Saturday, 25 September 2010

Granada, ready set go.

On the bearings of a skull-threshing headache, I am keeping now my promise that I would blog every two days about my life in Granada as an Erasmus student.

The journey from Iasi to Granada:

Two days ago, on the 23rd of September, I, Anca and Oana have said our goodbies to our parents, boyfriends, colleagues, work colleagues, grandmoms, pets (well, you got the idea) and left for Bucharest. We traveled by car, with Anca's very kind and really-speedy-driving brother and by 7, we arrived at the Bucuresti Baneasa Airport. We checked in our luggage, waited for a good chunk of 3 hours' time because Blueair had serious problems: "The flight will be delayed a lot because there are operational problems." It took 4.5 hours to get us in Malaga. No surprise there.

1st day

Again, due to Anca's kinsmen - namely her cousin, Dan - we had a ride from Malaga airport to Granada, and straight to our apartment there (he also helped us find it and pay the rent a month in advance). He also is a terrific guide - we (the 3 happy girls - no pun intended - we all have "Happy movil" phone cards and we have each other's number under the name of Irina Happy, Anca Happy and Oana Happy) are wondering how we'll manage when he goes back to Valencia.

Already the 24th, really tired, we went directly to the Faculty of Computer Science (as it was already morning when we got settled in) to fix issues regarding documents. We also noticed that in Romania, the streets teem with activity at 7-8 o'clock whereas here people start the day at 9 o'clock.

We talked to the professor that was in charge of the Erasmus students at the Computer Science faculty and he told us to go and submit the documents to the Bureau of International Affaires. The conversation went like this: "The documents you must send´s such a shame you could not make it in time to the Erasmus meeting - the address is...if only you could have attended the Erasmus meeting. The classes start...but you didn´t go to the Erasmus meeting" (you get the drift).

We went there, did our job (we'll receive an Erasmus card in a week or ten days with which we'll be able to matriculate in the faculty and have a lot of rights and freebies) and visited a bit the downtown of Granada (we live in the Aynadamar campus which is 4,5 km far from the dowtown). (excessive use of parantheses, right?)

Our sleep need went naturally out the window and we went shopping. Seeing as the apartment in which we live now - 3 simple rooms plus the big room in the middle where we eat, watch tv etc. - was as dirty as it can be, we had to buy all sorts of solutions to disinfect first, and then clean literally everything. As a Romanian saying goes, we don't want to catch brontosaurs or some awful disease.

We bought cleaning and bath related products, 3 sorts of cereals and food. Everything added up to the trifle sum of 60 euros. And we worried that we were buying too much.

Sleep was so deep.

2nd day

Today is Saturday and we (3 happy girls plus Anca's cousin) slept till late of course (curiously enough I didn't). Actually when I opened my eyes and saw the surroundings, I panicked and wondered where the hell I was. I must have had a dream about being back at home.

We had a general cleaning today. We're thinking of changing the apartment because the plumming, appliances and furniture are noticeably ancient and all sorts of mishaps happen.But we still cannot live in dirt, no matter how small the timespan is. Medical gloves and chloride came in really handy, just as a sidenote.

We rewarded ourselves with breakfast (I usually didn't eat breakfast but I'll try here to change my bad habits) and went to visit Alhambra and the sea.

We didn't manage to enter the castle of Alhambra but we went around it and visited the grounds and the gardens. Everything transpired Arab sageness and motifs. A thing that made me a bit thoughtful was the fact that Alhambra, although build by Arabs before the 1600s, was superficially decorated with ill-fitting Christian signs. I'm a devout Catholic but crosses etched and embossed everywhere on Alhambra seemed like a crusade in speed-mode.

I saw (I have to get used to the sight anyway) daphne, orange, banana, fig, date and olive trees - all real life. The vegetation in Granada is Mediterranean by all accounts. The earth is red in many places, the renouned terra-rossa I learned about at Geography classes. We couldn't get in the castle but we made today a reservation for Monday at 2pm.

We went afterwards to the seaside, driving with a splendid view of snow-capped Sierra Nevada on the left side (1h distance). The Mediterranean sea is blue, cobalt blue and angry. I don't think it needs other epithets. Beautiful and breathtaking seem somehow redundant... The rocks and the cliffs that milestoned the beach made it even more imposing, if that were possible.

I played in the sea for a while not having the courage to change in a swimsuit - it is September after all - and challenged the waves to shatter nearer and nearer to my legs. And waist ocasionally. As it was the second time I ever saw the sea - I saw it first time last year, in England, the Sea of North namely - I took advantage of the occasion to marvel that the sea is salty. I tasted it, of course.

Back home, I put all my clothes and belongings in the wardrobe and drawers. There, that ought to make it more permanent. It's 3AM and my skull-threshing headache tell me that I have to sleep if I want to go to the church tomorrow and find a pool and swim. Down in T-3, T-2, T-1...

1 comment:

  1. hello,
    you may put the labels a little wrong. I would say: fun, relaxation, mint rubbing....rather than computer science, informatica, faculty... :)