Domingo y Fiestas

Trip Start Sep 11, 2007
Trip End Dec 15, 2007

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I believe that yesterday I pretty much covered half of Segovia during my various outings. Around six I met up with a large group of mis "companeros" in order to do something fun during our first week in Spain. Our large group broke off into two smaller groups in order to go find a good activity. My group ended up looking for this restaurant that was well known by previous students for its tasty sangria. Unfortunately when we finally located it, we found out that it was close until the 21st because the owners where on vacation. Thankfully, we asked a passerby for directions and she sent us to a nearby place
called "Duque." It was this charming bar that had been founded back in 1895. It was wonderful to not have to worry about being kicked out of a place simply because of my age. We all ordered glasses of sangria and proceeded to visit. At one point I started talking to the waitress and I found out that she was from Morocco. I told that I was considering going there for a weekend and she gave me all sorts of advice. She and the bartender really got a kick out of my electronic dictionary, as did my host family.Just about when we were getting ready to leave, this set of three people in formal wear walked. These people had been part of a wedding and were starting their celebrations. They appeared to already be well into the wine by the time they started doing toasts with us. I have pictures of all of us with them. I'm starting to believet that Segovia is wedding central because yesterday we saw evidence of at least four weddings and multiple "despedidas de solteros"(bachelor/bachellorette parties)One bachelor was wearing a toilet costume and I'm still fairly unsure about what that was about, but what I do know is that he could barely stand by the time his group of rowdy friends pulled him along to where we were.

After dinner, which was at 9:00, a bunch of us met up again to go out for the night. I'm pretty sure that we when in almost every discoteca in Segovia. My favorite by far was a place called "Toys." It had fun music, flashing lights, dancing and tons of people. The only down sides were that a lot of people were just standing around and that there was so much smoke in there that our eyes eventually started to burn. Europe is a smokers paradise. I'm hoping that more people will dance at the discotecas in Madrid. What was really funny about the night is that we ran into our new friends from Duques at Toys. They were having a good old time and even introduced us to the bride and groom. The groom was so funny because he showed us his ring with great gusto and punched the air to show his excitement about his recent nuptials. I loved that I got to in a way be a part of the celebrations for a Spanish wedding. It was so difficult trying to communicate with people in the rowdy discotecas especially when I only speak so much spanish. We didn't go back home until 3:30, and as we were leaving, a lot of people were just arriving to party the night away.

Today I got myself up to go to "Misa" (mass) which was at 11:30, which is actually one of the earliest service here. It was difficult to leave my comfy bed, but I did it because I wasn't sure how many Sundays I'll actually be here to attend a service. Unfortunately, when I got to the meeting place to join up with my friends, they had already left. Well, I hadn't gotten myself out of bed for nothing, so I shook off my nerves and entered the beautiful old cathedral that is near my house. It was the bells calling worshipers to service that finally convinced me that I should go inside even though I'd never attended a Catholic service before. It was a very interesting experience listening to the readings, songs, and sermon in Spanish. I really wanted to gaze about myself at the paintings and stone sculptures as I sat in a pew, but I felt that would be utterly rude. Let's just say that I was kept alert trying to make sure that I stood and sat at the right times.(Perhaps that's one of the reasons that there are so many changes of personal elevation during a catholic service.) I am very glad I went because I love new cultural experiences and it was wonderful to worship with peple singing prayers they know by heart.

After the service I stopped off and bought a crescent at a little cafe. As I was sitting down to eat it on a little bench outside the church, and elderly gentleman sat down next to me. Speaking with strangers in Spanish is always and unnerving experience; however, talk with this man was even more difficult than usual. You see, he didn't have a voice. Yep, he is one of those people who have smoked so much that he's lost his vocal chords. Try speaking in a new language with someone who can barely make any sounds. However, we were able to communicate a little bit and he was able to use his cane to write a few words in the dirt when I was simply unable to make any sense of what he was trying to say.

The rest of the day I explored some new streets with two of my female friends. We eventually ended up by the city's castle. We didn't go in becuase we knew that the school was going to take us sometime. Many of the streets along the way are extremely narrow, but some cars drive through them like they are four lane roads.More than once we found ourselves hugging the wall in able to ensure that our feet remained un-squashed. On our way walking back, towards the aqueduct, a storm was starting to form. It is a truly exhilerating experience to feel oncoming rain as you walk along cobbled streets beneath the learing stare of a stone gargoyle's face.

Well I know there is more that I could write about, but it is time for me to go to bed because tomorrow I start classes. I'm very excited, but also nervous becuase I'm not sure that I can handle taking 5 classes all taught in Spanish. Oh well, I have two days to decide if I need to drop a class, but I'm just not sure which one I would miss the least.

Buenos Noches.
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