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Starting bright and early (4am to be exact) on June 25, 2010, I will be embarking on my biggest adventure to date. I will be in Rome and Paris for one week before I arrive in my final destination: Spain. I will be living with a family in Oviedo, Spain from July 4 -July 31, 2010. They don’t speak English in this town, so needless to say, this will be quite an experience that will most definitely contain some pretty entertaining stories. So, stay tuned and look for updates of my summer in Europe!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Day In My Super Awkward Spanish Life

Holy family reunion!!! Oh my gosh, I just had the most interesting/awkward afternoon of my life!! Let me just tell you all that happened. Well, I came home from class at 2 just like every other day. It was cloudy out and cozy inside and I was really looking forward to taking a nice long siesta. I was nicely sitting at the table eating my lunch and minding my own business when I hear the doorbell. ¨That´s weird,¨ I thought, because I have never heard it ring and no one has ever come over. My host mom answers the door and it´s her 2 grandsons. One was really little and the other one looked like he could be my age. I was thinking ¨Oh, that´s nice that they came by to say hi¨ but no, they were staying. They came into the kitchen to meet me and we had to do that awkward cheek kiss thing. Well, let me tell you, I wanted to die. It was super awkward with the older one because I´m not used to getting that close to people, let alone guys, that I don´t know. Then the little boy came over and kissed one cheek, and when I leaned over to do the second one (which is custom here, they always do 2 cheeks), he moved. Then, they all started laughing at me and were like ¨Oh, she wants more!¨ So of course I was super embarrassed, but they left the room and I got over it. I was really not looking forward to spending the afternoon with them because I knew it would be super awkward. I really wanted to go hide in my room, but I forced myself to go in the other room with them and talk. I get in there and it was that still, awkward, super uncomfortable silence. I´m trying to make small talk with the older guy, asking him questions and stuff and trying to talk about the World Cup game, but he wanted nothing of it. He would just give me super short answers and then go back to watching his sports commentary show. I wanted to be like ¨Look dude, I´m not trying to flirt with you or anything, I´m engaged. I´m trying to make this as least awkward as possible. Help me out!¨ So, I´m sitting there bored out of my mind. I would never watch a sports commentary in English let alone one in Spanish that I can barely understand. I also couldn´t talk to the little one because he mumbled and was impossible to understand. So, after my 4th awkward question, the older guy reaches for the remote and turns up the TV, so I was like ok, fine, I get it! Just as I was about to get up to see if my host mom needed help, the doorbell rang again and in walked my host mom´s entire family!! Surprise family reunion!! Thanks for telling me Mercedes! I really appreciate it!! So, I´m like back to day one, freaking out, and overwhelmed with awkwardness. Then, get this, she has a whole huge lunch prepared for them. The same one that I ate!! I was like, umm I could have waited to eat with everyone. Then, she´s like ¨Anna, don´t you want to go take a nap?!¨ And I´m like NO! Not with all these people here!! I don´t want to be that weird foreign exchange student who hides in her room! So, I sat there on the couch next to them watching Dora the Explorer with the seven year old while everyone else at lunch. It was SO awkward! Especially since they didn´t pay any attention to me. Then, my host mom would talk about me, and I was like Umm, I CAN understand you!! It was nothing bad, but still. Oh, and to make it better, EVERYONE smoked! And I don´t mean just casually, it was like a freaking hot box in there! Her place is already tiny and stuffy, so just imagine it with 10 people smoking. Ya, I think I have the black lung. I was dying! The only ones not smoking the whole time were me, the 7 year old kid, and my host mom. AH!! Then, at one point, it was just me and the little 7 year old kid (his name is Miguel. I´m calling him that from now on) sitting on the couch eating our ice cream bars and watching Dora while the adults ignored us. Ay yi yi! Finally, they caught on that I knew Spanish because I would laugh at what they were saying. They asked me a few questions, but still didn´t talk to me much. Then, my host mom showed them the book of St. Louis that I gave her, and that sparked some conversation. They really liked it but couldn´t believe that there are no mountains or beaches around. They also asked me what Yankees are. They call all Americans that here, but I told them that just the people in the North are Yankees. They asked me if I was a Yankee or an Azul (which is what they called Southerners) and I told them neither. They got super confused and I told them that I am in the middle of the country and am neither one. They still didn´t get it, but oh well. Then, Miguel started being silly and lightened things up a bit. I was so happy he was there! I got to goof off with him a little bit. It is so funny how kids are exactly the same no matter where you go. I love it!! Finally, after 3 hours of this madness, they left. Finally, I could breathe!! Don´t get me wrong, they were all super nice to me and kept telling me how pretty I am and how good looking my family is. That seems to be the favorite comment here. But I was just really caught off guard. Next time, I really hope she tells me about this kind of thing instead of surprising me. I´m all for family gatherings, but I need time to prepare myself! Especially when everyone speaks another language. I am so exhausted right now! I think I´m going to go hang out with a couple of the girls until dinner because I need some English and American relief! Anyways, that´s my story of the day. I thought you all would get a kick out of it and enjoy it. Stay tuned for more updates like this one. I´m sure there will be plenty more.


  1. You have the black lung. Absolutely. Ha! I'm glad you're such a good sport about all the craziness of foreign countries!

  2. Oh my, I don't think the Spanish get high marks for manners and gracious hospitality!! Good grief- you certainly made the best of the situation and modeled how to be gracious! Hope they learned something!!Good for you. You ate a good ambassador for the USA. Love, Mom

  3. Hey Anna!

    I have been reading all of your posts and you crack me up! I can't wait till we are all back at school. Also, my spanish 2 teacher told us that family and friends just come over all the time without telling anyone. So that was probably normal for them! haha Weird...