February 11, 2010

Awkward Turtle

Even though this week has been pretty long, it has flown by compared to last week. I think it was a combination of having a set routine during the day and fun stuff to look forward to in the future.

Like last night we had another intercambio at a different teteria. This time we were in bigger groups so conversation was a bit easier. At least for other groups. My group was just kind of socially awkward. Me and Karen, another girl from my program, were sitting next to a couple of robot engineers (yes, robot engineers.). Talking about robots is exactly how I love to spend my evenings! They were older guys, too. Alberto was in his mid-20's and Chris looked like he was in his 40's. They were practicing English so they would have a better chance at participating in worldwide robotics competitions. (Yes, they are real.)

We spent half of the time talking about things like personal space, eating schedules and robots. Alberto was pretty good at speaking English for only studying it in high school several years ago. Like me, he thinks that he speaks perfect English in his head. But when it comes to speaking to people, things go all wrong. And his friend was hardly comprehensible between his broken English, his soft voice, and Enya playing loudly in the background. The rest of our eveing was spent in a kind of awkward silence as we all tried to think of things to talk about and how to say it in another language.

And while Alberto was almost charming in his dorkiness, Chris was full-on nerding out. Our cycles of chatting and silence were punctuated by pictures on the Blackberry of the less-than-loquacious Chris. He showed us pictures of some of his favorite things throughout the night: his boss, his fellow robot engineers, recent breakthroughs in the world of robots, and random scenery from the Basque Country.

While this might not sound like the ideal evening to anyone, it actually wasn't that bad! It was another just to practice Spanish, meet new people, and experience a different environment. I definitely wouldn't have gotten a chance to meet those two guys in any other circumstances and their work was actually pretty interesting. Plus, we all bonded over our shared struggles in learning another language.

Another fun thing I have to look forward to is Cadiz this weekend! I have officially booked my ticket and printed it out and I'm so excited to see what Carnaval is all about. I was told yesterday that we have to dress up like Halloween. I'm thinking of just going to buy a mask at a local Chino shop (Yes, that's what they call them. No, it isn't very PC) and document all of the other crazy costumes people come up with.

And my scholarship money finally came in! That was super stressful for awhile but everything is cleared up now. It's in my account for me to turn around and spend it on traveling!

Love you all and miss you tons!


Emma Lee said...

Have a blast in Cadiz!! Go crazy!! Hasta lunes chica! :)

Dr. Brother said...

We're they bigger nerds than me?

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob!
I really enjoy reading your blog and the pix are fab! :-) Thank you for sharing with all of us!!! Sounds like you're having an amazing experience, so enjoy every minute of it. Have fun and be safe (required dialog of all moms!). Much love, Ms. Sue....