Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Ojalá que nieve aquí. (I hope that it snows here)

Well, we´ve gotten a few snow flakes here but mainly it´s just been cold, cold, cold. I was a little ignorant when I was packing before I came and opted for the 5 pairs of shorts instead of my winter jacket. However, do to my extensive sewing skills, I have successfuly turned those 5 pairs of shorts into semi-windresistant "coat thing". Actually I just bought one at the store, but I know that you all believed me for a second. But, no worries, I´m staying nice and warm. Unfortunately the trip to Italy was cancelled because we didn´t buy out tickets in time and now they are all more than 400 euros. How sad. I think that we are going to rent a car and take a road trip to the Basque Country (el País Vasco) and enjoy some of the best food Spain has to offer. Don´t worry I´ll bring back a few samples for everyone to try back home.
The passing of Thanksgiving means only one thing, Christmas is right around the corner.Here´s an early Feliz Navidad to everyone, or just to the three people that have actually read this blog. The town has put all sorts of decorations along the streets and today they are decorating the christmas tree in the middle of the Plaza Mayor. I will post some more pictures once they turn the lights on. Everone is pretty excited. I didn´t think that spain celebrated Christmas with a decorated tree but they do. However, the Christmas holiday lasts for almost 2 weeks. It starts on the 22nd with a hugh country wide lottery, I think the grand prize is like 43 million euros and there are like a hundred or so consolation prizes. Tickets are 30 euros each so I don´t think that I will play. They celebrate the 25th with a large family dinner that I am greatly anticipating. Then comes the new year where the custom is to eat 12 grapes at each toll of the cathedrals bells at midnight. If you do it successfuly you are supposed to have good luck for the rest of the year. Try it, it is harder than it sounds. I´ve been told the secret is to peel the skin off the grapes and just swallow them whole. This too is harder than it sounds. I have practiced once or twice. Then the 6th of January is the day of the Magi Kings. The day that the three kings made their way to Bethlehem and presented baby Jesus with fankensense, myhr and something else that I can´t remember. Anyways, this is the day that they exchange their presents. I kind of like this tradition better than recieving gifts from Santa Clause or Papa Noel as to which he is referred to here.
Time to end another entry. It´s kind of hard to be creative at this part soooooo..............................................BYE!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Eve

I played paintball yesterday with about 20 random people and it was an absolute blast. It was a lot larger of a turn out than we had expected. We played for about three hours and and used about 4800 paint balls. What a blast, and it only cost me 30 euros. We´re gonig to go again on the 13th of December. Pretty exited. Talk to y´all later.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Less than one month until the end of quarter #1

Hello everyone and thanks for viewing this blog. Though the content is quite dull I do enjoy writing in it every so often. Its been really nagging at me that I haven´t been keeping a regular journal but I´m going to give it one last try online. This blog hasn´t been the most accessible mode of journaling for me. But one last try wont hurt.
I took midterms about a week and a half ago and we just got the results back recently. I´m proud to say that I didn´t score less than a 90% on each of the four exams. But as we close in on the first quarter, I keep asking myself if I feel content with the level of spanish that I´m at for the time that I have been here. Although my tests say that I´m doing well and I do feel that I have and continue to learn more each day, I feel as though I want the pace to pick up a little. I wish that all the different aspects, all the peculiarities that go along with becoming fluent in another language would just become instantly apparent to me. But unfortunanly and, well fortunantly, also, it´s a process. I am trying to enjoy everything to its fullest. However, it is hard to pace myself sometimes. There are so many places to go and so little time to see them all.
Although I did pass on the opprtunity to see a professional "football" game, Real Madrid vs. Some Other Country, in Madrid, that I was told was a pretty boring game. Well, I guess what soccer games aren´t boring, most of the time, anyways. To dignify the college game that I did attend here in Salamanca was substantialy less boring. Let me remind you that this is 3rd division soccer. It was the University of Salamanca against some school in the town Aburrio. I was told by one of the many elderly fans, that made up about 40 percent of the crowd, that Aburrio was very close to Pamplona in the Navarra region. Anyways, Aburrio jumps to a 2-0 lead in the first half and maintained it throughout three-quarters of the second. Salamanca´s crowed was going crazy because Aburrio was lolly-gagging, trying to run down the clock. I don´t know how, but Salamanca managed to score two more goals and end it in a tie. That´s another thing, what ever happened to overtime, nobody ever wants to end in a tie!
I have the opportunity to play paintball tomorrow and it´s pretty cheap so I think that I am going to play. I think that there is about 10 guys that want to go, including my 16 yearold German roomate and one of his friends.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and though this holiday is not widely celebrated around these parts, a large dinner is going to be provided by the directors of my program. So, though Andy is living it up with his three T-Day dinners in three days, I too get to experience a fine turkey dinner here in Europe.
During the first week and a half of December there are two holidays that celebrate the Costitution(Dec.6) and the Government, I think(Dec.8).
So, during Dec. 3rd to the 10th, a couple of friends and I are going to fly to Italy and see all that we can see. We chose Italy because they are the only cheap flights out of Spain at this time.
Anyways, that´s about all that has happened since the last entry. All of this and a 80´s themed party in one of the bars. Nothing too crazy. For those whom haven´t recieved invitation to my pictures, here is the link: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/greiftastic/album?.dir=/1add&.src=ph&.tok=phXIL.DBTH4T76Vm.

Ta pronto,