Anonymous: I don't want to make the situation worse but the bare naked truth about Spain is that it is a racist culture. I am sorry you had to experience the trash but it is the reality. Your guide may have rainbow coloured the truth, Spaniards know exactly what other nationalities, ethnicity, races & what have you look like, what you experienced is their way of pointing you out to humiliate you,bring you down & degrade you. Refugee camps have been burnt down by Spaniards simply because they hate Latinos.
Cont.: Just look at the YouTube videos that a lot of young Spaniards have created. Videos claiming that they are white and to not dare mistake them for Mexicans or black because they are superior and above all African Americans and Latinos. They go to great lengths to spread this garbage, video after video claiming they are white and have German & Irish blood. So I apologise for the rant, I just hate that the truth about them is never really told. Their hate goes deep, don’t mistake their attention towards you as ignorance, they know exactly what they are doing and the purpose behind it is not nice. My Asian/Australian friend traveled there, no cafe would serve her and she got pushed around in the streets. She left early because she was treated so bad. Please be careful and stay with a group.
Thank you Anon. I’ve been home for a few months now, and although the country is very beautiful, I did learn about the ugly and deeply rooted racism that is all over Spain. I appreciate you reading this blog and taking the time out to address this and confirm what I know now (but what Spaniards and some of my fellow peers made me doubt while I was there).
Unfortunately, there’s more than enough racism in America and as a Black woman I think it’s something I may (unfortunately) face everywhere for the rest of my lifetime, but I did appreciate the experience of traveling and learning new things about myself. I’m really sad to hear about your friend’s experience, but as a person of color who not only cares about everyone, but especially recognizes the struggle of all minorities, I picked up on racism that was directed not only towards Black people, but to Asian people and anyone other than Spaniards or Caucasian Americans. Even their attitudes towards other Spanish speakers (i.e. Dominicans) were very superior, and no matter how much I learned about myself and the country, I can’t really celebrate the experience of one culture if it looks down on my own, or even me as an individual for having the (obviously uncontrollably) racial and ethnic traits of my culture.
One can only hope that if your friend ever decides to give it another chance or if I ever re-visit Valencia or see some of the other cities I didn’t get the opportunity to visit, there will be evident progress (even though we all know that is a VERY slow process) and perhaps we won’t feel as uncomfortable, objectified, rejected, fetishized, etc.
Sorry for my rant of an answer lol, but I feel like going in depth on this topic really makes for honest discussion that future travelers should know. Thanks again for writing in, take care.
And my Spanish is terrible!
And she told me that it was (gotta love friends for telling the truth lol).
Idk what I can do to improve- I guess I really have to force myself to talk to my Spanish speaking friends that always want to help out- but what a set back!
No way I’m going to be fluent by the end of the year if I keep it up like this.
For those that are still abroad speaking the language- Get in as much practice as you can.
For those of you that have come back- PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE or you will lose it!
I’ve been back for going on three weeks now, and even though life has returned to normal, I can’t say the same for myself.
Besides the physical changes- slight weight gain, trouble with my sleeping pattern (I’ll touch on those later) my mind is neither here nor there.
I’m bored with day to day life and every day expectations, and seeking something else. I don’t quite want to travel abroad right now, but I can’t stay rooted forever. It just won’t please me anymore.
I start getting inexplicably tired around 10pm, and I struggle to stay up a lot later than that. I’m waking up later, which is better, but not much of an improvement.
Besides that- not knowing when, what, or how much to eat is driving me crazy!
A lot of the other students in my program can agree on one thing- a slight displacement. We missed our friends and family, and are happy for our old routine, but it was a routine TOO regular. It almost feels as if studying abroad didn’t even happen- it happened so fast!
I’m sure the transition will get better, but I’m only a few weeks in, and it’s just a bit rough.
If any of you are planning on studying abroad, or you’re currently somewhere far from home, please please please don’t take it for granted. Live in every moment and enjoy the time for what it’s worth.
My visit to the mosque in Córdoba was the highlight of living in Spain. I’ve [not so] secretly been obsessed with the mosque since I learned about it in my AP Art History class, and the moment I knew for sure that I was going to Spain, I was determined to see the mosque.
The columns are done in hypostyle, which simply means- there are a LOT of them, and they’re EVERYwhere!
Apart from the columns though, the mosque (obviously) had many Arabesque elements, including the ceiling, the doors, the shapes on the windows, etc.
Except for the more recent structures- like the chapel. Yes, the chapels. Although this is a mosque by name, after the Muslims were forced out of Spain, Spaniards turned the mosque into a Catholic church (allegedly, it was a church before the Muslims as well).
I thought that was incredibly lifelike!
The main altar was nothing short of breathtaking- impressive, incredibly detailed, awesome… well, you get the point.
is the area where Christopher Colombus went to pray that the king and queen would give him permission to “discover” the new world. And I believe every saint is represented there too.
