Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sounds formerly confined to surround sound

I have just eaten an enormous portion of Rosario's chicken alfredo, which was incredible. Eating out is fun, but the yummiest stuff can be found at home. I had churros and chocolate today but the chocolate was sort of lame, like a pudding texture rather than chocolate sauce, which was what I wanted. Regardless. I went out for tapas with a bunch of girls last night and it was the most fun I've had yet; we went to a bar/discoteca afterward, but that wasn't nearly as interesting as just sitting and talking.

Before that my class took a tour of the central university library, which houses ancient manuscripts and historical texts from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth. It was mostly boring, but there were two really cool things:
1. There is a sound that I had heard in movies but had never thought about before, but which fascinated me when I heard it yesterday in real life. The library building, which was built to be a hospital/insane asylum/orphanage in the 15th century under Ferdinand and Isabella, has the classic enclosed stone patios of Spain. One of the courtyards is called the patio de los inocentes because the crazy people in the hospital would throw themselves to their deaths from upstairs windows (they were called this innocents because they were crazy, and so couldn't help themselves. No sinful implication of suicide). ANYWAY, the only sound in the courtyard is that of pigeon wings fluttering. It is so cinematic. I love it.
2. The person giving us the tour was a friend of our teacher, and so brought out this exact replica (they call them facsimiles) of a medieval (seriously really old) encyclopedia written by this monk. The cool part was the drawings. The book was an attempt to catalog the plants and animals of the known (and unknown) world, and the illustrations were really cool. There was a whole section of imagined animals that the illustrator drew as known animals like donkeys and lions, except underwater. It was sort of hilarious. It was from this book that the mythology about the mandrake root was born; there is a drawing of a man who has pulled up a mandrake root and is holding his ears as if deafened or crazy. Harry Potter, anyone? Howl's Moving Castle, Pan's Labyrinth? So cool.

I'm getting excited about real classes (they start Monday). My temporary teacher insists that I will be able to do physics in Spanish, and I am dying to try. I don't want to lose it. I'm going to go to sleep for a while now. Hasta pronto,