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Noblejanobii

My Semester in Spain

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Shoutout to Neo and Cleobel for reminding me to do this.

So I've been in Spain for roughly five weeks now. It's been a really interesting experience thus far. I'm staying with a host family that has two daughters (who are fourteen and thirteen) and have another girl who we'll called Britney as my roommate. Other than Britney, none of the family speaks English. The two daughters speak some English, and I think they know more than they're letting on, but that's probably for the best since we're supposed to be practicing our Spanish. I'd say overall my grammar has improved some but I've still got a ways to go especially since I'm not using it all the time like you'd expect.

I'm taking some pretty interesting classes this semester. I'm studying Hispanic film, the history of Spain and the Americas, International and Global Trade, the history of the European Union, and Health in the Hispanic Community. They're all very interesting classes but also very time intensive. That being said, they actually don't mind me drawing in class which is nice because I get to practice my art more. I also have started volunteering recently which takes up more time but unfortunately it is a requirement by my school since I'm not taking on an internship.

One of the major perks of being in Spain though is I get to travel a lot. Since arriving here I've already traveled to other countries as well as cities within Spain. Most notably I went to Paris a while back and this past weekend I visited Toledo and Madrid. This weekend I'll be visiting Morocco and I have plans to visit Portugal and possibly England/Ireland in the future. I'll put some pictures from the trips down below if you want to see them.

Overall I'd have to say my favorite things thus far about this experience are the distance from my mom and the ability to write and practice my art more. As we've surpassed my fourth year on this website (time sure does fly), some are aware of my home life situation not being great. My situation with my mom is best described as emotionally abusive and while it has improved in some ways, it has worsened in others. Last semester I started going to therapy in secret about it since my college offers it for free and only told my dad about it after I had attended a couple session. I intend to resume it when I return from Spain. I am hoping though that my five months abroad with little contact with her will help to loosen her grip on me. Thus far that really hasn't proven true, as she still calls to yell at me over little things like not wanting to buy a hair dryer, but other little things like convincing her to disable my phone tracker and not allowing her to intervene in my homework are some of the strides that have been made. They're baby steps, but they're in the right direction.

That being said, this air of independence has given me time to work on my creative side. I recently started sketching pages for my long time in the making comic, Lucky Travels. While it'll probably be a while before the pages actually come out just because I want to have the whole first chapter done before I start uploading, I'm still very excited to be working on it. This story has been ten years in the making and while it's certainly not perfect, I think it's in the best form it can be at the moment. And that is something to be excited about.

So anyway that's a little update on my time in Spain. I've also learned some really interesting cultural differences! Like for instances siestas are actually a thing. Like everyone including students leaves from 2 to like 5 or 5:30 for lunch and a nap. Businesses all shut down even like McDonalds and such. It's wild. We almost always have lunch and dinner together as a family which is quite the foreign concept to me but I've enjoyed it. Breakfast is usually a quickie thing that you just grab and go in the morning. Lunch is actually usually a bigger meal than dinner because you have dinner like right before you go to sleep. I usually eat dinner around 9:30 and while I'm adjusting to that ngl I keep snacks hidden in my room just in case I get hungry. Also wine and coffee are cheaper than soda and water here which is interesting. You're also not supposed to give people flowers or candies or whatever if someone in their family dies just because those items are seen as items of celebration and not of mourning. Very interesting stuff.

Spoiler:

Here I am in Toledo holding a sword. This town is known for its sword and armor crafting!

Here I am at Italica. Game of Thrones apparently was filmed here in the ruins of the Colosseum nearby.

Here I am in Paris in front of the opera house where Phantom of the Opera takes place!

Also went and saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.

Here I am at Las Setas in Sevilla. These things actually have a pretty interesting history but also provide a great view of the city.

