Colds, Festivals, Museums

img_1018Since the last time I posted, a lot has happened. Some things I’ll definitely elaborate on and others not so much.

Last Thursday, my friends and I celebrated La Noche de San Juan. People create bonfires on the beach and boardwalk and they toss their bad memories (and homework) in the fire for good luck. Tons of ambiance.

I had a cold from Friday to Sunday. Yo, being sick in a foreign country is the worst. No warm showers. No AC. No puppies to snuggle with. The worst part was the Spanish medication. It got rid of all of my cold symptoms, but destroyed my insides. However, my host mom made the same soup my mom does and that made it all better.

I visited the Guggenheim on Saturday too even though I probably shouldn’t have. I have zero regrets. It was wonderful.

I went window shopping after school on Monday before the group activity. We walked the entire coastline of La Concha to get to a really old, but really great amusement park that’s on top of Monte Igueldo. By far one of the best views in town.

On Tuesday, we went to La Perla, a Spanish spa. It was interesting to say the least. There were water beds, exercise equipment in pools, neon lights (in one section), jet stations and tons of other weird stuff. To top that off, we had to wear swim caps. A truly sad time it was. I guess the only positive about this activity was the access to hot showers. That was a plus.

I’m really big on learning, so going to the aquarium on Wednesday was a blast for me. I liked how it explained the history of fishing and whaling in San Sebastián as well as local customs. Tons of cool-looking sea creatures, too.

My favorite activity was the five hour cooking class on Thursday. And no. We weren’t actually cooking all five hours. A good two hours went to getting to Pasaia via bus and ferry. We also saw a hostel on top of a mountain for no reason? (There was a reason: to learn about the Walk of Santiago, but I just wanted to cook). When we finally got to the restaurant, we were divided into groups. I had the best station AKA the dessert group. We made Basque cookies, cherry-anise jello, an apple tart and a mixed-fruit tart. Personally, I liked making the cookies the best because it reminded me so much of pottery. Same techniques and all. Also because I didn’t have to peel any fruit. After we plated, we got to enjoy a five course meal. There was octupus with aioli, Spanish tortilla with bacalao, vegetable ravioli (more like a lasagna), fish-wrapped shrimp with a sweet tomato salsa, mini hamburgers and our desserts. I only wished there were bigger portions and that we had been given written recipes for all the meals. Oh well.

Today was rough. Had to suffer through really bad presentations in school today and climb Monte Urgull. If it’s not obvious enough, I’m really not a fan of hiking. It’s the worst if you can’t go at your own pace. But I guess it was worth it because the view was amazing and I took a selfie with the Jesus statue that overlooks the town. Truly humbling.

This trip revealed things I didn’t know about myself. Not in a weird, terrible teen movie way, but in a worthy-of-its-own-soundtrack way. I realized I’m not that big of an extrovert (where I got the idea that I was, I have no idea). I like taking my time and utilizing every opportunity to learn. That kind of attitude comes with age and hardship, I guess. Also, writing in English is super weird for me now. I’m starting to think in Spanish and I feel like I’m betraying my efforts when I write. I see myself getting lazier with certain things–sentence structure and passive voice especially–since I’m so out of touch with myself. Or maybe I’m just being lazy. Who knows. I bet this will all seem like a giant rant that belongs in a diary to me in a week or so.

Much love,

Izz

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