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It´s starting to look like CHRISTMAS!

December 9th, 2010 nmmari12

Well minus the snow, A Coruña is starting to look a lot like Christmas! James, Arinelli and I went to go look at the Christmas lights and the main tree the other night, and everything was so gorgeous and festive! However, the usual 3 feet of December snow that I am used to after living in either Evanston or Worcester is definitely lacking. In fact, it is currently a whopping 50 degrees outside! I hope that everyone back home and at HC is not too cold…don’t worry spring will be there soon! Sorry I just had to make a comment about that. 🙂 Anyways, to add to the Christmas spirit, our culture coordinator Arianna invited us over to her house to make Christmas cookies last night. It was quite a success, my favorite were the sugar cookies, dipped in chocolate with crushed candy canes on top. I think I ate 6 cookies in 10 minutes. Before we started our epic baking experience, Arianna showed us a place in her town of Santa Cruz that looks over the bay to A Coruña. It was a pretty cool sight, as we could all point out our houses and our favorite locations in A Coruña.

This week I also started playing soccer. Yes, it feels extremely weird to be playing soccer… outside…in December…without absolutely freezing. While I am a little out of shape, it is great fun to run around, meet some Spaniards and play a sport that I have loved since the 1st grade.  However, my first practice I ran into quite an embarrassing culture difference. When I was packing back in August to come to Spain, my good friend Yael was helping me. For those who know me, I have major issues with over-packing, and so Yael´s job was to throw stuff out of my suitcase. She told me that I didn´t need shin guards because people in Europe don´t wear them when playing soccer. I didn´t believe her, as I have worn shin guards my whole life while playing soccer and love the vital protection they serve for my shins. However, after arriving to the first practice (with shin guards), the coach kindly pulled me aside and told me, that in Europe, they do not wear shin guards. So needless to say, my shins were a little sore after the first practice! Sorry for ever doubting you Yael!

Dato Divertido: This past week, we had a ¨puente¨ where we got off a few days from school. Technically we only had Monday and Wednesday off, but because Spain is awesome, we unofficially get Tuesday off as well! Puente = bridge, so basically there is a ¨bridge¨ between Monday and Wednesday, so we didn´t have class on Tuesday. Anyways, Monday was a very important historical holiday here in Spain. It was the Constitution Day. What is constitution day? Well, here is a little Spanish history… From 1939-1975 a right-wing dictator named Francisco Franco ruled Spain. He was quite harsh with his laws, controlled many aspects of daily life and strongly opposed and punished any ideological opposition. After Franco died in 1975, the country started to move towards a democracy and enacted a constitution in 1978 that officially made Spain a democratic nation. Therefore, every year on December 6th Spain celebrates Constitution Day. We actually learned about this during our orientation in Pamplona, and we listened to a song that describes the huge sentiment for freedom in Spain. This song was actually known to motivate the people to fight for their liberties and a democratic nation. If you click on this link, you can watch the YouTube video of the song! It´s in Spanish and quite 70s, so give it a listen!

The big Christmas tree near Calle Real. It´s right in the center of town!

A main street in Coruña…pretty sweet lights!

In the downtown area, there are lights like these down every streeet! I also saw similar lights in Dublin, so it must be a European thing?

Another example of the lights

Besides the tree, the lights down this street are my favorite. You can´t tell in the picture, but some of these lights sparkle!

In Santa Cruz

James, Arinelli and I…across the bay is Coruña!

It´s kinda a rainy day…but this is Coruña!

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