So I realize that my last few posts were quite depressing, but as hard as it was to go through every terrible symptom of jet lag alone, I wouldn’t wish it differently (except maybe the queasiness). I have so much more appreciation for this city because I got to first experience it by myself and on my own agenda. Everything that I found and that I saw made me fall in love with Alicante because I chose to, not because a native helped me or showed me. It forced me to step so far out of my comfort zone too and I’m much more confident here as a result.
Americans got here finally! Life got so much better once everyone arrived on Friday and I finally had friends. The last three days have been orientation and the directors have been throwing safety and travel information at us. The sessions are short so aren’t boring or anything, and they feed us really good authentic Spanish food. The first dinner and lunch were Tapas, which are a lot of appetizers shared family style, and the second dinner was Italian food in El Barrio (the bar area of downtown). After dinner we started the night in El Barrio by ordering “diez chupitos de tequila,” which the bartender understood as ten double shots of tequila and absinthe… Ya. Today’s lunch was Paella and then we met our host families! I can’t say very much about my family because I only met them a few hours ago, but so far I like them! I have my own room and bathroom and a lot of space to myself, which of course I love, and my host mom and I went to dinner with a few other host mothers and students. We had Tapas again and nobody was complaining. The good thing about Tapas style meals is that they are so different at every restaurant, and there is so much variety that you can never get tired of a specific dish.
Another benefit of the Spanish culture is that meals are very social. Waiters don’t get tipped so they never come by to offer you another menu or to rush you out of the restaurant, so meals out usually last two hours. Spaniards eat and drink slow and have a lot of quality conversations during meals. Personally I love that because I feel more social and more included in the culture by spending time with people, even if I am with Americans. All of that said, I’m starting to really like it here.
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it!