the number of times i’ve told mi mamá that ‘estoy llena’ but had to keep eating could feed the five thousand. the food never ends.
i told my host ma i wasn’t hungry during cena tonight because im sick and didn’t have an appetite and she, no es un chiste, told me that id have a better immune system and wouldn’t get sick so much if i comer-d as much as my roommate does. the woman is a pure savage sometimes (but i still love her).
i didn’t understand the whole siesta thing until now. you’re essentially forced to eat your weight in food for lunch every día like it’s thanksgiving dinner. and then you slip into an immovable food coma. then you gotta get up/re-frankenstein and terrorize the streets because you’re hangry from only eating soup and salad rather than something that’s actually filling and keeps you filling-ed.
like, i don’t even really ask what i’m eating anymore (1/2 because i’m terrified & the other 1/2 my brain is too exhausted to figure out how to say it). one time i looked down at my paella (actually surprising because i was inhaling it like a super suction vacuum) (like arroz? forreal? this is my kind of food) (also im still just tryna catch up with my speed racer eating host parents who have full on conversations about politics and still terminar that shit before me) during lunch and saw a tiny cooked squid with all of its legs sticking out (like a broken barbie doll) just nonchalantly hiding behind a piece of broccoli. it was like an ugly, many limbed piece of art. that was not meant for eating. (for the record, i can’t seafood. like so much so that i just tried to make ‘seafood’ a verb.)
but okay like. bread soup??? literally soup broth, with torn up bread inside it??? i don’t know if this is supposed to be a joke among spanish host parents like “hey let’s see what these kids will comer without saying anything” or if they actually eat this stuff, but i literally just want like eight (boxes of) pepperoni pizza bagels. and like costco size packs of at least six different kinds of fruit snacks. and girl scout cookies. overprocessed/unhealthy foods are good for the soul. every day i have to (im not being theatre kid over dramatic, i HAVE to) drink coffee, eat 1-2 oranges, and soup for at least two meals. please realize that’s an insane amount of liquid?! in the non-grossest manera, my body is like a running stream of fluids that just shoot straight through me like a cartoon skeleton drinking something as you watch it pass through the skeletal frame.
regardless of the every day comida struggle im living, there are some days where im sitting in class or trying to understand my host parents or attempting to order pizza in a restaurant for the 59th time and i stop for a sec and think “shit. my spanish equates to that of a two year old”. but then there are days where im totes just tener-ing éxito and ill easily have a full blown conversation with a native spanish speaker and totally matar it. (im talking like, correctly using the past subjunctive.) (also a little sangria always does wonders for my fluency/confidence.)
however, without a doubt i have learned an immensely invaluable immeasurable amount of Spanish and improved so much that i get excited at the thought of going back to the states and showing off my language skills (until i recordar how different Spain and Mexico Spanish are and that vosotros is still irrelevant everywhere except in spain). and even though i still suck more than a vacuum.
if anyone is ever studying a language, the number one thing i can recommend is to study abroad. simply by having casual interactions with native speakers at discotecas, professors that may or may not be leaders of the leftist political parties (??), hot guys on tinder, or simply your fav camerero at a café you like to study at; you learn infinitely more than you could ever learn in a classroom from a teacher in an English speaking country. there you spend maybe an hour a couple times a week thinking in that language. but abroad, you’re surrounded by it. the culture, the language, the people. it’s the kind of experience that comes but once.
SO it might be bastante caro. it might be tan lejos from home. it might be the most loca thing you’ve ever done. but you need to do it.
ive fallen in love with my study abroad. and ive fallen in love with spain.
so imma throw up my cowboy boots (which for whatever reason ive somehow acquired this strange midwest/southern accent that only comes out when im hablaring english) (just forever wishing my life was set in a john wayne film) on my desk while i eat my 6th pastry today and pretend like i actually know what this poem by federico garcia lorca’s actually about.