Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First low

I'm starting to get that overwhelmed culture shock feeling. Not the "omg I hate this country I want to go home" kind. Definitely not. I love it here. I'm just having that "omg what was I thinking taking 20 units in a foreign country and only one of my classes is in English. Why do I have to be such an overachiever?" feeling.

I'm not quite in a routine just yet and my studies are taking the toll. I don't want that to become the routine. More specifically I'm having a bit of a hard time with my Spanish class. It's a pretty intense class. Two or three hours everyday four days a week. And being a language class, you have to keep up. I'm finding it difficult to focus on my homework when I get home from a busy day.

But I'm figuring out how to adjust. Like now, for example, I'm giving myself until 6 to blog and Facebook and such. Half hour rest. Then I have to do an hour of homework until I leave.

I still need to buy shoes that are acceptable for rain. It's been raining all day and the one pair of closed toed shoes I own don't seem to have very good traction on the streets of San Sebastian. That's something to do this weekend.

On a better note, I was introduced to a cool Basque band called Ken Zazpi. Ken Zazpi has songs in Basque, often about love but sometimes also political songs. That's not a name by the way. Ken is "taken away" and zazpi is the number seven. It's a tribute to the seven friends of these band members who were arrested and taken away for political reasons. It's a huge issue for the Basque people. It's not uncommon to see black and white flags with the map of the Basque Country and red arrows and Basque words demanding the return of Basque political prisoners to the Basque Country. In the US, these flags are mistakenly associated with the terrorist group ETA. That's not the case at all. Doubtlessly ETA supports this plight of the Basque people but it is not an ETA flag. It's just calling for political prisoners to be incarcerated in the Basque Country so their families can visit. I suppose  Basque and Spanish politics seem trivial to Americans but it's a big issue here. Every Friday there is a protest for this cause as well.

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