January 28, 2005


i am home, the trip is over. one girl in our group was not allowed to leave with us because she is a mexican citizen with her visa, which she did not bring. i guess someone gave her the wrong info. she was really upset but there was nothing we could do to, we had to get on our plane. bad situation.

the plane ride was 9 1/2 hours- horrible. but the food was good, we had salad, orange chicken, bread and butter, cheese and crackers, and cake. then for a snack we had vegetable pizza and cookies. i was so bored on the plane that i just kept drinking diet coke, so i had to use the bathroom 5 times. not good. the plane landed in atlanta at 2:45pm chicago time, 9:45pm madrid time. then we took a connecting flight back to chicago which arrived at 6:30pm chicago time.

it is so weird to be back home. i have jet lag, which is obviously why i am writing this at 5:30am. i went to the bathroom and tried to flush the toilet on top, like how spanish toilets are. i was confused. i guess i am glad to be home, but i miss spain. it's REALLY cold here too.

second semester starts on monday, and i can't say i am looking forward to it. i really enjoyed my trip and i didn't really want to come home. i want to thank my parents for forcing me to go (i was really nervous and didn't want to go on the plane ride). so thanks mom and dad, i really enjoyed spain. i hope everyone can come back with me soon!

Posted by JenMagenta at 5:44 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2005

adios madrid

this will probably be my last entry from spain. thatīs really sad! today is our free day, a.k.a. our shopping day. i really have not shopped much since iīve been here. i got a coat and i got jon a bday present... but iīm really looking forward to shopping today. madrid is full of stores, and it is still rebajas (clearance) time, the annual sale that lasts from the beginning of january to the middle of february.

last night was pretty much our last chance to go out, but we did not go to the discoteca, five of us went to some hole in the wall bars with our professor instead. these places were seriously like little caves, my mom would have not been able to go in (claustrophobia). but they were cool, the first bar was famous for their champiņones, mushrooms, which are served as the mushroom cap stuffed with some type of meat and peppers, and they are covered in butter and garlic. really good. the next bar was famous for their guitar player, and all the people inside were clapping along with every song, their claps simulating a flamenco dancerīs shoes hitting the floor. it was really cool. we had homemade sangria at both places, and i liked this sangria much more than others i have tried because it tasted more like wine than like juice. it was good.

we are leaving tomorrow for the airport at 8am, and our flight leaves for atlanta at 10:10am, and we are supposed to arrive at 3:10pm atlanta time, which will feel like 9:10pm our time. then we fly to oīhare at 5:16pm atlanta time, and arrive in chicago at 6:30pm, which will feel like 1:30am. insane. i am not looking forward to the plane ride, and i really hope we donīt see the same movie. we have a final paper to write for the class, and i plan to spend the plane ride working on it.

we have a farewell dinner with the group tonight, which will be really sad. i made a lot of good friends on this trip and i donīt know how often i will see them this semester. i donīt think everyone on the trip is really sad aobut going home though, out of 27 people we have three girls that are engaged, and way more than half the group has a boyfriend or girlfriend, so it seems like they all really want to go home.

alright enough of that, itīs time to go shopping! donīt worry mom i wonīt spend too much money.

Posted by JenMagenta at 5:04 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2005


today was the official last day of touring, and i am kind of glad itīs over. it is really cool to see all these historic sights in spain, but i think we overdid it a little. we went to toledo today, and visited a few cathedrals. today was cool because one of them had a ton of original el greco works that we got to see, but unfortunately we could not take pictures. we also visited a sword shop and got to see swords being made.

we got back to madrid around 2:30 and had lunch, and now i am at the internet cafe again because i cannot stay away! tomorrow is my big shopping day, which will be fun. i am really sick of my roommates here, i miss meghan! i miss a lot of things about home, but i like spain a lot. i would really want to come back without the whole group tour thing, just to explore the country with my friends or family. anyone want to come back with me?

