Football, Coffee, and New Friends





Settling in and Super Bowl Sunday

Yesterday marked one full month in Oviedo—a time thus far filled with new daily adventures and lots of coffee. At this point in my stay, I feel pretty confident navigating the city (finally) and have visited a great deal of the “must-see” spots throughout this month. As the time flies by, I feel more and more accustomed to the lifestyle here and now go about my days as if I were a long-time resident.

In an attempt to do something new this week, a group of us went bowling. We went on Super Bowl Sunday, which served as a “warm-up” to the big, late night football watch party that would come just hours later. Though it was clear none of us would be professional bowlers after our time throwing consecutive gutter balls, it was a great bonding experience and was topped off with a McFlurry. Later that night, we went to the only place showing the Super Bowl in Oviedo—a bar called Siempre Campa along the main plaza filled with shops, restaurants, and other fun places.

Eagles Watch Party with friends and tapas

We eagerly watched the Eagles and Patriots battle it out until the early hours of the morning. (With us being 6 hours ahead, a harmless 7:30 PM start time became a late 1:30AM kick off here in Spain.) As a Philadelphian, the game meant a lot to my friends and me. What made the night so special, aside from winning our first Super Bowl, was the enthusiasm from the crowd. Most had no idea what was going on, and were only there because they had just had a big soccer game of their own, yet still chose to yell, cheer, and boo alongside us. Watching the Super Bowl away from home was certainly an unforgettable experience.

Coffee and New Friends

With the shock and woes of being in a new place gone (and the excitement of Philly’s big win calming), I have been directing my focus on and have found interest in some of the littler things.

Two of my friends, Hannah (left) and Sydney (right) enjoying some coffee and snacks in our favorite cafe, Panaria.

Some of my favorite pastimes here are to sip café con leche or ginger tea and watch the movement outside of my favorite café’s large, glass doors and windows. Aside from the passive fun I have had spending time in cafes, in the park, or on campus, I also have been making an active effort to get to know more people outside of my program.

These efforts to expand my social circle led me to Erasmus, an organization for European exchange students. This international organization plans trips and hosts events like “Martes de Tapas” (Tapas Tuesday) every week for local and international students to connect. This past week was the first “Tapas Tuesday” event that I went to and I am pleased to report it was a success: I made two new friends. In addition to Erasmus, a lot of students, including me, have also started meeting with conversation partners. This week we were matched up with Spanish students through the Tandem program run by the university, and there are also flyers around campus with other opportunities for language exchanges.

I am hoping to attend more Erasmus events and meet more tandem buddies with the weeks to come. I’ll keep you updated on how that develops! Until next week! (Oh, and Go Eagles!)