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First Month

Written on: Wednesday February 25th, 2009

A journal entry from: Madrid

I have learned that the Spanish aren't exactly the most motivated or timely people on the planet.... I was waiting in line at the bank the other day (along with about 10 other people), when the only person working decided to take a 10 minute break.... everyone else in line seemed somewhat upset but not a single person yelled, tapped a foot, or even shook a finger...something tells me the situation may have played out a little differently back in the States.... needless to say I waited 20 minutes....it seems as though my procrastinating nature fits in just fine here.

That being said I refuse to take all the blame because it is nearly impossible to find a decent internet connection in this city.... and speaking of impossible...life as a vegetarian in Spain hasn't exactly been easy... although there is a translation vegetariana they don't seem to know what it means... ham is EVERYWHERE there are even museos del jamon (ham museums), which consist of pig legs hanging from the ceilings and walls and I don't even want to know what else (I haven't actually gone in one, just window shopped if that is what you want to call it). However, now that I am living in my own place and cooking my own food it has been much easier and there are a few good vegetarian restaurants around the city.

Well enough about what I don't like..... and more of what I do....despite those few difficulties I absolutely love Madrid.... the city is awesome and very diverse. I live in an apartment in the neighborhood, Arguelles. It is near the University so a lot of the students live there too. I live with 7 girls: 1 Columbian, 1 French, 1 Hungarian, 1 Spanish, 2 Chilean, and 1 American (from UW). They are all extremely nice and for the most part our common language is Spanish so I'm hoping that will really improve my Spanish (however, I do give them English lessons for an hour each day).

I like all of my classes so far, however, the politcal science ones are very frustrating at times.... I have never in my life felt so inclined to defend American politics... one of my professors keeps saying that the US just nationalized the banking system and I kind of want to just stand up and say well actually thats not exactly what I would call it.... he also refers to the American system of government as the Imperialist Model.... which isn't exactly what I would call it either and if you have had a political conversation with me in the past four years you know Im not the first to defend our foreign policy record but the word imperialist seems a little harsh even for my liking. Nonetheless, it has been really interesting being taught world politics from a completely different perspective. The Madrid accent has taken some getting used to but the once you get used to the professor's accent it isn't so bad.

I haven't done much traveling yet, however, I have been to Toledo and Granada and am going to Salamanca this weekend. I absolutely loved Granada and will have pictures and stories soon (Im stealing them from friends because my camera is currently being fixed). However, it is now 2 am and I need to get some sleep in order to comprehend a lecture in Spanish tomorrow....hasta luego