Bikes, Bruffins, and Bromas

If I were required to keep a blog of my weekend whereabouts while in Gainesville, it would go something like, “Today, I drank coffee and sat around and thought about doing my homework. Tomorrow, I’m gonna drink some more coffee and maybe do some laundry.” Here in Sevilla, however, I have much more to report! Maybe because my host mother does my laundry for me? I digress.

Thursday night, Kelsey and I had a girls’ night. We just chilled and ate chocolate covered strawberries while we watched Mean Girls [I thought of you, high school and college friends, the whole time I was holding back from reciting every line!]. I ended up staying the night at her apartment, considering I arrived at 10:30 and the metro closes on weeknights at 11 lol. Friday morning, Kelsey and Trevor (Trelsey) were catching a bus to one of Seville’s neighboring cities called Ronda, but I, due a lack of understanding on my part, thought I had plans to go another time, so I didn’t book the trip. I had no plans for the day, so I decided to walk around el centro by myself. It was extremely enjoyable. I started out with a small Starbucks fail (that led to my drinking coffee without milk like a champ, whatevs), but then walked up and down side streets to purposely to get a little lost, sat and listened to street performers, and even got my postcard-buying fix in a hidden shop down the Avenida de la Constitución. The sun shone bright, but it still felt fresh in the shade and with the slight wind. It was gorgeous!

Following suit with Friday’s weather, Saturday’s was divine as well. I received an invite from a Spanish cabellero that I met at last week’s “English Table” to visit him at his work for a coffee. Trevor and Kelsey met up with me, and we got a few afternoon drinks and tapas at the bar, a quaint outside pavilion within walking distance of the Plaza de España and the Archeological Museum. Our new friend, Gabriel, treated us to the drinks, so we somewhat forced him to take our small tips, asserting that it was the “American way.” We weren’t sure what time our amigo was getting off of work, and I had been inception-ed with the idea to rent bikes, so we rented a trolley-esque bike and rode it, somewhat recklessly, through the gardens. We weren’t particularly trying to be reckless; we just had the turning radius of an RTS bus and a brake that was pretty much for show. The bell came in handy, though.

A highly-embarrassing-yet-most-pictorally-accurate picture of our adventure (I was driver in this pic; can you tell?): Photobucket

We had the bike rental guy take this one after we had to give the bike back lol: Photobucket

After our bikescapades, we fulfilled our cravings at Haagen Dazs, where I got a “Bruffin,” a Brownie-Muffin. It was fantastic. That, and our camarero (waiter) was practicing his English with us, which always makes me proud and happy to help. =) This is real life: Photobucket

So we’d figured Gabriel had gotten preoccupied with stuff and wasn’t planning on meeting us, but as timing would have it, he called right as we got off of the metro to Trelsey’s apartment. He didn’t mind that we’d relocated from el centro, and he ended up joining us for shrimp fried rice (that Trelsey graciously made—he and I just stood there and watched since they didn’t let us do anything). We fluctuated between Spanish and English with (somewhat) ease. His English level well surpasses our Spanish levels, but we still learned so much about our respective languages just from the couple of hours we hung out!

Yesterday, Sunday, Host Mama Lola, my roommate Angie, and I went to the beach! A beach very close to the city of Huelva named Punta Umbría. It was extremely sunny; not a cloud in the sky. The wind was a bit nippy, but that didn’t stop me from still tanning a bit. I miss the Fort Lauderdale beach being less than 10 minutes away from my house! Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket

Last night, after I got back from the beach, I decided to let my homework take a back seat and go to Gabriel’s house with Trelsey and two other Spaniard friends to play poker. That was a blast—switching from Spanish to English, then English to Spanish, laughing and giving language lessons and occasionally playing poker. The terminology, although I already forgot most of it, was fairly easy to correlate. ‘Cept the Spanish pronunciation of “Ace.” It sounds very similar to a human backside when they say it, lol. We placed the most complicated pizza delivery order ever, and afterward retired the poker came to instead compare—and by compare I mean act out—animal noises in English versus Spanish. Of course, there were several laugh attacks involved.

I have just been so happy lately, especially because all of my wishes are being fulfilled here. I promised myself that if I were to do the Hispanic Studies program at UPO, I would force myself to meet Spaniards. I’m doing so, and they are all such genuine, warm people. And always helpful when it comes to clarifying Spanish words (and expressions, and verb tenses, and colloquialisms). ;P I’m finding it easier to look on the bright side of things, and seek out the bright side when it’s a little less tangible. I’m taking the time to stop and appreciate things that I’ve so often taken for granted (like sunrays when it’s windy, for example). I just have so much to be thankful for. This is exactly what I needed.

Almost time for yoga!
Later, Gators!

Ally
PS! In case you still haven’t google translated it, “bromas” are jokes in Spanish. =P

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