Day 55: 30/10/13
I think that I should have updated my blog a lot sooner because i now have a long list of things to write about :S
So, some key words describing what i have been up to in the past 2 weeks: School,wakeboarding, hockey, shopping, friends, eating, packages and parcels, exams, break down, skype, family,and AFS camp.
Everyone asks me how things are going and i think school is one of the most regular (and unavoidable) things in my life at the moment. To be completely honest, i am finding school very hard. This is due to the language, first of all, not being able to understand the teachers is very challenging, friends, and well... boredom. In class, generally, i sit by myself, and this is not always by choice. Since the first day arrved at school everyone seemed to be already sitting in seats of 2, so consequently i had to find a seat by myself. I thought that this would change but it hasn´t, i actually find that some days - very awkwardly - other students walk into the class and see that there are not many seats and they will look all around the class before coming and sitting next to me. Makes me feel rather, rejected haha. Especially since everyone says that "everyone wants to be friends with the exchange student" which was true in New Zealand, but not so much here. I get the odd person asking me where i´m from and how i like spain, but apart from that, there´s no special treatment. Some days,i think that i must be doing something wrong. Maybe i didn´t make a good first impression? I mean, i have a group that i walk around with at school, but i really thought that more people would want to talk to me. For a while i really wanted to change schools, but this would be really difficult and all the schools here in Catalonia are in Catalán anyway and friends say that its just the way the teenagers are here in Castelldefels.
Following on from school, i have had a few exams in the past few weeks... how fantastic they have been! Nobody even tells me that there is an exam and i walk into the class and all the desks are separated for the exams. Of course i know that i´m not really capable of doing the exams but i just find it a little bit rude when the teachers don´t even hand me the exam paper, they skip me every time and i have to ask them, specifically, to give me a paper. So the exams scores range from 0 - 10 i believe... not sure if you can get less? But here it works very different to New Zealand because there are no internal assessments or projects (just one that you work on for the whole year - a research, written report and presentation that has to be between 25-50 pages), there are just lots of tests. This sucks because all my friends are always busying studying for these exams. For my first exam i answered one question and got a 1 out of 10. For the next exam i received another 1 and today i got my castellano paper back... 0.4 out of 10. Now the reason why i wasn´´t sure if you could get less than 0 is because, here, every time you answer a question wrong you get - 0.1 and for my philosophy exam it was multi choice questions... so you know what i did ... a,b,c,c,d,a,b,d... you get the picture. I chose any random letter - didn´t work out so well for me.
Oh and wakeboarding! That´s something i have been trying. At first i was pretty good, making great progress on the practicing cable - so i tried the big cable. I managed to do a full cycle on my first go but after that i couldn´t even get off the platform. It´s a lot harder than people make it look! Not only because it´s difficult but because it kills your arms and legs, you have to hold a slighly bent position at the knees - that´s got to be fantastic for the thighs though!
The crew at the Olympic Canal (wakeboarding place) are awesome, they always make me feel welcome and are just soo lovely! They´re the type of people that i was expecting in Spain, such pleasant people to be around.
Hockey. Ahh hockey. I feel like the more i play hockey here, the worse i get. Yup, that would be about right hahaha. It doesn´t matter what position i changed to on the field...i feel like i have forgotten how to play :( And i miss having one of my besties Joella playing hockey with meee! So basically, i´m not really enjoying it but i need to play for the exercise! It´s about $55 a month too, very expensive :/
The food here! I really expected it to be a lot healthier, so now, yes, i am freaking out about getting fat!!! AFS (Another fat student) no thank you! My family in particular is rather unhealthy, they (we) eat pasta, rice, bread and meat, not many vegetables and not much fruit. From next week my host mum will be working so i will have to make my own lunch after school, so i am actually looking forward to that! Salad! Yoghurt! Fruit! I already feel like i have put on a little bit of weight and i want to cry :( Very pleased that i walk for about 1 hour everyday due to walking to and from school - at least that is something!Hopefully you have been looking at all my phtos in my Spain food diary!! If not, check it out :3
Friends <3 now i am not just saying this because i am an Exchange student... but seriously Exchange students are the coolest people you will ever meet! The people i have met here with AFS are absolutely awesome. Katerina, Zanete and Pamela, love them to bits and i have only met them like 3 times!! Every Exchange student is so different but we have this one big thing in common that connects us all,that nobody else could ever understand! I am catching up with them this weekend, going out for dinner in Barcelona and then having a sleepover at my house!! Soo excited!
