Friday, October 26, 2007

no. that´s mine. get your own!

yesterday maría luisa came into my room looking for a shirt she had lost. she said it was a white tank top that was a gift from the mother of a former student. i said, "well, i have a white tank top, but it´s mine." and i showed it to her. she said, "sí, sí, esa es la mía." (yes, yes, that is mine.) and i said, "no i don´t think so." and she went and got a beige one out of her drawer that happened to be the exact same brand. but i know that it´s mine. she went on to tell me that she had washed hers this week and that it was missing. and i went on to tell her that i had also washed mine and that i was pretty sure it was mine. and then she took it. communication is ridiculous when you don´t speak the same language...

in other news, i leave tomorrow for a week in dublin, rome, florence, and pisa. i expect that it will be lovely!

Monday, October 22, 2007

romancero gítano

we went to see a flamenco show the other night, and i´m still feel like words are inadequate to describe it. but i will try. the show was called "romancero gitano" which means, gypsy romance. it was based on the poetry of Lorca, who wrote a book of 12 poems based upon the lives of gypsies. these 12 poems were set to music, and were sung by a woman and a man in typical flamenco style. very passionate, and very emotional. if the singing didn´t get your emotions flowing, the dancing did. it was so incredible. i didn´t even know that people´s feet could move that fast! and the scenes were about romance, lost and forbidden love, and the ongoing battle between the spanish civil guard and the gypsies. it was all in spanish, and i didn´t understand most of what they sang about, but it still spoke to my heart and rendered me speechless. music is incredible in its ability to transcend language...

and speaking of music and dance, my señora came home the other day and said "estaba bailando hee-haw (with a throaty j/h sound)" (i was dancing hee-haw.) and jackie and i said, ¿qué? (what?) and she went on to say that it was a modern type of dance, at which point jackie said, "hip-hop?" and my señora nodded and giggled in agreement as she proceeded to show us what she had learned. look out missy elliot, here comes maría luisa! she did all kinds of moves, complete with pelvic thrusts and a crotch grab. i was stunned and paralyzed by laughter, and she was loving every minute of it. and that´s why i love my señora.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

fame, fortune, etc.

this is how it all starts. one little article in the pittsburgh post gazette, and the next thing you know, i´m famous. don´t worry, i won´t forget the little people that made this possible...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

i´ve added some more photos:
i hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

well, i just completed report number two of the semester. once again on our friends, the amish. i got suckered into doing that topic again by my professor because he was speaking spanish and i didn´t have another topic in mind. it went well and he was especially impressed by the "levantando los graneros" aka: barn raisings. but i don´t want to do it again. so, next time i´ll be ready for him. i need a 15 minute powerpoint presentation, and i´m open to suggestions. anyone have any ideas?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

get out of my nose!

it smells here. i mean, really smells. every day as i walk to school i am greeted with the lovely scents of paint thinner, moped fumes, dog droppings (which causes me to walk with my eyes glued to the sidewalk instead of enjoying the beauty of the city. seriously people. get a pooper-scooper.), horse droppings, dead fish in the river, dead fish on the sidewalk, bus fumes, cigarette smoke (from everyone i pass at 9AM! they are crazy here), and worst of all, the stench of the human body. Body odor. i don´t even know why they sell deoderant in spain. clearly, no one wears it. they must waste millions of dollars every year importing deoderant from factories around the world. not to mention the countless hours of shelving it in stores. i´ve decided that men here forego deoderant and choose aftershave instead. i don´t know why. it doesn´t work. and every day as i walk through the streets of this lovely city, i want to say give it a chance. it´s not all bad. you might even like it! but instead i just hold my breath and pray i don´t pass out on my way.

Monday, October 8, 2007

"portugal? yeah, i´ve been there. it´s nice..."
ha! i love that i can say that. lagos was wonderful. the beach was great. the food was great. the company was great. we went to sagres and stood at the end of the world. or, at least the southwestern-most point in europe. it´s easy to see why they thought it was the end of the world, though. standing there with my feet in the water as huge cliffs shot up around me, i felt very small. it was an awesome emotion. everyone go there. now.

Thursday, October 4, 2007 some photos.

CAUTION: if you would not like to view the photos from the bull fight, please view the pictures in set form (the side column), instead of scrolling through them all.

this is not even close to being all of them, but the computers at school are gank. this is all i could do.

lagos, baby!

this weekend i am taking advantage of our neigboring country and heading to the beach. portugal. my life is so crazy right now.

