Greetings from España.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since I arrived in this beautiful city. Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been super busy getting lost everywhere I go, miscommunicating with everyone I interact with, accidentally ordering coffee for little people along the way (I’m at a café right now and somehow ended up with a shot glass of coffee) while simultaneously falling in love with this city. Sevilla is stunning and has this unique energy about it. I could go on and on about the city and people (and I most likely will in the future) but for now I’m short on time (and quite frankly still don’t even know where I am) so here’s a taste of what I’ve learned thus far…
I’ve started my journey living with a Señora named Angeles who does not speak a word of English. This has proven to be major adjustment and challenge for me. After my first week, I’ve learned that the best way to connect with Angeles (and most people in this city) is to find commonality in the uncommon and connect through our differences. You guys probably think my shot glass is filled with something other than coffee or that Europe is suddenly turning me into a philosopher. But it’s true and actually pretty simple when you think about it. After several awkward and quiet meals spent across the table from Angeles, I learned how to make her crack.
As we were sitting down for dinner, I was telling Angeles all about what I had seen that day, which is pretty limited given my Spanish speaking capabilities. I was asking her about all of the orange trees in the streets and what they do with the oranges. She responded and said they make “marmelada” (marmalade). I explained that in the States we call it “jam” or “jelly”. Hilarity ensued. Once she regained composure, I repeated the words and she lost it again. I have officially found my go-to party trick here. Forget about hola, I’m going straight to “jam” from now on. I also discovered last night that this works with the word pudding.
There have already been many differences and moments of miscommunication for Angeles and I. I’m pretty sure she thinks that I live in the arctic tundra on a houseboat (I also accidentally said inside the lake instead of on the lake so maybe even a submarine?) and that I walk with skis on (turns out, outside of MN, cross country skiing is not a thing) but I have learned that one thing that always connects us is our differences. I’ve learned and will continue to learn to find commonality in the uncommon and appreciate the many differences I stumble upon in this city and life in general.
Hasta que sabe cuándo (until who knows when),
…are you laughing yet?