Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Semana Santa III: Teruel

I spent most of last Friday resting up from my travels, but I decided to go out with David and his lady to the city center to watch the Easter processions. I knew, to some extent, what to expect, which is the main reason I agreed to go. It's such a strange ritual from an American perspective, given the outfit was kind of driven out of style long ago for us by bigots:

This procession involved hundreds of people marching solemnly through the streets in similar attire, playing drums. Every so often, a giant "float" would be carried through, depicting a scene from the Passion. They were quite elaborate (and I imagine really heavy).

I'm actually really curious as to how this ritual began because I don't understand why there are so many drums or strange outfits. It's difficult to imagine where that sort of outfit may have originated from in the very limited context of my knowledge of Catholic religion. Of course, David didn't know or care, so I'll have to look it up on my own.

Monday was considered a holiday as well, I think as a continuation of Semana Santa.  I took a nice walk to a park where I had lunch with David and some of his teacher friends. Of course, despite hiking a few miles to get there, I was super punctual while everyone else who drove was over an hour late. I'm not sure why I even feel the need to be punctual anymore, I guess I fear that the one time I don't show up on time, the other person will be punctual. Regardless, we had a giant seafood paella and I struggled to understand their slang-filled conversation, which I understood to be quite vulgar and apparently hilarious. It's really difficult to understand people when they have food in their mouths and they're laughing. The weather was nice enough, though. I even got a little sunburn.

Yesterday was a holiday in Teruel, so I only had to work in the morning in Albarracín. In the afternoon, I went with Ana to her friend's apartment terrace. I think the tradition was supposed to involve going out to the countryside and feeding tortillas and whatnot to the poor, but her friends decided to cook hamburgers and get drunk on the roof of their apartment instead. Close enough, I guess. I tried playing Trivial Pursuit with them, which was extremely difficult. Between their slurred pronunciation and the fact that nearly all of the questions referenced Spanish history, I was understandably frustrated. I did manage to help with any English names or words that happened to be thrown in there, though. Unfortunately, those were rarely the questions asked to my team. Eventually, the beautiful afternoon was spoiled by a short, hard rain, and we were forced to go back inside. Soon afterward, everything devolved into a cell phone party, so I hiked back to my apartment to prepare my lessons for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow evening I get to go to the dinosaur museum, where some of my students from the Language School will be giving a tour in English to the class. I'm pretty excited. I've been once before, but I didn't really have enough time to look at the exhibits. Hopefully this time I can look at some more stuff.

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