February 3, 2012
Filed under Uncategorized
Well, it’s been just over a week that I’ve been here in Granada, Spain (not to be confused with Grenada, a small island in the Caribbean), and I have to say, I may never come back. When I first got on the plane at Logan to begin my fifteen or so hour journey to Spain, I was all kinds of nervous. I speak Spanish well, but I knew that Spaniards typically speak faster than I normally would… would I be able to understand them? Would I be able to assimilate with the culture? Or would I just stand there mute, not being able to communicate and sticking out like a sore thumb because I’m a foot taller and eight shades paler than everyone else here?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in Granada, it’s, “No pasa nada.” The people here say it all the time. My host says it. My professor says it. The lady at the coffee shop I go to says it. It’s like the official saying of Granada. What does it mean? It’s basically the Spanish version of “Hakuna Matata” (don’t worry, I checked, in the Spanish version of The Lion King they still say “Hakuna Matata.”) It means no worries… for the rest of your days… it’s their problem-free philosophy… but I’m actually totally serious.
Life in Granada happens at a much slower pace than it does in D.C. or Boston or anywhere else I’m used to. Everyone takes a break at 11:00 to go get coffee. The stores all close in the middle of the day so everyone can go home and nap. It’s so much more laid-back and relaxed. The Spanish know how to take it easy.
And so, that is what I shall carry with me for my whole experience abroad. When I feel like I’m not communicating well? No pasa nada. When I feel like I’m obviously American. No pasa nada. When I feel like I’m going to die because of all the work I have to do in Spanish once my classes actually start (the don’t start until next week)? No pasa nada. Remember that, okay, CUA? Tranquila. No pasa nada.