So it's been another month and I will sum up what's been going on:
Nights are usually pretty interesting, but one of my favorites was when we went out for my friend Brent’s birthday and somehow ended up at a botellon with half of Latin America. Botellons are Spaniards’ favorite tradition, after bullfighting that is, and are basically a bunch of people drinking together somewhere in public. In Alicante they are usually near the beach or on the side of the mountain, where hundreds of high schoolers through 30-year-olds get together and basically demolish this entire street. Overall it is a really accepted part of Spanish culture and as long as you aren’t playing music extremely loudly in residential areas past 4am, the Policia don’t care. We were minding our own business in the Barrio and all of a sudden there I was, salsa dancing with some Ecuadorian in a back alley. The night could only topped by the Halloween party my roommates and I had a couple weeks later, which could accurately be described as a mini-meeting of the UN, minus all the serious discussion.
The botellon night also included the discovery of the Spanish boyfriend Carlos, a little gem of a boy who doesn’t smoke, drink, or really have any vices whatsoever. I was pretty excited when I survived my first date conducted entirely in Spanish (even managing to get in a discussion on Spanish vs. US immigration policy… in the words of Shauna Sperry, ‘not to toot my own horn but TOOT TOOT!’); however, Carlos thinks it appropriate to send me texts that include poetic references to stopping time, keeping memories in his heart forever, etc. The first time this happened, I used my most polite Spanish vocab to explain that a Shakespearean sonnet was better suited to a Golden Anniversary than a coffee date. Now he has toned them down to saying things like, “the time change is tonight, that means we have one more hour to be together.” I am chalking this up to cultural differences and getting excited to come back to the States wherethe guys act like they don’t care.
But the Spaniard who brings the most joy to my heart is my intercambio partner Vicente (described my roommates as having “an endearing rabid-dog quality about him”). Vicente likes to go on adventures so a few weeks ago we went to this park across the street from the university because they have giant ducks that are UA legends. Apparently the rumor is that the ducks eat meat, because there has to be some reason they are so freaking big. I was like, ok ok, I'm sure they're decent sized ducks. Well, we went over to the lake and I almost crapped myself... these ducks are literally the size of a golden retriever. Vicente was like, hey, go ahead and show them your hand, it's fine! I was like, get me the hell away from those ducks!! Is there a nuclear plant around here somewhere? So I am trying to muster up the courage to go back and take pictures to prove the freakiness of it all. Another highlight of the last month was getting compared to the pig face that I got tricked into eating by a 60 year old man at the market. Luckily he meant itin a complimentary way (the word for beautiful and the word for delicious are the same, but I tell you… getting compared to a hairy snout is kind of iffy).
Well I love you all and I hope that this included enough use of the word“Spaniard” for those of you who requested to hear it more often. You guys are the gems in the crown of life. I just blacked out and tried to make up a profound statement, but you get the idea. Os echo de menos, nos vemos pronto!