A lot has been going on since I last visited this page. Travelling and new experiences and have taken up a lot of my time. One major change being the fact that I now live in Spain. As a result of studying studying Spanish as my minor degree in University along with Commerce as my major, I had to study in a host university for the academic year. I chose Granada in South Spain. However just because I chose Granada, it did not mean I automatically got a place. Your preference was determined by the average GPA from your first year and half in university. I most definitely did not get the highest GPA, but luck and the fact that I chose place over people got me in.
I knew for a fact that I was going to have the best year of my life in Granada. Although it isn’t even half completed yet, the first 3 months have been amazing. Challenging, but amazing. I adore the Spanish culture and people. The customs did take a while to get used to. Simple things like commercial siestas from 2/3-5 made me have to change my whole day plan. In Ireland 2-5 is usually when I get most of my messages done. In Granada I still have problems waiting till 5 O’ clock wondering what I can do to be productive. In addition every shop stays open till 9pm. Eh…. that’s my bedtime. It isn’t, but I’m usually half way to bed if I’m staying in for the night. Like hell I’m going to the Mercadona at 9pm was once a though in my mind. However now I have subconsciously, without even noticing, started eating later, shopping later amd actually relaxing between 2-5 unless I’m in uni. I don’t notice the time change anymore, or maybe it just doesn’t bother me as much.
What I find extremely different in Granada is my ability to stay up late on nights out. In Dublin, pre-drinks starts at around 9/10pm and the group usually arrive at a club at 11 if they want free in or guestlist, but most arrive at around 11.30/12. One then dances/drinks/smokes the night away until the club turns those god awful lights on at 02.30 displaying the true beauty of the sweat ridden club goers (Coppers is the only exception). In a complete contrast, the Spanish night life doesn’t even begin until 12! Pre-drinks until 3/4, club until 6/7/8 (depending on your stamina) and shawarma until 7/8/9 (depending on how hungry you are). A usual night out for me would consist of all this and bed by 7AM. What shocked me most was my ability to do it. Why was I tired and ready to go home in Dublin at 1/2AM and how could I last until 7AM in Granada? This leads me on to my next major difference between Ireland and Spain… DRINK.
I have never been a heavy drinker, not because I can’t hack the sesh (debateable) but because I just don’t have the money to spend on drink in off-lisences, bars and clubs. I buy a litre of Smirnoff/Gordon’s for €30 which will hopefully do me for 4 nights out, probably more. I usually constraint myself to 250 mls max. Fin. Finito. Done. That is my drink for the night. Unless someone wants to generously buy me a drink in the bar or club I just can’t afford any more. A drink and mixer is easily €7.50 so no thanks. That’s my taxi money. This is not the story in Granada. My 1L of drink, €10. I’m not even going to account for mixers because it’s so insignificant. Chupiteria (shots bar), €1 per shot. Also, these are not just any shots. They have 69 varieties in one particular chupi which is so originally called “Chupiteria 69”. This my friend is a broke students dream. It also means that I can now fund myself to not get tired like I did in Dublin when my mere 250mls of vodka/gin that I downed between 10-11 wears off. Firstly, I can drink more. Secondly, I can actually afford to buy drinks out and about, wherever we are and thirdly, I am buzzing all night. It is fuel for the night, however with such cheap drink comes the danger of too much drink. I myself have been put in a taxi after my first night in the chupiteria. Someone was feeding me too many shots and I did not have a clue how disorientated and paralytic I could become. I learned the lesson of never underestimating the power of the chupi. Especially chupi 69. Lethal.
These experiences are literally the pittances of the Erasmus life in Granada. I have not even touched base on the university as well as its classes and extreme workload, my 3 amazing Spanish flat mates, the city, the culture in Granada. It is all so different from Dublin, far more chilled out (or inefficient?), relaxed, with lovely people and a beautiful and ever so vibrant city.