Posted by JenMagenta at 9:29 AM | Comments (1)

January 24, 2005

touring and touring

Saturday we left for Madrid, we took the high speed AVE train again, which is awesome. Our teachers did not plan our trip to the train station very well though. We were supposed to stand outside of our houses in sevilla, and a taxi was supposed to show up and take us to the station. Luckily mine came on time, many people were not so lucky. One guy from our trip did not make it to the train station on time and had to wait for the next train, which was not for like 3 more hours. When we got to Madrid, there was a huge demonstration going on in the street, about 300,000 people were protesting terrorism. The bus could not get to the hotel so we had to walk for awhile with our suitcases. Not fun. Saturday night was pretty uneventful. We had some churros. Those were good.

Sunday we went to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen. I feel like a bad student but I really canīt remember what El Escorial is. We have been to so many palaces and castles, itīs probably one of those. The Valley of the Fallen was a war memorial, on top of a huge hill, it was really cool. We spent the night in Segovia, and my room had a balcony overlooking the countryside. It was an amazing view, one right out of a movie. We went to a little tapas bar for dinner and one of our teachers ate with us. It was his 34th wedding anniversary, and his wife was in the U.S.. Sad.

Today we toured Segovia a little bit, but it was soooo cold! Everyone in the group is sick, so we decided to come back to Madrid early. I was very happy with that decision.

Posted by JenMagenta at 10:17 AM | Comments (2)

January 21, 2005

adios sevilla

itīs my last day in sevilla, and it is the first free day we have had all trip. i have been doing a little shopping and relaxing, and i packed all of my things for tomorrow. we are taking taxis to the train station, they are supposed to show up at our houses at 12:30, so hopefully that will work out. we are taking the train back to madrid and spending the night there, then sunday we are going to segovia.

there are a lot of things i am going to miss in sevilla. like the 1€ beers, the palm trees and warm weather, not having homework, not having to work, etc. but i do miss everyone at home, especially my dog. and i miss cheesy gordita crunches. we are coming home on thursday, so i only have 6 days left here... do i really want to go back to cold snowy chicago? the 70 degree winters here are pretty great.

Posted by JenMagenta at 9:55 AM | Comments (4)

January 20, 2005


yesterday we went to a professional futbol (soccer) game on the other side of town. we took the bus, which was only a euro, so that was nice. we rooted for the team real betis (which is currently the 6th place team in spain-pretty impressive). real betis means royal betis, and it was named after a street in sevilla. the stadium was huge, comparable to wrigley field or comiskey. they did not sell much food inside, but outside there were hamburger and hot dog stands, and lots of tables with candy and peanuts and stuff. i was disappointed at the lack of nachos... gotta get some of those when i come home. they did not allow alcohol in the stadium, nor cans of any type of beverage. they allowed plastic bottles but they took away your caps and you had to walk around with your drink open. the alcohol thing is soooo different than the u.s. where people go to sporting events just to get drunk. i guess here the police donīt want to have to deal with drunks at the futbol game. our seats were really high, but we still had a good view of the field. the game ended 0-0 but apparently it was this huge tournament, and the teams play at both their home field and the other teamīs home and then the scores are added together; real betis won the other game 3-1 so they ended up winning overall. the game was really fun. all the fans are SO intense. they are screaming cheers and songs the whole time. but they are not mean to the other team or the other fans, they are really humble, which is much different than in the u.s.. the only thing i did not enjoy at the game was the bathrooms. they were clean, but there was absolutely no toilet paper! there was not even a toilet paper dispenser in any stall. that was not cool. and there was no soap, and not just no soap, but also no soap dispensers. eww. but the game was cool.

i just finished my last class, yay! it was actually not a bad class, we did not get much homework and there was no grade. we mostly just talked in spanish with our teacher about all kinds of issues; life in the u.s. compared to spain, spanish culture, current events, etc. this afternoon our cultural activity is to visit the cathedral, which is the biggest and probably oldest building in sevilla. then we have a farewell dinner with our teachers from the school here. tomorrow is a free day and then saturday we leave for madrid. i will be sad to leave sevilla, but i miss everything and everyone at home.

