Study Abroad

Time is Nothing, Sleep is King

THE SIESTA IS NOTHING TO JOKE ABOUT.  Taking a 2 hour nap in the afternoon makes it easy to stay out until 5 am because even if you’re in bed at 6am, you sleep until 11, do your thang in the day time, come home and doze off from 8 to 10, eat dinner and do it all again.  I thought this plan was golden–I still think it is— but here I am with a fever and the aches laying in bed in Madrid on a gorgeous day.  Damn.

I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee going out here though.  So far my favorite place is called El Tigre.  You pay 6 euros for a GIANT MOJITO and with every drink comes a free plate of tapas that trump any bar food I’ve ever seen/had/heard of.  Poblano peppers roasted with olive oil and salt, papas with a flavorful tomato reduction sauce, roasted CHICKEN WINGS TO DIE FOR, and these little balls that taste like a little ball of fried mashed potatoes…. it’s amazing.  There is a thin counter around the entire inside-perimeter of little spot and you eat it standing there with all your friends, struggling to hear them over the dozens of other people who are struggling to hear their friends too.  The cane sugar in the bottom of the mojito is the best part.  “Uno mas, por favor”.

I cook 2 meals a day in our little apartment and wash my laundry in the tub.  Produce here is amazing, THE TOMATOES!!  Amazing.  Also, they don’t refrigerate their eggs or milk.  So bizarre. Going to Barcelona next weekend and planning a trip to Morocco and Basque country.  Been talking to people about London, also–I’m starting to get worried because all I hear is, “ITS SOOOOOOOO EXPENSIVEEEE”.  Thinking I’ll buy(steal) a bike when I’m over there because the tube is about 8 dollars per trip.  Maybe I’ll buy cigarette cartons in Morocco and sling them for 3 times the price in London, which will still be a deal.

Gunna take a nap.  Hope everyone is well.  Besos!

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Study Abroad

2 For 1 Blog Posts

Last week, inflight from New York to London:

Let’s see how long this laptop battery lasts before it dies… worth a shot since I’m six miles above the Atlantic ocean, just off the coast of Ireland and I’m not sure I’ll ever have the opportunity to write a blog post in said circumstance.  This is all so exciting and I’ve honestly surprised myself with now calm and relaxed I am about the whole thing.  So far, traveling couldn’t be going smoother.  I can tell that I am tired because this post lacks a certain air of charm, but you understand.

New York was amazinngggggg!!  It was so necessary that I hang with my dad and sisters before I head overseas.  It was exactly as I had wanted.  I got some good laughs with the fam, went to some good parties with my friends, ate great food, drank strong drinks, (and some Brooklyn lager, one of my favorites [who’s bringing Brooklyn Ale to the west coast??})  New York has started to feel a lot like home to me, and it was difficult to leave my sisters knowing they’re going to have an amazing summer without me.  DON’T get me wrong, I know that the adventure that await me in Europe will be AWESOME, I’m just going to miss my family, that’s all.  We can’t be everywhere.

I’m about to land in London for a few hours before I connect to Madri—I should be there aroung 11.  Going to get a cab, get to my room, freshen up and (hopefully) head out for some lunch with my roomie.  I’m hoping the jet lag is minimal…. I’m taking supplements and trying to get some rest although, aiplane sleep can only be so restful.  Stopping over in new york was crucial for the jet lag I think though.

In terms of my thoughts on flying to Europe, it’s strange, the only thing I’m wondering is where my waterbottle went…. I know it’s here somewhere and somehow I can’t find it in like 2 cubic feet of space.

AND THE NEXT BLOG POST, of which I wrote this morning:

May 24

Blog Post para ti!!  Sorry about my last post, I was kind of furious if you couldn’t tell….  Hahaha.

It’s 7 am and I already went for a run and showered.  Essentially, I;m loving this whole “jet lag” thing.  It enables me to get up early for a sunrise run, and I also get to siesta in the afternoons which should not be a Spanish cultural tradition that is assimilated into the bustling fiscal world.  Siestas in the heat, with jet lag make me feel so good that the only way I can describe it is that it makes me feel like a cozy, warm little teddy bear, which is what I called myself one day when I was half asleep.

I have to talk about school—it’s going to be a blast.  Even though it’s all day, the last part of the day is a “didatic cultural activity” which turns out to be a structured activity that (I gather) we mostly do on our own.  The group dynamics of the class are amazing.  It’s so entertaining I can’t even being to tell you…. It’s like the breakfast club on crack.  I’ll just tell you one aspect of this group for now:

So there’s this older med student that we call “metro man” because he’d take the metro one block if he could, and sometimes we call him “el doctor”.  He’s basically your typical dorky, loud American kid who happens to be decent at Spanish but who says super dorky things.  Dorky American.  Enough said.

