So Amanda and I are almost finished with our housing questionnaires that will match us to our homestay family in Alcalá. It’s like something you might fill out before you move into a dorm: do you smoke? Are you a morning person? That sort of thing, but in greater detail. We had to describe our personalities, put our height and weight (in the metric system… I had to look up conversions.), describe our hobbies, and put how often we liked to go out. Note there was no option for “I do not go out.” Apparently, this is not an optional thing. You go out at least once a week in Spain.
Then there was a section labeled “Any peculiarity that you think we should be aware of?” Amanda and I thought this was interesting word choice. As a result, we’ve taken great care to point out each other’s peculiarities, such as my accident-proneness and Amanda’s fascination with spies. Despite the fact that we seem to find each other very peculiar indeed, we left that section blank, at least for now.
Another part asked if we had lived or traveled abroad before. That section of the form was mostly blank for me (as one may have guessed, based on my excitement at being asked for my height in centimeters). Amanda has been to a few Caribbean countries, but I’ve only been to Canada, and that was for less than a day. How do I describe Canada? Well. It’s colder than here. I was not there long enough to note other differences, not even a frequent use of “eh” by the locals.
Another part of the form provided a place where we could list meals that we don’t like, so that our host family would know what not to cook. What? Who goes to a new country and then doesn’t want to at least try everything? Naturally I checked “I want to taste all kinds of food.” I really hope we get placed with a family who will give us lots of opportunities to try new things. That’s why we’re going, after all—to learn a language and experience a different culture in a different place. I’ve heard of some tapas that have ingredients we Americans would consider strange, but I can’t wait. I’ll try anything once.