I am finally starting to feel settled here. I think this is mostly due to the fact that I now have a routine that I enjoy and am comfortable with. It’s a little different from my usual routine at Whitman. I go to class (at the IES school which, is a beautiful old building with marble floors and a view overlooking the city), maybe get a cup of coffee (Spanish coffee is 1,000X better than American), come home for lunch (my host mom is a fantastic cook and has achieved the impossible task of making me love vegetables), take a siesta, do some homework, meet my friends for drinks and tapas, chat with my host mom and my roommate, and then go to bed. I feel as though I have achieved a beautiful harmony between what is familiar to me and the Spanish lifestyle. I finally feel grounded here and think I am past the initial shock of everything being different and new.
(Tapas with friends)
(Typical lunch with my host family. That red stuff on the bread is pickled pepper jam, it is amazing.)
(Mondo tapas, so delicious!)
I have felt a change in me. I think partially in Spanish, I crave plain bread with every meal, I can give directions to tourists, I know all the best tapas bars, I dress nicer, I say no pasa nada all the time (which has never been part of my life philosophy), I don’t get lost anymore (usually), and I can navigate everyday life in Granada without feeling ashamed of my Spanish or completely clueless all the time. I think of myself as a textbook study abroad student going through all the normal changes and recalibration stages. Loving my new life but still missing pieces of home and getting excited when I run into other Americans in the city. I have a sense of pride in being from the U.S. here that I was not expecting to be so strong. We actually talked about this today in my Cross-cultural psychology class. Within the United States we all associate ourselves with our regions, states, cities. The Northwest is completely different from the South and California is nothing like New York but when we venture out of our corners of the U.S. and solely refer to ourselves as from Los Estados Unidos it doesn’t matter so much what state you are from. You share in the comradery of being from the same culture even if there are deeper more tightknit cultures within the overarching one of the US.
(Sevilla river, belated photo)