Monday, October 1, 2007


day 1-
2300: board a bus at the plaza de armas in sevilla. destination: madrid.
2400: the bus smells of BO and a strange man behind us keeps sucking air through his teeth,
making the world´s most disgusting noise. also, he has gotten up to smoke in the bathroom four times already. it´s only been an hour. his lungs must literally be black.
0455: awake to the bus finally arriving in madrid. estacion de sur. my god, it´s cold here.
0515: we sit and wait for the metro to open. people in this country must not be able to read. there are "fumar prohibido/no smoking" signs everywhere. everyone is smoking. it still smells like BO.
0600: the metro opens. we wander in, clueless as to our next step.
0615: we still can´t figure out what to do. we have purchased tickets from the machine. they don´t work. a bag lady gets through and holds the gate open for us.
0700: we arrive at barajas airport, madrid. walk for what literally must have been hours to get to our gate. this airport is unnecessarily large.
0830: board plane. destination: switzerland.
1045: step off plane in geneva, switzerland. it´s raining. it´s very cold. realize that i should have gotten that coat yesterday.
1115: try to figure out the train. we don´t speak french. are trying to put 50 swiss francs in the machine when a lovely little british man says, "come with me, i´ll help you." he uses his card to buy us tickets and we pay him back. he gets us to our platform and we make it to the city center. my love of the elderly is reaffirmed.
1245: arrive at saint pierre´s cathedral. the place where john calvin preached some of his most important sermons.
1330: after hundreds of steps, arrive at the top of the north tower. the view is worth it. lac lémac, nestled in the midst of mountains and a quaint city, looks haunting in the cold swiss rain. the mountains are covered by clouds so close it seems as though you could reach out and touch them.
1700: after some more exploring of the city, we check into our hostel. we´re all sick.
2045: wake up from our naps, shaking with cold, to find that the window has been left open. shower. bed.
day 2-
0245: awake in a cold sweat. my face is radiating heat, but the rest of my body is shaking with cold. i have a fever.
0400: awake wanting to rip my nine layers of clothing off for fear of combustion. i literally might catch on fire. my fever is breaking.
0830: awake, feeling somewhat better, but not 100%. go to breakfast and meet an old man from holland, who is fascinated by the fact that we´re american.
0930: the sun is shining! what a gorgeous day. more mountains are visible. we sit by lac lémac and take in the incredible surroundings.
1100: due to my instincts and savvy map reading skills, i get us to plan de planplains flea market. we browse for hours. we still don´t speak french, but it seems that most of the natives speak english, or spanish at the very least.
1330: still not feeling so hot. we decide to head to the country.
1400: catch a bus to mont saléve. we are determined to see some alps.
1500: ride the cable car to the top. a sliver of apls looms in the background.
1501: we decide to hike. my face is beginning to radiate again. onset of fever number 2. and i´m hiking a mountain.
1545: a clearing in the trees. the view literally takes my breath away.
1600: we decide to keep going for a better view.
1615: thank god we did. we walked right into a painting from a fairy tale book. i break into a little sound of music, as i feel it is only appropriate. we sit, enjoy the stunning view, and eat swiss chocolate. the air is fresh and crisp and there is no BO, no moped exhaust, no dog poop. only pure air. i feel like i might hurl, but it´s worth it.
1800: after exploring the town of saléve, also story book worthy, we head back to geneva.
1900: search desperately for cheap food. every café window we pass has a sign that says "french, french, french, blah, blah, blah...all for only 19 swiss fracs!" as though that´s a good deal. and these are the cheap places.
1945: finally find paninis for 8 CHF. not the best price, but at this point i literally don´t care. my fever is raging. i think my head might explode.
2100: walk back to the lake to see the jet de´eau lit up at night. it´s a fountain that shoots straight into the air at 124 mph. it´s pretty impressive.
2300: bed.
day 3-
0315: time to get up. our taxi comes at 0400.
0400: try to speak spanish to the taxi driver, praying that he´s actually taking us to the airport. i´m too tired to care either way.
0430: arrive at the airport to find out that our flight doesn´t actually leave at 0615, but at 0730 instead. we´re there at least an hour earlier than we need to be.
0730: repeat day one in reverse order, only this time without the metro issues.
2045: arrive to my house to find my señora cooking tortillas de españa. god bless this woman.
2400: bed, finally. and i´m no longer sick.

that´s right. i saw the alps.