Posted by JenMagenta at 6:41 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2005


we only have one day of school left in sevilla, which is exciting and sad at the same time. friday we get a free day, which will probably be a shopping day for most people, and then saturday morning we take the train back to madrid.

our activity today, which is optional, is a soccer game. it costs 15€ so i am not sure if i really want to go. but i probably will because all of my friends are going and itīs supposed to be a good cultural experience. but apparently they donīt sell food or drinks at the game, which is SO different from the u.s.! you can bring in snacks and non alcoholic drinks to the game here, but it stinks because my favorite part of sporting events is the food!

yesterday our activity was visiting the plaza de espaņa and el parque de maría luisa. they were both huge and beautiful. the park was the only place i have really seen any grass in sevilla. it also had lots of ponds and fountains and trees.

i really miss turkey sandwiches, at home i get them from subway all the time. there is no turkey here. lots of ham. everywhere. like whole giant ham legs hanging in bars. there are a few american food places here, such as mcdonalds, burger king, and kfc. i have not eaten there because i know about ten people on my trip who have gotten sick from eating at those places. there is not too much variety in the restaurants here, which is one thing i appreciate about the u.s. there are a million tapas bars here, and they all serve pretty much the same thing.

Posted by JenMagenta at 6:55 AM | Comments (1)

January 18, 2005

a short entry today

well apparently casa de pilatos has nothing to do with pontious pilate, i was misinformed, and i probably sound like a moron. it was the house of a very famous rich family in spain. much like some of the castles we visited, it has a large outdoor plaza, rooms with tiled walls, fountains, etc. today we are visiting outdoor parks on the other side of town that i have not yet seen so that will be cool. i donīt have much time to write today, but tomorrow i will have more stories. adios!

Posted by JenMagenta at 7:08 AM | Comments (1)

January 17, 2005

beware the gypsies: stories from granada and cordoba

this entry really isnīt about gypsies, but they are crazy. my friends were attacked by one in granada. she grabbed my friendīs hand and would not let go of it until he paid her, but he did not even buy anything from her, and he didnīt want anything. luckilly he was able to get away. then in cordoba we were walking down the street when we heard shouting. two policemen were arresting two gypsies. we saw a policeman shove a gypsy in the police car, then she jumped out and slapped him, and then he tried to strangle her. it was crazy!

a weekend of touring spain has taught me how lazy and american i really am. we left on friday after class, about 2pm, on a tour bus headed for granada. the bus had no bathroom, so we stopped about halfway there (the trip is 3 1/2 hours). we stopped at a gas station, and i was expecting the typical nasty bathroom that is found in american gas stations. i was amazed to find that the bathrooms were large and clean, and not nasty at all. there was a restaurant and a bakery attached to the gas station. my dad is always cracking jokes about the restaurant/gas station combo, about how he doesnīt want the greasy mechanic making his cheeseburger. but this was really nice. they also sold wine and olive oil, which are made in the spanish countryside that we were driving through. i greatly enjoyed this gas station. the drive to granada was awesome. the city is surrounded by snow-covered mountains, and itīs really amazing. the only downside was that the whole drive was up and down hills, and around curves, and many people were feeling ill on the bus.

we arrived in granada around 7:00 pm, checked into our hotel rooms, and had to meet back downstairs at 7:30 to explore the city with our tour guides. we went on a walking tour, like all of our tours are here in spain. our hotel was on top of this incredible hill, and on the way down we passed by la Alhambra, which we were going to visit the next day. at the bottom of the hill was the main part of the city, with shops and restaurants, and we walked around for awhile. when it was time for dinner we had to walk back up the hill, and i seriously did not think i was going to make it. dinner was a buffet in the hotel, which was interesting, because it seemed to be catered for tourists. almost everyone went to bed early that night because we were so drained from that hill.

the next morning we went to la Alhambra, which is a fortress built during the 1300s by the muslims in spain. we toured the gardens, which have an incredible view of granada and the mountains. then we went inside, and walked around in different rooms. our guides were so knowledgable about the architecture and history, but they only spoke spanish so it was difficult to catch everything they were saying. there were all of these cats walking around la Alhambra, and they were so cute... but i donīt really know why they were there. we had a few hours to explore the city and have lunch, then we went to the chapel to see the caskets of ferdinand and isabella, the most famous rulers of spain. you walk down these stairs and there is a room with their caskets in it, and the bodies are supposedly in the caskets, which is really freaky.

