Some of you received this as an email but i ...
Trip Start Dec 31, 2002
7Trip End Jun 2003
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Well, I am finally in rez and on my own. Momma Coop left early this morning, and I don't think it has really hit me yet. I am on my own and I don't understand most of what is going on around me.
Today was my first real class...in English! There are a few exchange kids who seem nice, so I am hoping that they appear in a few of my other classes. I am fairly comfortable getting around the city - can walk everywhere and the transport system is great. Barcelona is actually in a region of Spain known as Catalonia, and it pretty much operates as it's own district...sort of autonomous. I'm learning more as I go, but I don't think Barcelona is a typical Spanish city. Catalan people tend to be reserved and it takes a while to establish a relationship, or so I have been told. I will just have
to wait and see how the next couple of weeks go to see if it is true.
My roommate, Ana, seems very friendly and although we have only been in the same room for a total of 40 minutes so far, she was really helpful in getting someone to help me set-up the internet. She just got on the phone and rambled something in Spanish (no idea what she said) and this guy showed, then he didn't know what was wrong, so she called some other guy (who speaks both English and Spanish perfectly...English is with a British
accent - not sure how that works) and he got in here and played for a while. She had to leave, but they both stayed to figure it out. Very nice all around. However, only when they made the effort to speak 'mas lente' did I have any idea what was going on. This other guy, who I thought I had met earlier in the elevator, came along so that he and Ana could go to school together. I practiced a Spanish line in my head so that I could say 'hi, I'm Krysten...I think we met int he elevator yesterday.' Turns out he is the identical twin brother of the guy in the elevator...what are the chances!
So far, my Spanish has caused me to ask for a map instead of a menu...to ask when I was going to get hot, rather than when the weather would warm up...and to have to make suction cup noises in order to demonstrate to the sales clerk that I was looking for hooks that stick to the wall rather than drill into the wall...needless to say, the store did not sell what I needed, if he even had any idea as to what I was looking for. I have also learned the importance of accents...mama (without the accent) is breast and papa
(without its accent) is potato, or Pope is the 'p' is a capital. I realized this when my mom and I tried to send a postcard to my gradparents and thought it would be fun to include a little Spanish. Luckily, they won't know the difference, but the postman mught get a good laugh.
Slowly but surely I am sure I will get there. I met a guy from Switzerland whose English is fairly good, but he has this strange habit of quietly repeating what you are saying ot him while you are speaking. I guess it helps him with the English, but it freaks me out because I can hear myself echoing all the time that I speak to him.
I will keep you updated of my adventures as they unfold...