Week Four/Semana Cuatro (Alyssa in Spain)

Monday, July 25th:

Another nerd day. Today was used to catch up on sleep, homework, and prepare for an exam. My host mom and I had the longest conversation today, so that was interesting. It all started out when I tried to persuade her into getting a little kitty cat that I see everyday while walking home. She didn’t buy it. But, I learned about all of the cats in her life and how she just doesn’t prefer the work of having a pet anymore. I may not have gotten a cute, furry roommate, but at least I got to practice my Spanish. I felt like it has definitely improved, however if I don’t start speaking more frequently then I feel like I won’t be improving as much as I could be. “Tomorrow I will speak Spanish all day!” Bueno suerte para mí

I ALMOST FORGOT! The greatest thing ever happened to me today. I found my coffee! Everywhere I go the only thing you can really get is coffee with a splash of milk. My favorite drink at home that I have way to much is a caramel or chai latte. The withdrawals have been real during this trip. Starbucks doesn’t exist here, said a taxi driver one night while laughing at me.  BUT I FOUND MY LATTE! God bless Salamanca coffee for feeding my  sugary coffee drink addiction.

Tuesday, July 26th:

Well it is tomorrow, and I did not speak Spanish all day. It’s extremely difficult when the people around you can comprehend your broken Spanish. Hopefully it will start improving and I will start speaking more. Today I had an exam in my Spanish culture class. I am so confused because it was the easiest exam I had taken in awhile. Maybe its because I am used to the extremely difficult U of M classes or maybe they just recognized that this is a study abroad trip so exams really aren’t that intense, but estoy muy alegre.

Walking home, my sandal broke. So that was cool. But I suppose I didn’t mind buying a new pair of shoes.😉

I took a siesta today, it was wondrous. After I worked on homework and just relaxed. After such a busy weekend and having a busy weekend coming up, a break from everything was well needed.

In the kitchen I asked what my host mom was making, and she said croquetas (google image them, or eat them if you can because they are glorious let me tell you what). I was so excited for dinner so I could eat them.

spain3Annnnnd I got an omelette for dinner. What. A. Bummer. What a dirty dirty trick she played getting my hopes up like that. Oh well, I’m rapidly gaining weight with all the carbs and lack of regular exercise so maybe it’s a good thing. And this brings me to the topic of my stresses for t
he day. I am not quite sure how to fit in working out and being more conscious of what my host mom is feeding me nutrient-wise (because I don’t really have a choice for what she gives me.) It’s not like she’s feeding me junk all the time, but there are definitely a lot more fried foods in my diet and unnecessary snacks/alcohol with friends. I know I am on a trip and shouldn’t stress about too much it, but I am. Hopefully I can find a way to cut down the junk and get to running a bit more.

 

Wednesday, July 27th:

After classes for lunch a few of us went to Rua Mayor Vinoteca for paella. It was so good! Paella is a traditional meal here in Salamanca that many families will have for lunch every Sunday. My family is different and doesn’t, so getting paella today was a special treat.

After lunch Becca and I got interviewed by one of our program advisors, Caroline, about our experiences here. It was for a video to promote the CGIS program and all of its glory. Caroline is SO COOL! It was fun hanging out with her and walking around.

I GOT THE CROQUETAS FOR DINNER!!! Happiest moment of my life. Later in the evening the Castilla y Leon Orchestra was playing in the plaza, we all met up and went to it. It was so beautiful and there were so many people. After was the typical karaoke jam sesh. This time, many people weren’t about dancing, but with our ginormous group all going wild it didn’t make a difference. It was a great time and I was so happy to be with our group of people. Also drank with Hot Bartender Danny so tonight was definitely a win.

Thursday, July 27th:

Most of the day I worked on my essay for my Children’s Literature class. But after Becca and I went out and walked around the town. All of the bars were so dead because it was only midnight, but dancing and walking around was still a blast.

Friday, July 28th:

Today was the last day of my two mini-course classes! YAYYYY! Now I will only have one class, the Children’s Literature course, for the next two weeks. I was excited to have more time on my hands for adventures. In one of my classes we watched the old B&W Spanish version of Snow White, Blanconieva,  it was really interesting!

Today a siesta was calling my name, but I had to make sure I finished my essay and other homework before leaving to Portugal for the weekend. The train leaves at 1 AM so we just just slept on the train ride.

Saturday, July 29th:

We made it to Lisbon! Our Air BnB was so cute, each room was themed and the person was super nice. We walked down to the market and grabbed some snacks and coffee and then to this flea market downtown. It was ginormous and so cool. We wandered around a little bit buying things here and there. It was a pretty typical flea market, but it also had many things pertinent to Portugal, things made with cork, mosaics, etc.

spain5We went on a bike bar tour along the coast side of the river. Everyone just jammed out and and ate tapas and drank. It was so fun! After, we found this chick leading a Zumba class. Naturally we had to join. After we went and got around for a pub crawl that we signed up for. At first, we could not for the life of us find the meeting spot. Eventually we met up with our guide and went to a few bars, winning at beer pong and meeting people from other places, like Britain. Let’s just say it was a good night.

 

Sunday, July 30th:

In the morning we all split off and did our own things. The girls had a boat trip planned. We met our captains, who both spoke English. A lot of people speak English here, which surprised me because I would have assumed  most would speak Spanish as their second language. Anyways, the boat trip was amazing. Seeing Portugal from the water was breathtaking and finally getting some time to just relax out in the sun was much needed. The water was freezing but eventually I got used to it. I started to feel sick towards the end. I don’t really get motion sickness but maybe it was a combo of that, too much sun, dehydration, and drinking the night before. I felt better after awhile but it definitely put a dampener on things.

After we rode the metro (first time! Very interesting) to the Caracavelos beach. It was so big and there was so many people there. It was fun. We ended up running into some people that we met on the pub crawl from Oklahoma so we chatted with them for awhile.

When we got home we got all cute and went to a sushi restaurant. DELISH.

When we got back everyone was pretty tired, so we chilled and played King’s cup in the apartment until bedtime.

 

To learn more about the (Language and Culture in Salamanca) program, please visit: M-Compass

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