Campos, Catedrales, y Castañas

Oviedo Travel Blog

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El Catedral San Salvador

Today I:

  1. Woke up really late…between the late night poetry and up til 4:30am, my body died.
  2. Opened a bank account with a Spanish bank.  Did you know Spaniards don’t earn interest, but actually have to pay to have an account?  Mine is one of the cheapest at 10 euro cada trimester.   Usually there are fees associated with obtaining a visa card – up to 50 euro a year – and there is also something like a 4 euro charge to use the cajeros (ATM).  I’m an adult, awesome.
  3. Opened a cell phone plan with Movistar (I still can’t not laugh every time I say it with a Spanish accent).  Tarjeta, prepagado.  The plan was cheapest just to get a new phone instead of use an old one (Ale had one), and it was two phones for the price of one – including the tarjeta – for 19 euro.
    Plaza al Catedral San Salvador (muy llenada, no?)
      The tarjeta alone costs 9 euros.  Since each phone comes with 6 euros gratis, really I was getting paid 2 euro to take home two cell phones and talk on them.  This means I have two phone numbers and can just switch them intermittently.
  4. Had arroz a la cubana for lunch, which, contrary to its name, is a very traditional Spanish dish…a sort of comfort food.  Our version today was made with basmati because it was lighter, but it’s just rice boiled in salt and garlic powder, fried egg, and tomato.  We used tomato sauce.  The way Ale fries an egg is so complicated to get her perfect yolk consistency.  I taught her how I fry an egg (sunny side up, then flip for a minute).  Much easier.  Anyway, simple as the dish was (dad, it was probably as cheap as eating a Tyner Dinner), it was actually delicious.
    Plaza al Catedral San Salvador
  5. I have an appointment with my adviser at the Unverisdad de Oviedo on Friday, and next Wednesday Ale and I are taking a bus out of Oviedo to see her sister, Luisa, and her sobrina.
  6. Did my first load of laundry (with aforementioned delicious-smelling detergent) in the smallest, most modernized-yet-archaic technological wonder of a washing machine.  Very slow, but cute.  Hung my laundry to dry…yep, just like you would imagine in Europe.
  7. Dove deeper into Oviedo.  Didn’t take my new camera since I don’t have my charger, and because I was not familiar with the areas I was walking or where I’d end up, and it was dark out.
    El Catedral San Salvador
      I brought my map and opened it once before I decided to just walk and hope I don’t get lost.  I felt it was better to get a feel for how the streets slant and run with each other and to find my way that way.  Totally worked.  I found the Campo de San Francisco (there are tons of varieties of trees here…I picked up a nut that looked like a bolt/screw head, and it was from a Eucalyptus tree…put it in my purse…my purse smells awesome and like a minty menthol resin), the iconic Catedral de San Salvador (so dead quiet there, no one was around…I always imagined it bustling with hundreds of people on the plaza), many well-known statues, the Calle de Sidras, a really gorgeous street that I think is a main plaza (heavier shopping street with tons of benches, home of the giant butt statue).  I noticed that I listen to children a lot when they’re around.  I made quite a comical list of the things that go through my head, actually.
  8. Heard two Americans walk by shopping (students), and one walk by later in the evening as she tried to explain something to an American businessman.  Really weird to hear an American accent.  I know I’m only heading into Day 4, but it’s even weird to feel my own throat when I say an English word.
  9. Bought castañas asadas (roasted chestnuts) from a street vendor a block from my house.  2 euro got me a TON of chestnuts.  They smelled delicious and looked beautiful and fuzzy between the fruit and the shell, and I loved the toasted and burnt colors.  They tasted divine.  I munched on them in the twilight hours while reading posters in the book store window and listening to street entertainers outside of churches.  Note to self: re-find the children’s book store…Buhó (owl?  sounds like an owl noise or sound!) something.
  10. Purchased a lemon Fanta at the grocery store to practice with purchases, and bought a loaf of pan de sonrisa at the panadería so I could practice that simple task and not be so freaked out.  Joking with the clerk was challenging yet simplified and made me feel human.
  11. Speaking of joking, my biggest lesson today was on the ways to talk about joking and stopping joking and all associated terms, because it came up often in conversation, starting when I explained to Ale how I am always laughing because in my head something is funny but I don’t know the words to express it.
  12. For dinner I had un bocadillo de mejillones and a salad (as Ale says, ‘every night a salad you must!’).  Bocadillo is like a baguette bread sandwich.  Mejillones = clams.  Had them from a can, in a sauce that was reminiscent of sardine sauces.  It was actually really, really delicious.
  13. Though still tongue tied, a lot more Spanish flows more freely.  It’s a conscious effort that needs to be made.  I sat on a bench on a plaza for half hour and wrote a lot of observations I had and goals I have.  I started writing phrases I hear that I want to remember to use, instead of words I need to translate.  Much more helpful.  Today I had my first ‘I think in Spanish’ moment.

(As I mentioned, I didn’t bring my fancy new camera because I’m conserving my battery and I didn’t know if I’d be likely to get mugged if I strayed off into a dark alley as I most likely would be inclined to do – mom and dad, pretend you didn’t read that.  But, I did bring my small quick-click camera [like that term?  compliments of yours truly], so I took just a few pictures.)

So much to remember, so little time.  Time has escaped me…it’s already 2:30 am and I thought I’d be in bed by 1am!

Entries I’d like to post on: my “For hire” ad; my list of “Did You Know?”s and other small -isms; “All About Alejandra y su única neurona”; “A few of my favorite things”.

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El Catedral San Salvador
El Catedral San Salvador
Plaza al Catedral San Salvador (mu…
Plaza al Catedral San Salvador (m…
Plaza al Catedral San Salvador
Plaza al Catedral San Salvador
El Catedral San Salvador
El Catedral San Salvador
photo by: asturjimmy