I’m Melting, I’m Melting!

The weather here is already getting ridiculously HOT here! Without any warning or gradual change this is my life from here on out.

What have I gotten myself into??

Un beso!

Roses:

  • Making people at home jealous
  • Finished with Classes for the week
  • Going to Malaga for the weekend!

Thorns:

  • Sweating while sitting in class
  • Sweating while walking slowly
  • Spending money on the tram because it has air conditioning
  • Smelling bad
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A few lists

This is a form of procrastination from my homework and as a reminder that my time here is very limited. You think 6 months is a lot of time when really it is flying right in front of my eyes. I can’t say that I really know myself all that better than before but I’m creating new dreams for myself and just seeing where they take me. As of now here are some random dream jobs I find interesting: 

  • Writer/researcher for ESPN’s Documentary Department. Seriously these are some of my favorite videos of all time. 
  • Own a bookstore with a cafe (like John Rollin’s … does anyone remember that place?), and have poetry slams and afterschool programs promoting literacy.  The store also needs to have two Burmese cats. 
  • Publisher for children’s books. 

Those are just some fun things I’ve been thinking about. But don’t worry, I’m not getting ahead of myself. I really want to try and focus more of my time here in Sevilla. So I am creating a list of all the things I want to accomplish before this semester is over. 

  1. Drink some agua de Sevilla
  2. Go to the animal market on Ave. Torneo
  3. Go to a local food market 
  4. Witness a Bull Fight in the Plaza de Toros
  5. Eat ice cream at Rayas
  6. Eat at Bar Ajo Blanco
  7. Check out Metropol Parasol
  8. Eat churros from the stand on Calle Arfe 
  9. Visit La fabrica de cerveza
  10. Find Velazquez’s house
  11. Visit Sevilla Cemetery 
  12. (when it’s warm) Play in the fountains at Alemeda de Hercules 
  13. Drink at Bar la Goleta
  14. Find the aqueducts
  15. Olive oil tasting (way cooler than wine tasting) 

Those are just a few on my list. 

Un Beso

Roses:

  1. 2 hamburgers in one day
  2. Getting used to my schedule here
  3. Getting excited to take classes at home

Thorns: 

  1. Time 
  2. Not doing work
  3. Not having a good study spot 

The Fight Between Man and Bull

“Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor.”

-Ernest Hemingway

(The poster for the upcoming season)

Bullfighting has been a part of Spanish culture for centuries. Yet today across the world, people discuss whether bullfighting is a sport/art form shrouded in tradition or barbaric killing of an innocent creature. No matter one’s feeling, tourists are still drawn to this attraction and many have an internal struggle over whether it is appropriate for them to attend or not.

For me, I don’t have this internal struggle. I choose to look  at it as an art form, a preservation of a time period, or a tradition that existed long before The Americas were even discovered. While I understand that tourism helps fuel the trade and that this once honorable sport has been diluted by the masses, the essence still exists. It all comes down to the fight between one man and one bull.

We can argue that the bull has no fair chance of surviving. This is very true. The bull must survive the taunting of the torero’s team before actually meeting the man (or now woman!) he must face. While there are posts on the BBC and PETA about bulls being tampered with before fights, from what I know (which is very limited), there are laws that set regulations for the age, weight, and abilities of the bull must be fully functional and in good condition. Yes there may be cases of tampering, but hey there are also cases of steroids/physical tampering in sports in America. Let’s not have a few unfair fights ruin the image of those who fight fairly. Also let us not forget, that if the bull preforms in a truly spectacular manner he will be indultado or pardoned. Where he will live the rest of his days happy, because they never allow the bull to fight twice and well he deserves it. Bulls have good memories and will be overly aggressive if they had to fight twice. If I were getting stabbed by skinny people in shiny outfits I would want revenge the next time I saw them as well.

It’s a sad fate the bull faces when entering the ring. I will never deny that. It’ s like when Harry Potter enters the forbidden forest and knows he is walking to his death. I’ve talked with some girls on the program and they have problems with the fact that the Bulls are raised to die. I can understand that, but at the same time I also eat meat so every animal I eat was raised to die. If one does not always eat organic/free ranged animals, then who is to say that these animals live worse lives than the bulls raised to fight. They live happy lives on farms well up until 4 years old when they are old enough to fight (at least it’s the case in Spain). If you really think about it, isn’t that the case with anything on this planet? We all die, animals and humans alike. And in many cases we are only remembered for our deaths if they are tragic. Sorry for the morbid thought, but it’s true. If the bulls death wasn’t so tragic, if he was raised just to be our next hamburger would we all care as much (other than the animal activists /vegetarians of course)? It is a tragic way to die with all of the stress and the pain, but hopefully in the end the fight will not last long and the kill will be clean.

I’m not a blood thirsty person. I don’t even like gory movies. I’ve even dabbled in vegetarianism for awhile. However for me what it comes down to is tradition and art. When done right the graceful movements of the torero and the clean kill of a bull can hopefully remind me of a time in the past. Who knows, maybe if I’m lucky I can see a bull pardoned. Or I might be a vegetarian for the rest of my life if things go poorly. Whatever the case may be I may only live in Spain once. Also, it can’t be any worse then watching the Chicago Cubs lose every year.

