Friday, September 11, 2009
So I officially fail at this journal thing but I don't care anymore. I can just catch up. I went to the the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) on Wednesday. It was absolutely huge! It is actually in Madrid, within walking distance from my house. I had to pay because the United States isn't a part of the European Union. I think we should join. Then we would get discounts and free things. There were so many salons in the palace. The queen and king each had like ten rooms for whatever. The walls were decorated with statues (I don't know how they did that) and elaborately painted ceilings. Sometimes, the chairs match the rug or the wallpaper, so you know it is one-of-a-kind, and probably cost more than I'll make my whole life. It would be so much fun to live there for like one week. Then I would want to go to a normal size house because I would always get lost and break things. There were also original photos by Goya. It is so weird to go into buildings twice as old as my country. I learned more about the history of the kings and queens of Spain. I also learned that the original silver was melted down by Napoleon Bonaparte's brother to help pay for the war, so all the silver is new. Erica and I started another class on Tuesday. We only have it twice a week, so it's not that bad, but it is hard. It is for practicing for the DELE (think AP Spanish given by the Spanish government). There is a writing section, oral comprehension, written comprehension, matching, oral presentation, and everything else you can think of. Then yesterday, all the Americans had to take a pronunciation class. I knew I was a little bad, but I didn't think I would have to relearn how to talk. Apparently my southern accent makes it almost impossible to pronounce some things correctly. I would say something like I thought she was saying it, but apparently it was different. Also, the v and b make the exact same sound, so vivir and beber sound alike. I have to practice my vowels every day. If you heard me you would think I was crazy. I have to say aea, iou, uae, aeui, ouea, etc. I got some weird stares at the bus stop this morning. This has been my second week here and it has flown by. I was homesick for the first three or four days but now I am fine. Yesterday, I was a little homesick when I listened to the songs "Small Town USA" and "Where I'm From." I went to Burger King yesterday to have something American. My Italian roommate, Alvise, said Burger King doesn't count as a restaraunt, and here it really doesn't. An observation: the only time you get ice is when it is with coke, and then only sometimes. Tandem is taking us on a trip to Segovia tomorrow and I am excited, but they told us to bring a jacket because it is cold in the mountains. I am excited to be cold for once. Madrid is a desert. It is literally considered a desert. It has not rained since I got here. It almost did once, but it didn't. So at night, I have to choose between quiet and hot, or wind and loud noises. There are these 3 old ladies who sit out every night and talk (or should I say yell) until 1. And there are always kids out until 2 in the morning. And I went to bed last night at 11, which is considered early. The food here is the most different thing I have noticed. I have squid in ink sauce. It was good until I started to think of what I was actually eating. They put vegetables in everything. I also have freshly made bread with every meal. Erica and I found this shop where everything is cheap. I bought "parachute pants" which are apparently coming back in style, and a shirt. I am going to spend so much money there.