So, I haven’t updated in a while. Sorry about that. I kind of had my health go splat for a bit – trouble sleeping combined with low-grade cold combined with stress = mini panic attacks that went on for quite a while. Travis and Kristina were a huge help to me via Skype and IM…I seriously can’t thank them enough. I think I have found a way to mostly manage my stress/homesickness, and I am really enjoying my life here in Spain.
I went to Grenada and Cordoba last weekend with the group. It was fun, though I would’ve liked to have spent more time at places. The group was constantly running late, so that impacted stuff, and I felt rushed. I guess that just means I’ll have to go back sometime! (not this trip – tickets for the Alhambra have to be booked way in advance anyway, but sometime in the future). I did do a bit of shopping – wandering around the narrow alleyways and shops of Grenada, but it was at the Mirador (awesome viewspot well worth the hike) that I got my ‘souvenir’ (I did get some postcards and stuff too): my ring.
To understand why this ring is pretty awesome, you have to understand my history. Way back senior year of high school, I was in jewelry class and we got to cast our own silver rings. I made mine – a heavy one with a sort of freeform organic style to it, and wore it proudly, hardly ever taking it off. And I had it till sophomore year of college, when at some point living in the dorms, I lost it. Even after I cleaned everything up when I moved out, I never could find it. And I’d missed the familiar heavy weight. So I kept looking – but heavy rings are hard to find. And then, while wandering around looking at the hippies/gypsies who were selling stuff, I saw the ring. Silver with copper inlay, organic design, heavy, and, as I tried it on – just my size. I tentatively asked the price. 28 euros, I was told, and I winced. I only had forty euros left of the forty-five and change I’d brought with me for the weekend – 28 euros would mean I wouldn’t have money for food the next day (as our food was what we bought, had brought with us, or the free stuff the hostels had – ie, not much. I’d brought food from my host mom, but it was perishable and it was a 3-day trip).
The guy saw the look on my face as I put the ring back and asked why. I said I loved the ring, I really did – it was perfect, but I was a broke college student with only forty euros, and if I bought the ring, I wouldn’t have any money for food the rest of the weekend. I was just about to leave when the guy called out, offering twenty euros if I didn’t tell his girlfriend he’d given me the deal. Twenty euros I could live with. I handed over my bill and walked off with a really lovely ring, that even now I’m wearing. It’s Chilean silver and copper, the guy had said, and it is awesome.
So I’ve been keeping busy. An essay a week and a speech a week for one class, a paper a week for another, and various worksheets and reading assignments (I’m using this weekend’s trip to get some reading done for lit class – have a novella I have to finish by the last week of March so I can write a paper on it). This weekend, I’m going to Sevilla on my own, leaving Thursday evening and getting back waaaaay early Sunday morning. I’m also going to Las Fallas with the group for one day (and bus to/from eliminates need for pricey hotel – yay!). Early April I’m going to Madrid and Segovia one weekend, Gibraltar and Tarifa the other, that trip with two girls from my group.
Spring Break will be very awesome. I’m spending Friday through Tuesday in Amsterdam, and then flying out Tuesday morning to London, where I’ll be meeting my Mom, who is flying out to spend almost a week with me! We’ll tour London, see museums, and have fun, and it will be awesome! I can’t wait!
So I have a lot of neat stuff planned, and am looking forward to it. Viva España!
P.S. I’ve been reading the Girl Genius novelization every night before bed (and sometimes during the day too…not many English-language books around though did get a few from the library). It is very awesome. Check the comic out! www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php