Friday, March 26, 2010


So today we got our grades for the secod trimester. I failed French (which I expected) BUT also science and gym.
Uhm, the hell?

I was supposedly one of the only people that was going to pass science. And then the prof gives me a 4. He hasn't been in class for three weeks. Asdfghjk.

And my gym teacher is an idiot too. Everyone told me that if you're a boy and play soccer, you pass the class, if you're a girl, you pass the class. Guess who is male and doesn't play soccer with the other males?
I mean, I still participate, just not soccer with the boys. Every Spaniard is born with soccer ball and they all play so brutely. I don't even keep up with the girls. Tears.

But anyhoodles
Now is vacation. I'm really looking forward to Semana Santa. The other day my class went to all the churches in the Old City looking at Los Pasos. They're huge and beautiful and I'm so excited to see them in action with the music. Semana Santa in Sevilla is the most famous, but I'm staying in Cádiz. Los Pasos technically don't end. There's always one out during the week. People don't sleep for a week, supposedly. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

¡Hoy es mi Santo!

So here in Spain, since practically everyone is named after a Biblical character, everyone has a Saint Day.

Before, gifts weren't given to you on your birthday, but rather, on your saint day. Now it's more like America, but it's still not uncommon to get a small cake or a little gift or go out with your friends for dinner on your Saint Day. And EVERYONE wishes you a happy Saint Day.

Mine was today. I got a hat! Some people wore green, but because Patricio isn't a very common name, and Irish blood hasn't touched the Spanish gene pool, it's not as big as in the States.

And nobody pinches you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Hey, remember that science exam I was soooo sure I had failed? Turns out I was the only one that passed. Go figure. Also turns out that our teacher randomly isn't coming in for 8 weeks. Would have been nice to know that I could have slept in rather than show up to an empty classroom. This is the fourth time that's happened to me.

Anyways, preparations for Semana Santa are becoming more prevalent. In La Plaza de la Catedral, there's a huge wooden ramp that was built for Los Pasos as they go into the cathedral. If you're not familiar, Semana Santa is a very beautiful and lachrimosic (does that word exist) religous procession, the most important part of which, is the huge structures of the scenes of The Passion built onto thes huge like, table things that are carried by hand through the Old City into the Cathedral. Oh, and typical part of the dress for this week is a hat called a capirucho, which looks like a KKK hat. Sweet.

Anyway, yesterday there was a charla, which means skipping three hours of class to listen to journalists talk and take questions about current issues facing Andalucía, such as education, standard of living, unemployment, etc. We got to be on TV, so that was cool.
And OBVIOUSLY this charla had to be opened up with El Himno de Andalucía. sung by your local peer!, and an unbearably long paper on how wonderful Andalucía is, read by a chiquilla in typical flamenco dress. Absolutely necessary.

Lately I noticed something missing in my life: Jews. They're always my favorite people (don't ask me why) and in Spain, there aren't ANY. I've asked everyone here if they even KNOW a Jewish person, and they all said no. Not a single synagouge, not a single Batmitzvah, not even a single Briss. I guess the Spanish Inquisition kind of took care of that.

So this Monday I started going to the gym with a friend. Everything hurts. And they don't have any weights lighter than 2.5 kg, which is an embaressing realization when you see middle aged women bench pressing twice your weight.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


So (I think at least half my posts have started with that word) I've noticed much less dependency on cars here.

Here's something spooky: Ever since I got back to Cádiz from Madrid during Christmas break...I haven't been in a car.

In part, because I can't drive here. But also because:
I walk to school
All my friends are within walking distance
I have a bus system and train
Groceries are bought, at the largest frequency, once a week, eliminating the need for a car to carry groceries

None of these are true fo me where I live in CT.

My science teacher was explaining to our class that most Americans are more dependent on cars than Europeans, an odd concept for them.
Sure there are cars here, but there are lots more bikes and motos than in the States.

It's healthier, and greener. But it's just that Europe is really old, built upon a small city system, whereas the States is the contrary.

Funny American stereotype here: Everyone owns a car bigger than a house.
Which is only true in Texas. (I think that's three Southern jokes now. Rah!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Por fin, se acaba...

So Carnaval is finally over. Thank youuu. Now I can get back to sleeping before midnight.

The last week or so was lovely sprinkled with my head in the toilet and diarrhea. (yeah, you didn't need so much detail, I know. Deal with it) Nothing to miss school for, but enough to skip meals, which is, for me, unthinkable.

There's a school trip to Rome tomorrow, and will last a few days. I'm not going, cause it cost waaaayyy too much, but I still have to go to school, even though my class size will be six students. According to the words of my history teacher "We will not do anything in class, but you may not skip class."
Ohhh, there's that Spanish logic again.

On Friday, when I got back home after a rather dissapointing night of partying, I couldn't enter the house. I have a key. Most people have just one lock. But my house has three locks. Two of which can only be opened from the inside. Yes, quite hillarious, I'm sure you can imagine me laughing at 5am about not having a bed to sleep in. A real knee-slapper, really.
Oh but Patrick, why didn't you just ring the door bell to wake up your hostmother?
Good idea, Reader! In fact, I did that several times. And called the house. Deaf hostmom drugged up on fever pills = not waking up for crying Patrick.
So I spent the night at a friend's house, so not really a big deal, but still, you know,

I got a bunch of exams back, and I didn't fail any! Well, probably the science recuperation one I did. (the exam asked me to identify a picture of a pigeon, explain global warming, describe the effects of AIDS, and match scientists to their contribution to evolution. My science teacher = An idiot.)
I should explain recuperation, if you fail a trimester exam (they do trimisters here) you can take it over again. Yeah, I know. That's like, not even pretending to try.