So my mostly internet free weekend has been pretty awesome! My host family brought me with them to "el pueblo," which means town but to them means their "hometown." Augustina and Augustin grew up and met here in Calzada de Calatrava and then married and moved to Ciudad Real which is only about a half an hour away. My family has a second apartment and spends a lot of time here in the summer. There's a patio area they use a lot and they also have a "corralon," which is a garden/patio area with a high wall around it that also has a garage, a room with a fireplace, tables and chairs, and a bathroom. They have a small above ground pool and they spend a lot of time there in the summer also.
On Friday at around 9 we went to a screening of a film that one of the locals made that shows all of the local traditional festivals and fiestas. It went through the whole year from La Semana Santa (Holy Week) to the feast day of the patron of the town, Salvador del Mundo. Every town has different feasts and celebrations but most of the ones in Calzada involved a procession through the streets from the church with a large kind of parade float with the giant crucifix or statue of the Virgen Mary on it. There's also specific outfits for each festival and then brass bands usually march along with the procession. It's very interesting stuff but also hard to explain.
Then at around 11 or so I went to a few bars with my host sisters and met a few of their friends. We had non-alcoholic beverages and tapas and I played fooseball! One of their friends, Alvaro, said he loved me in English which was pretty funny. He said it was difficult to be romantic in English haha There was a little dancing at the "disco" we went to but everyone said the big night to party was Saturday. We were out until about 3:00am anyways; this is very typical in Spain to go out late and stay out late.
Not sure if I really explained tapas but it's another amazing part of Spanish culture. Whenever you go to a bar or cafe and order a drink, you get a tapa, a small dish of food that's like an appetizer but you don't get a meal afterwards. You get a dish with every drink you order so you can end of having a whole meal of tapas and it doesn't cost very much. Some examples of tapas: Serrano ham with crackers/bread, tortilla española (omelette with potatoes), chicken chunks (better than Frickers), meatballs, potatoes (in many forms, but mostly fried or like breakfast potatoes), small sandwiches, kabobs, etc. Last night I think I paid 2€ for 2 small beers and tapas which is about $2.50. So cheap.
Anyways, on Saturday we slept late and then went to an outdoor market that had lots of clothes, shoes, and purses for sale, had some tapas, took a long siesta, and then ate again. We painted our nails and were finally ready to go out at about 11. We took some pictures before we went out and that felt very familiar haha we went to a couple of bars/cafes for cokes and beers, and then went to the disco again. We got a huge punch bowl of tinto de verano for 8€ split between four of us and we each had 3 glasses. Again, so cheap! We did a little dancing and I met a bunch of people. One guy who is obsessed with the US told me his dream is to travel Route 66, that he loves the Oakland Raiders and the LA Lakers, and he knew where Cleveland was! My new friend Alvaro and I danced a little salsa and talked for a while, with him speaking English and me speaking Spanish! It's really good practice for everyone that way! We got home at about 5am and then slept until 1! My college days have been good training for this but I'm a bit out of practice staying up so late.
Another thing I've had to get used to is whenever you see your friends here, meet new people, and say goodbye, you give them "dos besos," which is that Euro thing you've all seen where you kiss each other on each cheek. It's very different from the American handshake, obviously but it's not a bad thing. It's kind of like hugging people in the United States when you first meet them, for me maybe? I don't know but I feel like I've dos bes-ed half of Spain by now with all the people I've met.
Also the family has a kitten at their hometown house! His name is Fermín because he was born on the feast of San Fermín in July. He's so cute and we became best friends of course. They call him Mini or Minmin which is adorable.
Anyways it's siesta time again. I'm not sure when we're going back to Ciudad Real today but then I'll have Internet so I can publish all these posts.