I’m alive! I’ve had a cold/bronchitis that left me basically bedridden this past week, so most of my time has been spent either laying in my bed watching online tv, laying in my bed chatting on facebook or laying in Retiro Park soaking up the sun like a giant mucus filled reptile, and needless to say, I was about ready to light myself on fire out of boredom. I finally made it back to school today, and it was great. I thought at first I didn’t like this job, but really it’s just that I don’t like getting up before the sun rises to get there. Actually I more or less enjoy teaching, the kids are great, they make me laugh everyday, and they are always so eager and happy to see me, like a bunch of little puppies.
Up until I got sick things here in Ethpaña were going pretty well. We had a five day weekend a few weeks back, and I went with some friends down south to Andalusia to visit Cordoba and Granada. In Cordoba we saw the mezquita, this amazing mosque that was converted into a cathedral once Ferdinand and Isabela took over. It had this really awesome blend of Moorish architecture combined with what you see in a lot of traditional Renaissance churches, I loved it so much that I used up all my camera battery taking pictures, oops.
After lunch in Cordoba the remainder of the weekend was spent in Granada. Granada is known for their tapas, or so I’m told, and one of our days was devoted entirely to going from bar to bar and sampling the different tapas, that come free with whatever drink you buy. I’m a fan. We also walked around the Sacromonte, this area where the houses and restaurants are all built into caves, and we ended the trip with a visit to the Alhambra, a huge fortress that sits on a hill overlooking the whole city. Not a bad weekend.
Before I caught the plague I also had a friend from UCSB in town for a week, it was really great to explore with him, especially since Madrid is kind of like a giant Isla Vista anyways. We made a day trip out to Toledo, which was a cute little place, but mostly I will remember it because it was there that I ate my first paella (delicious), and there that we discovered mazapan. Mazapan, I cannot say enough good things about it. It’s hard to explain, it’s a candy that comes in little dough like squares, and it’s soft and and sweet and melts in your mouth, mmm mazapan. The rest of the time was spent in Madrid, with the highlights including but not limited to eating tapas (of course), spending Sunday in Plaza Mayor watching the street performers, discovering the rose garden in El Retiro, and watching the sunset in Plaza de España, which overlooks a real Egyptian temple built all the way back in the 2nd century BC, ooo.
Y que mas? Just continuing to adjust to my new life here I suppose. This weekend is yet another holiday, so I have four full days to recover, and to see how madrileños celebrate Halloween. So far, so good :)