Story number 1: I went on a boat tour of the city one day last week. There’s a river that runs through the middle of the city, and we went on an hour-ish long boat ride that showed me the aquatic view of the landmarks that have become so familiar to me these past 4 weeks. I went with several other students…it was great fun. I love boats so much :D. On that note, one of the girls here, Virginia, lives about 30 minutes away from Berry College, and she lives on a lake and has a boat and jet skies and everything. You know where I’ll be spending my weekends this spring… 🙂
Story 2: Last Thursday I went to Itálica, the oldest Roman colonized city in the world. It was here (so they say) that the great Roman empire began. I got to see the great Colosseum, that used to hold 25,000 people at a time during the gladiator fights; the underground tunnels where the Gladiators lived; the subterranean cages where they kept the animals; the gardens surrounding the city; and the ruins of old Roman houses of the nobility. It was way cool :).
Story 3: Also last week (I told you last week was busy!) I went to see a “corrida de toros” (a bullfight). I’m glad I went – it was definitely an experience. But I will never go again. I don’t think I realized that they killed every bull that competes, nor did I realize the extent of the cruelty that they inflict on it before they kill it :(. Everyone assured me that it was ok, because the bulls lead great lives before they are killed, but I still think it’s wrong. And I don’t even like animals! I can’t imagine what the vegetarians thought, lol. Seville (and I suppose Spain, in general) is a very interesting city. On the one hand, it’s super liberal and progressive – homosexual marriage is legal and normal, most women work outside if the home, and topless or nudist beaches are the norm, not the exception. But it also is full of ancient traditions and antiquated customs, such as the bullfight. It creates a dynamic that’s very interesting to observe…
Story 4: I have also started a job tutoring 3 kids in English. They are 11, 9, and 7, and I go twice a week and help them with their homework for an hour. The problem is that the don’t need 2 hours of help a week, they have a lot of energy, and they’re learning anatomy. I barely know what those things mean in English….forget about Spanish!! So I’ve been spending a lot of time preparing for that. I found a game to play with them that they really liked, but I can already tell they’re going to get bored with that really quickly. Another problem is that they’re all at different levels and studying different things, I haven’t figured out yet how to clone myself. Teaching them all at once is proving to be quite challenging :(. But I figure hey, if I can do this, I can do anything! Plus, it’ll look really good on my application for the Fulbright teaching assistantship. If any of you guys have any suggestions for me, however, I am more than open to ideas :).
Oh, here’s another exciting story. Mom probably won’t like it, but I’m still alive, so it’s all good, right? Anyway, I went out with Justo again last night, just to walk around and have a drink; as we were leaving the bar, I got hit by a car! Don’t worry, it barely nicked me – I hardly felt it. But it sounds exciting to say that I got hit by a car, lol ;). I’ve almost gotten hit several times – the streets here are sooo narrow, and the people drive with reckless abandon. But I’ve learned the safer paths to take, and don’t walk with headphone on so I can be more aware of my surroundings. But this time we were in a super narrow alley and a car was coming. I flattened myself against the wall, but his rear-view mirror hit me. It didn’t hurt, just moved his mirror a little bit. Justo laughed at me :(. He does that a lot – I ordered hot tea at the bar (actually I just ordered tea, expecting cold tea, but since I didn’t specify, they gave me hot), and he said that I was weird – in both of our mutual languages. He also speaks French and Italian, and occasionally shows off, much to my chagrin :D. I told my professor today that I went out with my intercambio last night, and the FIRST thing he asked me was if he was cute – which now makes…5 people who have asked me that. I never know how to answer that! If I say no, then it’s an insult, but if I say yes, then it’s assumed that I like him! I can’t win… 🙁
Anyway, I gotta go for now – gotta figure out what the heck I’m going to do with my kids next time I see them! I’ve posted pictures of all of my stories from this update here.