Things are still just as sweet as always, but I am definately starting to pine for California. Sevilla's being decorated, and seeing all the Christmas stuff is making me feel like I should be at home. But there're a few final hurdles yet. I've got the final test next week and it seems like Salva gives us a new verb tense to learn every day. Not that I'm complaining, I love filling in the gaps, but that's a lot of information for one test. Also, next monday we have our final presentations--I'm doing mine on the history of Disneyland. It doesn't sound like the most serious presentation topic, I know, but who can resist el lugar mas feliz de todo el mundo?
This past weekend we went to Ronda, a town about 2 hours out of Sevilla and the fourth most popular city to visit in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla itself. It's built up on a big hill with cliffs all around and the view is spectacular. We walked up to one point to see the view and Salva told us it was the "place of gosh." Figuring that his English was sadly lacking in this instance, I asked what he meant. He told me that whenever a tourist saw the drop-off they would say "gosh," hence the name. I looked at him like he was crazy because I doubted his translation and he told me that actually it had a similar name in Spanish but he wouldn't tell me because it was much too strong a word. After some begging from him and the other prof, I got them to give me the word but they still wouldn't translate it for me. So I got out my trusty Spanish cell phone and texted David back in Sevilla (he's the go-to-guy whenever we need to know something the professors can't tell us). He texted back thus: "well, that's a good one and it has several meanings--all of which are bad..." That has certainly been one of the highlights of my Spanish education. The rest of the city was beautiful, especially one long staircase down to the river below. It was a secret staircase back in the day and it had about 300 steps--everybody was panting by the top.
Another interesting adventure happened that night back in Sevilla. We were all hanging out by the river after midnight (which is still a perfectly reasonable hour in Sevilla) when we were accosted by a pair of Canis. Canis are the wannabe gangsters of Sevilla--they go around on their mopeds and dress in stripes and too many piercings and make trouble wherever they can find it, often with foreigners like us. One of the two was about 15 and the other one looked like he was on something, so we weren't too worried and we started a nice conversation with them. They started being unpleasant, so we felt it was safer to pretend we didn't understand them. When they were convinced that we didn't understand their spanish, they began to say some really unpleasant things about some of our mothers and the like. The older one even said some things about pulling out a pistol (which is supremely unlikely in Spain, so don't worry about me) but we still felt it was good to get out of there, so we left without any more trouble--I think they finally realized that we were a group of about 20 and they had 2--Margarita always tells me that the Canis are uneducated.
And speaking of Margarita, I think she's going to take it bad when we leave. Just yesterday we told her that we wanted to take her out for lunch this week (she doesn't eat dinner). We insisted on paying for her and she started to cry--extremely uncomfortable, but really sweet. I'm gonna miss her too, she's been great. Actually, it's all been great and it'll be sad to see it all go.