Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's the Little Things

First of all, i would briefly life to follow up with my last update.  Although there was no damage directly to my city, in nearly all of the surrounding areas, the torrential down pours created floods that caused a lot of problems.  Imagine the Duluth floods times TEN!  Houses destroyed, cars picked up and carried down the river like they're made of plastic.  I feel very fortunate that nothing made happened to us here in the city of Almería, but it just makes me realize while we are not prone to tsunamis, typhoons, tornados, earthquakes or hurricanes in this area, flooding is a very real scenario.

Okay, so I am five days into Spain and everything is still going great!  I've realized that the biggest adjustments I have had to make are to the little things that make up the cultural differences between Spain and the US.
-For example, I always thought it was strange (last time that I was in Spain) that my host mom went to the grocery store 4-5 times a week.  I thought that seemed like such a waste, why didn't she just do one big trip a week?  Now, I realize it is because when you are walking everywhere, you can't weigh yourself down with multiple bags. So, this is something I'm already getting used to; going to the grocery store on regular basis.
-Another thing I have to get used to is buying my water.  The water is dirty here, but it is very hard and is the best for drinking.  I've calculated that I drink about a liter a day, which is less than I normally would in the U.S., but I have less access to it so it's just how it is for now.
-It's weird to me that one of my roommates (Ana) gets home at 2 everyday even though she is a full time teacher.  The work day here is much shorter 8-2 or so for most people.  My other roommate (Carmen Maria) works 7:30-4, but its because she works at a private school, so they determine their work hours.
-Somethings in the U.S. we have become so used to that we think it is normal, but to others, it is completely foreign.  For example, this last week I found out that my roommates have never heard of peanut butter, a bagel or a gingerbread house.  My roommates have been introducing me to things that are a part of their normal diets like gaspacho (cold soup) and salmorejo (a mixture of pulverized bread, egg, ham and milk).  Luckily, I liked both (and that wasn't my first experience with gaspacho).
-Finally you know how we eat our cereal cold in the US? Like, dry cereal with cold milk?  NOT HERE. Nope, they thought I was weird for during that.  My roommates put their cornflakes in a bowl with milk and then continue to HEAT IT UP!  Seems so strange to me, but once again, just a slight cultural difference!

Ana on the left, Carmen Maria on the right with glasses of gaspacho and a bowl of salmorejo
I'm looking forward to starting work tomorrow and to continue to meet more people and experience new things!  I'll be sure to keep you all updated.  Besos de España!

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