Soy aqui! En Espana! Finalemente!
Before I get into the meat of my first day in Europe, I have to tell you why I know that this is going to be a good trip. Two things: TFJ and FedEX. That's right. First I was frantically searching for my favorite black headband. Well I also remembered I had to bring the TFJ gift Cassandra gave me, so I went to pick it up...BAM...my headband. Sweet deal. Second- we're pulling out of my driveway and ....BAM....the FedEX truck with my Euros arrived within seconds of my departure. Seriously, I could have hugged the man. These two fabulous things are proof that life in Spain will be fantastico!
So I love flying, but not for an entire day. Bad whether in Madrid left us stalled in Amsterdam for almost an hour. When we finally arrived we were late. At 6pm, after almost 24 hours of travel we have orientation...YAY! SO that was fun. Then we met our families. My mom, Maria came to pick me up.
She was taking me to the bus stop, so I'd know how to get home, when she realized that I wasn't comprehending a word she was saying, so she decided to let me go home and sleep. BUT WAIT....when we got home, before I could sleep I got the whole tour of our house, house rules and a trip to the bus stop that would take me to school.
In case you all forgot, this is now about 9pm, in SPANISH. Thank you.
So then, I'm going to bed, but first I ask, "will you come with me to school tomorrow?" We were told our parents would ride the bus the first day with us so we'd know where we were going. "Oh no" she says, "I have to work at 8am. That's why I showed you your stop. Here, just use this map, or ask for La PLaza de San Justo. Es muy FACIL (easy)."
Yeah right! So I finally get to go to sleep, BUT WAIT...I forgot batteries for my alarm. OH CRAP. I need to wake up, early. So, sorry Dad, but I left phone on so I could wake up on time. I'll be going to find battarias today.
I ended my first day overwhelmed, nervious, stressed, and wanting more than anything to go home. But I knew that soon I wouldn't. I just kept reminding myself that it would get easier. It will get easier. It is getting easier already.
Today I started my trek to the bus stop. It's actually only about a block. I stood hoping that I would get on the righ tone, 4.1. I did. But when I got on I realized I didn't know what to do with my bus pass. FInally, the adjitated driver helped me. Gracias. I got off at Plaza de Zocodover as my mom directed and then began to use the map.
OK, so 75% of the streets in Toledo don't have signs. Me, directionally challenged me, was set loose in a twisted cobblestone city with a map and minimal Spanish. Finally, after 40 long minutes of "Perdoname, sabe la plaze de justo" (Excuse me, do you know the Plaza of San Justo), I made it, with just 15 minutes to spare before my language placement test!!!
Yup, that was my first adventure. I made a promise to myself to try something new each day. Navigating a new city, talking to natives, riding a public bus, and surviving, I think that might just count as an adventure.
After our placement exams I went with my friend Mateo y Julia to try to get back to the bus station. We made it, and found a few great tiendas (stores) on the way. I will be going to by an alarm clock and try to find an outlet adapter. Because, oh, I bought an adapter, but it only has two prongs, so my poor computer can't charge. Yikes! I guess I'll get used to it.
Well, now its almost noon here and you all are still fast asleep. LUCKY DUCKS! I will be off to meet with my adviser soon and then la COMIDA (lunch). I was too tired last night to eat dinner (which is held promptly at 9:30 in my house), and breakfast is usually only coffee and galletas (spanish cookies), so yo tengo mucha hambre (I'm hungry).
I hope you all are enjoying your little Spanish tutorial. You'll all be fluent by the time I come home :-)
Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you more about my family, but maybe not.
Oh, so a funny story... my mom, before letting me go to bed gave me a safety talk about drinking, sex, the men, and to be thankful that I'm, not rubia (blonde). The men might not harrass me as much! YAY for that! Oh I am going to love my mom and sisters.
Oh, speaking of kisses- dos besos (kisses on either check) takes you y surprise, even when you know it's coming. That's all I'll say about that.
Con muchos besos y abrazos (with kisses and hugs)