Friday, May 25, 2012


I am officially back home in Nashville! :) Since I have more time on my hands, I'll be posting steadily about my trips and the final portion of my semester in Madrid. I don't want to get into the sentimental things quite yet, so I'll share about our program's final group trip to Segovia. :)

As always, a visual:

I'm not going to write too much about it, but it's old and is the home to the Roman aqueducts, a living testimony to the greatness of the Roman Empire...

It is also home to cochinillo, or the suckling pig, and this soup...

...and this pastry.

And there are rumors that Disney's castle was based off the castle here in Segovia. However, most say that the Disney castle is based off a castle somewhere in Germany.

Segovia is surround by these beautiful snow capped mountains. They say the contour of the mountain range is like a woman laying on her back. The legend says, during the Spanish influenza outbreak, there was a woman with two children, who were very sick and surely about to die. The mother prayed that they take her own life in place of her children's and the very next day, the children were healed from this deadly disease, yet their mother was found dead. So the legend says that the mountains are the mother who had sacrificed her life for her children, and the children come and kiss her on the cheek in the form of clouds.

It was so cold that day, it was a little hard to enjoy the excursion, but glad I got to go see it. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hello, world!

I made it back in one piece from a solo trip to Barcelona! Wahoo! Angela is a big girl now!

Updates on Segovia, Barcelona, London, and Madrid coming your way! But first, I have to write a ridiculous essay on Spanish literature that I haven't started. Sigh, school work first, I guess.

Anyways, stayed tuned!

Just a random picture of the underbelly of 
the Eiffel Tower. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012


The weekend after my Spring Break, I with two other friends headed to the south of Spain to the wondrous city of Granada. (I have an exam tomorrow that I should be studying for but I lack motivation. And, it's bloody hot in Madrid.)

As always, a map reference:

Friday, May 11, 2012

One down

One exam done, three papers, two exams, and a final project until the end of my junior year!

It was supposed to be a positive thing, but now it kind of puts me in a "I'm drowning in a sea of work" kind of mood. Shucks.

A little compile of random things in my life currently:

A lot of my program friends are headed back to the States tomorrow. :( Makes me sad! One friend is graduating this semester, so I actually don't know when I'll see her next.

The exam today actually (knock on wood) went pretty well! BUT, I did mix English and Spanish together when writing the answers because there was just no way I could talk about how I could decrease the weight of the public debt in relation to the GDP all in Spanish. Nope. (The professor said it was fine.)

The weather in Madrid has been FANTASTIC!

But a strange thing. So as you can see, it's in the upper 80's here. In my mind (and most other Americans' mindset), this weather calls for shorts and dresses.  Or at least, it's perfectly acceptable to wear shorts and dresses.  Yet, the past two days I've worn shorts, and I keep on getting funny looks from the Spaniards! I see people still in their boots and coats! (Plus tights, plus scarves.) Holy cow! How are you not dying from the heat? Some things I will never understand.

As I'm thinking about going back home (less than two weeks everyone!), I'm mustering up all the different things I want to do when I'm home. There's a couple of staples such as taking a bath, watching a movie on my couch, FOODNETWORK, baking cookies, making guacamole, and eating lots, and lots of Korean food.  But aside from that, this desire to beautify my family's home is bubbling out. More like spewing out.  Hopefully I'll be able to get somethings accomplished. :)

And LASTLY (before I head off to write my paper), I've booked my final trip of this semester to Barcelona!!! This indeed is going to be a solo trip. Eeeep! I booked my flight, and just booked a B&B through (which is a first for me), so let's see how things turn out! 

(Shout out to Jen. If you're reading this, which you may not be, forgive me for not sending an update email yet!)

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I really don't want to study for my finals which are in approximately four days. So here I am on blogger, writing a short post. Heh heh.

I'm thinking I might be adventuring solo to Barcelona after my exams for 3 days 2 nights. (Or 4 days 3 nights.) I think I should be okay, but am I being a silly Asian-American girl who doesn't know what's she talking about?

Well, I've got the idea into my head, and I can't get it out. Plus, I have decided I must to go Barcelona no matter what. :P

Now back to Behavioral Economics.

Cultural differences: false cognates

Spanish and English have very similar words, similar sentence structures, and share the same alphabet, more or less.  And personally, I think that's why it's easier for English speakers to pick up Spanish, in contrast to Swahili. (In fact, a long standing joke among Americans is that if you add a -o or -a to an English word, you get a Spanish word. Obviously, not true.)

For instance, if I wrote, Ángela estudia economía en Boston. With some intellectual will-power, you could probably deduct that that sentence means "Angela studies economics in Boston," or at least something to that effect.

Likewise, you could probably guess, universidad means university, concentración means concentration, fútbol means football.

BUT! There are so many false cognates as well! AKA because the Spanish word looks similar to an English word, you assume it means the same thing as it does in English, but it actually means something completely different in Spanish.

Shall we look at some examples?

- Librería: looks like "library," no? Well, it actually means "bookstore."
- Actualmente: looks like "actually," but it actually (har har) means "currently." "Actually" would be better expressed as "en realidad."
- Colegio: Not "college." Refers to "high school."
- Culto: Not a "cult." Means "a church service."
- Red: Doesn't refer to the color red. In Spanish it means "network" or "web." So when they talk about the internet, sometimes they use this word.

So those are pretty standard, but here's two that I find hilarious.

- Embarazada: Does NOT mean embarrassed. It means pregnant!! Haha I know tons of people who have made this mistake.
- Constipado: LOL Funny story. My host mom was really sick at one point this semester, and she was telling me all her symptoms when she says, "Estoy muy constipada." And I think, "Woah lady, I know we've gotten close, but I rather not know about such bodily functions."  Then I realize she's talking about her nose!  Constipado is equivalent to congested, NOT constipated.

Yay for language barriers!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Remember when I said that I have a fear/dislike of birds?

I don't per se hate all birds, but I really don't like pigeons and just any birds that cross my path on a daily basis. (Ugh, just thinking about pigeons brings a chill down my back.) I walk around birds, and a little yelp escapes my mouth when they all of a sudden decide to flutter past me, in front of me, over me, etc.

While traveling, I've come across my fair share of pigeons, and my travel companions would always ask why I had this weird distaste for birds?  There are several different reasons, but nonetheless, I've been trying to get better about my dislike of pigeons slash birds I come into contact on daily basis.  But as of yesterday, I have (more) legitimate fear/dislike of them.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Multiple apologizes

Hi everyone, sorry that I've been MIA.

My friend Jo* was visiting me for the past 4 days, and things have been a little crazy with the school work. >.< My final exams are coming up, and can you believe it? Tomorrow is my last day of classes at the UAM!

I promise, after I get myself organized for my exams, I'll write you all a lovely post--make that several lovely posts.

Another update, I'm officially changing my flight back to the U.S. a little bit earlier than the original flight. This change is to several different reasons, but I'm feeling quite conflicted about going back home.

Here are some pictures from my Granada trip to make up for my absence. :)

P.S. Interesting. I having a hard time physically writing English, and spelling words like psychology. (Just now, that took about 3 different tries.) Spanish is getting to my English.