Well, I've been back in Spain for five days now and it's been so great to hear so much Spanish. During the week of vacation, it was so frustrating for us to hear so much French and have no idea how to answer if people asked us questions. After our peaceful Friday night, cleaned up the apartment a bit and went to bed. The owner came the next morning at ten and we had all our bags packed and headed to the train station. Our flight didn't leave Brussels until 5 PM but we were at the airport by noon since we didn't have much else to do while carrying around our backpacks and two suitcases. The airport outside of the city was tiny and we didn't have much to do but chat and look for food. After about 3 hours they let us into the terminal where we sat by our gate for another hour or so until suddenly everyone jumped up and got in line.

Flying RyanAir is a very unique experience, to say the least. After seven days of travel, we were quite exhausted to the point where everything seems to be hilarious. Plus, we were in the Brussels airport, whose motto was "the friendly airport." The RyanAir check-in desk ladies didn't seem to get the memo, but all the security people were quite friendly and people were laughing and joking as they passed through the metal detectors and were thoroughly patted down. Ryan and I got into a different line than the others and found ourselves cracking up just listening to everyone else. Being tired and bored, we didn't even bother figuring out what was so funny.

We haven't quite figured out how everyone knows it's time to line up to board planes here. As you probably know, in the states it's very simple to know when boarding time is. Usually an announcement is made over the intercom and people walk calmly to the line and wait for the gate to open. Here, it seems that suddenly everyone just knows it is time and suddenly they are jumping up and claiming their spots so that they can be the first to select which hard, plastic, non-reclining RyanAir seat they want. Naturally, when everyone else jumped up we did too, right as we found a fellow ACA student and asked him to sit with us for the flight. 

There's nothing particularly bad with RyanAir flights, but nothing great either. It's somewhat like a flying infomercial: they spend the whole flight trying to sell you RyanAir calendars (yes... but WHY?), cigarettes (while. on. a. plane.), or RyanAir Scratch Cards (you can win 100 euros worth of flights, comfort not included). The flight was two hours and went by quickly. Then came the best part. When you are on RyainAir and you successfully land (which should really not be something special), they play a super-automated recording of a trumpet sound *da da-da-da-da da da!* and an announcement that you've arrived on "yet another on-time flight" and then everyone on the plane starts cheering! By this time it was 7 PM for us and all we had done was sit all day eating airport snacks, so naturally Ryan, Rachel and I found this particular event most comical and burst into a fit of laughter. 

We finished our evening by stopping for kebabs in Valencia and then catching the train to Sagunto. It's funny how much Sagunto feels like home sweet home now. 

I was personally very happy that we got home Saturday night and had Sunday to recover and do some homework. We jumped into class Monday morning and I've actually been feeling pretty good about my Spanish this week! I've been practicing a lot every day, and I've been trying to make verb lists and work on my vocabulary. 
This afternoon we had some business at the police station, more paperwork about getting our permanent residence cards. After that it was time to teach English, then dinner and some study time! I've also been watching a show in Spanish and it's been so cool to actually understand what's happening!

The best part of my week has been getting mail! I got one postcard from my mom every day this week and I love them! As you may know, my mom is an artist and she designs postcards to send me and my friends at Union. This year she's been working on a set of travel postcards and I just got three for Gibraltar, Paris, and Morocco! 

Today was the best because I also got a box from my grandma! Just as I was walking in the dorm with Justin and Shannon, the dean said that she had packages for us! Justin and I split up our box and Shannon opened hers. We got craisins, granola bars, dried fruit, tea, and autumn m&ms!We are very lucky kids to have such an awesome grandma who sends us tasty american snacks. 

Now, the week is almost over and we're starting to plan for Christmas break. More on that later–for now, hasta luego!
11/9/2012 09:48:08 am

I'm so happy all of you are back to ESDES safely. Your flight on RyanAir was so funny---but hey, it got you home! And I love the postcards your mom sent. I see you have them up on your wall.

12/18/2012 04:29:26 am

These are so cute! I love your moms stuff. Love your pictures too of all the places you are visiting


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