Getting lost is half the fun! (chisme)

August 27, 2007

Hola a todos!

Today was the first day of classes, and so I am anticipating some great learning experiences ahead.  The instructor for the Sevillanas classes came and gave us a little mini-leccion which was muy divertida.

Today I also got very lost.  I literally went in a circle in the middle of town.  Never having done that before, I proceeded to nearly-crying which is better than very-much-crying.  I found myself at the Cathedral, made a left turn, and 20 minutes later arrived safely back at the Cathedral.  Its very unsettling a veces en el laberinto de las calles.  I don’t feel endangered.  Sevilla is a very safe place, so my host family tells me.  But when you were planning on going to El Corte Ingles with your amigas, and you walk and walk…and walk…for nearly an hour with no end in sight, your day is rather tragic.

But I made up for it by buying a classic red Spanish dress for only 12€.

I know this is for academic purposes as well, so I would like to discuss the variations in culture here compared to the good ol’ US of A.  I haven’t experienced too much culture shock yet, but I have noticed a few changes that might set me off in the next couple of weeks (the shock takes a while to set in…I know it’s coming).

1) It is HOT. And there is no air conditioner in a lot of places.  Fans are common, but for some reason do not blow heavily.  Rachel and I have a small fan in our room.  Muy pequeña.  I am so spoiled, but am slowly getting used to the 90-100 degree heat and intense sun from day to day.   I feel sticky all the time, and my clothes are usually soaked by the end of the day.  I don´t mean to complain, really.  Its just part of the adjustment.

2) Mucho machismo.  So much emphasis on the male.  In our family, the mom’s job is being housekeeper.  She leaves only to go to the grocery, and treats her kitchen like her office.  I notice it the most during mealtime, when our host dad comes and sits at the table and waits to be served.  Sometimes the mom won’t even join us for dinner because she’ll be working away in the kitchen.  This mentality is changing with the next generation, however.  The generation post-Franco sees both sexes as equal, as independents.  They say this, yet the children stay in the houses with their parents until they get married.  My host brothers are 28 and the host sister is 22.  Incredible.  Not bad.  Just different!

3) la siesta.  Best idea ever: a 3 hour “naptime” after lunch around 230.  Except then everything closes.  So if you need some shampoo or a watch or if you’re planning on getting lost, you won’t find any help in the nearby stores.  Also, each store has its own schedule which is subject to change depending on business or if the owner is tired of keeping it open.  Also, most of the stores are closed until September, once everybody gets back from las vacaciones.  My question is, how do they stay in business if theyré closed a month out of the year?  Or do we Americans just work too much? 🙂

I’ve been taking some pictures of my place and I will post some pictures about my host family in the next week or so.  Stay tuned!

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One Response to “Getting lost is half the fun! (chisme)”

  1. Abby Says:

    I wonder if the males over there would be horrified to know that the next generation of females are ones that can cook nothing more than scrambled eggs…


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