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Thursday, February 25, 2010

revolving door of roommates

Just found out that my french roommate will be heading back to France in 30 days :(...which means it will be time for a new roomie to move in. So far in my college career I have lived with 6 differnt roommates...4 of which have been during my time here in Sevilla! lol but it has been cool meeting new people and learning about them.

Hopefully this new roommate will be Española...vamos a ver!

Tomorrow we are going to Mallorca for the long weekend and are hoping for nice weather...

mas mañana...



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

¡Livin la vida Sevillana! :)



Today it occurred to me that I am beginning to "go native" as the ethnographers say, well not quite as drastic as that but I do feel like I am blending in here. I finally have a basic routine: going to school and to certain shops/kiosks and even having regular meeting places to go grab a cafe etc. Its funny how you can adapt to a new environments without even realizing you are...that is until one day you notice that you unconsciously get from your dorm to school without being offered any rosemary or "free" palm reading. :)

ITS A SIGN THAT YOU ARE NO LONGER A TOURIST...and well on your way to becoming a native ;)

I was marveling the other day at the normalcy of waking up and walking to school, with everything I needed for the day...here in Sevilla unless u want to end up with blisters from redundantly retracing your steps, I have learned to do as the Sevillanos do: PREPARE FOR EVERYTHING! lol That is you have to be sure to bring a paraguas, your books, and of course some kind of entertainment with you as you leave for work/school in the morning.

Well, more observaciones mañana...

But for now thank for reading and please feel free to ask questions and suggest a topic that you would be interested in me writing about (food, people, classes, museos...etc)



The Help

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Conversation of Art... :)

Ya han empezado las clases!!

Arte del natural (figure drawing) es bueniiiiisima :)

Estoy en una clase con 60 estudiantes! Tenemos dos modelos un hombre y una mujer y la aula esta dividida en el medio con un modelo a cada lado.

The class is great because it is a mixture of ages with people from all walks of life...for example I met one girl who is a young mother and who wants to do art restauration, and another middle aged lady who always wanted to study art and who is finally able to do it, and tons of students around my age who are taking the course as a prerequisite before picking ‘una especialidad’-the first few years of study are comun for all those in the same facultad/dept. then you specialize for the last 2 years:)

The teacher is very professional and he really helps you draw with a plan. That is not to say that he expects you to begin systematically attacking the paper as though it was a military operation...but rather in a more strategic sense he asks us to employ different techniques and methods in the creative process. He challenges us to be more like students of the martial arts by interacting dynamically with our drawing, just as they engage an opponent bringing all skills sets to the table, readily available and for use when necessary.

The creation of art is a process, whereby the artist, the subject and the materials remain in constant dialogue, negotiating and maneuvering until one conversation is resolved and a new one begins…

Bueno tengo que irme a leer un poco del Don Quixote de la Mancha.....más mañana!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

friends in need...friends indeed :)

So I haven't written in a while... I had a bit of back luck with getting sick. :(

I think everyone here has a cold these days, and apparently there is also a stomach virus running around Sevilla which unfortunately caught up with you know who. Good news is that my roommate was wonderful and helped me get through quite a rough night of literally expelling all the contents of my stomach.

When you are not feeling well and are far from home it really means a lot when people do little things to help you out. My friend from Elon came and visited and he brought Aquarius and water for me. The medico had told me to have only liquids for a few days and to take it real easy, and this friend went out of his way to help me do just that. Needless to say I depended a great deal on my roommates and friends during this past week in particular.

Although I also must say a very big thank you to you guys back home for calling and emailing to check on me: THANK YOU!!! :)

A funny consequence of getting sick was that my roommate and I really bonded lol and now I have met several of her other French friends-one of them actually grew up in Senegal!

But all that said things are looking up, as the weather gets better and classes are starting on Monday!! -They certainly do take there time here ;) and thank goodness.

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Random aside- I met a new friend from Croatia and we are planning to take Flamenco and Belly dancing together :)

Más Mañana...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Teriaki Pollo

Yes we ate like spaniards tonight...started the evening at 9:30 sat down at a sushi place around 10:30 and wrapped it up around 0:00 (that's right midnight!)

It was a strange experience being in a trilingual environment and attempting to make out the items on the menu which were written in Japanese characters, Spanish descriptions with a few english transliterations thrown in.

As we poured over the menu in utter confusion someone figured out how to order a sort of "plato combinado" serving an appetizer, main course and soup or salad for under 9 euros :) so that decided we merely had to communicate this to our waitress who was at her wits end trying to attend far too many tables during the dinner rush. She graciously waited as we tried at times in vain to describe what we would like in japanese/spanish. My favorite was when our friend proclaimed that she would be having the Teriaki Pollo, because to my ears this was an absurd combination, however along with un poco de Sake and una sopa miso we were in good language melding company.