His roommate is this super tall, skinny kid from Seattle.  He’s got the swag of someone like the lead singer of the Strokes and seems like the kid who took bong rips of tobacco  in high school but managed to still get straight A’s.  He’s tough to read, and has a sense of humor that’s a combination between sarcastic and condescending which basically makes the fact that he’s roommates with el doctor amazing.  One day, el doctor noticed that his clothes looked very different, some would say “lesser than” the men of Madrid and so he decided to go shopping.  He showed up to school wearing baby blue chinos and a light green pin striped button down with a new pair of leather loafers and Seattle said, “damn, it’s easter.  Das cool”  and I don’t know, it’s basically the funniest thing ever.

This is my school...

... and this is me in my school.

Anway, gotta make some breakfast and head off to school.  The girls walk, the guys metro.  The pictures above are of my school and my walk to school (takes a cool 20 minutes)

Plaza del Sol, where the protests are happening. A lot going on there && Matea on her celly

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Study Abroad

Wow..

Just lost a huge, detailed blog post I put together because the internet is so slow where I am.  Sorry… this is just a huge letdown/buzz kill for me.  Sometimes I hate this blog.  In short, everything is amazing, I’m having a blast and there are pics to come (as soon as the internet improves).  Love you all.

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Study Abroad

TOSS THE KEYS

Bloodshot eyes and practically twitching with anxiety, I turned in my Spanish final and staggered into the rain only to be met with sparkling wine, cupcakes and two of my closest friends in the world.  It doesn’t seem possible that the daunting task of packing for a seven month escapade through Europe could be a relaxing experience, but I’m pretty sure once you’ve ended the most exhausting semester of your life, almost anything feels relaxing.  (Yes, even traveling).  Leah (aka best friend in the world who remembers everything embarrassing and hilarious you’ve ever said/done/worn/told her)  literally packed my entire bag for me.  We decided the whole FOR/AGAINST clothing battle and whatever won would be promptly rolled-up into a neat little sushi roll by Leah and packed carefully away into the boroughs of my suitcase.

The whole experience was so easy that I hardly feel like I packed. The duration of this trip definitely hasn’t hit me.  Molly laid in my bed (aka her favorite place in the world) and gave constructive input and, occasionally, I would refill her wineglass.  Wes brought us dinner, I drank some whiskey for good measure, and we all went to bed.  This morning I was ready to go 2 hours in advance and I could hardly wait to toss my keys under the door of that apartment.  Basically what I’m getting at is that the whole experience of leaving was so relaxed and enjoyable that it makes me wonder if something is missing???  Where is the meltdown?  What did I forget?!

I’m pretty sure the answer is I FORGOT NOTHING, and there will be no meltdown because I am prepared and ready for this adventure to begin.  Right now I’m in the new Terminal Two at SFO and my flight is delayed an hour, which may make it so that I don’t catch my connecting flight in LA, in which case I will stay with Miss Eva Sanders??  Who knows. As far as I’m concerned, my adventure has begun.

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22, Study Abroad

My Arrival: On The Really Real

In past years, it became quite apparent to me that any voyage, small or large, wouldn’t be proper without a blog to share it.  It just so happens that we all fall out of certain habits, as I have done with this blog…  Make no mistake–the past year may not have been recorded on said blog, but it remains to be the most epic year of my life.  Sorry I didn’t share!!  Blogging takes an amount of spare time and diverted focus that I could not afford to diwndle on contemplating the history of apples and peanut butter, or the origin of the shoes I saw on a girl at Delores.

That said, I am about to embark on what is, undoubtedly, the biggest adventure of my life and I could not possibly feel good about doing so without the proverbial anchor that is my blog.  Anchor for me and also anchor for you, since ((if you are reading this)) you must be a family member or loved-one who cares about my safety abroad.  I suppose in that sense it will serve as a beacon to offer the message “I AM OKAY”.  Let’s take some liberties and say that it will joyfully exclaim, “I AM DOING AMAZING!!!!!!!”  Yeah, I’m pretty much counting on that.

So, here’s the deal:

7 months abroad
3 cities called “home”

  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • London

As many countries as I can manage to afford

  • New York
  • Italy
  • France
  • Turkey
  • Greece
  • Morocco
  • ??????

And I’ve adopted the mindset that I am not as much saying “goodbye” to anyone in San Francisco and the United States as much as I am saying hellooooo! to the world and to my friends abroad (ones I already have and ones that I will make).  I’m arriving, I am not leaving.  I’m beginning everything, I am not ending anything.  I am a different person than was the girl who traveled though Japan: I am more confident and savvy, I harness fear as a way to propel me until my next adventure, I care for myself with compassion and understand the work it takes to maintain strength of body and mind.  Most IMPORTANTLY:  I cannot wait to leave!!!!!

Therein begins my adventure.  I just need to take my Spanish final, and pack (oh yeah, that small task) and eat my last almond croissant at Rigolo Cafe with my best friend and then it begins.  So add me to your RSS feed once again because this shit is about to get really real.

BESOS MIS AMORES!!!

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