(Originally posted by Cory Odom, a CSU student studying abroad in Spain. Visit the blog page at https://strandedinastrangesurrounding.wordpress.com)
My name is Cory Odom, and I have just arrived at strange land that the locals call…. Espannyeah?
It would seem I am not alone on this voyage through this country. I met a woman who people tell me is my mother here, as I go in for a hug (A common greeting where I am from) I am met with two kisses to each of my cheeks. Yes, you heard me correctly. Without being bought dinner, this stranger kissed me on my face. I am told that this behavior is common, so it would seem that this land is full of loving people. May the lord have mercy on my soul.
This woman speaks in a language I can barely understand at a rate I cannot comprehend. I hope that if I smile and nod enough I can make it through this experience.
I have discovered a word of seemingly magical qualities. Vale, or Ball-ehh? One can never be sure, but it has the power to progress a conversation without having any idea what is going on. I will use it often as I cling onto any hopes of comprehension, but for now I will take a quick nap and will get back to writing later today.
My quick nap has rapidly turned to days straight worth of sleep. I can only guess what day it is. Today the other survivors and I walk around the city of which we now inhabit while a learned man bombards us with questions. Now is my chance to show my intelligence and mental prowess. I will come back boasting stories of my quizzical victories.
UPDATE: I have answered all questions incorrectly, and I must remember to never talk of this day again.
Later at an ungodly hour I find a bar. I stay in the bar for what seems like an eternity before I decide to leave. Confident in my navigational prowess I head off to my house. I should be home in no more than 25 minutes.
UPDATE: It would seem as though all the streets here look identical. I have spent the last hour wandering around the streets of this town at 3 in the morning. Do not worry for me, for I am sure that nothing bad has ever happened to a lost tourist wandering alley ways so early in the morning.
I find my way home, by this time it is 3:30 in the morning, and I quietly unlock the door to my new home so as to not wake my surely sleeping family. As I open the door my mother tells me that I am back early, and that she did not expect to see me here for another couple hours. When retelling the events of my evening to this woman, I leave out my wandering in hopes to maintain my rapidly diminishing manliness.
Today we explore a place called Madrid? The place is indescribable, almost like…..
I awake today with a start, as today is the day that I get to run with the bulls! This is a story I have heard of this land for years, today I will finally be able to cross something off my bucket list.
UPDATE: My host mother has forbidden the idea of running with aforementioned bulls. But my Facebook friends don’t need to know this fact…
I spend the next couple of hours watching other men fulfill their dreams of participating in the event, even one man who later got gored (Remember to never tell host mother she was right in not letting me run).
And when that day ended, I had to prepare for classes. Apparently they expect me to learn here.