we headed to cordoba next, which is north of sevilla (granada is east). thank god we did not have to walk up a huge hill when we got there. we had dinner in the hotel, and during dinner some of the girls decided to play "makeover" on two of the guys on the trip. we shaved oneīs mustache off and fixed the otherīs sideburns. it was really funny because there were about ten girls in the bathroom watching the shaving, but i think the guys look a lot better. we went to the hotel bar and had a drink and played texas hold īem, because we did not want to walk around the city, it was much colder than sevilla.

the next morning we left the hotel at 9am and walked around cordoba. we visited many historic sights, including el barrio judio y la sinagoga (the jewish neighborhood and the sinagogue- one of two sinagogues in spain). after about two hours of walking, the guides told us that we had four hours free until visiting la mezquita (the mosque)... i think people were a little upset that we could have slept a few more hours. the weather was pretty nice in the sun, so we sat by the river for a few hours and just relaxed. la mezquita was the largest building i have ever been in. it is really unique because of all the catholic influence inside- there is a catholic chapel in the middle of this mosque, and all of these rooms dedicated to different saints.

we left cordoba and rode the bus an hour and a half back to sevilla. the bus is too large to drop us off by our houses; all the streets by the houses are so small that itīs difficult for even a compact car to drive down them sometimes. luckily i did not have too far to walk, itīs probably about two miles or so.

thatīs about it for now, we are going to casa de pilatos today, which apparently has something to do with pontious pilate... i donīt really know though. one of our professors told us that he is going to a soccer game on wednesday night and invited everyone to come. i think i am going to go, but it costs 15€ which is a lot of money. hasta luego.

Posted by JenMagenta at 7:20 AM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2005

more stories from sevilla

today is friday, which is really exciting. we are going to granada today, and tomorrow to cordoba. i like my family, but staying in a hotel will be sweet. itīs a 4 star hotel too. maybe they will offer more than bread and olive loaf for breakfast.

i have a new obsession. spanish ice cream, helado. it is amazing, so much better than our ice cream. the flavors are similar, but it has a much better texture, itīs not so hard and it doesnīt seem to melt the same way. but itīs not really like frozen yogurt either. itīs hard to explain. but it is amazing.

i am still weirded out by things here... did i mention that my family watches the simpsons in spanish during lunch? itīs cool, but weird because the voices donīt sound like i expect them to sound. in the restaurants and bars here, beer and wine are totally cheaper than water and pop. itīs definitely the opposite in the u.s. and i just found out that you are not supposed to flush the toilet paper after you go to the bathroom. i guess the pipes are too small to handle the tp. everyone else but me seemed to know that, and now i feel bad for flushing my toilet paper in the host familyīs house.

yesterday we visitied las reales alcazares, the castle which the spanish king used to live in. it was huge, and had this amazing outdoor garden, with a maze cut into the bushes, orange trees, lemon trees, palm trees, fountains, and a bunch of other cool stuff. then we went shopping for awhile and i bought a jacket. itīs really cute, orange/white reversible, and it was 25 euros. after shopping we went to the flamenco concert. it was a little different than i had expected, and it took place in the outside garden of a hotel. there was one guitar player who was awesome, two singers who were interesting, and one woman dancer who was also awesome.

itīs time for class now, so iīm out. i may not post until next sunday/monday, sorry for all of you who are hooked on my blog!

Posted by JenMagenta at 2:13 AM | Comments (3)

January 13, 2005

well itīs been a week

another day in sevilla, i really donīt have too much to say today. iīm sure everyone has heard about what happened at my school (in elmhurst, not sevilla). i heard about it last night, it is so horrible and scary. a scary thing happened here too, one of my friends had her purse stolen. no good. but one of our professors gave her 120 euro, that was really cool of him.

on the bright side, we are finally going to see the flamenco concert today which i am really excited about. we are also going to see alcazares reales, castles. and my friend andy pandy might come visit from germany next week. i am also excited about our trip this weekend to granada and cordoba, we get to stay in hotels with central heating!

my senora has not yet done my laundry, she said she is going to do it on sunday. it supposedly takes 3-4 days to dry because they hang it all outside. excellent. i canīt wait for my abercrombie and fitch underwear to be hanging outside. well itīs time for lunch, who knows what it will be today! always a big surprise.

i miss you all!

