So I thought I was very clever with the title of my blog “Gringa en Granada,” but when I googled it I found that there are 5 others who had utilized my same punny brilliance as titles to their study abroad blogs…boo…well, I am happy to say that I no longer feel like a gringa anymore. After spending 4.5 months in Spain, I feel like Granada has become my second home. I was comfortable giving directions to strangers, if restaurant owners started talking to me in english from the get-go I’d pretend like I didn’t understand them and speak spanish back;), I started forgetting my english-“Katy how do you say “alcachofas” in English?” “uhh, it’s the same isn’t it? hold on I’ll google it…oh yeah, artichoke!”, I can recommend bars and places to go, and I’ve made lasting friendships with my host family, other students, teachers, and the speech pathologist that I shadowed. I know I will miss everything about Granada until I return…
I’ve been back in the US now for two weeks! The flight home was a very deja-vu sort of experience. Staring out the window I vividly remembered my flight to Spain-the anxiety, the sadness of leaving my family, friends and Tommy, the excitement of going to Europe, and the free airline wine;-) My flight back to the US was much the same- I was excited to see my friends and family, see my dogs!, but I was sad too leaving behind my host family and the city both of which I grew to love. I am sorry that I have not been super diligent with my updates during my last two months abroad, but I was very busy with school work, travels, y demasiado divertido (too much fun)! This will be my last blog post and it is going to do a very poor job of sufficiently wrapping up my last two months, but it will give you all (my many fans;-) )a little idea of what I was up to and what I learned overall (I’ll post a giant montage of pictures at the end).
Instead of explaining every last place I went these past two months- Las Alpujarrras, Sevilla for feria de abril, Mijas, Sevilla again, Barcelona, Oslo (Norway), Munich (Germany), and Rome (you know where that is)-I’d rather give anyone planning to travel to Spain, or any country where they don’t know the language, a list of useful phrases (these will be in spanish but you can translate them to any language) that they can use to get by. The problem is that if you start speaking the native language, the locals might think that you know more than you actually do and that makes for awkward situations. For example, Tommy has been learning german on duolingo (an awesome, and FREE, phone application for learning languages) and he’s pretty decent. He knows just enough german where germans think that they can respond normally with advanced vocabulary and grammar leaving you tongue tied and confused, “uhhh…..” These are no brainer sayings and if you really amp up the english accent, you should have no problem being mistook for a local:) My family visited Spain and I think they utilized some of these phrases well:
1) I don’t speak Spanish: “No hablo espanol” or I know a little spanish: “Yo se un poco espanol”
2) beer: “cerveza”, tap beer: “cerveza de grifo”, wine: “vino (white: blanco or red: rojo)”, house wine “vino de la casa”
3) I would like a beer: “me gustaria una cerveza” or I want a beer: “quiero una cerveza” or “me pone una cerveza, por favor” (if you wanna be fancy)
4) Where are the bathrooms?: “Donde estan los servicios (aseos or lavabos)”
*5) Try to know the numbers 1-10 and all the factors of 10 through 100. It helps when you want to give your taxi driver an address. “uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez.” “20-veinte, 30-trenta, cuarenta, cinquenta, sesenta, setenta, ochenta, noventa, 100-cien”
6) It’s nice to meet you: “encantado (guys), encantada (girls)” or “es un placer conocerte”
7) Hello, my name is….”Hola, me llamo….”
8) Where are you from?: “De donde eres”, I am from the United States: “Soy de los estados unidos”
9) popular meats: carne: meat (in general), pollo (chicken), pavo (turkey), pato (duck), jamon (ham), jamon serrano (disgusting ham…raw ham that most people like except me), jamon iberico (jamon serrano but from fancy pigs), tocino (weird bacon), conejo (rabbit), ternera (veal or as I like to say baby cow), pescado (fish), bacalao (cod or white fish), trucha (trout), *de la plancha (pan seared), *frito (fried)
10) I am a vegetarian: “soy vegetariano(a)”
11) Thank you: “Gracias!”
12) The check please (or the bill please): “La cuenta, por favor”
13) tap water (so you don’t have to pay for it): agua de grifo
14) Where is the club/bar?: “Donde esta el discoteca/bar?”
