Sunday, February 13, 2011

At Home in Granada

If you've been keeping up with my trip on this blog (which makes you a member of a demographic of approximately three people) you know I've done a little whining about Spain lately, but I really have to say: I love this city. Here's why:

1. This weekend we went to a club that is in an actual cave. And I stayed out until 5 am and actually enjoyed it. I'm getting the hang of Spanish nightlife, although ending the night with some 6 am churros y chocolate like a lot of young people do still sounds like a terrible idea. We're starting to have the scene figured out a little better, and we all know our way around the city pretty well by now. In a lot of ways, it's starting to feel like home--not like my home, maybe, but home the way UNH is home.

2. This morning, I went to Mass in Granada's immense baroque cathedral, and was actually able to understand a lot of what was going on in the readings and the homily. It always feels like a victory every time I piece together something on my own--a newspaper headline or an ad or a scripture reading. That said, sometimes I was totally lost, and I had a new appreciation for the cathedral--even if you have no idea what's going on, at least there's a lot to look at. Which is exactly why it's so beautiful--back in the days when the Mass was in Latin the hoi poloi needed something to do while the priests were droning along. Obviously it's a good thing that the Mass isn't in Latin today and ordinary people can understand what's going on, but this kind of explains why my home church looks like a conference center.

3. I think Sunday mornings in Granada are just the nicest thing ever. Everyone's out for a walk or on their way to church, or sitting around enjoying some coffee and breakfast with their families. There's some kind of outdoor market right near our apartment that's going on for the rest of the month, and this morning the street was full of musicians and guys selling balloons. Everyone is dressed up beautifully, including the kids. That little girl in a camel coat, red tights and Mary Janes and the two-year-old twin boys in duffle coats and loafers really make me wish somebody in my family had a little kid so I could buy tiny adorable clothes for him or her. I just love how everyone is truly relaxing. At home, weekends are for catching up with stuff you've otherwise been putting off all week--chores, errands, whatever. Here, everything's closed on Sunday. No grocery shopping, no Home Depot runs, no nothing. The only thing to do is sit in the sunshine and drink coffee. Bummer.

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