Brian Becomes Bilingual - Brian in Spain - October
Cold and Wet
October 26, 2011
We took a little break from the Spanish culture and enjoyed pizza, pop, and a movie at the school on Friday night. Almost everyone in the program came for the "noche de chic@s." (The "@" means chicos and chicas because it looks like an ‘o’ and ‘a’, and I thought it was cool). The group voted to watch "New in Town," a romantic comedy. Of course, it was not complete without popcorn and candy, of which I ate way too much.
Saturday afternoon, some of us went to the area called San Juan del Aljarafe just outside of the city. We quickly became masters of the metro and figured out how to get there with ease. I had already run to the area a couple of times, but it was great to finally go with a camera and without being in a rush.
The most distinguishing feature of this area is the two statues that overlook Seville. First, there is a smaller statue of Mary holding her baby. Further up the mountain, there is a huge statue of Jesus that is connected to a church. We were able to take an elevator up the hill and enjoy the view of Seville from a distance while eating our sandwiches from our loving host moms.
Saturday night, my roommates and I had a "guys’ night," along with our friends from another program and Mark's intercambio, Alvaro. Sadly, I made the mistake of only wearing shorts and a t-shirt. If it were any other night in Seville thus far, this would have been fine. Unfortunately for me, Saturday night marked the beginning of cooler weather. In reality, it was probably in the high fifties, but having been accustomed to the 80-degree days and nights of Seville, it was a shock for my body.
The cold air was not the only change in the weather. On Monday morning, it rained a lot, meaning it dumped all the rain that has not fallen since the second day I arrived. This made for a very wet run, a nice change from the hot and humid ones in the past. A lot of students got blasted by water from passing cars driving over puddles on the way to school; I was lucky enough to avoid this.
This brings me to today. Today I am packing for my 9-day trip along with Luke, Mark, Kristen, and Kirsten. We have been excited for this trip since the day we planned it, and we are leaving tomorrow after school. Paris, Grenoble, Venice and Barcelona are all in our plans - it is sure to be an adventure.
October 1, 2011
A few weeks ago, I signed up for a road race, mostly along the river and streets of Seville. Friday, it was finally time. It was my first night race and one of the longest races I have ever run (12 kilometers).
At 9:10 PM, Isabel was anxious about the fact that I had not left yet. I did not think this was a big deal, but fifteen minutes later when I arrived to the scene of the race, I realized why. Thousands of people were lined up at the starting line. There were huge groups of teams, all wearing matching running attire. I had to try to get my way to the front of this pack before the gun went off.
Unfortunately, I did not make it very far; there were simply too many people and nowhere to go, so I settled for a very mediocre starting position. When the race started, I had to walk at first. This slowly progressed into a light jog until I finally had enough space to start weaving around people. I continued doing this for the first two miles of the race until I finally had enough room to run in a straight line at the proper pace.
We ran along the river, and it was the perfect time to run because everyone was out at this time on a Friday night. Fans were everywhere and it helped me stay positive. When we got toward the end of the race, there was Spanish rap music playing to pump me up. Finally, we got to the Olympic stadium, where we finished the race with a lap around the track. I finished in 44:39, which I was happy with considering all the people I had to weave around.
I still received a goodie bag that included a t-shirt, running shorts, and a medal. It was a great experience and my legs are still pretty sore.