lundi 19 juillet 2010

La vida aquí

I just took the cross-town bus home from Josh's apartment (I got "free" dorm housing, he found a sublet for the month). And I passed the bilboard with a digital clock/thermometer on it and sighed with relief, because it's only 35 degrees out. It's finally cooled off a bit. How nice. 35 degrees celcius, for anyone who thinks in farenheit, is a whopping 95. About fifteen degrees cooler than it was this afternoon, when we got dragged around to see a bunch of old renaissance palaces. But I'm not complaining.

Really, I'm not. I might hazard a bet that this is one of the most fun summers I've had since I went to essay-writing camp when I was 14. I really don't know what to do with myself when I'm not staring out a window wishing class were over. I currently have 7 hours a day in which I can stare out the window wishing class were over, although this is not generally how I'm spending my time. The classes are pretty interesting (some more so, some less so) and I'm REALLY getting a kick out of being in a room full of other language teachers. Especially when they get into shushing fights, because the people that were being shushed two minutes ago are now annoyed with the shushers, who have given up shushing and started talking to their neighbors (not even bothering to whisper), and then finally someone gets mad enough to yell at someone and say that they can't hear the professor, who is looking mildly bewildered at the fact that a room full of adults can't manage to raise their hands to ask a question. This has only happened a handful of times, though--I'd say less than 20.

Ok, so I'm tired, because it's 11:30 and it's still too hot to go to bed, and so I'm getting cranky. But I'm really enjoying my classes, the best one by far being the class where we're figuring out how to look at a Latin word and explain how two millennia of people mispronouncing it gave us the Spanish word we have today. For example, someone hanging out on the Iberian peninsula around 200 a.d. couldn't say the sound made by "f" and "l" together, and their mispronunciation gave us the "y" sound at the beginning of the word "llama," which the Romans called "flamma." If you know me, you can imagine how much I am enjoying this. It's nothing like the academic glee I feel for 8th/9th century norse invaders (aka vikings) but I'm definitely having a good time. And I really do like my classmates. After two years of having to surmount cultural differences just to be able to chit-chat happily with the person beside me in class, I am SO HAPPY to be in a giant group of Americans. Can I just say how great Americans can be?

It's also just cool to be in Spain again. The first time I ever "lived" abroad was when I studied in Madrid for a semester, and even the things I completely forgot about or never knew about, I still feel like they're a little familiar. Like people pushing you to get past instead of asking you to move, or the juice boxes of wine in the grocery store.

This weekend we had a mandatory field trip to Segovia, a town about 2 hours away.

I had been there before, and remembered the Roman aqueduct:

And the castle:

And was not at all surprised by the random old man trying to pick up any of us he could while we were standing around trying to listen to our professor lecture on the aqueduct's history. Here he is hitting on my friend Erin.

(Check out how cool his belt is. People here are much crazier dressers than in France.)

Hm, it's 11:40 and one thing I had totally forgotten about Spain is how late people go to bed. It's just too hot to do anything between 1 and 7 pm, and the sun doesn't set until 10:30. People are just waking up about now. Sounds like there's a fiesta in the dorm courtyard. Do I try to sleep in spite of the racket or go join the party? Eh, when in Rome. . . besides, it's too hot to close my window, so I don't think sleeping stands a chance.

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