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  1. Cleobel's Avatar
    @Noblejanobii Thank you for this interesting blog entry! I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying your semester in Spain. :)
    Thank you for the shoutout at the beginning of the entry!
    Where does Britney come from? Did you know her before going to Spain?
    Good luck with your classes, your volunteer work, your writing and your art! And enjoy your trips! :)
    Sorry to hear about the emotionally abusive situation with your mom. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you. Poor Sloane. :/ It's a good thing that you went to therapy last semester and that your study abroad allows you to get some distance from your mom, though.
    However, I don't understand why you don't want to buy a hair dryer. Even if you don't want to use one, you could still buy one and not use it, so that your mom could no longer yell at you over that. So, why don't you want to buy/use a hair dryer? If you don't want to answer this question, I will understand.
    Last but not least, thank you for sharing some pictures of you! You are a very cute young woman. :)
  2. Noblejanobii's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cleobel
    @Noblejanobii Thank you for this interesting blog entry! I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying your semester in Spain. :)
    Thank you for the shoutout at the beginning of the entry!
    Where does Britney come from? Did you know her before going to Spain?
    Good luck with your classes, your volunteer work, your writing and your art! And enjoy your trips! :)
    Sorry to hear about the emotionally abusive situation with your mom. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you. Poor Sloane. :/ It's a good thing that you went to therapy last semester and that your study abroad allows you to get some distance from your mom, though.
    However, I don't understand why you don't want to buy a hair dryer. Even if you don't want to use one, you could still buy one and not use it, so that your mom could no longer yell at you over that. So, why don't you want to buy/use a hair dryer? If you don't want to answer this question, I will understand.
    Last but not least, thank you for sharing some pictures of you! You are a very cute young woman. :)
    Britney is from my college! We didn't know each other before coming to Spain but she's a medical student so there's not really any way we could've known each other since medical classes are hosted in another part of out college's campus than mine. Even now we only have one class together so we only really see each other at home.
    Yes it's not a huge deal at the moment. The abuse weights on me but I've gotten better about not really paying much heed to it.
    Oh I did end up buying the hairdryer because she yelled at me. The problem is I'm probably never going to use it, and since I had to pay for it with my own money, that's roughly 30 euros I can't spend on something else that'd I would much rather have.
  3. Neo Emolga's Avatar
    Hey, sorry for the delayed response. Crazy things always going on!

    Sounds like a pretty interesting experience! Although I imagine that would feel a bit rough having to work with only what you know in Spanish because the family doesn't know English. I would have the roughest time trying to work around something like that.

    And man, your parents never cease to amaze me with how over-the-top control freaks they are. You're half a world away and she still can't lay off. >.< As I said before, when you graduate, RUN. And if you cut them out of your life completely, I would absolutely understand. My own mom had to do that with her parents.

    And hey, those are great photos! You have a great smile and it definitely looks like you've seen plenty of fascinating sites! And yep, I saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, also. It's kind of underwhelming, isn't it? XD

    Hope you continue to enjoy your time there and thanks for sharing these great pictures!
  4. Noblejanobii's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Emolga
    Hey, sorry for the delayed response. Crazy things always going on!

    Sounds like a pretty interesting experience! Although I imagine that would feel a bit rough having to work with only what you know in Spanish because the family doesn't know English. I would have the roughest time trying to work around something like that.

    And man, your parents never cease to amaze me with how over-the-top control freaks they are. You're half a world away and she still can't lay off. >.< As I said before, when you graduate, RUN. And if you cut them out of your life completely, I would absolutely understand. My own mom had to do that with her parents.

    And hey, those are great photos! You have a great smile and it definitely looks like you've seen plenty of fascinating sites! And yep, I saw the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, also. It's kind of underwhelming, isn't it? XD

    Hope you continue to enjoy your time there and thanks for sharing these great pictures!
    Yeah you're good my dude.

    It is rough but I've been learning and I manage. Worst case I have google translate on my phone for a reason.

    Yeah my dad has been helping keeping her under wraps and has literally forbidden her from visiting me until post-finals. So that's a plus but we'll see how it goes.

    Thanks! I actually quite liked the Mona Lisa. I knew it wasn't going to be anything extravagant since the only reason it's so famous is because it was stolen but it was still really cool to see it.

    I will! I visited Morocco this past weekend so I debated making a dedicated blog post just for that or waiting until post-Carnival this weekend to post. Given it's midterms week this week, it's looking more like the latter but we'll see!