Monday, February 25, 2013

Thank You Mahan

Howdy to all you state-side-folks!!! I hope that all of my CMCers had a wonderful time at the Wedding Party, and that all of my fellow Texans are braving the blizzard within the cuddly-warm safety of your couches.
Here I am in Spain. Make sure to notice the gorgeous brick wall.

Spain has been treating me pretty well over the past few weeks so I thought I would fill you in!

Here I am bull ringing

I started my classes at the University of Seville last week, and they have been really great! College in Spain is very different from college in the United States for approximately 5 reasons. (Well, probably more, but right now I can think of 5)

1) College in Spain is in Spanish

2) Attending class is optional for spanish students, so most of your classmates never come to class.

3) It's like a game finding your classes everyday because the buildings are outrageously tricky! (Example: this is literally the layout of the first floor of a building: Classroom 13, Classroom 14, Classroom 16, Classroom XVII...?)

4) None of the toilets have seats on them! (And no, I'm not confusing toilets with the very European bidet.)

5) The professors love to go off on tangents. Yesterday, our class stopped for 30 minuets so that we could discus the fact that there exists an animal called a mule, which happens to be a cross between a horse and a donkey... For the record, this had absolutely nothing to do with the class "History of the Contemporary World".

Here are some of my American friends! They're cute

In other news, I have discovered that my name is very confusing for people here. In case you didn't know, which would be strange as you're currently reading my blog, my name is Gracie Mahan or Graciela to the hispanic side of my family. When I arrived in Spain, I assumed that I would go by Graciela for the duration of the semester, but I was quickly told (by my program directors) that in Spain, my name is Gracia.

Not thinking twice, I began introducing myself to everyone that I met as Gracia. This is, until I started to recognize a pattern. Someone would approach me and say, "Como te llamas" and I would say, "Gracia" and they would say, "No, como te llamas" and I would smile and say, "Gracia". At this point, I would receive a pitying smile and the response "No pasa nada".

 I literally experienced this strange interaction for 3 weeks before I awoke with a start in the middle of the night with the realization that everyone in Spain must think that I am immensely confused...

In Andalusia, people drop the final "s" off of the word "gracias", which changes it to "Gracia", which means THANK YOU!!!

Let's now revisit that introductory conversation, shall we? (In english for clarity ;)...

Spanish Person: Hi! What's your name?
Me: Thank you
Spanish Person: No, what's your name?
Me: (While smiling) Thank youuu
Spanish Person: (In a much louder, much slower voice. The kind of voice that you would use to speak to Tarzan) Don't worry about it...

I have to admit, it was an enormously embarrassing epiphany! (hope you enjoyed that alliteration) But you know what? I probably made several spaniard's days by giving them a real good chuckle, and hey! I quite like my new name. In fact, when I return to the states, I just might keep it!

ThankYou Mahan

CMC Reunion! My good friend Mackenzie Dallas 

Walking across the bridge into my neighborhood Triana

An amazing bridge in Ronda, Spain

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gracie,

    Your blog is so great! I studied in Salamanca last semester, and I miss it so much!! Reading this reminds me of all the little things that made my experience so special. Keep enjoying it!!!