Last night was very interesting. Let me give you a little run through. I decided to attend my new roommate's girlfriend's birthday party at what will be my apartment come Monday. Being the overconfident navigator I am, I tried to take the quick, back road way to the apartment, but I got lost right away. How's that, you ask? Well, I was following a narrow, cobblestone street between tall white buildings, but apparently that is what all the streets and buildings look like in Albaicin. Actually, I just got really lost, because I didn't know where the heck I was going (that's twice this week). So I ended up at a lookout place, finally pulled out my map but couldn't find where I was at, then broke down and asked some nice people for directions. They responded with "tan lejos" (very far) and were surprised that I had was walking there. They must be lazy.
Anyway, I finally made it to the party. As soon as I walked in, I was paralyzed by the thought of having to kiss that many people on the cheek. In Spain, when you enter a room, you are supposed to greet everyone in the room, shaking hands with the men and fake kissing the girls on each cheek. Some of you may be saying, "what is his deal, he doesn't want to kiss cute girls?" But what you don't understand is that I don't even like to sit next to someone in a theater, unless I know them really well, because our shoulders might touch, let alone kissing a bunch of strangers. If I could sum up the evening in three words, it would be these:
1) Awkward. Not only did I have to kiss the one stranger who was closest to me upon entrance, but I was the dumb American who couldn't speak much Spanish.
2) Challenging. Not only was I the dumb American who couldn't speak much Spanish, but I talked with a local guy who seemingly said more random vowel sounds than actual words. He was a nice guy, but I found it hard to concentrate on our conversation when I was thinking, "he isn't saying real words, he's just mumbling, how did this guy get into college?" Again, nice guy, but a thick accent.
3) Fun. Not only was I the non-kissing, dumb American, but at some point in time I became the guy playing guitar with another guy. I kind of felt like I was on display at a zoo, or a street performer's monkey. Everybody gathered round and shouted, "DANCE MONKEY, DANCE!" while I tried to play along. The good news. One of my new roommates said he would teach me some Flamenco songs.
I'll post again in a few days to let you know how language school and my apartment are going.