor. She basically told us the goal of the class was to get us to question everything and every human interaction, and that we couldn’t use “it’s always been that way” (for example) as a way to explain an aspect of culture.  Basically, I’m really happy about this class so far.

4) Psychology of Learning a Second Language: This is the class I have with other foreigners. The subject matter is interesting but unfortunately a lot of the material (material in psychology in general) is in English, and a lot of my classmates speak really bad Spanish. Either way the professor is nice, and if it will help me pinpoint ways to improve my language acquisition it will be worth it.

5) Western culture in the modern age: This class is pretty boring, but I don’t have anything to change it to. I thought modern implied 21st century, but he started off by mentioning the Renaissance…so…oops. I’ll power through it.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on in Seville as of late. I took a trip over the weekend, and I’ll post about that soon!

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