domingo, 24 de octubre de 2010

Two months later....

I have finally gotten around to writting my very frist post!

So it took me about a month to get adjusted here. I didnt think I would have an issue with the language since I am fluent in Spanish but between the accent and the slang I was really struggling to understand them at times. It also took some time to adjust to taking all my classes in Spanish after learning all the technical stuff in English. It was especially frustrating when the first week of classes one of the professors was just reviewing everything I had learned in Circuits 2 at ASU yet I had no idea what she was talking about. (Reference for those of you that were in my classes at ASU) It reminded me of that one day back in Calc1 with Dr. Zhu where we couldnt understand that he was saying the 'denominator' or something silly like that but which completely threw us off track OR in Circuits1 trying to understand that the professor was saying the angle Theta or saying Bode Plot...haha good times.

A couple of differences between my PuertoRican Spanish and Spain Spanish:
I would say: celular - They say: movil
computadora - ordenador
guiar - conducir
carro - coche
and so on... it seems silly but I definitely get the look of : What the hell are you talking about?, when I dont say it the right way. Hopefully by the time I go back to the PR I will be speaking with a Spanish accent! I love how they speak Spanish here. 

I still havent gotten used to the eating times - Lunch at 2pm and Dinner at 9pm :( I get hungry everyday at about 12:30pm and 7pm so I've started bringing cookies to the lab for everyone for a noonish snack! No one complains ofcourse. :)

I havent had an issue adjusting to the party times though HAHA. No one goes out till about 12:30 - 1am and are out till about 3am on weekdays and 6 or 7am on weekends. One of the traditions is to stay out till about 5:30am, which is when the bakerys or such open, and then go eat some churros and chocolat!

Anyways, Here are a couple of pictures of where I live and work:

Entrance to the dorm
Yes, I'm living in a dorm AGAIN, Giner de los Rios, but I have my own room, bathroom and kitchen! I dont have a meal plan anymore so I've actually had to learn how to cook. I am a Terrible cook but I think I am slowly getting the hang of it.  haha

My kitchen!  

My Room

The people in the dorm are all very nice! They were all very welcoming to the incoming freshman and new people in the dorms. The first couple of weeks they did some friendly Novatadas (hazing). It wasnt with the intent of humiliating you but more of a way to break the ice amongst all the newbies so we had fun with that. Most of the people in the dorms are obviously freshman but there are about 5 people my age, 2 girls are 24, about 3 guys are 22, so thats basically the people that I hang out with. Most of the people that arent freshman live in pisos but they come to our dorm to hang out so we have a pretty good group of people. Ill put some pics up of the group soon.

The lab where I work at:

This last pic was taken after I got back from class at 8pm so no one was there but usually there are about 5 of us working there.
I live in the middle of no mans land. Its about a 10min bus ride to the city and about a 45min train ride to Madrid  which isn't bad but there isnt much to do around here.

Nivola is the only bar in the area and Wednesdays are the big party nights, dont ask why. No one really goes into the bar till after all the drinks they have brought with them are gone or its too cold out. Usually everyone stays outside 'haciendo botellon' which basically consists of drinking Calimocho (wine and coke) outside the bar. Calimocho might not sound too good but its actually not that bad OR maybe you just end up getting used to it. I havent taken my camera with me when we hang out but ill try to bring it next time so that I can include a couple of pics of all the people I have met as well!

I have started training for the Madrid Marathon on April 17th! The problem is that the gym at the dorm doesnt have a treadmill, WTF, and its starting to get REALLY cold out... so we'll see how the training goes. For now, as long as the sun is still out its okay to run outside.

I change my running path pretty often, depending on how far I want to run and what I want to see that day, but the above pic is a section of one of the nicer paths to run along. I thought it was pretty cool. Im not quite sure what the structure is. Its like an abandoned section of the train station or something.

I havent traveled much around Spain but from Sept 25th to Sept 27th I flew to Barcelona with a couple other Fulbrighters for the Barcelona La Merce Festival 2010. Here are a couple of Pics:

View of Barcelona from the plane.
The architecture of the church included a unicorn, a cow, an elephant... .
'Barcelona was settled by the Romans under the name of Barcino'

In the pic is Anna from Barcelona. She gave me a place to stay during my time there. She is the sweetest girl I have ever met! She gave us a tour around Barcelona and showed us all the good, not touristy, places. We went wine tasting Saturday. In the pic Anna is in front of a poster of the wine from her hometown.

At the Barcelona Pier

Fire Run (Correfoc)

Human Pyramide in Plaza Jaume. IMPRESSIVE!

Tapas with Anna and a couple other Fulbrighters!

So that was Barcelona!

On October 9th and 10th I went to the the Biggest Medieval Festival in Spain (Some websites claim its the biggest of Europe). The desserts were Fantastic! Everything else was just way over priced :( For some reason my pics from the festival dont want to load so maybe ill post them next time.

I really havent been taking very many pics but now that I have actually started writting the Blog Ill try to take more and keep everyone posted.

Postcards will finally be going out Tomorrow! for all of you that gave me your address. If I didnt get your address, send it soon!

All for now. Ciao