I have also been the mall a few times with friends and made another new friend out of my host sister´s piano teacher who is the same age as me. Last night i finished school early and had a lovely lunch with my friend Cristina and her family for her mother´s birthday. Her family is always very sweet to me. They´re like my second family away from my second family hahaha.
My lovely mother back in NZ has sent me some parcels in the mail which i was very excited about!! I opened the first package to find a book in the series that i really wanted to read (in english)which i was very happy about, but discovered that my mum had sent me book number 3 instead of number 1, was disappointed... but my amazing mum bought and sent me the 1st and 2nd book in the series as soon as i told her :3 Such a fantastic mum i have, i miss her a bunch! She also sent me my christmas present... very early, it´s a bit mean but at least i will have something to unwrap at christmas time. I am kind of dreading Christmas... without my family, and familiarity. No BBQ for me this year. I have a feeling that i will cry, actually that is a definite, but at least i have skype and i can talk with everyone and kinda be apart of their christmas because it will only be christmas eve here. I have told my host mum that we have to have pavlova and ambrosia! So hopefully she will buy the ingredients and i can enjoy that here with this new family of mine :)
So at the very beginning of this blog i did mention the Word "breakdown" but i´m not going to post about it on this blog. It would take to long and i have to watch what i say on here, but if anyone wants to know what´s been going on behind scenes you can message me and we can talk! :) I´d also love if people wanted to skype or send letters, so talk to me about that tooo!
Alright, i think i have covered just about everything. I have been sitting here for 2 hours writing this, so i hope you read all of it and enjoyed at least some of it.
Don´t worry, i am surviving here in Spain and i think i am slowly adapting more and more everyday. It is nearly 2 months since i have been here and it still seems so crazy.
I will keep you posted,
Sunday, 13 October 2013
Day 38: 13/10/13
Hey everyone! Haven't written anything in a while, not because lack of time but rather not having any energy to, physically and mentally... or if I were to be completely honest, its probably because I've been too lazy. But I'm doing it now so I hope no one is complaining and muttering under their breath haha
So what's been happening? Well I have 3 topics to write about but, this blog, i will delegate to only one topic. Lucky you!
Firstly, I went to Barcelona with my family on Thursday night :) I don't know if you know but I actually live just outside of Barcelona in a town called castelldefels so although I say that I live in "Barcelona" I am about 20 minutes by car. Now this may not seem like far but you know how it is (like Timaru and Temuka), it takes a lot of effort and organisation to get there haha. So I have only been there once really, for the fiesta and I didn't do much sight seeing except for the main area where the fiesta was based.
On Thursday night I went with my family for dinner to Barcelona (10pm), we left for Barcelona at 7.30pm in my host dad's fancy Porsche.
At this time you got to see Barcelona as the night life came alive. I was like a child in a candy shop. I didn't know where to look! Everything I saw was amazing and beautiful and just amazing! The Main Street was bustling with people and sweet little cafes, fancy restaurants, and gorgeous Spanish style buildings. I was attempting to take pictures whilst trying to keep up with my host family (consequently a lot of the photos turned out blurry :/) but one thing that you must understand is that the camera could not capture the actual emotion of the city.
You do not get all the extra things that are outside of that one moment captured in a photo like the Spanish music, the smell of gourmet seafood, the laughter of happy Spaniards, the sound of a bell on a gentlemans' bicycle as he rides past as if he has no troubles in the world... All of this is what I came here for.
No longer do I just have a picture in my mind of a place I could only wish to one day go. That background of a beautiful city that I had on my computer desktop, I am in that picture. I'm not sure how many of you understand this feeling but it is incredible. Despite the fact that I can only recognise a few words from the sentences going on around me and I have no idea which direction takes me to where I want to go, and yes, I take photos like an Asian on a high (no offence :3), I am just like everyone else, like all the people who call Barcelona their home. It's a dream come to life. Gosh this all sounds so crazy and somewhat cringe worthy , but it's all true. I am here , and you are wherever you are, and at this very moment we are living completely different lives. I have just been for a bike ride next to the beautiful Mediterranean Sea whilst you have been asleep. I have also enjoyed a beautiful meal of pasta and chicken, been forced to dress up in a wetsuit and ride a suitcase, nearly stood in poop, and have been talking with a family, that is apparently mine, in another language.
