¡Hola, chicas! Anyway, I took a five-hour train ride to Oviedo on Sunday. I forgot how much I love trains since I haven’t been on one in years, but my ride to Oviedo rekindled that.
First, though, the train station at Chamartin es muy grande. It had several stores and restaurants. We had fifty minutes to wander around so my Madrid roomie, Vicki, and I ate bocadillos de pollo and then bought snacks. Unfortunately, I lost track of time in Relay, a magazine stand, so people looked harassed when I returned and for good reason.
Security is tighter in Spanish train stations than in American ones (read: existent), so after getting the bags through a scanner, we hopped on.
It was very modern and clean. Muy diferente from Amtrak. It felt much smaller, too,
because there was no observation car and a very small, standing-room-only cafe.
But the views! Oh, the views! Can I travel forever?
Anyway, Schlig warned us some students have llorado in the past, but I hoped I would be made of sterner stuff. Still, I was terrified when some host madres came up and asked “¿Estás americanos?” so much so I temporarily lost track of my español. I got a hold of myself when my host madre, Laura, came up with her muy mona daughter, Malena.
We got a taxi and rode to the centro antiguo of Oviedo. It’s so close to the Cathedral —and the view outside the living room!
Anyway, Laura ordered Chinese (surprise, surprise, I got lo mein in España after all!), and I don’t know what happened, but my Spanish went up, like, several levels. Words and usages I had forgotten returned to me in a rush. Not enough to understand what was going on with the Spanish-language Nickelodeon I watched with the familia, but enough to make conversation with Laura and Malena. I guess my survival-Spanish instincts kicked in when I was pretty much tossed headfirst in full-on español.
So far, so good.