Boy, what a difference a week makes! Last Friday I checked out of my hotel and moved into my new apartment. I technically wasn’t supposedto move in until this weekend, but the landlady was very nice and she knew I was staying in a hotel, so she allowed me to move in a whole week early (for free!). It was kind of awkward at first because all of a sudden I was sitting in the living room with four people I did not know at all. But at the same time it was excellent to finally meet some people around my same age. Fortunately the awkwardness didn’t last long and we all hit it off pretty well. So that night I met the four people living in the apartment: Carlos from Mexico, Lilly from Berlin, Sonia from London, and Shteema from Tel Aviv, Israel (1 guy and 3 girls).
Since then I have also met two more girls from Germany, a girl from Belgium, a guy from Ireland, a guy from Scotland, a guy from Japan, a guy from Italy, and several Spaniards. The second or third night in the apartment Carlos invited me out with Fergus (from Ireland) and Maria (from Barcelona) and I had my first experience with SpanishTapas! It’s great, there are many tapas bars where you can order drinks and with the drinks they give you a free tapa, which is kind of like an appetizer (sometimes it’s little mini sandwiches, or a plate of finger food like olives, pickles, onions, chips, etc.). There is a wide variety, it is excellent, and in some places you get to choose your tapas and in others they just surprise you. Anyways, it was good to go out, especially being with Carlos and friends because we spoke mostly in Spanish. It was very good practice, just what I needed.
The girls from the apartment also invited me out to a few places, which has been fun. They have been very nice to me about including me in things and making me feel welcome, probably because I’m not a creep and I already have a girlfriend. We went one night to a teteria (Moroccan style tea house),which was nice and then to a Moroccan style tapas bar. Then onWednesday they invited me to come to the beach with them. We went to a little town south of Granada called Salobrena. It took just about 55 minutes on a bus to get there. It is a very nice town and beach. It’s nice to have seawater that’s warm enough to actually swim in! It was also great because the girls showed me how to use the bus lines and the bus station, which is very easy but I would’ve had trouble figuring it out on my own. Oh by the way, the girls all speak English so it is easy to converse with each other. We have also done some other various things. Last night we wandered around the city trying to find some rock concert that one of the girls heard about. We found it finally (just an hour late) and while we were there we met some Spaniards who invited us with them afterwards to a club. All in all, it was a greatsuccess.
The bad news now however, is that the girls who I have met and become friends with are all moving out of the apartment tomorrow. And unfortunately, the new tenants (my new roommates) are going to be three American girls. Which will be fine I suppose, but I already know enough Americans. I would much rather meet and live with people from other countries. It’s been great so far being the only American. I have learned so much about other people’s lives all over the world. Ididn’t come to Europe to learn about America. It also sucks becaus enow I have to go through the awkward first meeting experience again with some more people, and the people who I just started to really get to know are leaving. I guess it’s a blessing though, and I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to even have met them at all. Also, I’m sure that once school starts I will meet some more people from other countries. School starts on October 9th, so I’ve got a week and a half to basically do whatever I want. Maybe I will take a bus ride to someother cities or something.
So, I am a lot happier and doing a lot better than I was when I wrote my last email update, and as expected things are improving and getting better everyday.