International Travel

Perseverance pays, right?

In a previous blog post I stated that the Spanish culture is not my favorite.  Though, I’m here to learn it. I really want to learn to love it. I’ve been struggling quite a bit recently.  I know I’m in a completely different country and should be happy each day.  I should be embracing each minute.  But, I’ve been finding myself unhappy.  I wish I could pinpoint the exact things that are causing me unhappiness, though it’s difficult.  I think it’s because the things I did everyday back at home that kept me happy and/or sane, I’ve been lacking here.  Things such as going to the gym, riding my bike, blasting my music on the stereo, having random conversations with strangers, taking drives in my car to clear my mind. At times I really do miss the American way. I miss my friends and family so much but I try not to think about it too much as it would affect my time here.  Communication is so important. Miscommunication is something I try to avoid at all costs.  I do my best to communicate, but with such a language barrier, even the littlest things are hard to communicate sometimes.  At times I feel like I can’t do anything right.  This is largely due to the fact that there is lots of communication that does not happen between me and my host family.  There are lots of differences with just the simplest chores in the household here which I did not encounter at my home in the states.  I’ve learned (the hard way) that the laundry is done in the mornings here, never at night because they hang their laundry up to dry outside. Always.  

My emotions came pouring out last week, and since then I’ve started thinking in a different perspective.  I spent all weekend reflecting on my happiness.  My happiness starts with me.  I have control over it, so it’s time I change some things for the better.

This past weekend I traveled North an hour and a half to Vic.  This was my second time to the frozen Wisconsin-like city (only in terms of temperature).  I found that my toes were actually frozen for the first time since being in Spain.  I ended up buying a nice winter jacket at the famous mercado (market) in Vic. I stayed with my friend Sara and she showed me around Vic. We even found an American diner!  The menu had a slight emphasis on American style food, but it definitely wasn’t the same.   We then went to Envelat, a discoteca on Saturday night and it reminded me of the bars in Whitewater… full with lots of students.  The only difference was the music. This discoteca was obviously playing more Spanish music than the bars in Whitewater.  On Sunday night Sara taught me how to make the famous “Tortilla Espanola” or in English, “Spanish Omelette” which consists of potatoes, eggs, and onions.  Though we didn’t have onions at the time.  Regardless, it was still delicious! When I head back to the States I will definitely be making this tasty dish.

One HUGE thing I’ve learned this past week: NEVER ship electronics from the USA to Spain.  This is nothing but a nightmare.  I should have done some research on this before allowing my mom to send me a replacement phone.  My mom originally tried shipping the phone on October 24.  It’s now November 16. My phone is stuck in Madrid at the customs there.  Receiving the package will cost me more than buying a new phone here.  I screwed up.  Updates to come on this situation.

Saturday I am going to a concert in Barcelona with a few friends.  We are going to see Father John Misty, known for his indie folk.  The concert will take place at Razzmatazz, one of the most famous clubs in the city.  I can’t wait! That’s all for this week.

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