Past Few Days--Stranded in the Rain

Trip Start May 20, 2008
Trip End Jul 14, 2008

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Hola.  How is everyone?  You want to know something really funny; I really do not even know who exactly is reading this.  I suppose that is strange.....
Anyway, I promised you a more in depth update.  So here it is.
My last detailed message spoke of my first day of class.  It is very hard to believe that each session is only 3 weeks.  I have finished week 1 all ready!  I cannot believe it.  I am just starting to know everyone's name in my program.  I have not even had an opportunity to really meet people here yet.  Time is going so quickly.
So far my class has been fun.  I must admit that I have wanted to sleep in of the mornings, but the class really isn't that bad.  The problem is that I am in Spain, and I don't want to have classes...ha ha.  However, I guess I am living here for that reason, so I am ok with it.
I am becoming very happy with my apartment.  It is cozy and so nice to just come have a place to relax.  However, I really have not even been in it much other than sleeping at night.
Here are a few more observations about Spain.  Smoking is allowed almost everywhere.  It is different, but it hasn't been too bad for the most part.  The worst part is school.  I really don't like the smell of smoke in an enclosed building, but it could really be worse.  Oh, and almost everyone smokes---regardless of age.  Also, there are not really any health codes-at least I don't think so.  The public bathrooms rarely have hand soap, paper towels, and sometimes there is no toilet seat.  Yeah, it is different.  At least I keep hand sanitizer and such with me at all times. 
So, I have been acting like a Spaniard.  I have been eating late lunches and very later dinners.  I have also been walking everywhere--at least a few miles each day.  I have also been eating a very small breakfast.  For those of you who know me well---this is really different.  I have also been soaking up every second with every person I can.  This means I am doing something at all times.  It has become rather exhausting. 
I also have been to the beach a lot.  I haven't really laid in the sun yet, but I have been doing other things.  One day, I went to a beach and I was the only person there.  The sand is very light and dusts off very easily.  It is nice.  I laid on the beach and read a book, which was very relaxing.  I also went with my friends on Thursday and started surf lessons.  OK, this is a lot harder than I thought it was.  You must maintain good balance, and your abs get this amazing work-out.  At all times your body must be flat with your chest up and your abs tight-so that they act as a table for better balance.  Fighting the waves is also a tough part.  Once you get out there, things aren't too bad.  However, they are still hard.  I clearly have a lot to learn.  I am very excited though.  So, at one point I was getting up on my board (on a wave) and the wave literally took me under.  Of course, I went to rolling in the current.  I had not really been fighting it, because there are large rocks on the bottom that you can cut your feet open on.  Somehow, I managed to be caught in it to the point I really twisted my ankle.  It was so fast that I am not sure if I hit it against the rock, but I did sprain it.  I came out of the water and then kept on surfing.  The water was really cold (we had wet suits), which I was ok with, but it probably kept my ankle from swelling.  It was really sore though.  That night, we were on time to catch the metro back home, but for some reason it didn't show and it was closing time.  We also couldn't find a taxi.  We had to walk 45 minutes home.  My ankle wasn't really hurting, but Friday morning it was swollen.  It keep getting worse as the day went on.  I was still able to walk on it thought, which made me feel better about it.  I bought a bandage and was able to go home and rest it on Friday for about an hour before going out. 
On Saturday I just hung out at our apartment.  Saturday night we decided to go check out the dance club in the next town.  There were about 15 people that went.  It wasn't that great, but we stayed for a few hours.  I was with the large group on my way home that night.  We left around 3 in the morning, but we didn't get home until 8:40!!!  It had been raining all day.  We were told that was very unusual for this area. It actually ended up flooding the streets--which a local said had happened in 25 years.  Anyway, we went to the metro, but it stopped half-way through the stops and said due to all the tracks being closed we couldn't go any farther.  We then went a few stops back to a large town where we thought it would be easier to catch a cab.  We walked through the rain-no jacket and high heels-and stood in a taxi line for 2 hours.  There were only 6 people in front of us, but every metro station was closed.  Therefore, everyone in Getxo and Bilbao wanted taxis.  It was insane.  We were on the metro at 3 in the morning, and the metro was more crowded than the metro during the day.  There was a lot of older people also on the metro that late.  After waiting the rain for a taxi with no luck, a bar across the street opened and we went and got hot chocolate and tried to warm up.  It was around 7 am.  We stayed there for about an hour.  We then tried the metro again, but it still wasn't running.  We finally got a taxi, and I made it home at 8:40 am.  That was an adventurous and very cold night.  I never want to be put in that position again.  (Oh, and some people made it on the last metro before it officially close.  They are so enjoying this....)  
That left Sunday-which needless to say was a resting day for the most part.  I also found out NOTHING is open on Sundays.  Therefore, a lot of our friends were left starving looking for somewhere to eat.  
I went to class today, and am resting my ankle this evening.  It looks a lot better, but it is bruised more than I expected.  I hope to try and surf again by Wednesday. 
I also have some pictures but forgot to save them to my jump drive.  I will try to post them on this blog tomorrow.  Sorry this is so long. Hope you enjoy!
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