The Granada Diaries: People Stare

Meal times here are totally whack.  Also people stare at you.  I kid you not, it’s completely normal to openly gape at anyone on the street.  I seem to have been stared at slightly less than my fellow students (score).  This has given me a sliver of hope that I look as though I belong here!  A cute Spaniard gave me an appreciative whistle so that was pretty much the highlight of the day.

Sofia by Alvaro Soler is the song that keeps playing in my head as I wander the streets of Granada.  It’s catchy, upbeat and the music video has wonderful choreography.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s a total babe!  El Mismo Sol is another song worth listening to especially because it’s a duet with Jennifer Lopez.

This morning we had jugo de granada or pomegranate juice.  This was accompanied by toast with sliced melon and apple.  We also had cafe con leche which was actually warmed milk with instant coffee stirred in.  Not really my jam but she was okay with me requesting tea tomorrow.  The Spaniards believe in eating light in the morning.  The main meal of the day is lunch!

After breakfast, we walked to meet up with our program.  This was followed by an information overload regarding classes, the next month and how to navigate the city.  The school is beautiful though!  I ended up getting myself an espresso from the machine in the building.  For 0.70 euros, I had a coffee better than most in the U.S.  I think I love this city…

A useful tidbit that the program director told as today had to do with cajeros automáticos.  Apparently, the ATMs here sometimes eat your debit card so it’s important to only take out money in the morning when the bank is open.

I can already feel myself shifting into Spanish mode.  I keep wanting to type random words in Spanish and it takes a second to think of the correct word in English.  What a great sign!  I’ll be bilingual by the end of the semester.

We returned home for lunch at 2:30pm and enjoyed gazpacho, vegetable soup, fresh bread, and little fish.  Fresh watermelon was our desert – absolute perfection considering the heat outside.

No siesta today since we had to rush back to class!  Very un-Andalusian of us.  People here walk very slowly and look at you with strange expression if you move above a crawl.  It’s painful for me to walk as such a leisurely pace.  I suppose I need to relax.

There was more review in the afternoon and then we were set up with Spanish cell phones.  It feels very official to have a local phone number!  Everyone here uses WhatsApp to communicate instead of sending normal text messages because it’s cheaper. Text messages are 0.15 per message!  Different than the free texting plans many of us Americans are used to enjoying.

After being dismissed for the day around 6:30pm, I walked home and stopped in a beautiful church for a few minutes.  Cathedrals and churches are scattered throughout the city everywhere!  I also found a perfumería where I purchased shampoo, conditioner, and face wash.  Though many of the brands were familiar, it struck me that they were cheaper here in Spain.

Dinner here isn’t until late so after dropping my bag off at the apartment and chatting with my host mom, I wandered off in search of a yoga studio that was recommended to me.  I took a wrong turn and became lost which wasn’t a huge surprise.  It’s at times like these that I miss Siri.  I didn’t realize how dependent I was on her!  I didn’t find the studio, but I was able to navigate home in time for dinner without asking anyone for help.

I helped set the table and we shared a tortilla of eggs and potatoes.  There were also grapes, blue cheese, and local asparagus.  I refused the toast offered thinking it was 1) strange to have toast at dinner and 2) that we were having potatoes anyway!  However, in Spain el pan or bread is a central part of most meals due customs from a time when the country was poorer.

The three of us chatted for awhile.  I enjoy the practice, but it’s also expected that I will stay at the table.  The Spaniards have a custom called sobremesa. This is the conversation that takes place after sharing a meal.  It’s common to sit for an hour talking and laughing even when the food has long been eaten.

I watched a few minutes of a Spanish movie that was dramatic and kind of silly.  Then I excused myself to try to call home and say hello.  I caught my dad briefly on Facetime and am now finishing this up!  The technology really is incredible to keep in touch with people.

Tomorrow we have a tour of the historic city and will learn more about Granada’s roots.  Get ready for some awesome photos!

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