Archive for July, 2011

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My Spain-Obsessed Lifestyle

July 2, 2011
Spanish Flag

I ❤ Spain!

Okay. I’ll admit it. I have a one-track mind this summer. I don’t think I’ve ever been so fired up about one single thing in my entire life. I’ve built my entire existence around it for this summer. Don’t believe me? Look at what I’ve been up to this summer:

  • Working my butt off. Tomorrow is the first day off that I will have had in 21 days straight. When I’m not working at my exhausting full-time job that, including breaks and drive-time, takes up 46 hours of my week, I am working at Hallmark, the radio station, or babysitting. This means 7-days-a-week of working, sometimes at two different jobs in one day. Why am I subjecting myself to such exhaustion? Simple: I need money to have a good experience in Spain, and my savings account was dwindling far too close to zero after last year of living off-campus in an apartment and commuting in a busy city with $3-4 gas prices.
  • Watching Spanish movies. See my blog entry on Spanish movies. Here’s the run-down. I asked my brother to add me onto his Netflix account as his birthday present to me. Basically, every day, as soon as I get home from work and eat dinner, I pop in a spanish movie and watch it. My family thought my obsession with Spanish movies would die out after a couple weeks or so, but on the contrary! I’m watching them like a madman. If it’s not in Spanish, it’s by a Spanish director, filmed in Spain, or stars a famous Spanish actor/actress. Seriously. Every last one of them.
  • Researching Barcelona, CIEE and Spain. I went to the library the other day and checked out a couple books on Spain and Barcelona. I haven’t had a chance to read them all yet, but sometimes in my rare free moments (when I’m not doing one of the two above), I pull them out and read a bit from them. I’ve also been religiously following the barcelona photo blog, checking into the 3+ years of archived photos if he hasn’t posted recently. I’ve also spent a lot of time exploring the CIEE website and looking into Spanish news websites so I can get an idea of what kind of current events are going on there. I found a brilliant and hilarious video about Spanish economics. I’ve been reading about everything from Spanish cucumbers (which have been cleared as NOT carrying e-coli, contrary to German belief), Spainish politicians’ views on the Libya revolts, and the Barcelona soccer team.
  • Randomly talking to myself/thinking/dreaming in Spanish. It’s true. When no one’s watching, I start talking to myself in Spanish. I’ve picked up some expressions from Spanish movies, and now I can’t stop saying them. And since no one in my family speaks Spanish, I have to resort to talking to myself. That, in addition to my exposure to multiple movies a week, has made me start to think in Spanish a lot (sometimes without even realizing it for a couple minutes!), which leads to dreaming in Spanish, an interesting phenomenon indeed.
  • Trying out Spanish cooking/food. If, by some obscure miracle, I have time when I am not doing one of the above-mentioned tasks,  I’ve been trying out some food items. See my blog entry on tapas to hear about that marvelous experience. In addition, I found a recipe online for Spanish magdalenas, which are sort of like a lemon-flavored cross between cupcakes and muffins which are DELICIOUS, especially with cafe con leche (coffee with milk). I’m hoping to try out some more recipes when my full-time job ends in early August and I have a bit more time on my hands.
  • Reading Spanish books. I have not been reading nearly as many as I would have liked, but with all the above time-eaters, this one has been shoved aside. However, thanks to my awesome roommate Sarah, I have read two good (and easy to read) Spanish novels: La chica de los zapatos verdes and El hombre del bar. I got another one for my birthday, and I have a few others that I hope to get to someday. It’s kind of frustrating, since I’ve been reading in English nearly all my life and found it quite enjoyable, but reading in Spanish forces me back to an elementary level which is boring and tedious. I’m trying to work on it though. With my Spanish movie list growing longer and longer, I feel like one of those kids I was always glad not to be: the ones who would rather watch a movie than read a book.
  • Talking about it ALL THE TIME. I feel like I am talking my poor friends’ and family’s ears off, with all the factoids and exciting news bits I’ve been intaking through all of my movie-watching, research-reading, book-reading, and Spanish-thinking. I think my parents think I’m a huge bum because all they see me doing is watching movies and clicking away on my computer. That is, when I’m not talking to them about how wonderful Barcelona will be.

Well, there you have it. That is what my life has been comprised of in recent weeks. The only non-Spain-related things I’ve been doing this summer is sleeping (that is, when I’m not dreaming in Spanish), hanging out with family and friends (that is, when we’re not watching Spanish movies together, eating Spanish food together, or talking about Spain), and reading a couple of good old American novels (which I mostly read only while I’m at work at the radio station, making money for Spain).

In sum, I think I’ve gone loca para Espana.

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