Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Arabic Tea Room

Yesterday Malika, Christy and I went to this place called Cafetín Arabe to study for our first test. It is this really nice place that has lots of low couches and pillows on the floor with low tables. Their menu has all these different kinds of tea and coffee from all over the world and they also have these middle eastern sweets. I had a turkish coffee and something similar to Baklava but it had almonds in the middle of it, both were really delicious. They were playing really good music in there and it was a really nice place to study until tons of people started coming in and talking and smoking cigarettes and hooka. It was ok though because we were sick of studying by that time anyway. We decided to go back there after our test tomorrow because it is a super nice atmosphere and we want to try some more coffees and teas.

Today in class one of the girls taught me how to write my last name in Chinese characters. It was really neat, she said that my name is some kind of tree that grows in China. I am trying to learn how to pronounce her Chinese name but it is very difficult. All the Chinese girls crack up whenever I try to say anything in Mandarin. They taught me how to say thank-you the other day, it is written in Roman letters like this: Xie Xie, now you try to pronounce that.

My new roommate is Stevie and she is from Alaska. I think we are going to get along even though we are pretty different. She sounds like she has had a really interesting life. Her biological dad is a ballet dancer in Las Vegas and she has lived in Arizona, Hawaii, Wyoming and now Alaska, and she has also studied in Granada and Costa Rica.

Ok, well I feel like I can´t write in English today because it has been ruined from speaking so much Spanish...which is good I suppose but it makes all my english sentences come out very simple and sounding like mush so I´m just going to shut up now.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blah

I don´t really have much to say today, except that my first wave of homesickness hit me about 40 minutues ago when I was reading my emails from home. Then to make matters worse I was trying to send an email and I couldn´t get it to work for anything and the lady that works at the cyber café thingy looked at me like I was retarded but then it took her like 20 minutes to figure it out...all of those minutes which I will be paying dearly for. I think I just haven´t had enough time to myself, because someone is always inviting me to go to this or that place and I never get to go exploring on my own and I´m just getting a bit grumpy.

Ok, enough of the complaining. Otherwise I´m doing pretty good and so thankful that we don´t have school tomorrow. Hopefully my next post will be more interesting and uplifting.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Tapas

Today after class the coordinator for our program, Roberto, gave us a list of really good places to go get tapas here and said he would try to join us later so we went out in search of some good tapas for lunch. We ended up at this place close the the Plaza de las Flores with some strange name but I can´t remember exactly what it is called. We had the waiter bring us a plate of basically thier house tapas. Here is what he brought us: a plate of tomatoes and green olives soaked in olive oil, a plate of little sandwiches filled with sausages, hams, and anchovies, a plate of marineras which is a version of potatoe salad placed on a hard bread stick and topped with an anchovie, and a plate of sliced ham with pepper and covered in olive oil. I also had a glass of wine because it was cheaper than a pop. My overall opinion of the food is that it is quite good, except the meat is a bit frightening sometimes. When you walk into bars and restaurants it is all hanging up behind the counter and they usually have a pigs leg stuck in this contraption on the counter ready for them to slice meat off of it. A bit strange for me. I have also checked out places where the sell meat and you can buy a whole leg of pig or cow for like €120 which is pretty expensive. I´m sure in a few months it will just become part of daily life though.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Chocolate Chip Cookies Rock My Socks Off

So today after class I made choc. chip cookie bars and they were so good. It was very comical to improvise with what little I have in my kitchen. I used a big pot as a mixing bowl and a miniture plastic cup as a measuring cup. They turned out quite good too. I gave one to my landlord and also to a Senegalese woman that braids hair around the corner from where I live at this open air flea market.

Right now the city festival is going on and so there are fiestas and desfiles almost every night and tons of good food and all these hand crafts to try. Next tuesday is a city wide holiday celebrating the city saint so I don´t have school and I´m thinking about participating in this little trek that the older people make up to this mountain nearby carrying a statue of the saint back to her normal spot in the sanctuary on top of the mountain. Then later that night there are most fiestas in Murcia which should be pretty cool too.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I was mistaken

Since the my last blog entry I have seen about 3 girls here rocking the mullet so apparently it is for everyone. In Sweden tapered pants are all the rage right now and I sincerely hope that that trend does not become popular in the rest of the world because my body is certainly not built for tapered pants. But my Swedish roommate, Ana, is one of the neatest girls ever. We speak in English a lot with Spanish blended in every once in awhile and sometimes she gets really frustrated and just speaks in Swedish and we just laugh about it.

Last night I went to Lindsey´s apartment which is in the building next to mine and we made a pizza and 2 bottles of wine. It is amazing how cheap wine is here, the majority of it is probably cheaper than bottled water is back in the states. There was a festival/re-enactment of what happened between the Christians and the Moors in Murcia that took place 2 blocks from our apartment so we went there after dinner last night. Everyone was dressed in costumes and there was all kinds of singing and dancing, it was really entertaining. Although not so much when I was trying to fall asleep about an hour later and couldn´t because they were making so much noise and there was no way I was closing my window in 85degree weather with no air conditioning. Good times.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The return of the mullet

Okay I don´t have much to say today. Just that all of you should not be suprised if you start seeing a bunch of mohawk/mullet looking hairstyles in Kansas in 7 years because they are all the rage here right now. Almost all the young guys you see have some form of mullet...haven´t seen them on the girls yet and hopefully I never will. If so, then I will start to get really concerned. Besides that, everyone is really fashionable here so if you want to be ahead of the trends in the midwest start by buying something in deep purple or you could always just get a mullet cut. I will have to take some pictures because it is a different twist on the 80s style mullet.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The 2 day search for a computer is finally over

So I finally got here and got to a computer! I have been in Murcia since Friday night and it has been an adventure the whole time. I have made a bunch of friends so far and it has generally just been an awesome time. I don´t know how I´m going to make it a whole year with the money I have but I figure if I look at it like a challenge instead of an obstacle at least I won´t have a bad attitude. Well, I must be going for now because this internet cafe is crazy expensive. My first day of school is tomorrow so hopefully I will get my student ID and be able to use the computers there.