Posted by JenMagenta at 7:12 AM | Comments (3)

January 12, 2005

the siesta

the afternon siesta/lunch is a difficult concept for the americans to understand. from about 3pm to 6pm almost everything in sevilla closes for lunch/siesta time. the stores close, the banks close, the schools close, and most of the restaurants. then they reopen from about 6-10. this is kind of frustrating for us americans who want to go to the bank or go shopping after we have eaten lunch. but itīs okay.

we are also kind of frustrated with the sevillian spanish. we are used to mexican spanish. in sevillian spanish, they would say "gracias" like "grathiath", because they pronounce the c/s sound much differently. they also use the vosotros form of verbs, which i have never been taught. i can remember all of my spanish teachers, from 7th grade through college, telling us that we will never need to use the vosotros form of verbs. in mexican spanish they always use the ustedes form... but here we are in sevilla, trying to figure it out!

we were supposed to go to the flamenco concert tonight, but it is rescheduled for tomorrow, so a group of us students are going to the plaza del toro, where the bullfighting is held in sevilla.

today is a little warmer, thank god. but this morning i could still see my breath when we were sitting in class. i heard that these past few days have been the coldest of the year in sevilla. i brought my swimsuit with hoping to go to the beach and sunbathe, because weather.com kept saying it was in the 60s and 70s here.

itīs time for el almuerzo (lunch), adios

Posted by JenMagenta at 7:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2005


i think i am kind of getting used to sevilla. itīs really different than anywhere i have ever been. the streets are really tight and even a small car can barely fit on them. lots of people drive motorcycles, and everyone has really small cars. i have seen a lot of vws/audis and saabs, and a bunch of european brands iīve never heard of. there are really no american cars here except for ford focuses, which is kind of funny. all the cars are really weird too; they will have the same name as a car we have in the u.s. but look totally different.

today was our second day of class. our professor does not speak any english, but i think he understands us fairly well. the school is freezing because of no central heat, and i keep my coat and gloves on the whole time we are in class. it is usually warmer outside than it is inside. today we are visiting el museo de bellas artes for our cultural activity. i donīt know anything about this museum, so you all will have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it.

last night i went out with a bunch of people from my group to a tapas bar, and the drinks were so cheap! (sorry mom i know you donīt want to read this) a beer was only one euro, and so was a glass of wine. crazy. we started up a conversation with the bartender and another man who was sitting at the bar, and we were talking about how expensive alcohol is in the united states, and about different laws and customs that the united states has. in spain, you have to be 18 to drive a car, but you can drink at 14 or so. they donīt understand american laws at all.

my spanish family has a woman that comes and cleans their house. i find this very strange. i thought that they were kind of poor, but i guess not. itīs really difficult to deal with this no cental heat thing. some of my friends from school have to sleep with their coats and hats on because they are so cold. i am lucky that my room does not get that cold during the night. i wear a sweatshirt and pajama pants and two pairs of socks and i am fine.

thatīs all for now, itīs time for lunch and then a long siesta.


Posted by JenMagenta at 7:01 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2005

the spanish mullet

theyīre all over! business in the front, party in the back... itīs the spanish mullet! seriously, they are all over the place, and apparently they are called "el capa". today was our first day of school, and i was placed in the highest class level, which is good and bad. school was good, our teacher was really funny. we had homework, but i guess itīs optional. my senora made me pizza and pasta for lunch today, which was unexpected.
it is really really cold in their apartment b/c of no central heat. the worst part of it for me is sitting on the toilet seat. yikes. today our activity after classes is an orientation of the city, which i badly need. sevilla is crazy, there are probably a thousand streets, none of which are straight lines. my friends and i canīt walk anywhere without getting lost. i finally found citibank, it turns out that itīs across the street from my school. however, it was lunchtime when i found it so it was not open, and their atms were all inside. so i am going back now-Ąadios!

