Oviedo es como un cuento de hadas. — Woody Allen
June 6, 2011
¡Hola, chicos y chicas! Anyway, still catching up on posts from Madrid, so wait for them, ‘kay? So, I have survived my first day of clases. . .not really. Today was just orientation.
First, Laura made me huevos fritos con jamón y pan. I was super-touched as you can imagine especially since they don’t really do that kind of breakfast here. I asked Laura, “¿No huevos para desayuno en España?” to which she answered the affirmative. Spanish breakfasts tend toward the small and fast.
Then, she escorted me and Malena to our respective schools. We made it all right, although I had a hard time keeping track of the streets. Still, I was pretty sure I remembered where to go. . .
Anyway, I arrived at the library to meet my fellow Scotties and we compared familias (Liz has a husky! Syreeta has a hermano quién tiene cinco años! Shayla drank sidra!). We then went in and met our fellow students, who are a co-ed bunch from one of the SUNYs (State University of New York) and Westminster College outside St. Louis. They all seemed nice, but I still need to learn names.
The organizers gave us a backpack and some useful supplies including several maps for which I would be later grateful.
After a presentation by the program directors (seems pretty organized), we did a couple of worksheets and spoke with the professors. They reassured us it wasn’t an exam but merely a gauge of our Spanish ability. . .which didn’t ease all my fears but there you go.
The worksheet was okay — mostly fill-in-the-blank and some questions that were pretty open. The funniest part was the apology letter to the Postal Service we had to write because our dog bit a mail carrier. I actually enjoyed creating my angry pet named Ares para el dios greco de la guerra. Unfortunately, though, I was hit by the horrors that is the subjunctive. Did not do too well on that part.
The conversación went much better. The very nice professor asked me where I studied Spanish and how long and then we spoke about my previous vacation to Spain. However, for some reason, when she asked me if “¿Te gustan los lugares [de Madrid, Toledo, Valencia y Alicante]?” I somehow took “te gustan” as “augusto” and got super-confused. Ah well, got it eventually.
After some computer time, chocolate, and watching Ashley get barked at by a dog as soon as Liz, Ashley, and I talked about her dislike of dogs, I discover I got placed in Intermedio II. ¡Fantastico! I am not a failure at español!
Then, I got lost on my way back to mi casa. In la lluvia. Por veinte menudos. But I found the weirdest, most awesome statue ever!
After some further bumbling and retracing my steps to la universidad, I fumbled my way to the apartment where I waited for my host madre to come back with some chocolate in the café. ¡Me gusta mucho!
Then, I took a siesta and discovered Laura had made Fabada Asturiana con una ensalada. I spent most of my time saying “¡Muy bueno! ¡Me gusta mucho!” It was SO VERY GOOD.
I got lost again trying to find the tour group for Oviedo. Dang, so many small, twisty streets in the center of Oviedo! But, I found them, and we picked up other lost students as we tramped through the beautiful cathedral, the old-fashioned streets with muchos bares (oh, Spain!), the plazas, the City Hall, the Teatro Campoamor (the Premios de Principe de Asturias are held there — the Spanish fútbol team won one this year for winning the World Cup), the supermercado and calles where Woody Allen filmed parts of Vicky Cristina Barcelona and all the statues. Apparently, Oviedo is known for its many, many statues. It was also, aptly, named the cleanest city in Europe. ¡Es muy limpia!
We saw a Woody Allen statue in a plaza where he was quoted for saying this of Oviedo: “Oviedo es como un cuento de hadas.” Oviedo is like a fairytale.
It is true.