Friday, January 28, 2011

Turning Around

Hello everyone!!
I haven't written in awhile because I'm having too much fun here to stop and take a moment. Sorry for being such a Debbie Downer last week. Things have really turned around. I think it's mostly due to classes starting. I like having a schedule; too much free time kills me.

My class is pretty easy so far; midterm in a few hours (it's only a two week class, but it's "intensive" so I'll get three credits for it, woo). Not too worried, but probably should have studied more. Oh well.

I'm touring the Catedral today; it's supposed to be stunning. I can't wait to see it and take lots of pictures.

I'm sick as a dog unfortunately. I thought it was just a chest cold, but last night and today it feels more like the flu. 100F fever and achey all over, especially my sinuses and back. Planning on going to bed around eight and sleeping until two tomorrow. Ready? I think I'm sick because of the change in Tiempo. In spanish this means both time and weather-I was pretty proud of myself for thinking of it. hahaha

Been talking with a few horse farms around the city; hopefully within the next three weeks I can try one out and take a lesson. I cannot wait to ride. The poor carriage horses in the city are probably sick of me; almost every time I pass them I ask, "Puedo decir hola?" Don't think it translates but I miss the horses and I think these city dwellers like the attention. At least that's what I tell myself.

Well I'm going to try and soothe an almost guilty conscious by taking the next ten minutes to study. Love you all.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


If you wish to see my photos from Sevilla, but are not on Facebook, hopefully this link will work:


A long day in Sevilla

We'll start this post with my favorite picture from Sevilla so far. Isn't it gorgeous?!

This is more of a venting post than anything. It's been a rough day. This week is so full of ups and downs it's hard to decide how much I like it here. After a long skype with Javier I feel better, but still, it's not easy moving to another country!

I went to bed early last night and woke up around 1.30 in the afternoon. Excellent.

Motivated myself for a run. Between all of the Spaniards smoking on the street and not having run in two months, I felt like I was breathing with two snack size zip-lock bags.

Returned from my run. Had lunch. Lots of fried food here...

Went immediately from lunch to my matriculation/class registration. Traveled 40 mintutes through downtown Sevilla dressed as American as you can-white tennis shoes, my running pants & shirt, a fleece, then a Northface and a pink backpack. To say I stuck out like a sore thumb was an understatement. People hear dress beautifully...all-the-time. I cannot compete with you, beautiful Spanish women!

Registration sucked. I needed four classes to graduate on time. I got two. Excellent.

Phone ran out of minutes in less than a week.

Met a friend for coffee. That was very nice. She's been living in Sevilla since September. Also made me realize that unless you like to be a total borracha and spend your weekends in los barres and discotecas, there's not much to do for socialization. People don't stay in and watch movies with friends here-it's not allowed. You either go out until the sun comes up or you stay in. That kind of 'wasted' lifestyle isn't for me. We're both old souls.
Tonight I'm going to Calle Betis, a calle with lots of bars to meet some friends. It's a friend's birthday, so I'll be buying her a chupito (shot-these are the kind of words we Americans are concerned with, sigh) but not following the group of twenty English-speaking Americans to the discoteca. I'm hoping to meet a different friend's Spanish friends. I am excited for this part!

But some highlights!! Had my first Spanish tortilla today-not bad, not bad at all. It's basically a potato and egg concoction that I ate with ketchup. Imagine a really thick frittata.

Also, new obsession. Tried Yogurtlandia last night.
Frozen yogurt + Nutella + 2euro. Anything + Nutella is fantastic, but this. I mean come on, 2 euro? New favorite thing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Llegué a Sevilla, por fin!

I'm finally here!!!

