Started school a week ago and it's quite tiring - I get up every day at 6.30am and luckily I've gotten off going back for the afternoon on Mondays and Thursdays, because they finish at 5.30 then and on Tuesdays as well, but I go to my Spanish Class for Stupid Foreigners instead. On Wednesdays I finish at 2.30 and 1.30 on Fridays (best day of the week). I like Spanish school better than French school because the teachers are nicer here, but I guess there's no place like home (once an Abbotsleigh girl, always an Abbotsleigh girl?)
I went out last Saturday night with Raquel, Alberto and his friends because it was Paris' (Alberto's high school friend) birthday. We only left home at about 10pm, met Alberto and work, went back home to get my passport because I'd forgotten it and then had dinner at Alberto's. The party started at maybe midnight or so, and then we went out into the city only to get back at 5am in the morning. Mad, these Spanish people.
Speaking is getting a little easier, and every day (I hope) I say maybe a few words more than the day before. I've been thinking of taking an Alliance Francaise course in order to keep up my French because I'm terrified of forgetting it all and French class here isn't quite what I expected (the teacher's accent is awful and I can hardly understand what she's saying).
On Wednesday afternoon I went into the city to the JYC office, because we needed to renew our student visas. Laura, Bianca, Rachael, Pascale and I had such a great time together! I sort of wish we were closer together so that we could do things more often, but I suppose if that was the case it would be a lot harder to learn Spanish. I thought I hadn't been doing that well because I still can't talk to people but everyone was impressed so maybe I'm not as bad as I thought. We all miss veggies and fruit and get annoyed with how much oil there is in everything and miss how life in Australia works. (I miss bare feet, just hanging and chilling with friends I know - it seems parties are the thing here, and they happen every weekend and parties aren't really my sort of cup of tea - and having more than one bathroom.) I am liking it here in Spain though, I get on well with my family and I sort of enjoy the routine: seeing the same people in the street or at the station; watching Pasapalabra with Angelenes in the evening and peeling potatoes or saying hello to the doorman when he's there (I have no idea how his hours work).
The Chinese people here run the fruit shops and the two-dollar shop equivalents (called el Chino for that very reason), and the lady in the one near home got all excited when she met me and I explained in my rather limited Mandarin that I couldn't actually speak Mandarin but was from Australia and that my parents were from Hong Kong (okay, more or less). She ran off to tell her son and it was all quite amusing. People seem so excited to see a smile here, which surprises me. The males tend to be a bit creepy, though - everyone kept staring at Laura and I on Wednesday while we were waiting for her train back to Tudela to arrive, and some people walked past only to turn right back around to get another look. The most unnerving are the old men who kind of ogle you.
We went on this excursion yesterday to Almagro, in the south, to watch a play (as far as I can tell it was Don Juan). The trip up and down took half the day (about three hours one way), which I reckon is also a bit mad, and the play was in what is apparently the only corral de comedias left in Spain. It was absolutely freezing and I think I would have enjoyed it a lot if I hadn't been sitting there getting frostbite. The people in the town were really, really lovely, like the lady in the lolly shop and the guy in the bar where I got my lunch, and the place was very pretty. I sort of forgot my camera, though, which is a shame, but I have a couple of photos on my phone.
I have a sort of group of friends I'd like to settle with at school. They seem quite nice and not the super-party-party type, which I prefer. One of the girls catches the same bus as me but speaks at a million miles an hour - I told her that by the time I left I'd understand her. Another one of the girls in the group is in my class as well and she sent me a message today, which was really lovely of her (her name is Sandra and she has fluffy hair and plays the guitar). Her cousin (who reminds me of you, Elodie, but smaller) and another girl are in another class, but we stand in a group outside at recess and are cold together which is better than the other groups I've sat or walked with and been awkward in for half an hour. Today we changed seats and I'm sitting next to Lola now but I think I'll miss Ana and the boy who sat in front of me whose name I might remember but don't want to get wrong. It would be so much easier to be less awkward at school if I could say things, but for now I'll just keep smiling and making silly faces. And try to get more sleep.