For breakfast, I had toast and marmalade with tomato juice, except the tomatoes here are radically different. The juice tasted more like orange juice than any tomato I’ve tasted in the States. Apparently they grow on trees and are only found in South America.
The mother of my temporary family makes sweets for special occasions, and so this morning she was finishing a set of sweets. She had a platter of small balls consisting of cocoa and condensed milk which she wanted to caramelize. Thus, I got to watch as she made the caramel, coated each ball, tidied them up and wrapped them. As easy as she made it seem, I can’t imagine my attempts would yield quite the same polished product.
The afternoon was spent accompanying Katty to get her hair cut (which costed $3!), using their computer to send some emails, lunch and some unpacking. I found out that one of the classes I was planning on taking was cancelled, yesterday. After searching and searching to try and avoid the truth, I finally accepted the fact that the only available replacement is a significantly harder class. Nearly the same title, but a 300 level history class rather than 200. Wonderful.
Back to happy things. The family explained to me that the main meal of the day is lunch, which often consists of soup, then a rice dish with juice. Everything was homemade, which I did not mind one bit. I’ve noticed that they use the blender a lot to make juices, dinner was accompanied by juice from a pineapple I’d seen whole on the counter hours before.
After succumbing to a nap, I awoke to find company over (relatives of the family.) I would say that we talked for a couple hours, but honestly keeping up with the conversation was a daunting enough challenge. It’s true, they speak very, very quickly. We had coffee, accompanied by bread and cheese. Although I knew that lunch was the main meal, I was surprised to find dinner to more or less be an optional meal (I snacked on leftovers from lunch). It’s amazing how much less they eat; super sized combos don’t seem to be the norm.
Katty was out of the house throughout the afternoon, but came back to pick me up with a friend after dinner. One of her friends who had been studying in the United States was landing that night and the general plan was to pick him and up and meet up with her group of friends. As we drove across the city, I was taken back at the lack of street policing. I felt like we were flying along the relatively busy highway, and sure enough when I looked down the speedometer was registering about 100 mph. I met Katty’s boyfriend, and the two of them are nearly sickeningly cute. He goes to the same university I’ll be going to, and has studied chemistry – a fact which I found super exciting. Once we’d picked up her friend from the airport, we stopped by small hot dog and hamburger joint. To call them hot dogs almost seems unfair though because I wouldn’t have recognized the taste as a hot dog. For starters, crushed potato chips coated the top, the mustard had a completely different, delicious spice and another red concoction was added graciously to the top. It was delicious.
I found the night to be rather chilly, which made sense since the day had been warm at best. Some of the group found it to be really cold (surprisingly I wasn’t one of them), but after a summer in Baltimore I really didn’t mind the lack of humidity and suffocating heat. I think I like the weather here, while it may be slightly on the cold side, every day has the same general temperature. They don’t get snow; the only thing that changes during the year is rainy or dry.
Anyway, the group headed over to one of the guys house (by that time we numbered seven) to smoke hookah. As the night went on, I could feel my mind getting tired from trying (emphasis on trying) to keep up with their conversations. Yes, they speak fast, but even more challenging is the combination of relaxed manner of speech (slang, not academic structure), multiple conversations and music blaring. I had a lot of fun, but by the time two rolled around I was nearly desperate to hear some English. I hope that I’m somehow soaking up the language, because hearing nothing but Spanish all day has been mentally exhausting and quite overwhelming. And that was just my first full day down.
Or, check out photos from the journey on my Photography Page
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