The Granada Diaries: Planes, Buses & Baggage Carousels

The family dropped me off this morning (yesterday morning?) at the airport.  My little sister got the last hug of anyone after she forbid me from having a Spanish boyfriend.  Mom chimed in with “No besos!” but followed up with “well maybe just one.”  Thanks Mom…

Dad came in with me and I watched him walk all the way out of the ticketing area until I couldn’t see him or his teal polo shirt.  I’ll admit that I became a bit choked up and a few tears rolled down my face as I stood in line to check my bag.

It’s been a long day of travel, but overall pretty easy.  Some light turbulence along the way kept things interesting but I slept through most of it.  My seat was located by the restrooms which was convenient but also meant there were usually people in line next to my seat.  I kept waking up to kind strangers handing me my pillow or eye mask that had fallen from my sleep perch.

The real downside of the turbulence was that they didn’t serve coffee or any hot beverages on the flight!  Now, I’m not a caffeine junkie or anything but I definitely needed some coffee to get me through the time change and minimal sleep.  We had a bit of time in Madrid waiting for our final flight to Granada so I took the opportunity to enjoy a cafe americano.  The coffee here is so much better than the States.  I drank it black and enjoyed the taste, no sugar or milk needed.  Perhaps it has to do with the quality?  It seems less bitter yet possesses a fuller-bodied flavor.

The other students I met up with along the way are friendly and outgoing.  By the end of our journey, we were all a bit zombie-esque.  I wonder who I’ll be close to in the group (if any?)  A lot of them seem to know each other already, but it’s always fun to meet new people!

One of the program directors was waiting to meet us at the small airport outside Granada.  We dutifully schlepped our bags out to the waiting bus.  I loved the short drive into the heart of the city.  I didn’t expect Granada to be so mountainous!  Apparently there’s skiing here in the winter time.  At the moment, it’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit so there will be no snow anytime soon, but I will definitely be slathering on sunscreen.

It feels foreign here.  Not in a bad way, just in a Wow, this is different kind of vibe.  The style in which people dress, at leas that I’ve seen so far, is distinct but attractive.  The signs are in Spanish and everyone seems to think cerveza is appropriate at all times of the day.  Drinking at lunch would put me to sleep!  Plus I was dehydrated from the plane so all I wanted was to down cold water and then some.

Our host mom picked my roommate and me up from the meeting spot.  We walked with our bags to a nearby barro in the neighborhood.  As noted, the girls had water and our host mother enjoyed a cold one.  I think she found it strange all we wanted was water.  We also had a delicious tuna salad tapa – complimentary with our drinks of course!

We chatted and laughed before making our way to the apartment that will be my home for the next four months.  It’s lovely and very cool despite the 100 degree weather and the Spaniards’ apparent lack of belief in air-conditioning.  She made a delicious late lunch of hard-boiled eggs, cooked vegetables, and green melon.  It was a mixture of dishes from Northern Spain, where she’s from, and general Spanish cuisine.  I was thrilled to have real, whole foods after subsiding off of almonds and plane food for a day.

Host mom talked about her siblings, her job, and the city.  I understood most of it, and I’m sure I’ll only continue to improve as my time here goes on and I become more immersed in the language and the culture.  A solid night’s sleep will also do wonders for my comprehension.

After we ate, she dismissed us to rest and unpack.  My roommate fell asleep and I’m writing this!  I know siestas are a thing here, but I want to sleep through the night and adjust to the time zone here as fast as possible.  I really should unpack though, because the longer I spend typing here on my bed the more my eyes start to droop.

We have a full day tomorrow as a group so I think tonight will be pretty relaxed and unstructured.  Looking forward to a hot shower and good night’s rest!

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