Saturdays in Spain
Unlike my previous two host family experiences abroad, my host family situation in Spain was more strictly a border and proprietor relationship. In Spain, hosting students is entirely a business there as in they have students in their homes year round. I was certainly fed two meals a day although I never would have asked for my host mom to fix me a snack even though there were many points in the day between meals where I was famished thanks to Spain’s rather nontraditional eating times. (Breakfast by American standards was a sham as it consisted of a piece of fruit and a roll which would have been fine had I not been made to operate on an American class schedule as in early classes with lunch not served until after 2 PM.)
While I did get to watch television I never would have gone into the sala and turned it on myself even if no one was around. The only place I felt was “mine” was the bedroom I shared with my American roommate although I was severely chastised one time for putting my wet washcloth on the space heater for a couple of minutes by my host mom who happened to come in unannounced one night, she was incredibly paranoid when it came to fires and talked about fires all the time. (Lest anyone think I was trying to start an inferno, I was simply tired of having damp articles that never fully dried since heating units don’t exist there.) However, even with the business aspect of the living arrangements, I know that my host family cared for my roommate and me. When I was sick and couldn’t eat normal foods for over a week, my host mom prepared me a bland diet. If we needed “lunch to go,” they would prepare one. Although nothing was cuter than the couple of times in which my host dad picked up McDonald’s for dinner since it seemed to give him pleasure to do so, fulfilling the global stereotype that Americans just love their Big Macs and fries. I was more happy that it gave my host mom the night off from cooking.
I didn’t keep in touch save for a Christmas card I sent some months after I had left and yet I know if I’m ever in Seville again, I’ll go over to the piso (apartment) and perhaps even ring the buzon (buzzer) just like I did all those years ago when the taxi first dropped me off there more than six years ago.
|My host dad Diego, host brother Miguel and Diego’s grandson who was an occasional visitor|