06/10/2012

The Trials and Tribulations of an English Student in Spain

Hola! Long time no see, avid readers! 

Of course scheduled blogging will resume shortly, but the past few weeks have been a bit up in the air, so when everything settles down, I'll actually explain to you what I'm doing in uni, what the uni's like, etc., etc. But until then, it's been three weeks since I last blogged, and I feel I should at least explain to you my views of España.

FROM HERE


Firstly, it's not England, and it's not similar to England. It might sound stupid, but no, it's not the same place and they don't have the same things. I've got used to the fact that pretty much everywhere's shut between 2pm and 4pm; I've accepted that nowhere sells cheddar or proper sausages; I've accepted that all milk is UHT. Unfortunately though, I lament these things every time I try to go shopping at about 2:30pm and all can thing about eating is a sausage sandwich with a cup of tea made with real milk. I know you'll probably already know this, but once you're out here, it becomes ever more real - partly because that's what most students from the UK and Ireland talk about whenever a conversation trails off, that, or the weather (we timed it the other day and it turns out we could hold a conversation about the weather for over 7 minutes, I'd say it's a different story for a different time, but that's literally the story - no, I don't know why it happened either). 

I'll bring up the issue of the language barrier too, and by that I mean, I can't speak Spanish. All my classes are in English, all the people I speak to regularly speak English as a first language, and all my flatmates speak Spanish to each other. Subsequently, I can blag conversations about cleaning, food, and going out, like, I'm starting to worry everyone I live with thinks I'm obsessed with food, never clean and always have a hangover because I'm constantly in the kitchen going 'Tengo una resaca... Necesito comida pero no tengo comida... Necesito limpiar mi habitacion...', which I feel well highlights the fact I only know three verbs: need, have, clean. But oh well! I also know useful words, like dustpan - recogedor - and kerb - bordillo. I don't know how I haven't caused some international incident with my clear lack of understanding of every situation I've been in.

Being an English student in Spain, every little bit of Spanish culture that you absorb makes you feel that tiny bit more 'cultured' (I was going to say European, but I'm aware there'll probably be a backlash of people going 'BUT ENGLAND'S IN EUROPE, WOULD YOU PREFER US TO BE AMERICAN?!', thus 'cultured'). One of the few things I've taken on board - in a big way - is a siesta. I truly don't know what I'm going to do when I go home. It'll get to about 3, and my body will start to shut down, and I have to have a sleep. But it's never just a cheeky nap, it's always a proper 2-hour sleep. I know that's not a proper siesta, but yeah... I like sleep.

There are other things I could tell you, but I have to actually do some work. But this has been lovely, and we should definitely do this again some time! 
Hasta luego!

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