Well, I made it home safe and sound. The flight was long as expected but free of delay and complication, so it was good. Being in familiar surroundings does feel great, and seeing my family and friends feels even better. I have almost a week left in Georgia before I make my way back to Boca Raton. How I have missed sunny South Florida. My experience abroad was one that I will never forget. I have come to the conclusion that Spain has a crazy culture. They like to party until wee hours in the morning, close stores for siesta from 2 in the afternoon until 5, and really enjoy the essence of living. Ian Gibson once said, “I always get the feeling in Spain that something unexpected is going to happen at any moment. You never quite know what is coming.” I definitely agree with his assessment. From the Spanish fiesta to their sacred siesta, it’s a come and go as you please culture.
It’s much different than the American don’t stop until you drop work ethic. I feel like we take a lot for granted in America. For example, my senora would restrict our hot water use, and every time I left a room I had to turn the lights off. She was very conscious about little things that I don’t feel we are as concerned with in America. The cultural differences are crazy – from the time of day they eat, to the language they speak. I now have a much greater appreciation for other cultures. America is no better than Spain, it’s just different. From my experience, I feel like you tend to enjoy the customs you were raised with – at least I know I do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fall in love with something different. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to Spain, but if I did, I think I would go to Valencia for Las Fallas. It’s a huge fiesta that involves the burning of 350 massive paper mache and fiberglass sculptures (some are several stories tall and cost more that $75,000 to construct). It sounds a little crazy to me, but it’s a fiesta that one could only find in Spain. I am glad to be home, but I will miss Spain and the Spanishness that I have absorbed in the past four months.