Posted by JenMagenta at 9:48 AM | Comments (3)

January 9, 2005

the family

today we took the train from madrid to sevilla, which was awesome. we got to see so much of spain, and it was beautiful. we went through the mountains and through little towns and farms. the train travels 180 mph and is super smooth. i donīt know why u.s. trains are so lame. i remember taking the train from chicago to st. louis, and it took 8 hours! but anyway, we got off the train and our professors put us in cabs and said good luck.

i was dropped off in front of a strange apartment, and i was SOOOO scared. i found their call button on the wall and pressed it, and they said "hola" and i was like crap what am i supposed to say now? i decided to say "me llamo jennifer _____" and they were like "bueno", and then they buzzed me in. i lugged my 50 lb suitcase up the first couple stairs, then i found the elevator. i knocked on the door to their apartment, and the senora came out and kissed me. her three children were there too, a 13 year old girl, a 25 year old girl, and a 30 year old guy. the 25 year old girl is studying to be an english teacher so she was able to talk to me a little in english. they showed me my room, which was small, but i have a big bed. and i have my own bathroom, which is awesome. their apartment is pretty big, four bedrooms and two bathrooms. the senora made me lunch, two hard boiled eggs and some ham, and after i ate she insisted i take a nap because i looked so tired. so i did. i woke up and had some coffee and chocolate with her and her husband, and then i played fetch with the dog, napo. they taught me how to tell him to put the ball down on the ground so i didnīt have to grab it out of his slimy mouth, you just tell him "Ąhecha!"

i am at the internet cafe again, i am really obsessed with internet and i could not wait another day to go online. i know thatīs really bad... oh well. tonight we are meeting with our group at 9 pm, mostly so that the teachers know that our families are safe and stuff. i am looking forward to meeting with everyone because today has been so scary and crazy. our classes start tomorrow, which will be good. we will have breakfast with our families, then go to class from 9-1, then we go back to the families for the big lunch. after lunch we go out on trips with our group... but i am not sure where we are going though. then after our trips everyone goes out at night for tapas. the nights were insane in madrid because from 10pm-12am EVERYONE goes out for tapas, you can hardly walk down the street. but itīs cool. last night we went out with our group and the restaurant gave us free sangria, which many people took advantage of. then a bunch of people went out to the clubs in madrid, but i did not want to pay 18 euros for that. and they said that the drinks were 9 euros each. no way! well i guess thatīs it for today. i miss you all a lot!

Posted by JenMagenta at 12:38 PM | Comments (3)

January 8, 2005


day two in madrid, we leave for sevilla tomorrow. it looks like i posted twice in one day, and i did, but the first one i wrote yesterday, it just didnīt work right in the internet cafe.

so yeah, madrid. itīs really cool and crazy. we had continental breakfast at the hotel this morning which consisted of bread, lunchmeat (mostly olive loaf) and tang. then we walked to el museo del prado, which is an art museum in madrid. it was pretty cool, but our tour guide only spoke spanish to us so i think i missed a lot of what she was saying.

last night our group went out for a big dinner, which was interesting. i am still trying to adjust to the spanish food. i pretty much like everything i am not a picky eater, but 20+ clams and various unidentified fish pieces in my small dish of paella is a little much. we got to have wine with dinner which was nice, and i had some really good beer which was made in madrid, called mahou. and it was only 2.50 euros which was surprisingly cheap.

i thought i would be better at speaking in spanish than i am. i feel like a moron every time i open my mouth, and i know the spaniard that i am talking to thinks i am a dumb american. they would probably fall over if they realized i have had 9 years of spanish classes. i think that my classes have focused WAY too much on grammar. i can conjugate hundreds of verbs but i have trouble asking someone a simple question. crazy.

today is basically another free day, but we do not have a group dinner. i think weīre going to have a big lunch and then have some tapas later on tonight. tomorrow we are taking the train to sevilla, which travels 180 miles per hour. and then when we get off the train they put us in taxis and send us to meet our family. i am really excited about meeting my family. i found out a little information about them. the mother is 47 and is a teacher and the father is 52 and works at a food company. they live in a flat with their 13 year old daughter and small dog. (which i am quite exicited about- i love dogs so much!) their apartment is 10 minutes walking distance from our school, so that will be a nice quick walk. other people in my group have a 25-30 minute walk. yuck.

well i think itīs time for me to continue my quest for citibank, which is supposedly on the same street as my hotel, but i have not found it. i will probably post on monday or tuesday, we get free internet at the university- yay! adios!

