I can’t believe it’s only been three days since my last post! So much has happened! I have no idea how I’ll capture it all here, but I shall try. Apologies in advance if this one gets long.
Thursday was another long day of school. We had class from 8:30-1:30 (it felt so short after Long Wednesday!) I had a group presentation during class that seemed to go just fine, and then after class we had a write-up for our case study to do (it was part of the same group project). We thought it would take an hour or two, but we ended up being in the computer lab from like 1:45 until it closed at 6. We had a little bit of confusion in the beginning, but I was pleased with the end result. The only thing is that after we did our group write-up, I still had to do the individual part! So I was up pretty late Thursday night (3:30 or so) getting it done. The paper itself was only two pages, but I had to do some more research, and I had some technical problems with the Google Docs app. Luckily I had some help with fixing that, so I got it done around 1 or 1:30, but then I had reading to do, and the syllabus said I should find an article about leadership for social justice. My professor ended up not checking the articles, but because I’m a nerd and pretty passionate about social justice, I enjoyed doing the research anyway.
My plan for Friday was just to come home and nap right after school, but you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men! A friend of mine from school said that she was going to the beach, so I decided to go with her. We ended up meeting my parents for lunch first and then coming back to my apartment to get changed. During lunch, the waitress (Louisa) sat down to practice her English with us. We had been there before, and she recognized us. I love how the people here recognize us; the waiter from my birthday dinner still remembers me and says hi every time I walk by Cyranos). Then we headed to the beach for a while, which was PERFECT. On the way we had bumped in to another classmate (he lives two doors away from me), so the three of us went for a swim in the Mediterranean. It was sooooo great; the water was crystal clear and warm. I loved it.
At 6 or so, we went to a place called the Pelicano, where TCNJ was hosting a 4th of July party for us! It was a great way for everyone to socialize and get to know one another better. It was also a fun way to relax and unwind after a long week of work. Oh, and the view was amazing. Here, you can see for yourself!
The party lasted until 8:30 or so. I was proud of my parents for fitting right in and making lots of friends! They talked to lots of my classmates and even met people I didn’t know! It was fun to have them with me; I’m glad they came. Here we are at my favorite spot in town.
After the party, we went to a restaurant and watched the World Cup with a bunch of friends. Well, I use the word “watched” loosely. I try to be into stuff like the World Cup; I feel like it makes me a bad human that I’m not. But I just don’t really care all that much. Haha. I do enjoy the crowd and the comraderie, though. Good times. I do know, however, that Brazil won 2-1 (sorry if that’s a spoiler for anyone who has it DVRed). Mom and I left early, and Dad stayed to finish watching the game with his new friends. They grow up so fast, don’t they?
I am sorry to tell you that this post is only about halfway done. Today was yet another action-packed day (and no school work!). There was another event organized by TCNJ- this time a trip! We took a bus and went to Valldemossa, a really cute town in the mountains, and then to La Granja, which means “the farm.” Both stops were awesome (despite how creepy some parts of La Granja were…we’ll get to that later).
Valldemossa is a small village in the mountains, and it is known for its monastery. The composer Chopin even stayed there for a year! I don’t think he was a monk, though, especially since on the Valldemossa wikipedia page, it says he was there with his lover (and if it’s on wikipedia it must be true!). There was a sculpture of Chopin, and if you rub his nose, you get good luck. Here’s my dad doing just that!
My friend and I pretty much just walked around Valldemossa all morning; we did some shopping and took a stroll through the gardens, which were quite pretty. I got myself a new scarf (la bufanda) and a Mallorcan pearl bracelet (la pulsera…maybe because you wear it on your wrist, which is where you can find your pulse?). I’m excited about la pulsera because Mallorca is known for its pearls, and that’s my birthstone! So it worked out. Of course, I have photos of my purchases for your viewing pleasure.
We ended up grabbing pizza at a cafe; mine had goat cheese and some kind of local Mallorcan chorizo (I forget the real name of it and didn’t write it down). It was quite delish! Ligia (the friend I was hanging out with) got yelled at by the waiter because she had put her purse down on a chair next to her and turned her back for a second. The man explained to her that there is a fancily-dressed 40-year-old woman (I don’t know why her age is relevant but he included it so I will too) walking around stealing purses. He said she is Roma, which I know is another name for what some people call gypsies (but that’s a pretty loaded word and I try not to use it but I won’t get into all that right here and now). The waiter seemed extremely concerned about Ligia’s purse, but luckily, it was not stolen.
I knew I could get used to Spain when we walked into the heladeria (ice cream shop), and Tori Amos was playing! It was destiny. I mean really, I almost never hear her in the USA, but she’s on the radio in Spain? Amazing.
Once we finished up at Valldemossa, we headed to La Granja. The farm is built around a spring that flows on the grounds. When the Moors were in Spain, they used the flow of the water from the spring to fuel the mills. In the 1200s, it was handed over to the Cisterian Order, and the monks farmed there. Eventually it was renovated by a family in the 18th century, and that’s pretty much how it still looks now.
The farm was beautiful; the land is super fertile (I’m guess because of the stream?), so we saw all sorts of vegetation from cacti to pine trees and everything in between. Here’s a ginormous rosemary bush!
First of all, I couldn’t believe how huge the place was and how much they did. There were rooms for things like dying wool, weaving tapestries, making perfume, teaching kids, metalworking, and torture. Yes, you read that right. There was a torture chamber on the farm. To be quite honest, I haven’t quite decided if I was more creeped out by that or by the weird puppet things they had hanging all over the toy room. Hopefully wordpress will let me upload some pics. I was also somewhat disturbed by this crazy looking tiny opera house that was just randomly taking up an entire room. It was just all these creepy dolls in box seats watching a tiny stage with tiny people who looked like they were singing opera. And the people who run the farm now have opera music pumping into the room, which, in my opinion, just made it weirder. The whole thing was just confusing to me.
WordPress isn’t loving the idea of uploading more pics right now. It’s probably best that you don’t see the torture chamber anyway. It’s creepy.
If you’re still reading this, you are pretty much caught up on my trip by now. When we got home from La Granja, we got some relaxation time in, and then my parents and I went to dinner. We went to a Turkish kebab place called Istanbul (not Constantinople), but did you know that the things we call kebabs aren’t really kebabs? We were rather confused when the man brought our food, and there were no skewers. As it turns out, an actual kebab is more like a gyro; shaved meat with veggies in a pita. We got chicken ones, and I was happy to have some vegetables in there since I haven’t been eating so hot lately. Dad said (and I agree) that they were the best things we’ve eaten in Mallorca so far. Kind of funny that the best food we’ve had in Spain is Turkish.