I woke up before my alarm today, around 9:30, and decided to get up early so I could have a relaxing, not rushed morning. My first and only class on Fridays isn’t until 11, and it’s Spanish literature so it’s also not hard for me to go to. On our way to class, my roommate and I had to stop and wait for a small portion of a Spanish military to pass by. I am not sure why, but it was interesting to see and not many other people seemed surprised by it.img_2500img_2503

My literature class is by far the most challenging, reading serious poetry and prose excerpts in Spanish and trying to understand their multiple levels of meaning while I’m struggling with the basic vocabulary. However, I think it is going to be extremely rewarding and will definitely take a lot of effort.

After class, I went home and read, wrote in an awesome mindful travel journal my friend gave me, and took notes of ways to make my time here more meaningful. I’m working on capturing more details, being present, just letting myself be, and managing my time better to fit in all of the things I want to do. Then I walked around with some friends while they shopped, but it was really tiring me out with this sickness. It’s one of those sinus problems where your whole head feels surrounded by a glass ball and any time I was near a new scent my nose and eyes would start to hurt. So after that, I went home and slept. When I woke up, I wanted to explore the bookstores and try to find some books in Spanish. Specifically, I was looking for cien años de soledad and la casa de los espíritus. I found both, but by accident only bought the latter. I’ll definitely get the other one at some point though. I was happy to find it, but I was also so happy wandering around to several bookstores in the city. There are lots here, and in the past week I’ve probably been to at least six or seven of them. It was so comforting to walk around all of the wonderful books, even if it did make my eyes and nose burn. I’m almost sad I bought a book because I just want more excuses to keep searching in the bookshops! I also found an all-natural store that sold vitamin C supplements so I can work on boosting my immune system, especially before the next trip.

When I got home, my roommate and I had dinner by ourselves because our host mom goes out to play poker with her friends on Friday nights. Then we decided to watch Pan’s Labyrinth on Netflix in the original Spanish and that was so. cool. I think it’s interesting how lots of art, including the different pieces I’ve mentioned in this post, mixes supernatural themes with more serious ones like historic events and wars. I like the idea of looking at it through the eyes of a child and imagining a different, better world in the chaos of the real one, but there are also so many other interpretations of it it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. If you haven’t seen Pan’s Labyrinth, I definitely recommend it.

We took an intermission during the movie to meet our friend for gelato in the plaza. Then we stopped by an AIFS apartment and talked to lots of other students in the program for a while before going back to finish our movie. I checked several things off my list today like doing a sufficient amount of walking, reading, and finding some of the items I’ve been wanting, so I think it’s been a good day. Pan’s Labyrinth and spontaneous gelato were the bonuses that made it even better. For this weekend, my goals are to finish Anna Karenina, go to the river, and make a more detailed schedule for next week. Until tomorrow!

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