One thing I often wonder about is why my father has such a wonderful sense of direction and didn't pass it on to me. Then I figured it out; would I have half of my adventures if I never got lost? *shakes head* I do apologize in advance to whoever I'm traveling with, and I promise that my sense of orientation is getting better.
On Sunday I wanted to go to a protestant church, so I looked up one on the Internet, got the address, and left for church. Mistake number one: I forgot a map. I did write directions, but they aren't very helpful if you make a wrong turn. In Spain, they don't post the majority of street signs in obvious places. They are written on the sides of buildings, or else they are just absent. I left 40 minutes before church, but by 15 minutes to service time, I knew I was completely lost. I knew which direction was home, but I didn't feel like staying in the house. As I was walking back, I saw a well-dressed father with 4 well-dressed children, and I figured they were probably heading off to church. I followed, and sure enough, I found a church. Granted, not the one I was looking for, but I got to experience a Spanish mass--an integral part of Spanish society.
Unfortunately, that's not the only time I got lost. Yesterday, I was looking for our program's office (which is marked on my map...*shakes head*), and I couldn't find the street sign. I searched for a good hour before giving up. However, by then I was in an unknown neighborhood and couldn't locate the names of the streets on the buildings. However, I did by chance find a store with discounts for nearly everything I still needed, so much good came of the trip. I had wandered a good distance from home, but thankfully I did find a street I recognized and arrived home with sore knees but still a thick wallet. *nods* Yay for Chinese discount stores!
School has started as well, which is a relief. I didn't know what to do with all my free time--now, I don't think I'll have much. Five high advanced classes taught in Spanish will be enough to keep me busy for awhile. Two are literature, one politics, translation, and cinema.
I do wish I could share my food. My host mom is a wonderful cook, and I need to start taking pics of the food. One of the highlights of being here is that I walk much more than at home, and my appetite has returned. I eat my weight in carbs each day, and it's lovely.
I probably should start organizing myself for classes, but I'll leave you with a picture of my city viewed from the top of the Giralda (a large tower in the center of town). The city is a sort of contradictory feel of metropolitan and antinguity--not sure how I feel about it yet.