It has been almost a month since I last had any time for an update or new info for all of you but woooooowwwww have I been busy.
So, let me give you a quick rundown:
I have successfully made 4 trips to Ikea, 20 or so trips to the college campus, 25 trips to the gym, 10 trips to the market, 1 amazing trip to Valencia, have registered for classes, and have demolished more bowls of cereal than I think I can count; just because I’m in Spain doesn’t mean I’m not still a college kid. I’ve also gone to a bullfight which I think is probably one of the worst “socially acceptable” things I’ve ever seen. They literally just taunt and torture a bull until it gets so tired that they can walk right up to it and stab it with a sword. Super messed up and I’m not down for that at all.
Anyway, that’s pretty much the version for people who just want to know I’m still breathing. But the fun stuff comes next:
First of all, “Spanish time” is real and it is the most absurd thing I’ve ever witnessed. For these people, showing up on time or early is considered rude. Sometimes they don’t even show up at all. They just show up whenever it’s convenient or they just feel like they want to. Schedules mean almost nothing. Unless you’re a student. They still take that pretty seriously. But the professor? Oh no, they show up a minimum of 5 minutes late. And it is often that they enjoy leaving early.
I was stood up by my counselor 4 times before he actually showed up to his office for a scheduled meeting. That’s right, 4 times. He never even emailed to reschedule. I had to email him when he didn’t show up. But I’m getting used to it I think… it’s just that this no pressure no hurry schedule is really not very productive, so getting used to it is scaring me.
Additionally, the normal time to begin to go out here is 11 pm. Anything before that is just a dinner party. Then when you want to go to a real party after your 12am “pre-game”, you don’t head out for that until 2 or 3 am. Then you go to bed at 6am and don’t wake up for 10 hours. I am extremely not down for that. The grandfather that inhabits my soul has me in bed and asleep by 10:30pm or 11pm and up making coffee by 6:30am.
Some people say that it’s a waste of my trip not to do that stuff but I love it.
Having coffee and looking out over Murcia at 7 am when the sun has just peaked over the horizon is something magical, especially when there’s no sound from the street because the city just went to bed. Then all that is left is an empty, beautiful silence with a beautiful view.
Because of that, I have a routine. Wake up, breakfast, coffee, class, workout, eat, class, adventure, eat, sleep, repeat. And I couldn’t be happier about it.
Routines, for me, are how I organize my world and keep myself busy. It just makes scheduling and adventuring here easier.
In classes, I’ve met people from Italy, France, Germany, Croatia, Poland, England and, of course, Spain. Which is freaking awesome because I’ve realized that in the college setting, we’re all pretty much the same. A bunch of kids trying to learn and still have fun.
I have a gym membership to a place 20 yards away from my apartment building which has completely taken away the usual excuse of “I don’t have time for the gym”. I can literally squeeze a workout in at any hour long break I have. In addition with that, I have started taking advantage of the Spaniards obsession with fresh fruits veggies and meats. Healthy eating here is extremely affordable and seems to be the norm so I’m trying to build that habit and bring it back with me to the States.
Right now, however, I’m dealing with a teacher who really just likes the sound of his own voice and doesn’t like teaching. He shows up 10 minutes late to every class, and has now sent half of the class to the back of the lecture hall so that they cannot take part in the lecture. He did this because we missed one too many questions on a quiz. So basically, while the rest of the class learns more about the material, he forces the rest of the class to fall farther behind. Great job professor. Great job.
On a more positive note, I have two of the most badass roommates on earth. Tito and Karl. They are two Irish guys, but both aren’t native to Ireland. Karl comes from Poland originally and speaks the language fluently. If he keeps up his learning Spanish and German, he will be quadrilingual. Tito on the other hand, is already quadrilingual, knowing French, English, Spanish and Afrikaans.
And I’m over here struggling with just Spanish.
Anywho, the two are super rad guys and I’m extremely fortunate to have been grouped up with them through my assigned exchange buddy (Rafa, the guy who translates for me from time to time). These two Irish guys even cook for me all the time just because they are generous incredible human beings.
So, in closing, I’m doing well. My classes, my health, my roommates, and my life are all in excellent shape.
I love you all. And as always, pray for me.