Thursday, January 22, 2009

¡Me encantan las bicis!

This morning, Lindsey and I woke up late - 9:00. Ugh. On our second day of school. We hurried to get dressed, grabbed a muffin and chocolate milk to go, and ran for the bus stop because we didn't have time to walk and our bikes were not yet fixed. We got to school about 20 minutes late,  but our sweet profesora totally understood and was glad to see us in class. Today, we had Conversación with Virginia González at 9:30 - 11:15, after which we had a 30 minute 'pausa'. During this time, a few of us went down to the cafetería to get cappuccinos. Then, at 11:45 - 1:15, we had composición with Eduardo España Palop. Both of our classes were pretty fun. I love the teachers here.

When class was over for the morning, Lindsey and I caught the bus back home. For lunch, we had DELICIOUS soup with patatas (potatoes) and pulpo (octopus). It was maybe my favorite so far. We also had bread, of course, and salad. The interesting thing about eating salad here is that you don't prepare your own bowl or plate, but instead, you all eat out of the same salad dish. We always follow lunch (la comida) and dinner (la cena) with a fruit. My choice for this afternoon was a banana :)

I explained to them that I had to hurry back to school for my 3:00 class, so sweet, sweet Miguel showed us out to the bikes, because he had fixed them!!!!!!! We were so so so excited. The ones that Lindsey and I use are both road bikes. Mine is yellow with regular handle bars and a cute little bell. Lindsey's is green, a little taller, and has curved handle bars. We got the locks we bought yesterday, and headed out to ride. Lindsey rode to the university with me, even though she didn't have class until 5. It's such a nice ride, and it only takes about 15 minutes - 1/3 of the time it takes to walk!

At 3:00, I had La Historia de la Lengua Española (history of the spanish language) with Adela García Valle. It's by far the most difficult class, but I could still understand everything that she said. This is encouraging... I can already tell that my Spanish is improving!

After class, I went to the ISA Office to pick up my shoes that the hotel in Toledo found... woops ;) and rode back home. I was really tired, for some reason, so after chatting a bit with my mamá, I took a nap until about 7:30. We had dinner at 8:30. Tonight it was only mamá, Lindsey and me, because 8:30 was too early for Miguel and papá... haha! We ate cauliflower, and it was very moist and soft, with salt and olive oil. We had bread of course, and after I had una mandarina.

Then at 9:00, Lindsey and I left for our 9:30 intercambio (sort of an exchange with students from the US and Spanish students). This was at the American owned bar Portland Ale House. When we arrived, we discovered that the majority of the people there were not students, but older people and families there to watch the Valencia soccer game on TV. I stayed for about 20 minutes, then left to meet up with Ken and Dottie. We walked around downtown for a while, then went to the University area to meet up with Anna and Elizabeth. I had coffee and they had some wine and water and Fanta at a cute little restaurant near the ISA office. Like true Spaniards, we stayed there for a good hour and a half, talking and people watching, and then walked around a bit more. Most places were closing early because tomorrow (more like today) is a Spanish fiesta, and there are no classes and no open stores.

At around 1:00, we headed home. Anna and I walked part of the way together, and then split up. Even though it's late and night and I'm in a big city, our neighborhood is very safe, so it's pleasant to walk alone. I got home around 1:20 and watched TV with my family for a little while (yes - everyone stays up late here). Then I skyped my mom!

I'm learning more and more about the culture and the language, and as I do, I'm becoming more and more enchanted. I love this place!

Un besito,

*Pictures (from top to bottom): One of the many beautiful features our the park - a pool with fountains and lights, Our house! Calle de Molina Numero cuatro!, Our room - Lindsey's bed by the corner and mine by the rocker, Our study area and beautiful flowers, The bathroom (featuring Lindsey herself) and door and closets to the left

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