First Day in Spain

Once I arrived in Granada, I wasn’t even that tired! Which is surprising given I had 2 hours of sleep the night before and 40 minutes on the flight. But I arrived at 10am and with the help of Carlos and his father, easily found all my baggage. But…I ran on Spencer time and got the bus too late, and so had to wait for the next one after then next flight. The nice thing was that a guy saw me struggling to read the sign and came over and explained to me (of course in Spanish) that I had to wait till “las doce” for the next.

I did a few small things, waiting around. No free wifi, well 15 minutes of it, woohoo! One guy was looking at my bags very interestedly and I kept an eye on him and when he came back we had a bit of a good old fashioned stare down, and even though he was on my bus all was ok. He could have been really interested in my cool backpacking pack, though I think he was looking for a way to get some free money. It was like I could just read him.

Lesson #2: be aware of your surroundings.

Well, the bus ride over was great! Everything was new including the graffiti. The countryside looks like Napa county with lots of brown hills and warm weather. Very rural and pastural as well, lots of farm houses and other stuff too, which is very cool. The architecture is amazing! Few houses here, lots of pisos (flats). Everything seems to be four stories. Which is interesting because it gives Granada, a city of 200,000 people (the size of a big Bay Area suburb), the feeling of San Francisco minus the sky scrapers. There are lots of small alleyways, and lots of pretty cobblestone streets. One of the coolest parts is that many streets are for people only, cars can’t drive them. Tons of buses, taxis, and plaza, and warm, warm dry mountain weather. I was so thirsty for most of the day!

Well, when I got there, my mentor Amanda, greeted me with a hug and said dos besos, and we did the European two kisses thing (though she told me they don’t do that in Germany or northern Europe). Then she gave me from 12pm to 8pm of the day of her time, never brushing me off, or anything . I got to call the shots, and she was a wonderful, knowledgable, pleasure from the start. We walked around and talked a ton, and soon we switched over to Spanish for the majority of the time. I bought some small items like a towel and shampoos, and she had me do the talking. Lots of the time I got a puzzled look and a “que?” what are you looking for? But when I starting pronouncing each and every vowel and consonant like a baby learning English, I was understood, then I got the are you retarded look..

We went to the famous ice cream shop, the Italian ice cream shop. I bought a towel for $7.99 (the $ is a Euro btw), and shampoo, deodorant, and body wash, as well as some fruit. The whole food situation is interesting, couldn’t find any peanut butter or premade bars yet (half my college diet at home). Well, we’ll see. I also got a new sim card through Happy Movil, which uses Orange’s phone service. It’s pay as you go , $8 Euros for 1 Giga of data per month (which is PLENTY for Spaniards), and then $0.04 per minute of calling. Funny thing is, the guy had the Geek Support necklace like in electronic stores in the USA, but boy was he Spanish and hard to understand, thanks again Amanda!

Amanda, then took me tapas hopping, were we went from bar to bar, and at the second, saw a man (maybe a gypsy) playing the flamenco guitar, and a group of women dancing flamenco style. Everyone was clapping and singing the words to one of the songs, I’ll see if I can’t upload a video. It was probably what I would call my most authentic experience. Something’s very cool about a country where mid day, people my parent’s age, are out of work enjoying tapas, and dancing in the street to live music, really enjoying life.

I returned to the hostel amidst the socializing of many foreigners themselves, and went to the room. Checked to see if my travel adapter and convertor worked, which is did and charged my phone and laptop for a bit. It had been a long 48 hours of 2.66 hours of sleep, so I passed out for 14 hours.

Let’s see what today has to offer! Program starts Friday, so Thursday 8/22 (today) is my last completely free day. Haha who am I kidding, I’m taking classes Pass/No Pass with a month long winter break, and a month long finals week.

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