Posted by JenMagenta at 5:49 AM | Comments (1)

January 7, 2005

finally in spain

well i am in madrid. finally. i donīt really have many interesting spain stories yet, just airplane stories. we left yesterday morning, the flight was scheduled for 1:30pm, but we didnīt take off until 2:30. when i was checking in at the airport, this crazy woman came up to the counter by me and proceeded to stand on the scale that weighs your suitcases. the woman behind the counter just looked at her and then continued talking to me, until it was time to weigh my suitcase when she looked at the crazy woman and yelled at her to get off. i checked one huge bag and i was bringing a smaller bag on the plane with me, which had all of my toilietries, a change of clothes, food and water for the flight, a credit card, my book, my homework, my digital camera, etc. as i was getting on the plane, the flight attendant grabs my bag and tells me that thereīs no way it will fit on the plane and that i absolutely have to check it. i told her i would sit with it at my feet but she said that was unsafe. so i had to give it to her. all i grabbed was my purse, forgetting that i had other important things in the bag. i went on the plane and discovered that the reason i could not bring my bag was because everyone who had gotten on ahead of me had carried on two bags. great.

anyway, we got to atlanta around 5 and then our flight left around 7 for madrid. i still did not have my stuff because it went from under our first plane to under our second plane. this was my first really long flight, even though it was only 7 hours and not that bad. the in flight movie was Without a Paddle, which was okay. i actually enjoyed the plane food. it was better than elmhurst college cafeteria food. the only thing that was unfortunate was that we were flying delta, which is an american company, so they did not allow people under 21 to drink on the flight even when you were over international waters. but iīm in spain now, so itīs okay. i slept about two hours on the plane; it was extremely hard to fall asleep. the flight attendants go around the aisles and try to sell you all this duty free stuff, which i thought was really strange. they had cartons of marlboro cigarettes for 25 dollars, which i guess is really cheap. iīm thinking about buying a bunch on the way back and selling them. but thatīs probably just going to be a pain.

we got to spain at 9 am madrid time, 3am chicago time. customs was really quick, so that was cool. our hotel is nice, but itīs kind of weird too. the room key has to be in the light switch for the lights to work. thatīs kind of a pain. well iīm off to explore spain, itīs 55 degrees right now and beautiful. adios!

Posted by JenMagenta at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

January 1, 2005

pre-spain thoughts

ĄHola amigos! Are you ready for an exciting journey to Spain? I’m not! For those of you who don’t know, Elmhurst College has this thing called January term, J-term for short. It is four weeks in January when the students take just one course. The classes are usually three days a week for three or four hours a day, and often they are kind of pointless, it’s basically a month of drinking and/or sleeping. This J-term I am taking SPN-315, Culture and Linguistic Immersion in Spain (my last J-term ever- tear.). This will be my first trip out of the country. I’ve been to Canada, but that does not count. I have never been to Europe, and I have never been on a plane for more than two hours. I am a little scared about the plane, for some reason I have a fear of flying over the ocean.
Another thing I am scared about is living with a random Spanish family for three weeks. I am weary of the whole bathroom situation, and my mom says I have to help them clean and stuff… for those of you who know me, you realize that I am extremely lazy when it comes to cleaning, so I am not looking forward to that. But I am excited about FINALLY being able to drink legally somewhere, I am excited to spend three weeks in Spain with four of my awesome Sig Kap girls, and I am looking forward to eating Spanish food. And of course I want to expand my knowledge of the language and culture… right…
Supposedly we have to take a test on the plane over what we have learned in our two days of class before the trip. I was planning on having a beer and sleeping during the plane ride, so this test is not looking too good. We leave on Thursday at noon, and arrive in Madrid on Friday morning. We are going to stay in Madrid for two days then head down to Seville where we are living with the families and studying at the University of Seville. Every weekend we take trips to other cities in Spain; we’re going to visit Granada, Cordoba, Segovia, and Toledo. Seville will hopefully be warm; weather.com predicts upper 60s all week. No matter what, I’m sure the weather will be better than this cold Chicago crap. On that note, I’m off. Enjoy your cold Chicago crap; my next entry will be from Espaņa! I love and miss you all already.


Posted by JenMagenta at 11:58 PM | Comments (2)