One of the fundamental differences between America and Spain, or at least Arizona and Sevilla, is the timetable and time in which things occur. There’s a general understanding when travelling that it’s appropriate to surrender your previous schedule in favor of your new one. It takes a little time to adjust to it, but when it happens there’s an interesting shift in your brain away from former habits and open to creating new ones. There’s a lightness in the space between and an excitement for the future nuances.
There are some late nights here in Sevilla. I’m beginning to fully comprehend the meaning and beauty of this southern-Spanish schedule.
Most nightlife here begins well-beyond midnight. With the midday siesta, it’s not so terrible to stay up all night, nor is it that difficult. This had to be experienced with my own eyes, so we popped out one night with a few friends from the area, ex patriots and those born in the city. Inside, it felt like any major metropolitan bar. Bottles of liquor lining the walls behind the well, bartenders on front of the wall dispensing drinks to those of us standing on the other side eagerly curious about what we may experience. The DJ pumped out electronic-dance music and conversation became impossible over the sounds of the bass. Walking out of the club, around 5am, was a unique and first-time experience for yours truly and I would prefer to blame the country and the schooling rather than my age for my mandatory 2-day recovery from the late night that was had.
A few weeks later, a few members of our class were feeling the pangs of missing football season back home.
Dying to have some beer and watch American football, we headed with Vikings/somebody game at a bar called Tex -Mex. It was like walking into a geographical portal. This uber-American bar served American ales and lagers while blasting current collegiate and NFL games on televisions around the small pub. Patronized by several English-speaking students and ex-pats to provide for an interesting mix of travelers, it was a nice bit of home so far across the Atlantic. We ran into a group of students from ASU (go devils!) who were studying abroad and they said out of everywhere they’d been in Spain, Sevilla was by far their favorite spot. I’d have to agree J
So we stayed there for a while then ran across the street to another cute little café and hung out there for a while longer. Even that night, we didn’t get home until after 3:30am! I just keep picturing myself getting back on my schedule at home and passing out on my desk in the middle of the day because I didn’t get my siesta.
We’re having a good time here. We are all very studious creatures so we have our down time. We prioritize our lessons, I’ve been working all weekend on my lesson for this week, as well have the common goal of earning passing scores so we can earn our certificates for this course.
Somehow, I ended up the oldest person in my flat. Well, older than just about everyone we spend time with, really. One roomie of mine is 22 and fresh out of UCSD and the other is 19! They call me Mom. I don’t remember asking to be Mom just yet, but it’s actually pretty funny. Back at home I have a job that places me in this nurturing position, where I can cultivate the minds and careers of young go-getters and here I feel like I get to do the same thing!
I’ve been thinking about life in the States a bunch. Trying to decide whether I want to do this as a career for the next little while, thinking about how much I like the freedom here and how much I like learning Spanish on a daily basis. In class we call it TBL, task-based learning. It’s experiential learning essentially, and I’m realizing this exact method works for me. I learn best by doing something, not just reading about it in a book.
So I’m in a debate with myself. This may be a great trip that takes me nowhere but back home or this may be the beginning of a jet-setting international lifestyle. We shall see. I have made the decision to apply for a Fulbright Fellowship though! The application is closed for 2010, so I have some time, but I have some great ideas and hopefully some good contacts that can help me out.
Pics take FOREVER to upload here, I will try again another time!