Having most of my syllabi and meeting all of my professors for the semester, I am pleased with my curriculum. It will be an interesting semester, jammed packed with all sorts of assignments, activities, and a few surprises. I know I can manage it all, just need to get organized. This brings me to the highlight of my week!
HOT and HANDY study abroad TIP: Don't be shy, bring ALL of your favorite school supplies from home.
I didn't bring any notebooks, folders, or any of my leftover supplies from the spring. I can't tell you how many note cards and pens I have in storage in D.C. Yet, I have been hanging on to the same Lufthansa Airlines pen and Hotel Jaime III notepad, just so I could survive my classes this week. By Wednesday, I was at the end of my wits and spoke to Antonia and Susan about places to purchase supplies for a reasonable price. Of course, everything on campus and in central Palma is expensive. I had to find a better alternative.
They directed me to a SUPER center called Carrefour. Antonia could see by the expression on my face that I was a little apprehensive to find this place on my own. However my mood changed quickly when she said, "Its like Wal-Mart." I carefully took their directions and made plans to see this place for myself.
Carrefour is on the bus route from UIB to home. I decided that today I must get all my supplies in order to be ready for next week. No excuses. Because I had a backpack and gym bag with me, I incurred some problems with security upon walking in the door. I just had to put my stuff in a locker until I finished my shopping. After all that, I was a little frazzled; however, I had a mission to complete. I crossed the security wall, took one look around, and realized that I had arrived! Admittedly, it is not as big of a building as an average Wal-Mart but more similar to a Targét. Either way, I was beaming with delight. I know its wrong for me to want to shop at the store that reminds me of a domestic store, but I love it! It has all that I need at affordable prices, and even better, its easily accessible. What more can I ask for?!
Any who, getting to my point, I found the "back to school" section near the front of the store, "SCORE!" I thought to myself. Looking at the spirals, just as I was warned, I realized that ALL the notebooks, in Mallorca and Spain actually, contain what we call "graph paper" only. Lined paper simply does not exists. Wide ruled, college ruled, loose leaf, I used to take it for granted, such a simple luxury. Still, I had to get what they had. I bought some notebooks, Post-it notes, pens, and substitute folders. I don't think pocket folders exist either, so we'll see how these fair.
So after I surveyed the school supplies, I wanted to see the rest of the store, especially the grocery section. The most mind blowing moment occurred when I saw the seafood section. No, not prepackaged items, but fresh, straight out the net from the boat cruising the Mediterranean, sea food of ALL types, from snapping lobsters to octopus legs to 5 different types of shrimp to porterhouse size tuna steaks. I was in awe. I just couldn't believe that it was all right there, waiting to be purchased, cooked, and enjoyed.
After I closed my mouth, I walked around some more, surveying the brands. I nearly teared when I saw Colgate and Dove in the hygiene section. Last week, I went to the local pharmacy to purchase some body wash. I found some, but it was pricey. Moreover, I am pretty sure that I bought a body wash with a hint of men's cologne. I plan to use it all, but now I know where to go as soon as I run out!
I paid for my items, had a nice conversation with the cashier, and got my bags from the locker. I witnessed another amazing moment in the store when I saw this the young boy be reprimanded by his father. Actually, the whole front of the store stopped to watch him yell at the boy. I was scared for him and didn't move a muscle until the father was done yelling. I love seeing these natural expressions of emotion in the Mallorquin culture. I've seen this same situation at home before, but this was that much more intense in español!
It was fun to get out and find Carrefour by myself after such an intense first week of classes. Furthermore, I need to get focused and organized tonight. I have a big weekend ahead of me. More to come soon!