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Some things are different and some are the same.

February 15, 2012

School is great but a challenge and I feel I am not studying as much as I need to. Stressed!! There is so much to do here. I thought I would get away from feeling pressured once I left the States, but the feeling has returned. I must do something about that and plan to learn meditation. Will save the yoga plans for later. While my main goal is to become fluent in Spanish, I also want to experience the culture, countryside and different ways of living so have to keep that in my mind. Oh yes, and keep Travel Career Network going!

There have been some great cultural activities here in Granada because of the Poetry Festival. I heard a wonderful female singer without leaving my new apartment. She was performing at La Merced (historical church) just a half block from me.  Today there was this incredible carnival parade through the town, with bands, dancers, grotesque costumes some beautiful folkloric ones, and some very skimpy ones as well. Every group performed in each block and the actors, bands and dancers were spectacular. You would not believe some of the dance moves –whoa! Not for the prudes-believe me! Tonight I can hear a rock concert that must be in the central park.

Then there are the horses clip-clopping by my apartment several times a day. They are used for the tourist carriages, and just as often to pull wagons with construction materials or some other everyday use. Not just ornamentation.  Lots of stray dogs who are mostly very docile. There are many dogs who are obviously mothers and some who are injured; not surprising considering the numerous cars-it is frequently like rush hour most of the day.  I live in the center of town so that may be the reason.

And the bats! I was sitting in my friend’s living room yesterday and all of a sudden I hear splashing in his pool. The pools are usually quite small and often in the garden area in the center of the house which is open.  “Is something swimming in your pool?” I ask. “No, of course not. Hmm, I do hear something.” We see a bat swimming like crazy all around the surface of the water –the wings are surprisingly big. It could not get out of the water, so he got a pool net, caught it and took it outside and left it on the sidewalk. When I left a few hours later it was not there so I assume it revived and flew off.  Apparently bats live in the cane ceilings/roof area so maybe it just fell out of bed.

The other different thing is the way the houses are. You can tell nothing from the street. There are just doors and windows, all with bars and iron gates over them in a long wall on each block. Once you get past the padlock on the gate, the lock on the gate, and the lock on the door –I am talking deadbolt type locks- the inside is often spectacular. Most of the colonial homes and modern homes build like colonials have extremely high ceilings –maybe 25 feet high I am guessing. This allows the heat to rise and keeps the rooms cool. They often have stone or tile on the floor and lots of ceiling and floor fans. All I have seen are quite large particularly compared to my Boston condo. Yes, my apartment has the three locks; it takes me five minutes just to get out the door to go to class. Time to study for tomorrow’s class!!


From → Granada

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