Archive for the ‘casco viejo’ Category

I kind of like it here…

Friday, July 5th, 2013

I really do.  Okay, so Bilbao is a city but it doesn’t seem as hectic or dirty as the cities in America.  I don’t like comparing, but let’s compare a few things.  

  • First, it is so clean here; yes they smoke a lot (it’s Europe) but the streets are pretty clean.  The metro is so nice, extremely nicer than the ones in DC (haven’t been on the ones in NYC).  The downfall is that it ends Sunday to Thursday at like 10:45pm and Friday and Saturday it runs all night.
  • People stare a lot and it’s a little strange.   I mean different; it’s part of their culture, which I can get use to because they’re basically admiring me (that’s what I’m telling myself!).  
  • Bilbao is near a river (Ria de Bilbao) and a 30 minute metro ride to the ocean/Bay of Biscay!  DC isn’t really near a body of water… 
  • DC is probably twice the size of Bilbao.  It also isn’t very well know, so when tourist visit they stick out like a sour thumb!
  • Continuing off that… DC is so diverse I love that so much!  You basically get food from everywhere.  I would never be homesick. 
  • Bilbao is pretty safe.  I think the professors keep telling us to not go to this part of town that is far south but other than that it’s quite safe!  Ehh DC is safe if you know people from there and familiarize yourself with DC.  Then you will know what parts are not safe, like the SW region!
  • Everyone in DC basically knows some kind of english.  Bilbao’s main language is Spanish or wait is it Basque? Yeah either way it is not my native language.  I could learn, but Basque is a whole other language! Wahh!!

I just adore cities.  The idea of walking around to a shop and saving money (that I do not have) sounds awesome and possible.  And cute shops are everywhere! I want to live in one after college! Who wants to join me!?  (:  Anyway, school here is really cheap but the job situation here sucks.  So I would love to go to Medical school there and then move back to the US and find a job!  That’s possible right? Yeah, let’s do that!

rabajas!!! sales in Bilbao! I already began shopping today!

Monday, July 1st, 2013

rabajas!!! sales in Bilbao! I already began shopping today!

María: LeLe, estás aquí?

Sunday, June 30th, 2013
María: LeLe, estás aquí?
Me: Sí
María: Esta es tu cena. Te gusta chocolate?
Me: Pssssh yes! I mean ... Sí, me gusta!

Don’t worry be happy!

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

My motto for the month!
Last night Karolina and I went to Sopelana: an all night (literally from like 8pm to 10am) street party. There were about 7 or 8 different DJ or music groups performing and plenty of fireworks with people selling stuff on the streets. And around every corner you saw a group of people either drinking Calemocho (coke and wine) by the liter or smoking whatever( you fill in the blank)!! I’ve never seen anything like this in America. There were just so many people out the ying yang. Street after street of people and not like 10 people but like 100s per street. It was crowded but amazing. Apparently, this happens every weekend at different stops on the metro! thats crazy and thats a lot of money being spent drinking and smoking! But I guess it’s their culture? Ehhh let’s pull that card?! Anyways, I’m glad to say I’ve experienced that haha.
Could you even imagine that happening in America? We would all die of overuse or something, because we wouldn’t be able to handle ourselves. We just could not be civilized at all! Think about it: A party 3 days a week every week for like 12 hours a day during the summer too.. Right!

This morning, I woke up around noon and I didn’t see my host mom so I ate some corn flakes, a strawberry yogurt and two cookies — breakfast of a champion. Anyways, I went back to my room to journal and the next things I knew my host mom, María, made me pasta salad with turkey and chicken, fish (not that good but I tried it) with sauce and a piece of baguette. It was such a great siesta. I was surprised, mainly because she was gone all weekend and I didn’t notice that she was in the house! But now I’m going to a café con Karolina and read!
Adiós personas!

Diferente (different)

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

So being in Spain for a while has made me notice things and wonder if I’m weird or are they. The fact is we’re either all weird or all sane. What I’m saying is nothing is strange or weird, but always different. I have to learn to embrace things and try to understand. I’m so thankful I decided to do a home stay. My host family isn’t poor but they are working to pay bills and stuff. The apartment is so small and it makes me appreciate my life. But I realize that’s how a lot of places are here in Spain, unless you’re rich or something. I’ve talked to a few students who are doing a home stay and they agree and say it’s nice to see how most Spaniards live and just embrace it and live with it. So these things are just different from what I’m use to!! Like I was saying, things are different here and I just wanted to mention a few difference that I’ve noticed:

1. There are cars and motorcycles, no trucks. The only trucks are work trucks for carrying cars or hauling trash. None have beds or are just for fun like in America. Also, there are as much motorcycles as cars.
2. Jumping off driving, motorcycles move in and out of traffic and around cars( which would annoy me back home). Here, driving is more of a get to one place and be done; there are lines on the road but aren’t really used for that, because cars just go where there’s a space to move.
3. Everyone in Spain smokes. I haven’t been to many European countries, but they smoke a lot here. And I think I heard someone say they let you smoke at age 16 here?! Whoa!
4. Food! So Karolina, Kelly and I talked about the food today. European food has a certain taste. You kind of have to get use to it. You also might not notice it but whatever. There are siestas here— lunch, a really big lunch. Everything closes from 1-4pm to have a siesta. They give you a 3 course meal. 1st dish, 2nd dish , and a dessert! It’s so much food, I didn’t eat it all because I’m not use to the amount that was provided!
5. Water and electricity is scare here. Water is not free! You have to pay like €1 or €2 for a bottle, which is like $2 or $3! And it’s respect to take short showers! Usually, lights are cut off in rooms unless someone is in there. My host mother cut the light off when I went to the bathroom yesterday, it isn’t rude it’s just respect to conserve energy (makes sense)! Also, water fountains are not common here. Actually, I haven’t seen one YET!!!
6. Time!!! America is behind on his trend! They use military time instead of AM and PM! I use military time because it helps me with my math brain. But I love that about Europe!
7. Shades: the shades/blinds are like doors. They block any possible light that can escape into your room. Therefore, you could sleep until 16:00 (4pm) and have no idea, if you were really tired. It’s great. The sun will not wake me up! And screens in the window don’t exist either. Haha
8. The toilet flusher lever is not the same. So in Madrid at the hotel it was a button the top of the toilet. Here at the house in Bilbao it is a chain pulley on the CEILING!!! Whoa, so crazy. I almost couldn’t find that thing haha!
9. Dinner is usually eaten at 10pm… That’s why lunch/siesta includes so much food. But really though, I need a snack!!
10. Coffee is so much stronger. I started to drink coffee once a day recreationally back home. I tried it a few times here and it’s like lukewarm milk with hot coffee. Not as good but interesting.

Fun fact: El Greco’s name is a nickname not his real name, because he was from Greece and his real name was difficult to say!

Hasta luego!

Downtown Bilbao (:

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Downtown Bilbao (:

Little Nino!!!

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Little Nino!!!