Well I officially made it back to Madrid, which was something that I had been little uncertain about. So I’m not exactly sure what happened, but somehow on my last night in Madrid before break I lost possession of my wallet. All I know is that when I woke up the next morning, late I might add, that I didn’t have it. It wouldn’t have been that big of deal because it was easy to cancel my cards and get a new license, but I also lost my Spanish residency card. As in, the card that I spent like six months working to get! For that reason I was a little worried that I would be stopped in Munich from boarding the flight to Madrid. I was told that as long I had a police report and my passport I should be good, but the people in Student Life didn’t seem all that confident. Anyway, the immigration people in Munich just stamped my passport without so much as even asking what I was doing there (they had been much more thorough in Frankfurt on the way to Chicago). Then in Madrid I literally walked off the plane and went straight to baggage claim! After that I considered just not bothering to get a new one, but alas my incessant wanderlust got the best of me; I couldn’t bear the thought of not going somewhere for fear of being detained at the border, though I do think deportation would be a valuable life experience. Anyway, I’ve been going through the process of getting all my documents in order, and my appointment to apply is tomorrow, which means I’ll have to go all the way back out to that police station in the middle of nowhere. I just hope all it goes off without a problem.
So far this semester has been going surprisingly well. I like my classes much more that I thought I would, but the workload is already somewhat intense. I feel like I’m learning a lot though, so I guess that’s the point. It turns out that analyzing poetry is more enjoyable than I remembered, and class has actually been pretty interesting. I had to read an entire novel last week for my literature class, and it was not good. Though I still have much to learn, I notice that my Spanish literacy skills are definitely improving. Hopefully the next book will be better, but this week of class will be spent watching the movie of the last book, so we’ll see when I actually get around to starting it. My translation class is pretty much how I expected, and I love it. Every week we have to translate about a page of text from a variety of sources. It seems like we are mostly doing fictional literature, and it’s pretty interesting. Last week we had to do the begging of Pride and Prejudice though and it was pretty tough. I’ve skimmed through the course packet and I’m especially excited to do the Goblet of Fire and The Catcher in the Rye! Anyway, the following class is then used to go over the article and discern the correct translation. Its ridiculously arduous, and most of the time we just debate about the true meaning of a certain word in context and which word in Spanish best expresses that idea. We literally spend the whole hour and a half going over like one paragraph, but it’s pretty fun.
To balance my sense of despair after reading through my syllabi, I’ve started to plan my next adventures for this semester. I’m especially excited for spring break. My friend Bomi is coming to visit from the US and we recently book our tickets to go to Brussels, Prague, and Berlin! Nola and I have also booked tickets to go to Lisbon at the end of February and on a three day tour around the major cities in the south of Spain mid-March. We are very close to getting a flight to Dublin in April, but we’re still figuring out the best dates. We’ve also talked about going to Florence, which I would love to do, but for whatever reason it’s super expensive, so we might go to Rome instead. We’ll see. It’s going to be the busiest semester, but I figure I might as well use my youth (and life savings) to the best of its ability while I still have it.
Being back in Madrid has been pretty cool too I guess. Nola moved host families, so now she literally lives right around the corner from me! We’ve enjoyed exploring new places around the neighborhood, and we’ve even already became regulars at a few. Having a roommate has also been pretty great. Her name is Nische and she’s originally from Poland, but her family moved to Chicago and she’s now a sophomore at SLU. She’s really nice and we’ve bonded pretty well. Fortunately she doesn’t seem to mind my constant singing/humming or random bursts of laughter, and she loves to sleep just as late as I do. It hasn’t been hard sharing the small space either; I actually forgot how much I like having a roommate. We even went out together last night. My cousin had been telling Nola and me about this popular club, so the four of us and a couple of people from school tried it out. It was all techno music, and very different from the other clubs we’ve gone to which mostly play pop and what not. Last night there was a DJ there from Germany, and she was pretty good. The crowd there was interesting to say the least, but we all had a good time. The best part was that it’s located in Sol (though we later learned that it consistently changes locations) so we got to go to that great churro place for breakfast. All and all things here are going very well, and I think this semester is going to be an absolutely amazing albeit exhausting experience.