Random, slightly incoherent anecdotes that I just felt like sharing with the world.
(1) **The New Socialite** I’ve officially been converted into a Spaniard. Thursday night out on the town until 8:30 am. Friday night, rest. Saturday night out on the town until 7:30 am. What in the world is going on?! I’m amazed at my new found stamina, and thankful I’m still young enough to bounce back the next day. :) In bed by 8 am, and awake by noon. It’s incredible. Don’t misunderstand me – I am by no means a party animal. Let’s just say that I know when and where to have fun – and I am making up for the times I made the choice to study in college instead of party. There is a time and a place for everything, and in Spain, well, it’s my time to truly live (responsibly, of course).
(2) **Lecture on Adaptability** I guess I am fortunate that I have liked everywhere I have lived in my life for an extensive amount of time (Denver CO, Portland OR, Washington DC, Granada SPAIN, Ubrique SPAIN). Don’t get me wrong, all are beautiful cities/towns (and not hard to like), but to truly adapt and like a place, one really has to have an open mind, be WILLING to adapt, and just jump into things. I’m lucky that I have an open mind, find the positive in most every situation, and don’t mind a little mishap here and there and a little spontaneity every now and again. My self-proclaimed “easy adaptability” could explain why I am so in love with Ubrique. In love, and also quite defensive. Some people don´t like Ubrique, and I respect that. But I don’t really understand it. Haha There are millions of people who would give anything and everything to have the opportunity to live, study, or travel abroad. And I am fortunate to have this opportunity. Yes, Ubrique is a small town. Population 18,000. No movie theater. No mall. No bowling alley. One park. Two plazas. A handful of restaurants. A bit cut off from the rest of the world. …get my drift? But it is full of wonderful people, surrounded by two incredibly beautiful national parks, and has plenty of things to do. The problem is that some people don’t take the time to truly get to know the people or the pueblo. Some people get annoyed when someone comes up and says “I saw you yesterday, I know what you did last night.” Well, yes. Everyone’s business is everyone’s business here. But embrace it. Don’t fight it. If you are a foreigner, of course you stick out. People pay more attention to what we do, than what the typical ubriqueno/a does. Just go with it. And despite appearances, there really are plenty of things to do...(1) Go to the bars. Spaniards live in the street. And yes, even in a small town, you can stay out ALL night until 7 am or later mingling with the local townsfolk and make friends you may potentially have for life. (2) Go for a hike. You can pass hours and hours wandering around the mountains at your doorstep. Or, pass the day at the reservoir. (3) Hop on a bus and hit up another neighboring pueblo. I’ll be the first to admit that catching the 6:00 am bus is not too appealing, but hey, it adds to the adventure. (4…) Study Spanish at a local hang-out. Walk around town. Join a dance class. Join a gym. Join the choir or the band. There are plenty of things to do here – but you have to make the effort to find them. Life lesson: ADAPTABILITY and acceptance will take you far in life…or at least make your journey a lot more enjoyable.
(3) **Mind Blowing** The other day I was waiting outside the grocery store for my friend to pick me up. As I was sitting there, a sweet little ole lady wandered in front of where I was sitting. She looked right at me, so I said “hello, good afternoon.” She continued walking. She stopped. Reversed. And said, “You aren’t from here are you?” I said, “No” (haha, what was your first clue?! The blonde hair? Blue eyes? Accent? Apparel?) Anyway, she said “Well, where are you from?” I responded, “Colorado/USA.” She asked/proclaimed “Is it normal that young people greet and speak with the elderly there? Because here, the youth just ignore us. They run around like they own the streets. I’m quite pleasantly surprised you spoke to me as I passed. It truly is a rarity.” I looked at her and didn’t really know what to say. It’s true, I talk to most everyone. And I see it as perfectly normal. What a quiet world it would be if we all just ignored each other and never greeted or smiled as we passed one another. But do the youth in America ignore the elderly as well? I guess I would tend to say yes. However, I was happy to know that my friendliness (what I tend to view as pure politeness) made a little ole Ubriquena smile. Not to mention, I may have chalked up a few points for Americans… :)
(4) **Challenges** Just wanted to add that applying to Law School is no easy task. Nor is it cheap. And applying to law school while living in another country half way around the world is an extra added challenge. Yes, my fault, I know. Hey, I wonder...do I qualify as an "international student?" Haha.