As I mentioned yesterday, today is a Spanish holiday so I didn’t have class! It started as every holiday here has: with lots of people in the apartment making lots of noise and not caring at all if people are still sleeping. That’s one thing that seems to be different about this culture, at least in the household I’ve been staying in; people do not have the same kind of courtesy or desire to walk on eggshells for other people. No matter what time of day or night, people are not afraid to be loud or rowdy. So I waited uncomfortably until I had an opening to shower, and then I read and watched shows in bed for a while. Then, about an hour or two before lunch, I decided to go check out the west neighborhood.

The west neighborhood is about a five to ten minute walk from where I live. It’s apparently a pretty run-down neighborhood, but it became famous when art students who lived there started to do little things to make it captivating. They started by knitting sweaters for the trees and putting plants in rubber boots. Then, they eventually started commissioning artists to paint garage doors all over the neighborhood, so now it’s a really cool place to walk around and take pictures. I didn’t think I had time to explore all of it before lunch, so I only got through a few streets, but I definitely got more than enough pictures. I love this neighborhood, and I think I would show it to anyone who came to visit this city. I’m going to add all of the pictures I took for anyone interested, but there are a LOT, so I’m going to finish talking about the day and then finish the post with them in case anyone is not interested in seeing them.

I came home to a huge family lunch. The second table was pulled out and connected to our normal table, so we took up the entire living room. I was asked two things: where I’m from and what I think about Trump. But generally, it was a nice lunch and it was really fun to listen and mostly understand all of their conversations.

Right after lunch I went out to meet a friend from class to study. We met at a coffee shop I showed her, but it turns out they literally don’t let people work there on the holidays. It’s have fun or go somewhere else, which is kind of nice and kind of annoying. But, we got up and went to some other places: a public library with an old looking wooden door we had to crawl through that was cut into one of the huge wooden gate-type-doors. It was very hot and we didn’t like the atmosphere, so we moved on to a cafe we’d both wanted to try. It was underwhelming, but we got some work done until we couldn’t focus anymore (which wasn’t long) and then decided to get ice cream. I took her to a place I’ve been wanting to try and was pretty pleased. Then we walked around the city eating our ice cream, looking at all the different types of Christmas lights (she took me to see her favorite), and talking about home. It felt like the perfect way to spend the holiday.

I’m home now, and it’s still early, but I’ve sorted all my things into what I’m packing and what I’m throwing away or leaving behind. My clothes are mostly all rolled and ready to be tucked into a suitcase. I should be studying, but I’m trying to enjoy too. One day at a time.

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