Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Waiting for dinner...

The flight went well - It seemed to drag on forever though. Since this was my first international flight, and second time flying in general, I´m going to blabber on some more about it. We left around 4.40p, as scheduled, then were served dinner about an hour and a half into the flight. The flight attendants came around and asked ¿Què prefieres, pollo o -- but I didn´t even listen to the other option, as chicken is something I eat! I got water with my dinner, of course, but didn´t even think to ask for beer or wine, as the students to my left and right did.

Then there were two terrible movies (Right up there with all the free OnDemands we watched this summer, Coleton), during which the lights were dimmed and I attempted to sleep. It´s hard to sleep sitting straight up, hence I was in a tired state and time seemed to slow down incredibly. Around 5am Spain time, the lights were turned back on. Then came breakfast - a packaged roll with ham in it, a blueberry muffin, some honeydew which I didn´t explore, and a kit-kat which was odd but appreciated.

It was nice to take the group flight, because once we got to the airport (around 7am) I just followed everyone around. It was a huge airport, but nearly empty when we arrived. After we got our bags, we took an indoor train-thing to the exit. Our program director and student services coordinator had ¨WIP¨signs and met us out front. We loaded a coach bus and took a 20 minute bus ride to the dorms. We got to the dorms around 9am - we had spent a good amount of time walking through the airport and waiting for our luggage and such.

The dorm is really nice! We have individual rooms with a bathroom, and the ¨key¨ to our room is a slide card like at hotels. I couldn´t figure out how to get the lights on though. Later I found out from others that you have to put your room card in a doc on the wall in order for the lights to work - I never would have figured that out on my own!

Right when I got to my room I knew I would take a nap. Before we left for the airport, I had bought a cheap clock with alarm at Walgreens so I´d be able to wake up on time for things this week. So around 10 I went down for a nap and set the alarm for noon. That way I could shower and go to lunch at 2 (It´s served from 2-3) and continue on with my day. So I woke up... and it was 3.30p.

The clock had stopped ticking at 11.20a, so the alarm clearly never went off. So I showered and first tried to find the computer room. I was expecting a room with one computer - as I had read in our pre-departure materials, so when I ran into a computer lab I didn´t think it was for us. There´s some type of chemistry conference going on here, too, so I thought this room was for that, since it had a label on the outside similar to the other conference room labels. So I walked around outside for a bit; didn´t run into anything too interesting. When I got back around 4.30, I ventured back to this computer lab and saw another student from the group in there - so I figured we could use it.

Our first orientation was at 5.30 that evening, followed by a cell phone presentation at 7.15. I got a cell phone at the presentation, which is nice just for the alarm / knowing what time it is. Cell phones work differently here - there´s no such thing as free nights or weekends. You pay for every call you make. There´s a 16 cent connection fee plus 12 cents / minute for any line ( US or Spain) and 2 cents / minute if it´s to another phone in the network (aka to my fellow WIPers). To send a text is 12 cents - no connection fee. The strange thing is that all incoming anythings are free. Incoming calls from the US, Spain, wherever, and incoming texts - free. The woman who gave the presentation said that sometimes here, when people already have a pretty high phone bill for the month, they´ll call whomever they want to talk with, let it ring once, then hang up. Then the person will see they had a missed call and call them back - hence making it a free incoming call for the person with the high phone bill. This act has a name, but I don´t remember what it´s called.

After everyone got done buying their phones it was around 9pm, so I had a half hour to wait until dinner would be served - so I started writing this post. Dinner was some type of vegetable soup - maybe asparagus? It was all blended, and actually didn´t taste bad. Then there was fish and potatoes or pork and fries. I didn´t realize that the potatoes with the fish were potatoes at first... so I got the pork and fries. After dinner I read our program manual up in my room until I went to bed around 11.30p.

Got up this morning around 8.30, showered, and went down to breakfast at 9. Breakfast is self serve - there was a mini-loaf of bread that was too crunchy for its own good, with cheese and some type of meat. There was also cereal and milk, which I of course couldn´t eat. So I made half a sandwich with part of the loaf, then put strawberry jelly on the rest of the bread.
There hasn´t been much Spanish spoken yet at all - since I´ve mainly been cooped up in the dorm with all the other WIPers. I´m anxious for classes to start, so I can get working on that.
We´re meeting at 10 to go on a walking tour of campus, followed by an academic orientation, lunch at 2, another type of orientation, and group picture at 5.30 tonight. It´s quarter to 10 now, so I´m going to get ready to go. ¡Hasta luego!

1 comment:

  1. Hey REBE,
    I would die for a good, crunchy, real bit of bread right now, so you had better enjoy it!