Orientation was an information overload. I can't imagine moving to another country without a program to walk me through all this paperwork (social security, banking, residency card, tax forms, etc...). In a few weeks, I'll officially be a resident of Spain.
Today, we had a pop quiz. When I say "quiz," I mean over 100 questions entirely in Spanish. It was only to see if we need more basic Spanish courses, but it was still a shock! There was some pretty intense grammar knowledge on there (in a small amount of context). The language teacher in me cringed at the format/lack of any directions whatsoever/multiple possible answers.
Fun facts of the day:
- Short jokes exist in Spanish
- Every lock I've found here looks like a deadbolt, but it isn't. It's just a lock that turns (instead of pushing it/twisting a knob).
- You would think the national sport here is football (soccer). It's not. It's staring. You'd think they had spotted the Loch Ness Monster. The one-woman dance parties I throw on the metro from time to time probably don't make matters any better.
- Everyone wants a photo here. Metro pass? Photo. Applying for college? Photo. Going to primary school? Photo. I should have bought more when I had one taken the other day.
- The metro lines without doors between the cars are the best. They're connected, don't worry. But you can see all the way down. It looks like other cars are turning in funny ways when we make turns and such.
- No one in Spain is concerned about time or personal space. Really. They greet each other with kisses on each cheek. They told us to be back in an hour at orientation. We were back in an hour and ten minutes, and we were still 15 minutes early for them.
- Everyone has blinds on the outside of their windows, not the inside.
I found this today.
It's an outdoor artificial rock wall in Rome Park a short walk (30 minutes) from where I have classes. The people there didn't socialize like at The Crag back home. So much for making climbing friends there! I spend 45 minutes or so bouldering around before packing up and heading to find my way home.
I had a lovely adventure in around the Roma neighborhood. It looks like a nice place to be.
On a more "homesick" note. I miss American schedules. I keep forgetting to eat lunch. If I had coffee and an omelette at 11:30, I don't think to eat again until what should be dinner time (6:30ish). Here, dinner isn't until 10 o'clock at night. I miss knowing when businesses are open (they always seem to be closed when I want to go).
It took two hours for me to write all of that. I'm easily distracted, especially when I'm tired.
It's going to be a lovely weekend. There's a party tomorrow night for a birthday (one of my girls) in the common area of the apartment complex. I have nothing planned otherwise, and that's a lovely feeling.
...but you should probably just call me on Skype ♥
PS You should think about sending me American things. Or letters. Or postcards. Or flags. OH! An Arkansas flag? Tea bags for sweet tea? Bounce dryer sheets? Or photos. Or, ya know... snapchats!!