15) Left: “izquierda”, right: “derecha”, straight: “derecho” (confusing)
I think these will get you by in Spain. I got by in some countries knowing far less. I am very thankful that my first language is english because I found that in Europe it is sort of the go-to second language. In most countries, many people speak english. If you want to be more daring and have some more interesting conversations in spanish, I am going to provide the list of spanish words that I learned during my time in Spain. Most of these are thanks to my host mom, dad and brother. Some of them you might only want to use in the company of amigos;-)
Katelyn’s list of words:
“guay” (cool), “chulo” (another word for cool), “mesa de camilla” (coffee table with heater undereath), “sello” (stamp), “tamano” (size), “protecion solar” (sunscreen), “quizas” (maybe), “oveja” (sheep), “acuarela” (watercolor), “remotes” (chair lift), “sotano” (basement), “subir” (to go up), “bajar” (to go down), “empollon” (nerd), “freakie” (geek), “calabacin” (zucchini), “tatuaje” (tattoo), “cochinillo” (baby pig), “hielo” (ice), “espinaca” (spinach), “madera” (wood), “lentejas” (lentils), “enmohecida” (rusty as in out of practice), “vidrio” (glass pane), “hortera” (tacky), “peliculon” (block buster hit), “revientalo” (kill it! like an exam or test), “mierda” (shit), “espachurar” (squish), “baneras” (moguls), “cabina/telesferico” (mini gondola), “teletransporte” (transport), “chuleton” (steak), “buho” (owl), “esta chupao” (it’s very easy), “estar de tope” (to be on fire in a good way), “chantaje” (blackmail), “malvada” (evil), “casco” (helmet or ear buds), “moqueta” (totally carpeted like in the living room), “darle los recuerdos” (give my regards), “Climatizada” (hottub), “jicara” (piece or chunk of something), “lagartija” (lizard), “daltonismo” (colorblind), “contrabando” (smuggled), “patear” (to kick), “marcar” (to score), “portero/guardameta” (goal keeper), “medios” (midfielder), “delanteros” (forwards: as you can see we were watching futbol), “senal” (signal or deposit), “dibujo/diseno” (sketch or design), “letrero” (street sign), “bucear” (scuba dive), “acojonar” (poop your pants from nerves), “conmocion” (concussion), “tener agujetas” (to be stiff), “desbordada” (overwhelmed), “chungo” (ugly, bad), ****”cozcoron” (nap: this literally means to hit yourself or someone else in the head but my host dad uses it to say nap (because you hit your head to the pillow)…I had an awkward moment talking to the speech therapist I shadowed because I thought this was the word everyone used for nap), “redirse” (to give in/up), “grabados” (ink prints), “flequillo” (bangs), “sujetador” (bra), “agrio” (sour milk/cheese/person), “acido” (sour like a lemon), “pitufo” (smurf), “naufrago” (castaway), “porra” (lottery pool), “quiniela” (bracket like for march madness), “vaguear” (bumming out), “casero/a” (a home body ), “Sonar la nariz” (blow your nose), “anorar” (homesick), “nitrogeno” (nitrogen), “fisgar” (to pry/be nosy), “chanclas” (flipflop ), “soso” (it’s missing something), “azahar” (the flower that grows on orange trees), “noria” (ferris wheel), “manchata” (80% coffee/20% milk drink), “crapula” (night owl ), “bombilla” (lightbulb), “tirarse en plancha” (slide tackle), “la marequita” (ladybug but is also a derogatory word for gay person), “muslo” (thigh of a chicken leg), “ala” (wing), “expomanga” (comic-con)
WOW. Looking over that list it’s weird to think how some of those words came about in normal conversation like pitufo (smurf) and contrabando (smuggled)! However, after living somewhere for 4.5 months and talking everyday you are bound to have some weird conversations.
I know this was an unconventional blog post, but I hope it made you chuckle:) I just wanted to thank everyone who kept tabs on me while I was away and a special thanks to those of you who left comments:). I want to thank my Granada family: my friends and my host family. To my friends: thank you for helping keep the homesickness away. I can’t wait to come visit those of you in Chicago and Michigan<3
Kaitlin- my namesake
Lili- you were the first friend I made abroad:) Thanks for trekking around Spain with me and convincing me to use blabla car! I’ll keep the photos of the 1am Tinder fail until the proper moment…;)
Steph and Nola- Evil cats!! thank you guys for getting this homebody out of the house cause without you both I probably never would have made it to a discoteca;-)
Abi- Thanks for always reading my blog:) it’s not everyday that you make a friend because neither of you can figure out how that one shower in Morocco works!
Marianne- Thanks for joining me in Portugal! and for being so easy to talk to about anything.
Luci- Thanks for helping me improve my pobre spanish and always walking me to the bus stop even though it was out of your way (sorry we never got those gofres..)
Katie and Shaheera- Congrats on your graduations my lovely friends!
Marilyn- Thanks for making my eyebrows on fleek?(did I say that right;-) )
My UW friends: I think we represented the university well! I’ll see you all around:)
To everyone at Cegri: You guys were my family while I was away and I can’t thank everyone enough for being so welcoming and friendly!
Allie: Thank you for being my US pen pal! My heart jumped every time I saw a letter addressed to me in the school’s mailbox:)
To Jenny Hofer, Tom and Janet: Thank you guys for making the trip to Spain to get a taste of what my semester abroad was like! I really enjoyed our lazy days in Mijas and our day trip to Ronda!
To my host family: Gracias por una experiencia increible! No puedo expresar mi gratitud y os recordare para siempre. Os amo mucho!! Siempre tenies un hogar conmigo y espero que vengais pronto a los EEUU!<3
To Tommy: Dublin, Killarney, London, Alnwick, Edinburg, Granada, Mijas, Sevilla, Barcelona, Oslo, Munich, Rome. 12 cities and 7 countries-I think we did good work:) I can’t wait for our future world travels, but for now I am looking forward to traveling to the memorial union terrace, having a pitcher, and enjoying the simple bliss of reliable wifi and sharing the same time zone<3
To my family: Thank you guys for supporting me both financially and emotionally throughout my time abroad. I am so grateful for wifi calling because you guys never felt too far away. I know it’s hard to travel somewhere that you don’t speak the language-so thank you guys for stepping outside your comfort zone to visit me and explore the south of Spain. Lesson learned: never rent a car in Europe again:) I love you!
Here’s some pics from the last two months (in relative chronological order)!:
Thanks for the memories, Granada. Hasta Siempre <3,