Its April now. All the flowers are in bloom, it is 75º and sunny everyday. It is truly beautiful here in the mountains but I seem to be the only with anything close to ‘spring fever’. I guess thats what happens when it was sunny and 40º or 50º all winter. Still, it smells like summer. I can’t say that I missed the hard Michigan winter at all but I do really miss those crazed first few warm days or a random one in the middle. The seasons haven’t been very real here and I miss that, I miss the change. Maybe it not even just ‘spring fever’ I think I’m in more of a solitary state of summer. I have to wake up early everyday to go to this place where I dont’ really do anything and just pretend to do work, read, or talk to friends. (they call this place school). Then I come home, eat lunch, go running or hiking, read in the sun, play my new ukulele, its kind of the life. But ‘the life’ is kind of boring too. School here is so uninspiring and they seam to find a way to suck the creativity and interest out of every single subject. Sometimes I look through the U of M course catalogue and intellectually drool over my options. Visual Islamic Culture? for sure. Yiddish? why the hell not! Man, these past few months just like this whole year are now just a blur of memories and friends, events, and just new, but I don’t know where I can start.
This whole knowing three languages thing is really strange in a wonderful way. I guess how I learned them is pretty interesting to me too. I studied Spanish for 5 years in school. I have learned and studied it all and it is all clear and defined. I don’t see the verb conjugations while thinking of words to say anymore, but they’re still there. If I try to remember something there is always falling back on ‘oh yeah thats the past perfect blah blah blah’. But Catalan is much weirder because its just there. I went to Catalan lessons twice a week for about a month and a half and I never found them very useful. I had said I would start speaking Catalan in January but it just didn’t come. I felt frustrated about going back to the beginning when Spanish just flowed. Then basically just one day, I started speaking Catalan. I didn’t even really decide to change, it just happened. The first week was a little rough, finding words was harder, but everyday it became noticeably easier and within two weeks I was speaking Catalan all the time. This came as as much of shock to me as it did to everyone around me. With Catalan I never ‘learned’ anything and I truly never tried, its just there in my head and now it just comes spilling out and I don’t even know how it got there. The other thing I love is that I learned Catalan from Spanish and so whenever I can’t think of a word or try to remember what something means it always goes back to Spanish and never to English. For the most part mixing them isn’t too bad. If I speak Spanish for awhile the chip gets switched and it comes out in Spanish and the same goes for Catalan. The problem arises pretty much only at AFS events because most exchange students speak in Spanish but some speak Catalan and when there are people speaking both its like my brain can’t figure out what to do. I understand both and could respond in either, but instead of either it usually just mixes them and goes for both. Switching back and forth is getting easier though as I do it more. The craziest thing is how I just don’t even notice the difference anymore, its just understand. I watch TV shows that are mainly Catalan but have some Spanish and don’t even realize it switched. I almost never remember in what language conversations took place. Also, a lot of the time when I’m bored in class I just play weird mind games. You see, I think in Catalan almost all the time now since I speak it the majority of the time but some times I’ll just switch back and forth thinking in Spanish, Catalan, English and its pretty fun.
85 days left, 23 days of school
I have so little time left it is overwhelming. I feel like I should be doing interesting ‘catalan’ things always but thats just impossible. And so I take advantage of what my microscopic village has to offer, mainly just free time, mountains, and sun. I still don’t feel like I have transitioned in to not wanting to come home. It would be pretty devastating to have to leave tomorrow but I feel like when that day comes, it will be hard to leave but I’ll still be excited to go. I know I’ll miss here, but I know I love there too and that so much is waiting for me there. Its like this is wonderful fake life, but thats what it is, fake life and it has to come to end sometime and I have to go home and be a real person again.
I miss spontaneity. I have every single weekend planned until I leave. I didn’t even try for this to happen it just did and I know its good because I’m doing great stuff and won’t be bored but I just miss those moments of ‘lets do this random thing now’ because those always turn out to be the most fun. But thats hard in a village, organizing rides, etc. but its all good. I’m going to Sicily for spring break in a week which is so exciting! The friend I visited in Germany is coming to visit me and we’re going to a sweet free festival in Barcelona with the Dodos. We’re going to Port Aventura (hint hint Dad). I have my last AFS orientation. School ends, I hangout in Barcelona with my friend from Ann Arbor who was in Oviedo all year, go to Tossa del Mar, go to one night of Primavera sound (animal collective, PJ Harvey, DJ Shadow, Fleet Foxes!!!). Go to Gran Canaria for a week with exchange students. Go to Girona for a long weekend with the family. Go somewhere with my host sister (possibly Belgium). La Patum (crazy crazy best week long festival in catalonia that is in berga). 2 or 3 days in Barcelona. 8 hour bus to Madrid. and thats it, I leave. Its great. Everything I get to do is so great but it ending is still a foreign idea in a way.
Remember what I look like?
La Alhambra- Granada
Gothic Quarter- Barcelona