There were a lot of statues and other things I found really interesting all throughout the mosque (mosque/church?)
But, I took SO many pictures (this is my favorite architectural structure people!) that I think I’ll continue splitting up the posts.
You can look forward to artifacts and other ancient treasures held in the mosque in my next few posts.
One day remains in this roller coaster ride that has been my study abroad experience.
After the last final, the school’s travel agent/advisor showed us a slideshow of most of the pictures he’s taken. I didn’t realize it, but that was probably the first time all 13 of us have been together in that room since orientation.
This semester abroad hasn’t been cake for me- I’ve been very open about the problems I have with Spain, in regards to gender, but especially racial issues.
However, that does not necessarily negate everything that I have seen and learned in this world, and everything that I’ve learned about myself.
When it’s all said and done, I’m really grateful for this opportunity. Not many people get to travel the world, meet new people, try new foods, see famous landmarks, etc. Not many people have the support system I have, backing me and wanting me to get the best that this world has to offer.
Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m far from a sentimental person.
With that being said, this was one of the best things I’ve ever decided to do. It’s changed my life, forever.
My advice, to anyone- save up, and when you feel like you’re in over your head, book your plane ticket and leave. You aren’t running away from your problems, you’re running towards a solution, I promise. The first step is the scariest, the first week may be the toughest, but it’s a chance to start something new for yourself, and to realize what you’re made of.
This is my personal guarantee that you will gain a better understanding of yourself- who you thought you were, who you want to become, and who you have the courage to be, at home or overseas.
Entonces- con corazón, con alma, y con todo lo que tengo, por favor
Llegue a Granada a 9 por la mañana, y empezaba el viaje a la Alhambra.
Al principio, la Alhambra fue diseñado como un lugar militar, pero en realidad, era el alojamiento de los reales en el siglo trece.
Tuve entrada para los jardines a las 2, y la había comprado a las 10 en la mañana. Entonces, caminaba por La Alhambra, y conocí gente interesante y simpática en casi cada sitio.
Subí la montaña para ver lo que pudí, sin entrada a los palacios.
Arriba de la Puerta del Vino (me encantan los detalles)
La fachada del palacio de Carlos V
I’m sure I wasn’t particularly supposed to be in that area- I could only purchase tickets for the gardens at 2pm- but I wandered around the Alhambra anyways.
Originally designed as a military base, it turned into palaces for the royalty and their court.
All of the designs are very Arabesque, because they represent a time when Arabs were in control of Andalusia.
I really enjoyed visiting the palace of King Charles (shown above and directly below)
I also loved the old baths! The outside was covered with flowers (more pictures of those to come), and the inside had such amazing designs letting light into the space.
And the designs on the ground were equally as spectacular (they didn’t miss a beat on this one)
Well there you have it- some of my favorite parts of La Alhambra. I’ll have another post with the gardens and the floral aspects of the Alhambra, and you won’t want to miss it!
El fin de semana pasada, fui al parte de España que se llama Andalucía (pronounced An-duh-lou-thee-a with a Spanish accent, and An-duh-lou-sha in English).
Aunque queda menos de una semana aqui en España, decidí viajar para ver otros partes del país.
Fui a la Alhambra (voy a poner más fotos en el próximo post), y vi el palacio de Carlos V, los jardines, y otros sitios.
Fui a Córdoba para visitar mi amigo (el me visitó el fin de semana anterior aqui en Valencia). Vimos un desfile de sevillanos y flamenco…
Él me informó sobre Las Cruces, la fiesta en Córdoba ese fin de.
Era un fin de lluvioso, pero bueno- ¡no pasaba nada para los españoles!
Fui a la Mezquita, mi edificio favorito de todo el mundo
Tambien, vi los partes Romanos de la ciudad, y en esa foto, estoy en el puente Romano, arriba del rio Guadalquivir:
Overall, my trip to Andalusia (the area in the South of Spain) went well. I left Valencia around midnight Thursday, well technically Friday. I got to Granada at about 9 am, had some Cola Cao (hot chocolate), and went to the Alhambra.
I got back on a bus to Cordoba, and not long after I got to my friend’s apartment (where his host family greeted me very warmly), we were off to a show. The dancers danced Sevillanas (which is a lot more difficult than it appears to be), and were AMAZING. I have more pictures and videos (let’s hope I can post them this time) to show you guys.
I also went to the mosque, which is technically a cathedral now. The mosque is my favorite building in the world, and I’ve wanted to visit since I learned about it in AP Art History in high school (quite some time ago).
I was so grateful for the opportunity, and the entire trip, which including dancing, architecture, wonderful sites, and the history of two interesting cities. 3 buses (8 hours, 3 hours, 8 hours) was a lot to deal with, but my trip to the south was well worth it.