Saturday, January 24, 2015

Checking in from Granada

Hola, thought I'd pop over here and give a little update about my study abroad experience in Spain so far. First impressions: the timing is way different, English isn't actually spoken everywhere in the world yet, and after meeting fellow Americans I have come to the conclusion that I would experience more culture shock somewhere in the South of the U.S. then I have in the South of Spain. First up the timing.. Lunch everyday at 3 and the lunches my host family makes are massive and delicious. Dinner not until 9-9:30 every night, and then people don't start going out until midnight or later. One example, the other weekend a group of us went to a club, arrived around 1:45am and the place was completely empty, the bartenders hadn't even arrived yet. The place started to fill at 3 and by the time we left at 5am there was still a line outside the door to get in... So yes, timing is different. Second, as English speakers we seem to think that our language has pervaded every corner of the earth. Not so in Granada, where I have only met a few locals with any English skill. Its refreshing that we actually have to struggle and learn the language instead of every place catering to our language. Thirdly, the culture shock. Things are obviously different, being in a different country and all however one story put things in perspective. This one girl goes to Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Every year that area celebrates "Lee-Jackson Day" (commemorating both Southern Civil War generals), a week before MLK day. This year was the first year her college was not allowed to fly the Confederate flag from university buildings. She showed us an email sent to the student body (pop. 2000) outlining all the support services the school provided for those who were having trouble coming to terms with the fact the school would not be "officially" celebrating Lee-Jackson Day. Subsequently the student body just dressed in Confederate gear and flew the flags from their own homes anyway. So yes, things here are different but there are places in the U.S. even more wacky. Attaching some pictures as those can convey what I am experiencing much better than anything I can write


James R said...

Finally, you found a place that conforms to your biological clock! What time do people get up in the morning and go to class? Are those pictures all from the same place? If not, which picture from which city? What would you say was the second most popular language of Granadians?

Yes, it took me awhile to get a perspective on the South's celebration of the Confederacy, but now I see it as a bit like American Indians celebrating their lost culture.

It looks and sounds great! We're envious.

Martin said...

Exactly! People still get up and out pretty early, I don't know how they do it. Actually I do, we have a 2 hr siesta everyday after lunch just to relax and nap if we want to so I have been taking advantage of that.

All these pics are of Granada, usually over looking the city. The bottom one is of the Alhambra, what the city is most famous for. The mountains are the Sierra Nevadas which ring the city.

As for language I'd have to say English but that isn't saying much as only a few people I've met know a few words. More to come in the following weeks!

James R said...

Those pictures are crazy (other than you need a new iPhone) You have snow capped mountains within sight of the city?! Is there skiing? Is that grainy thing on the hill a castle? I guess I should make a quick internet search for Granada.

Martin said...

Oh yes there is skiing, one of the main draws of Granada is that you can ski and then go to the beach in the same day. That grainy thing is the Alhambra, what Granada is really known for. It's Spain's most visited tourist attraction, I actually just went today and its basically a massive town with multiple palaces and gardens, all surrounded by a massive wall