Monday, September 3, 2012

Hakuna Matata

¡Hola Todos!

Because I tend to write much more freely on this blog than in professional writing, I'll attempt to be more concise so reading this does not seem so daunting.  Thank you, Roman numerals!

I. In the late afternoon/early evening of Saturday night, I got in contact with Ethan Tufford, another student in the ISEP program from eastern Canada.  So you all do not think I'm arrogant in referring to myself in the third person constantly, for writing's sake we'll just call him "Canadian Ethan" (or CE if I get really lazy).  I thought I overheard some of my Brazilian friends in the kitchen, so I went up to Canadian Ethan's room to let him know.  However, it got awkward pretty fast when we went down and saw that it wasn't the Brazilians . . . so we just sat in the lounge reading newspapers for awhile.  Eventually, we got up the courage just to go to the kitchen anyway, and thank the Lord we did.  We ended up talking with two Peruvian students, one from Marruecos, and another from Turkey for at least an hour, and then CE, the Peruvians, the Turkish fellow, and I all went out to the downtown area (the one from Marruecos lived in a different dorm, so she needed to get back).  The night life continues to fascinate me in Spain; people are up to the wee hours of the morning (I think I got to bed at 4:15 am) but I'd say the majority of people are not out to "party" in the American sense of the word.  I had one beer (which was muy deliciosa by the way) along with my friends, and we just talked and talked about various things, both silly and serious.  We noticed a few people who had had way too much to drink, but it was not NEARLY as much as I'd expect considering the time of night and the amount of people on the streets. That could have been my perception, or I'm just a wishful thinker :)

II. Because it had been such a late night, I decided to wake up to go to a 1 pm Mass at a parish called San Fernando, but unfortunately the Mass times I researched did not correspond with what the parish posted. Luckily, the cathedral had 1:15 pm Mass which I was able to attend.  I've been hesistant to go to Mass at the main cathedral since it is incredibly popular with tourists, but I swallowed my reservations and knew that Mass is where the Lord is, despite what else is going on.  That said, even though the staff at the cathedral does a great job trying to keep the Masses as intimate and sacred as possible, there were still people walking around the perimeter of the sanctuary, sometimes whispering just enough to catch bits of conversation.  However, I noticed a powerful thing during Mass: as the priest recited the words of consecration and lifted up the newly transformed Body and Blood of Christ, the entire population of the cathedral, believer and nonbeliever alike, fell as silent as possible.  It's almost as if whether you believe, don't believe, aren't sure, or just don't care, SOMETHING beyond you moves you at that moment.  That definitely got the Catholic juices flowing!

III. Even with my fancy numerals, this is getting longer than I expected so I'll try to wrap it up for vosotros (you all).  I went to apply for la Tarjeta de Identidad para Extranjeros (Identity Card for Foreigners), which all visitors for an extended period of time must have.  When I got there, I was given a number for my place in line . . . needless to say, I wasn't excited because that moment reminded me of the Department of Motor Vehicles (no offense to anyone who works there, but you must know what I'm talking about).  Luckily, the gentlemen who helped me did not meet any of my nightmarish DMV expectations, so the process was fairly quick and pain free. The only unfortunate thing, in fact, is that the wait time could be up to 45 days! But, I've got time :D

IV. I titled this post Hakuna Matata for a few reasons. First, who doesn't like the Lion King (El Rey León)? Second, people in Santiago de Compostela seem to focus more on the journey than the destination, if you're smelling what I'm stepping in.  Finally, though I've definitely encountered a few hiccups along the way, I'm really not worried much about the days ahead, even with the advent of opening a bank account, starting classes, and living with a Spanish roommate.

Thanks for reading as always. I'm really enjoying writing this regularly and I hope you're enjoying it too! If you're not finding pleasure in this fine literature . . . keep it to yourself ;)         


  1. Smelling what I'm stepping in?! Haha love it Bud. I won't take credit for that one, as I did get it from Sophia, but I'm glad it's being put to good use.

  2. I feel as if I am right there with you......Ethan, thanks so much for letting me share this fun adventure.