FINALLY, some new material. It has taken me probably 3 weeks to get this blog fully up and running, just an example of stubborn I’ve been about creating one in the first place. But let’s face it, an aspiring travel journalist with nothing to share is hardly an aspiring travel journalist at all. So that’s where this comes in, providing YOU, my future employers (?) (?) (?), my past friends and lovers, my long-time family, etc. with the annals of what exactly I’m getting into this semester.
The first few weeks back (post-European Christmas adventure, post-visit from Mom) were a hard adjustment, but things seem to be falling into place. New friends, new classes (Mass Media, Don Quijote, Civilization and Culture, and Linguistics, to be exact), new activities. Also, new internships! I just found out that I’ll be working for Valencia’s fútbol (soccer) team doing some translations for their website. This might prove difficult considering I know very little about soccer (who am I kidding: all sports), let alone its lexicon in English or Spanish. Pues, vamos a ver…
I will say this about the newness of this semester: with the new crop of students we (the old guard) have been rejuvenated and are on the quest for the lesser-known, alternative places/activities around the city. This search has led us to many interesting experiences, including the following:
- taking a day-trip to Sagunto, the old Roman trade city north of Valencia, only to find it completely closed, a crisis we responded to by going on a hike all around the castle.
- Mexi[can food] Night in a somewhat forgotten part of town
- the Madhatter’s Tea Party, to which showed up a crop of Spanish Lolita’s, a fashion style that is not only creepy but totally not in accordance with the Alice in Wonderland theme
- a paella cooking class which began with me almost fainting at the sight and sound of rabbit and chicken being prepared (read: hacked apart violently) and ended with me chowing down on some delicious conejo
On top of these isolated events, I’ve picked up some new routines as well. Starting with a 2 times a week pilates class, which is not only a stretch physically but mentally considering the language barrier. I’m also still teaching English to Gonzalo, the adorable 7-year old who lives down the street. Since winter break he has really come out of his shell, making a once-frustrating weekly appointment into something I look forward to. Plus, this has given me some indication that I am not as horrible with children as I thought, and that he might actually like me! A revelation for this child-phobic twenty-something.
So now we’ve covered the past, the present, and onto the future: our first long vacation is Fallas in mid-March, during which of course we’ll all be staying in town for our first Fallas experience. But in April we’re given 2 weeks (thank you, Catholic holidays!) for travel and time off from school, during which I hope to be in Istanbul and the Grecian Isles (I just love the sound of that). Obviously it’s still far off, and plans always change, but it’s still something to look forward to.
All in all, things are good in Valencia (how can you complain about a place where there’s 60 degree weather when you know your house is buried ankle-deep in snow and cold and gloom and doom?)