¡Ola a todos!
Jan 14 1998
Last day here in Casa Materna. While moving things from the office to a storage room I found about ninety pairs of furry boots. Strange… I found out that they were donated by the police after being confiscated. Mal intentions with furry boots. What is the world coming to? After receiving a warm farewell we spend an hour packing, lots of fun.
Portici to Naples to Rome in train, then spend the day in Rome. One of the strangest situations happened as we were sitting in the “American Bar” eating our last Italian Pizzas surrounded by Japanese Tourists. Our “couchette” in the train was tight to say the least. I remember sleeping in a train on as a child and loving it. What was I thinking? In France I feel the urge to learn some French, but seeing as we will only be here for a couple hours I push that out of my head. Spain, along with that old familiar Spanish of mine, here I come!…
…or so I thought. Northern Spain is completely bilingual between Castellano and Spanish, but the street language is Castellano (NOT a dialect). Some words I picked up: ciutat (city), estació (station), bitllet (ticket), pa (bread), vi (wine), xocolate (chocolate). As if there is not enough confusion for me already, pronunciation of regular Spanish is different, with Ss, soft Cs, and Zs either left out, or pronounced th or s (recepción becomes rethepthión, and ¿Cómo estás? becomes ¿Cómo e’tá’?).
The street outside of our hotel is always alive, especially at night. A huge pedestrian walkway attracts tourists, who therefore attract street performers. The performances range from statues, who just stood there, to the outrageous, like Spiderman or the orange faced guy, who jumped around and made as much noise as possible. An incredibly complicated frog mannequin who played the piano inspired dreams of puppetry arts for me… anything is possible.
The most fun that Claire an I had in Valencia was the Gulliver children’s park. Children (including me) have lots of fun running all over a huge cement and fiberglass Gulliver. This is one of the many things that would not be allowed in the USA, somebody would sue when their child hurt themselves.
Here we are in Sevilla, our new home for the next month. We spend three nights in a hostel getting to know the downtown area and finding a language school for my mother and I. We finally choose CLIC and move into an apartment where we cook our own food for the first time in four months. Language school is fun, there are 12 people in my class now, and we have class for three hours per day. I’m currently tackling the subjunctive, but most of you don’t want to hear about that. Claire got a pair of rollerblades, while I’ve got Spanish and Trigonometry to keep me occupied. The whole family went on a school sponsored trip to an olive oil factory, with the BBC tagging along filming for one of their travel shows. When you are involved in something like that you realize how fake everything on TV is. “No, wait, can I ask you guys to walk back through that door again?… One more time…” But it was fun anyways.
peace on earth-
PS: I’ve got access to e-mail 3 times a week for the next 2 weeks, so write!
PSS: Current plans have us coming home directly after spring break.