Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Home tomorrow! Happy Anniversary today!

Hello, dear readers... I know, I know. My post-a-week resolution only lasted, what, 3 posts? The usual excuses: I've been über busy and on the road. I'm still recovering from my first (of many more) epic Euro-trips and to be honest, have found it much easier to catch up on a season or two of Dexter than to tackle another blog post. I've made it a little over halfway through the 4th season... Christmas-y, I know. :)
It's scary how creepy John Lithgow can be... and who the heck shot Deb and Lundy if it wasn't him??? [source]
Anyway, I'm sitting in one of my Calahorra haunts, Cafetería Niza. It meets my criteria of: good coffee, good tortilla, but more importantly, wifi and outlets that work. I would normally be in class at this time, but because the internet at the school doesn't seem to be working and because my activity (showing "How The Grinch Stole Christmas") depended upon it working, my teacher said, "Well, I guess you have a free hour."

If only I could have known this would happen... I wouldn't have bothered getting up at the before the crack of dawn to catch my ride, as I now do now do not have class until 10:20. Oh, and guess what we're doing in that class? Watching the second half of a movie they started yesterday. One of many times I ask myself, "why am I here?" I really could have just skipped the whole week and gotten home early... If there are any future auxiliares reading this, note that you can probably skip the week before winter break starts. Your teachers (at institutos, anyway) have nothing serious planned, and your time would be better spent elsewhere. Sleeping, perhaps.

BUT, morning crankiness aside, TONIGHT, I LEAVE FOR MADRID!!! IN 10 hours, I will be on a bus, napping and dreaming about some ruby red slippers clicking together... Unfortunately I'll have about 12 hours to wait in the airport before I actually take off. Is it strange that I'm actually kind of excited about trying out the whole sleeping in the airport thing? And can you believe there's a how-to website with reviews of airports, tips, and anything else you might need to know? Ah, the things we travelers value. :)
This will be me around 6am... AFTER I make it through security... [source]
I will have stories to share, I am sure. I just hope that they're the kind that make me laugh. :)

Anyway, in less than 36 hours, I will be home for the holidays. Hallelujah. Amen. I need my family. And I need a week to refocus... somehow that's always easier at home. Can't wait. Cannot wait.

I'll try to update from the airport-- I've read that there's free wifi. If not, hasta luego, amigos. I'll catch up with you Stateside!

P.S. Happy 26th Anniversary to my wonderful parents! Boy, am I happy that happened ;)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Kicking off December with a bang...

I've only gone a little bit past my self-allotted one week between posts, and yet, so much has happened! It's been a whirlwind of working, trip-planning, moving and thinking. Here are the highlights:

1. I have moved!
After returning from Santander to an apartment where:

  • The internet was down, 
  • a particular 19 year-old Spanish roommate STILL hadn't cleaned up dishes that had already been in the sink one week before I left, 
  • the kitchen faucet was still dripping, and 
  • aside from him mentioned in #2, there is not a native Spanish speaker in sight, 
I decided it was time to look for something new. And I lucked out on the first try! As I write this, I'm sitting in my lovely (full!) bed in my new room on Saturnino Ulargui. The street name doesn't have quite the allure as Avenida de la Paz, and sadly, I no longer have my own balcony, but to be honest, I wasn't using it anyway-- too cold! 
Blue dot is my new home, red is the old. Click for better detail :)
Anyway, this place is CLEAN, there are no smokers, the kitchen is immaculate and my room is nice and bright. It's on the 5th (and top) floor, so no more street noise. I'm a lot closer to Casco Antiguo (old town) and yet, it will probably work out to be less expensive here. All in all, I'm very much looking forward to living here and my only regret is that I had to leave 2 lovely roommates behind, Emma and Martin. I will miss them, but I probably left just in the nick of time, as a fifth room was just let. That would've been 5 people sharing one bathroom and a tiny kitchen! Here, I live with two nice Spanish girls... one's a pharmacist, the other, a psychologist... with the potential of a third moving in in the next couple of weeks. The two don't speak any English so here's hoping my Spanish improves tenfold! But talking extensively with them will have to be put off for about a week because on Monday...

2. I'm going to Italy... and later, to Greece! This coming week we have a puente from Tuesday through the end of the week. And guess who doesn't work on Monday's :) So, with a solid week of free time, I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to go someplace a little farther away. In searching, I decided to google "european swing exchanges" and guess what?! There's a Lindy Hop exchange in Thessaloniki, Greece from December 9-11. And guess what?! Thessaloniki just happens to be one of the cities RyanAir flies to. 
The one downside: no flights there from Spain. Oh well... guess I'll just have to fly to MILAN first!!! :) 
The Duomo! [source]