Roses:

  1. Tradition
  2. Bulls that get pardoned
  3. Having the option to view a bullfight

Thorns:

  1. Bloody death
  2. Sad bulls
  3. Discourse over tradition and cruelty

Happy Accidents … An Evening Photo shoot

My friend Emily recently suggested that I carry my camera around with me more often. I took her advice today, and it was a happy accident to take some pretty cool pictures. I usually don’t carry a camera at night, because most of the time I’m going out and it’s not safe to have a nice camera (i.e. read the story about my jacket!) Here are two shots from tonight.

This is the Isabel II Bridge in Sevilla. From the side I took the photo, university students hang out by it during the day and Bottelon at night. I love the reflection of the light on the water, and the sky! Today it sprinkled which is the 3rd time it has rained all winter.

This picture looks a lot cooler small, I was disappointed seeing it on my computer. I liked the composition of how the water in front was in focus, but it’s harder to see because the lights aren’t reflecting on it. People kayak/paddleboat/do other activities on boats all the time on the rio. I assume when my family comes they’ll want to kayak as well.

Today, I learned I need to carry my camera more!

Roses:

  1. Taking unexpected pictures
  2. Croquetas at lunch
  3. No class tomorrow
  4. Planning my trip during Semana Santa
  5. Playing MASH in class

Thorns:

  1. Pictures looking a lot cooler on my camera (aka small) than on my computer (aka large)
  2. Taking the tram
  3. Chapped lips

The magical lost but then found jacket

I didn´t pack enough jackets for Spain. For some reason I thought that it was too warm for a jacket. I also only brought long jackets, so obviously I needed to find a short warm jacket. Also to be cool in Spain, you need to own a leather jacket. I found the perfect brown leather jacket at Zara, and other than my sweatshirt, it has been my favorite purchase thus far.

Last night, I almost lost my beloved jacket. I went to the club Abril with my friends but we got there before 1:30am so we could get in for free but that also meant that they were not a lot of people there yet and the coat check was closed. We decided to do as the other Spainards and leave our coats near where we were dancing. Silly me, I left with a friend to say hello to some of our Spanish amigas. When I got back to the spot my friends had left and my coat was no where to be found. Of course the first thing I thought was they took it, but alas they didn´t. My thought process at this time:

  1. Why didn´t you grab my coat? But it´s an honest mistake, so I won´t get mad.
  2. At least it was only 39.99 euro
  3. At least I didn´t leave my wallet in my pocket
  4. OH NO I LEFT MY KEYS IN MY POCKET
  5. MUST FIND COAT

If you´ve ever been in a club you know that it is loud and dark. I went searching around the room, going through different piles of coats. Some people were getting upset and thinking that I was trying to steal their things, so I had to explain to them that someone took my coat and I was looking for it. Of course this was all in Spanish, so I sounded like an idiot but most people were nice and allowed me to look for it.

Finally when I had lost all hope, I decided to look in one more place. There was a girl looking like she was about to fall asleep, next to a huge pile of coats. For some odd reason I decided my coat had to be in that pile. And it was! I recognized it from the unique tag, and the keys in the pocket. Before she could try and take it back from me, I went to find my friends. And my night improved significantly. However, I was in straight panic mode for a good 15 minutes.

Moral of the story, don´t lose sight of your coat.

Un Beso

Roses:

  1. Dancing the night away
  2. Finding my coat
  3. Seeing my Spanish amigas

Thorns:

  1. Losing my coat
  2. Panic mode
  3. Thinking about all the money I would´ve had to spend to not only replace the coat but also the keys

So much to do so little time!

This Friday get ready for the post of you life! un broma! 

I haven’t been able to post much because: 

1. I felt like I wasn’t really doing much.

2. I have a 5 page (Spanish page) ensayo due on Thursday

Asi que I am very stressed!!!!!! But I thought I should post so everyone knows I’m still alive! 

Roses:

1. Feeling like people read this and care about me

2. Wearing my awesome new Universidad de Sevilla sweatshirt

3. Sitting in the warmest room in my house!

Thorns:

1. Needing to finish 4 pages tonight

2. Wanting to rip my hair out

3. Spending way too much money on food

Friendly Faces

I’ve been told there will be a lot of ups and downs for me while I’m abroad. The other day was a down day. (Does that even make sense?) I really missed my family, friends, and Gracyn. My friend and I walked around Plaza de Espana together and it instantly cheered me up. Here are some photos from the other day:

Another Spanish Kitty! (Sorry Keen I can’t adopt them!)

Plaza de Espana

Rainbow in the Fountain

Finally a photo of me!

Roses:

  1. Overcoming loneliness
  2. Making the best of a situation
  3. Staying busy
  4. Making friends

Thorns:

  1. Missing people
  2. Bad Thoughts
  3. Nightmares