To make two (three?) very long days short, here it is:

Left Chicago Sunday afternoon, and met a friend from my high school Spanish in check-in. We were both shocked and relieved to know someone. It was a smooth flight and I got to sit next to a very sweet man. His bio--from Brazil, lives in Toronto, works in China, US, Brazil, Spain, Toronto, more?, has six kids and four grandchildren, a summer home in Slovenia, and speaks six languages fluently: Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, English, and Slovenian. To say wehad plenty to talk about was an understatement. Unfortunately left us very little time to sleep.
(Note: called it. We broke every small talk rule and talked about politics, religion, world events and personal relationships. Told you I sit next to that guy every time haha!)

Arrived in Madrid, Spain airport a little before 7am their time. After a three hour layover turned to four hours, we discovered the Madrid airport doesn't post that a flight is cancelled until much later. After fifteen more hours spent waiting in line for new tickets and fighting off Spaniards, I learned many new words. (ie. Niebla=fog; also means no flights can land, so there are no planes to take off). I discovered that if I talked slowly and focused, I could communicate fairly well with people here. Yay!
Aeropuerto de Madrid:

Arrived in Sevilla. Fortunately our waiting paid off and we all could get on a flight that took off around 1115/1130pm the same day. We got to Sevilla, thankfully had all our luggage, and paid way too much for a taxi but were just too relieved to get to the hotel. Cue shower and SLEEP.

Woke up early next day for orientation at the hotel. Talked about lots of things. Don't remember much. Split into groups and toured the city. It is stunning, just like a postcard. The architecture is cooler than you could imagine, and orange trees line the streets. Loved my guide, Icia ("ee-thee-ah"), and my group was sweet. Tried my first tappas-honestly just okay. Came back to hotel for un descanso, or siesta, but I didn't sleep.
View from the hotel:

The same day we had interviews with professors. My professor told me to strongly consider taking a course with the university, but I'm a little hesitant. I'm at a frustrating point with my Spanish. Almost none of the students from the US will even try Spanish, which kills me. I came here to learn, and to that we need to practice. I met two or three girls who want to try too. But at the other end, it's hard for me to understand the Spanish people my age. Those that are older are easy to understand, but I want friends! But anyways, that's why I'm hesitant to take a course in the University. I feel like I'm in between, too advanced for most of the Americans, but not good enough for the Spaniards...

That night we went and saw a live Flamenco performance. It was absolutely incredible!!!! There was a guitarist, a singer, and then a male and female dancer. All performed with such passion. The dancing is kind of like very sexual tap dancing. For example, when the man danced, they sang about his beautiful hair, but when the woman danced, the song begged her to open her door, "abre la puerta", which is a phrase that originates from the time when the Moors ruled Spain. I'm sure I don't have to explain the double meaning.

After that our little group went to eat tappas again; better this time. No idea what I ate but the meat was fantastic. Didn't get back to the hotel until after midnight. Decided I'd rather sleep than go out at that point.

TODAY, finally haha

Woke up early and got to enjoy breakfast, unlike yesterday when I slept too late. Lots of meat, cheese, and fruit. The juice was good too! They don't drink much water here, which kills me. Fortunately I can now becauseeee...

I moved in with my Senora today!! Her name is Manoli and she's very sweet. My roommate also goes to Indiana and lives in Glenview--small world. The apartment is very cute and I love my room. I brought way too many clothes. haha but that's okay

I unpacked and soon it'll be time for lunch. For now it's a mess!
Well, it doesn't seem like a short summary, but it is. I've been in Sevilla less than 48 hours but it feels like weeks. Pictures soon, I promise. Love you all, Michelle

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Taking Off

Well, in less than 24 hours I'll be on a plane most likely squished in next to the guy that wants to talk politics. But I'll be headed to Spain. Over-under: pretty excited.

Just finished most of the packing. Actually Dad finished most of the packing. I just handed him the clothes I pulled. He is a much more efficient packer, imagine that.

Took a break with Bailey dog. Hoping to learn how to insert picture's cute.

I take off from the States at 4.45pm and then connect from Madrid to Sevilla. Whoohoo!
Love you all, and we'll see each other in June :)