I will also just quickly mention that for dinner in Barcelona we went to this cute Italian restaurant and I had a croissant style pizza and tried a nice beer with a touch of lemon. My host family was lovely enough to pay for my meal for me and it was absolutely delicious. :)
I am now sitting at the kitchen table, on a Sunday afternoon, a little bored because my friends are all busy studying for a Catalan exam that I will not be doing...
But that's my next topic :) hope you enjoyed my little fairytale (as it seems to be one) and that you are having a lovely sleep (New Zealanders of course).
Update soon <3
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Day 26: 02/10/13 Okay this blog entry might not be thaat interesting as it doesn´t have any peaking moments in it, but I said that I would share the good, bad and everything in between. Also, please do not pay attention to the gramatical and spelling errors in this as this laptop is in a spanish setting and only recognises spanish words - therefore no auto correct. So, today was a challenging day in the way that I went through so many emotions in one day and I don´t quite know what to think of it. I was happy, bored, upset, embarrassed, sensitive, positive, excited, impressed and now... confused My morning started off just as it usually does, around 6.15am. I wake up, do whatever girls do in the bathroom for half an hour, get breakfast, make lunch, clean up everything after myself (so that my mum doesn´t tell me off when i get home) and leave for school, tired but quite happy. I love having this time to myself in the morning, with no one else awake! I had a nice coffee (i don´t even like coffee, but i am so tired all the time that i feel as though i need it), and i had chocolate cereal. I left for school at 7.40am as usual and really enjoyed my nice walk to school, with the temperatura just right, and some music to listen to. I listen to the same 10 songs over and over because there is no good music on my phone, but oh well. I´m always quite happy until I actually arrive at school, realising that i will then have to go inside and be locked away for the day. But today, that wasn´t the real problem. The problem was that, in Geography class there are never many seats and always a lot of students. So when i walk into the classroom i find that there are only a of couple seats left, one next to this creepy guy who doesn´t talk, another next to this guy who looks like he´s too cool for everyone and one next to this guy that i had spoken to once before. So, obviously i casually sit down next to the guy i know. A few minutes later this girl strolls into the class room late and she looks at me, annoyed, because apparently i took her seat. Now, there are no certain seating plans here so, to me, it wasn´t a big deal. But she starts getting all up in my face, in spanish, telling me to move, but i say no. I wasn´t being rude but i genuinely just didn´t want to sit with the guy who doesn´t talk and just stares. But the girl really just wanted her own way, she was making a big deal out of it and really embarrassing me making me look stupid because i couldn´t respond fast enough. Now i really didn´t want to cry but i think that she just made me tip. I mean it´s hard enough coming to a new country, family and school without her being a... you know. I just think i felt particularly sensitive and couldn´t stop myself from crying, consequently i had to leave class because i knew i had to calm my silly self down. I got stopped by some english speaking teachers (i was sobbing at this point) and i told them i wanted to go home. They refused to let me leave and instead they let me go and sit in the cafetería and calm myself haha. The lovely cafetería people gave me a coffee and a lolly. That was nice. After an hour i returned to class and basically acted as if nothing happened. In the end, i think that crying and making a fuss turned out to be a positive thing. This is because the teachers realised that i was actually unhappy with school and how things were going. I told them about how unwelcome i felt (they didn´t even know i was an Exchange student) and how i was upset about having absolutely nothing to do in class. In New Zealand i worked my butt off to get good grades and here i didn´t even have a colouring in book to do during class. I was soo bored. I told them that i knew they couldn´t slow down the pace of the clases but the least i expected was a book to work from, or to just read. Consequently, some of the teachers have now given me some books to flick through. That was the main part of my day, but the best part of my day was that i discovered the rule to the future tense verbs in spanish. This means that i unlocked several new words for myself to use in conversation. When i got home from school i was able to have a decent conversation with my host mum (with help from a spanish, english dictionary). I was very impressed with myself. I´m just wishing that i had some spanish lessons at school rather than sitting in catalán classes doing individual work.