Empieza la vida española

I’ve been in Spain for a week now, but in some ways it feels like I’ve been here for months. I arrived last Monday after having met several of my fellow teachers in the airport. (Side story: these airport scenes were quite comical. A lot of us have been “friends” via our facebook group for a few months and can somewhat say that we ‘know’ each other. We would approach each other, trying to remember what this person’s profile picture looks like, and say something like “Are you so-and-so? I think I know you.” It was funny and awkward, but now we’ve spent an entire week together)
My first week has been filled with orientation sessions on useful things like how to set up a bank account, buy a cell phone, and get a resident card. That’s all really boring stuff that none of you care about. The more exciting events of the week: A tour of el Alcázar, a royal palace built by the Muslims during the 12th century, torn down in the 14th century when the Christians conquered the region, and then rebuilt by the Christians with their own symbolism embedded into the Muslim architecture. (Okay so maybe that’s not exciting for everyone, but remember: I’m a history major and a huge nerd.)

Patio de las Doncellas, the “waiting room” for the king’s visitors
Salón de Embajadores, the throne room

Another part of Spanish culture that I am quickly acclimating to is the art of the siesta. It’s really an amazing thing that should be adopted in the US, especially in regions where it gets unbearably hot. Spain pretty much shuts down between 2pm and 5pm while everyone has a luxuriously long lunch break and takes a nap. It’s genius. Once you get over the American attitude of “I want to do whatever I want, when I want,” you realize how functional this society really is. It only sucks when you want to do something or go somewhere that isn’t open during the siesta, but it’s very easy to adapt to.

I am now living in my homestay with my Spanish “familia,” which consists of my señora, who is 31, single, and gorgeous, and her dad. They don’t speak any English, so my Spanish is coming long quite quickly. They are both really sweet. He sleeps in the living room supposedly because he likes sleeping with the TV on (which is probably true because it’s on 24/7) but I think he just wants to sleep where the only AC in the apartment is. I can’t say that I blame him, my roommates and my room feels like a sauna most of the time. Andalucía is in a heat wave right now, and it’s been averaging about 104 F everyday. A ceiling fan just doesn’t cut it.

Living room
My room
Lolita, who loves to lick my toes

I started my Spanish classes today. I’ll have class Monday through Friday from 9-1, and the rest of the day is mine. It’s a rough schedule, I know; I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle it. But such is the Spanish life.

Tinto de Verano, my new favorite drink
Flamenco show; yes that is sweat, his shirt is not supposed to be two colors
La Giralda
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