Warm welcome abroad

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By:  Amanda Reid, Columnist

It’s hard to believe I’ve been here a week already. As oh-so-typical of my friends, they were late picking me up from the airport so it was them who waddle-ran while crying to hug me. The first day was honestly overwhelming, so I was glad I was with them because they were very understanding of how I fell asleep all over the house.

To be honest, I think their mom, Macarena, was most excited to see me, and she was very understanding of my sleepy, broken Spanish. The next day she drove me to meet my host family, who after only one week, have become so much more than a host family to me.

The mom’s name is María, and she is wonderfully sweet. She has an 11-year-old daughter named Alba who is extremely cute and very funny. Neither of them speak much English, which I’m honestly thankful for because it forces me to speak Spanish with them all the time.

María quickly learned that I will eat everything known to mankind, so she spent this first week re-introducing me to all of my favorite dishes as well as some new ones.

I had paella, one of the most famous dishes, which is rice with different kinds of seafood and chicken in it. I’ve also had gazpacho, which is a cold tomato soup that tastes wonderful after a hot day, tortilla Española, which is a kind of thick omelet with potato and onion and fuet, which is a long rod of ham that tastes like heaven. The eating schedule is a lot different here. Breakfast is extremely light, a muffin and some coffee or juice and maybe some cookies (yes, I have had Chips Ahoy for breakfast here).

Lunch, or comida, is around 2:30 p.m. and that is their big meal of the day. It normally consists of salad, some type of meat with a vegetable and then a dessert, which here is a piece of fruit or yogurt. 

Dinner is at around 9:30 p.m., and is another meat and vegetable combo, only it is a lighter portion than lunch.To answer your question, yes, siesta exists here, and it is magical.

Comida is basically like Thanksgiving every day – you eat until you’re stuffed then you either lay around and watch TV like a slug or you take a nap for an hour or two. Everything is much slower paced here. No one rushes around to get places like in the United States, and showing up late to everything is pretty much expected.

To conclude: Spain is amazing, my host family is wonderful, and I never want to come home. In my next update I’ll try and talk about school, and the intensive course I’m taking, but let’s be honest, food and siesta are far more important! ¡Hasta luego!

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