Thursday, May 12, 2011

Down under a month!

The other day, while eating breakfast, my host mom said to me, "los dias se van volando", and I've never been more in agreement! Basically, time is flying, and I don't even know how to handle it. Part of me is SO excited to come home in .. 29 days (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! Feels like I JUST started!) and then the other part of me is so sad to leave this amazing place. I can't handle all the mixed feelings! It's so weird. I'm so excited to see people that I haven't seen in 5 MONTHS but then I have to say goodbye to people like my host family that I might never see again! I'm confident I'll see Adrienne and Ky again, but there are a ton of people here that I'm going to really miss.

But anyway, I mean I still have time here to enjoy, which is great. However, bad thing is that I can't exactly ENJOY all the time I have, because we're getting close to finals time. Actually, we're pretty much there. Because we are all leaving early June, we have to take our finals early, so they're coming fast. Those are my university finals, though. My classes with CIEE ended yesterday, and I had one final for that and the other was my article for the magazine that came out. So those classes are done, which is nice, so now I only have three classes to focus on, but it's going to be hard core and intense focus for the next few weeks! I mean, I've taken exams before, yes. But I've never taken exams that are MY ENTIRE GRADE and oh yeah IN SPANISH STRAIGHT UP ALL THE WAY! NO ENGLISH, BYE. Gah, I guess you could say I'm freaking out. Just a bit.

Sad thing though - Adrienne goes home MONDAY! I can't believe it. Remember how I told you she had to switch programs so she could make it back in time for graduation? Yeah, so her program ends today and then she leaves Monday and goes home, graduates Wednesday I want to say! Insane, but so happy for her. But Ky and I are really going to miss having her here for our last month!!

But amidst all the studying and sadness of Adrienne's departure, we have CERTAINLY been enjoying ourselves at the same time! Like I told you, last week was Feria. Aka, huge fair for a week in Sevilla. I dub it, Ruffle Fest. SO MANY GIRLS WITH INSANELY HUGE DRESSES! They all get wicked dressed up, and even the boys wear suits! And pretty much it's just a huge celebration. We went once during the day, and then once during the night. We got all dressed up for it, flowers, dresses and shawls, so it was fun!

Ky and A


They have what are called "casetas" which are private owned like tents that people go in to. If you know someone with a caseta, then that's awesome and you can get in and eat and drink and hang out, maybe watch some dancing, etc. If you don't, rough. Needless to say, we didn't know anyone! But there are a few public ones, so we went into those and checked them out. So one side is casetas, millions of people walking around dressed up with drinks in hand, and then on the other side is a Carnival, millions of rides and all kinds of food stands. It was pretty cool! So we walked around for a while. I can't say I was obsessed, but I think that's because I don't know anyone here. I think like, if that were in Gorham, I'd be in heaven, walking around seeing everyone, but it's hard when you don't know people! But still, we had a lot of fun and took lots of pictures and just soaked up the Feria atmosphere.



La Puerta de Feria

And so for most of the other days we were back, we spent studying. I'm not kidding when I say this geography exam I have is going to be ROUGH! Basically, know everything and more about the Iberian Peninsula. Okay, easy. No big. But I'm slowly moving along. Anyway, the other thing we did last weekend which was SO MUCH FUN and SO WORTH IT WAS .. WE FINALLY MADE IT TO A SOCCER GAME!!!! I was going to be SO sad if I came to Spain and never saw a game. DUH I NEEDED TO GO! So, Satuday, Real Madrid was in town to take on Sevilla FC. Remember how I said there are 2 teams here, Sevilla and Betis? Yeah, so we hit Sevilla up. Problem with that was, my host family is all about Betis. Eeek. So before I left, I told my host mom.."you're going to hate me, but I'm going to the Sevilla game." Basically, she laughed, and her response was, "I don't hate you, but let's just hope Madrid wins!" So, luckily, I made it out the door.

So, first, it was about 5pm in the day, the game wasn't until 9. But Ky and I wanted to be safe rather than sorry, and we knew it was going to be a popular game, so we went to buy our tickets early. My host mom had warned me about the cost of the tickets, that because they were playing REAL MADRID aka CRISTIANO RONALDO that they'd be high. But I was prepared, ya know, 50-60 euro, not awful. Ky and I get to the ticket stand...cheapest ones are 90 EURO! Wowwwwww. I mean, it made sense, but still, SO EXPENSIVE! So, being the person that I am, what do I do? Do I buy the tickets, and not let anything get in my way of seeing a sick soccer game? No. I franticly search through my bag for my phone, and make an international phone call to my mom, to make sure it's okay. Glad this experience has made me so independent. Fail. But after my mom said yes, I was good to go! And just gotta say, that after I called my mom, Ky did the same thing! HAHAH. It was great. So we bought the tickets, and then went to the store at the stadium to buy some attire for the game! I got an old jersey that I loved, and I found number 16, so I was happy to be sporting my sister's number all night!! :) So after that, we went home for a little bit before the game started!