The meal turned out wonderfully and we rather liked taking advantage of the Spanish custom of longer meals and much conversation. Although I must say at the end once we were all full conversation lulled as everyone dreamt of being tucked into their beds. :)

mas mañana...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Walking in Sevilla's Shoes

Well, someone once said that it’s not about getting to the destination, but rather it’s all about the journey. Well I have news for them, in order to enjoy the journey there is one essential detail besides good company and that is comfortable shoes!! Let me just say that cobblestones and brick walkways are beautiful to look at, but they are a hazard to your feet and a disaster for your footwear. I swear after a week in Sevilla, my boots look like they have taken a beating and my feet feel have suffered the impact as well.

I have no clue how people here do not constantly break ankles and stumble over the less than flat stonewalls. For me each time I go out is an adventure, because along with figuring out my way I have to keep one eye on the pavement, or rather the lack there of to make sure that I make it to my destination in one piece.

But after almost a month here I have become accostomed to the area where I live and I don't mind the walking as much (this could also have to do with the fact that I am loosing my way much less often) and infact I rather like the walk to school and to the cafe.

New Spaces

I recently moved rooms and am now living with a French girl and an American girl in a triple. It is bright yellow and we have plenty of space to unpack and move around. My old room was a small dark space, with no natural light and a tiny bathroom. The shower was about 2.5 of my feet squared… which meant if you dropped the soap you would have to forget about picking it up until you got out of the shower and turned off the water.

It was pretty amazing that they were able to fit a toilet, a sink and a "shower” inside such a small area. However, I have come to find out that it is just so Spanish to use the small space available and squeeze in all the necessities. :)

There is a bar that we often go to in the afternoons and one day I needed to use the aseos, but the place is pretty tiny as it is so I figured they probably didn’t have a restroom. But I asked anyway and the owner pointed me toward what I had thought was a coat closet. To my surprise I opened the door and stared in confusion as I saw that somehow by a feat of plumbing worthy of recognition that there was a toilet with a pull flush as well as a sink and mirror in a space that would have been more appropriate to store winter furs. But as stunned as I was, nature was calling so I hopped inside did my business and found that the closet bathroom was in fact a marvelous invention.

Needless to say that after such compact restrooms the fact of having a full sized tub and mirror in my new room was a joy, and although I share with 3 girls it is big enough to accommodate all of us.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tetería


Yesterday after class we went looking for a place to grab a cup of cafe or tea.
We stumbled upon a traditional arab tetería and decided to try it out.

The atmosphere was quite tranquilo and there were small groupings of carpets and small chairs, and little nooks setup with lamps and cushions to sit on while you tried some wonderfully spiced tea and arabic sweets.

None of the girls had ever tasted baklava before so I asked the server "andaka baklawa" (do you have baklava?) and he responded in araby!! "Na'am"

I was so escited to be able to practice my arabic and so I asked where he was from...etc. I ended ur ordering and paying using arabic as well and as we left I thanked him "shookran" and said "Ma'selema!"

It was so cool that such a diverse little group: american, cuban, mexican, guatemalan, lebanese, and honduran could all go into this tiny tea house and share a new cultural experience together.

It was great and I definitely plan on going back very soon.

Monday, February 1, 2010




Granada!!!!!

Este fin de semana pasada fuimos a Granada para ver la Alhambra y La Capilla Real (which is where Ferdinand and Ysabel (Isabelle) are buried.

The trip began early on Saturday morning and most of us slept for the first 1/2. But we stopped midway for a rest stop, which for us meant a quick bathroom break and then hop back on the bus. However for the Spanish a rest stop means a 20 min parada at a real cafe where you can have cafe con leche, jamon serrano, or a cruzcampo...while you sit down and take a load off. They really do know how to enjoy the journey that’s for sure.

Granada is quite mountainous and rather dry, very different from the landscape of Sevilla. In fact our hotel was located on the mountain in the upper part of the city right next to the Alhambra. The view from up there was astounding and really gave you a bird's eye view of the rest of the city below, quite strategic ;)

The actual building was amazing because it was constructed in the Mudejar style incorporating azulejos, madera, estucco, gesso...etc. The detail and intricacy of the designs was really incredible, and each part of the building from the walls, to the windows, to the ceilings all the way to the floors were carefully planned and designed. Each of these parts featured either phrases from the Koran, geometric patterns, or natural elements and colors. The overall effect was one of peaceful interconnection with nature.

Something I found really fascinating was that the whole floor plan and focus of the Alhambra (as is true across the Mediterranean) was inward toward the manmade oasis which consisted of pruned gardens with fragrant jasmine plants and flowering trees complimented by a bubbling fountain and pebbled walkways. The garden, which united all the rooms of the house, was at once a place of relaxation and also a symbol of the family's power.

I will post some photos of the intricate gesso work and of the view because to describe them with words just cannot do them justice.

Bueno como siempre...más mañana!!