So the stadium is in Nervion, which is like a metro ride away from where we live, Triana. So the game said it was at 9, so we left our houses at about 8, went to the store again so Adrienne could get a shirt, and then freaked out at 8:56 when we thought we'd miss the beginning of the game. So of course we run into the stadium at 9, only to find that nothing is happening yet. Sprinklers on the field, refs taking a jog, people hanging out and talking, etc. Yeah, I tend to forget every day that I'm in SPAIN, where time is completely different. Turns out the game wasn't until 10pm. No big deal though, that just gave us time to have a photo shoot and also find our seats which I'll admit took a good half hour.

So we finally found our seats, basically the nosebleed section, but we still had a great view which was awesome! We chilled for a while until the game started. One of my favorite parts was before the game they played the Sevilla FC's like anthem, and all the fans sang along with it. The stadium first of all was like PACKED because it was Madrid, and the fans are just so passionate and love their team so much! They didn't stop cheering from start to finish, and I LOVED that.

Basically, the sad part was that despite all the passion the fans had for Sevilla, they didn't pull through. They ended up losing 6-2. SO ROUGH! But I mean, it's REAL MADRID, they are SO good! So what can we expect? I was a little disappointed, though, from a soccer point of view with Sevilla. They really didn't pass well and they couldn't get people forward on attack. Frustrating. Anyway, but what was good was that we did end up getting to see 8 GOALS! All of which were amazing! And at least Sevilla did score a couple times so we got to all celebrate as a huge stadium! I even got one on video!!!

We even ended up making a few friends during the game. We always joke that we tend to make friends everywhere we go, but it's kind of true! They were two guys around our age, who came and sat with us, and taught us some cheers and just hung out with us for the second half! It was a lot of fun and I'm glad we met them!! They made it fun, despite how badly Sevilla was getting crushed.

So, despite our nosebleed seats, despite Sevilla getting CONED, and despite the fact that my host mom won't stop gloating about how badly they lost, the game, the experience was SO WORTH the 90 euro! In Spanish, the expression is "vale la pena", and this experience TOTALLY did! I was seriously just so happy that I was able to see a soccer game before I left here. I think that's one of the biggest things I'm going to miss here, the passion for soccer. In the US the focus is so much more on baseball, football, or basketball, which Spain is SO over! Spain's all about soccer. And I love it. That's at least one way Spain and I are soul mates! Even though there are so many ways I DON'T FIT IN HERE, but at least that's one!

So the game ended around 12, and since the metro stops at 12, we had to wait for the bus to get back to Triana. It finally came, and so I finally got home to EAT DINNER around 1am! So weird, definitely the latest dinner I've ever had in my life, but gotta love all of these new experiences, right?!

So yeah, since then, the week started and I've been getting ready for finals and everything. My two classes at CIEE finished this week. The magazine article for one was my final, and then yesterday I took a final in the other one. Good stuff, now just 3 university classes to focus on until June! Gah, but that's a LOT to do. I have my exam for geography next wednesday! Gah, wish me luck.

Also - need to point out one more thing before I end this. My poor host family, I have to give them props for dealing with me. I have messed up SO many times and thank GOD they still love me. READY:
1. VERY beginning of the semester - lost my key. They had to get a replacement
2. Burned my trash can because I left my space heater too close.
3. Lost a towel in Portugal - had to buy them a new one.
4. Here's the icing on the cake - apparently a bobby pin in my jean shorts got into the washing machine and made it so no water came out. They had to get it fixed. WOWOWOW. This was last week.

So needless to say, I have to get my act together so that I'll be able to stay here another month!! Haha. I mean, they love me and they are wonderful. But I just feel so bad! Gah. But I will admit, my host mom is probably the person I'll miss the most here. She and I have grown really close over my time here, and it's going to be extremely hard to leave her, I just know it!!

But anyway, this week was good. I was thrilled on Sunday to talk to my mom for mother's day on Skype, and made her a little video which was great! I miss and love you so much Mom! And that was a good start to the week. Now just classes, and studying, and soaking up my last month here!

I gotta get some studying done today though, because I think we'll be doing some fun things this weekend because Adrienne leaves Monday!!! :( So sad, but she gets to go home and graduate which is AWESOME! I will just miss her so much. Now it will be Katie and Ky take on Sevilla!! Haha. But really, I gotta get some stuff done this afternoon. No more distractions.

Hasta luego! Thanks for reading allllllll. 29 left.

PS - Gotta say it, Tuesday was Shannon Moss' birthday!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHANNON!!! MISS YOUUU!!!!! Hope it was great!!!!!! :)

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