I really got lucky with my living situation. David and Dani are my two Spanish roommates. They are really great guys, and they completely crack me up on a daily basis!
David is 26 and Dani is 22 (or 23, I keep forgetting!), and they share the other bedroom in our apartment . . . I have my room to myself. No, they aren’t gay, which I know several of you made that assumption as to why two guys in their mid twenties would share a room. They are college students, and I have found it is extremely common amongst students in Spain to share rooms—much like the dorm rooms in colleges in the states. Although here, they share rooms most through all of their 4-6 years of college. In Spain, familes completely pay for their children’s tuition, and the students NEVER work while studying to ensure they have time to study and get good grades. Since they aren’t working and their familes are footing the bills, most college students REALLY dont have much spending money. Both guys go home to their families EVERY WEEKEND, which is kind of nice for me to have the place to myself all weekend, but especially in the beginning has been boring since I didn’t know anybody. Plus, the more I get to know them, the more I wish they would stay so we could go out together. sigh.
Both Dani and David have been really nice and helpful to me at all times, and I have never felt uncomfortable around them. Before I arrived to Spain, I was worried about living with guys because I had heard that Spaniard men are much like those in Italy—they hoot and holler at women, are always looking them up and down, ick! After a few weeks in San Sebastian I have found this to not be the same for Spanish men . . . although I’ve heard that over on the East coast in cities like Valencia, etc, it is quite the contrary. Maybe the Italian male influence has spread to that area from across the Mediterranean, hehe. My roommates are polite, inquisitive, and always willing to lend a hand. They are really fascinated by learning English and like trying to speak the language with me so they can improve. They are always cracking jokes and making me laugh! The first night I arrived, the guys cooked a “typical spanish meal” which consisted of pasta, a white cream sauce, bacon pieces, and hard boiled egg whites cut up and mixed in. It was pretty good, and it was nice of them to be so welcoming to me upon my arrival.
David is 26 years old and grew up in a small town near Pamplona, Spain. I think he said he has like 9 brothers and sisters, whoa! He doesn’t know a ton of English, so it’s much harder for me to communicate with him, but we get by on what we can. I often have to “check myself” when I talk to him in English and talk really slow and use simple words, and often stop to ask him, “Entiende?” (do you understand?), and he often doesn’t so then I’ll try to explain in Spanish. Regardless, from what I’ve learned about him, I know he’s a good guy. In his younger college years he used to be a big partier and played in a rock band, but now he has turned back to religion and has Jesus pictures and crosses near his bed, reads the bible every morning with his breakfast, and has us all sit down and pray before a meal.
Meanwhile, he is constantly in his room muttering things that make me laugh, or playing his guitar and singing. He is REALLY talented with his music, he has an amazing voice and when he sings and plays Spanish music, it gives me chills. David is in LOVE with American music . . . Pearl Jam, The Eagles, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and he often listens to the music at night in his room. Probably the funniest thing to me about him is when he plays his guitar along to these American songs and ATTEMPTS to sing to them. Since the songs are in English, he doesnt know the words too well, and sometimes sings gibberish along to the music. Many times, I’m in my room singing the lyrics in my head to whatever song is on and I want to go over there and be like, “Do you want me to tell you the words and what they mean?” hahaha. Oh yea, and David has a girlfriend of several years that he’s practically married to. Which I find really interesting because he NEVER speaks of her and I only found out because a different friend of his mentioned it to me. Weird. David smokes in the house which I obviously do NOT like, but he usually keeps it in his room . . . which doesnt really help the overall smell of the place. Whatever, I guess. I just don’t like when sometimes Sonny is hanging out with him and he’s smoking, and then Sonny comes in by me and I snuggle with him and—ewww, his fur smells like smoke!
Dani is my other roommate—a goofy, sweet, young guy who has totally come to my rescue on more than one occasion in the past few weeks. Upon my arrival to the apartment (with NO luggage b/c the airline lost my stuff!), Dani took me to the grocery store so I could get some food and pick up toiletries I needed since I only had the clothes on my back. He grabbed a basket and anytime I chose an item, he insisted on carrying it for me, it was really sweet. He then took me out to the streets and gave me a tour of the city, walked me to the beach, and tried his hardest to speak the little English he knew–which is actually quite a bit, considering all that he has learned is from American films.
Dani is a young’un– 22/23 years old, and I’m always teasing him about how joven (young) and innocent he is. He always replies by joking that I am viejo (old), which then turns into us going back and forth teasing each other about random stuff. I keep telling him he’s too “innocent” and he needs to go out more often and have a few drinks now and then, and he actually agrees and is excited that he’s going to stay in San Sebastian one of the upcoming weekends to party and dance with me and my friends.
As the days have gone by, I have become much closer to Dani than I have with David, because Dani speaks much more English, but also because Dani is constantly wanting to help me with things and wanting to speak English with me. He is completely fascinated by learning English, and wants me to correct his grammar as much as I can so he can learn the correct way to construct his english sentences. I’m pretty impressed by how much he has progressed in just a few weeks. More than anything, Dani and I are CONSTANTLY laughing at each other like 50% of the time we talk. We both mess up our language a lot and are goofing off with each other, so we can’t help but constantly laugh. He came to me last week after he had spent a few days with his cousin—a cousin who doesnt know English, but knows all the “BAD WORDS” in English, and Dani was asking me to translate. Oh boy, was that a hoot! Of course he asked me the basic “english swears” like “shit”, “crap”, etc., but then he moved onto some pretty “risque” terms, which resulted in somewhat embarassing explanations and in me laughing so hard I cried!
Dani constantly offers to help me with things; I go to him for help with my Spanish homework (deberes), and he completely saved me from my computer crash last week, recovered my files, reformatted the hard drive, helped get me computer programs I needed. I honestly don’t know what the heck I would have done without him that day… he’s a computer science major and is really into computer programming, so it’s been a big help to me lately with all this computer commotion. And it’s also been nice to communicate with somebody about “computer dork” stuff, since I’m into that area of interest as well.
In addition, Sonny ADORES Dani . . . not sure if he just gives him more attention then David or what, but Sonny always hangs out with Dani, and especially runs to him when I’m scolding him for something. The other day, I come into the living room to see Dani on his laptop (as he ALWAYS is) and Sonny laying on his lap with his head rested on his laptop. Awwww!
In general, both of the guys are intelligent and interesting, and we actually have had some great conversations about important “life issues” . . . or at least as much as we can with the words we can use. One night last week the three of us got into a really deep conversation about religion in Spain and how young people have little beliefs anymore, etc, and we all kept running into “language road blocks” because once you start having discussions about complex issues like that, you are constantly running into a ton of words you dont know how to say in the other language and it becomes difficult to explain in other terms. But, I do know, like David said at the end of that conversation, “Some day soon we will all learn more and can hopefully get into more discussions about the world and will be able to understand each other better.”
One thing that I’m trying to figure out about them is if their cooking/kitchen habits are that of “young college guys” or if they are typical of Spaniards overall. I think it’s a little of both. They fry EVERYTHING, and in a LOT of oil, ick! They always have a chunk of jamon (“jamon” is ham, but here its kind of like dried up ham in a chunk) in the fridge, and every day they slice some meat off of it, and then replace it in the fridge with NO wrapping protecting it, gross! Also, like all Spaniards (and I think most European people) they eat SO MUCH BREAD and a long loaf of french bread is like a household “staple” in every Spaniard’s kitchen. What is funny about these guys, is they never wrap it up, it just sits out in the open…. OR they just throw it in the freezer.—but in the freezer unwrapped! haha, I guess they don’t believe in preservation of food or something 😉
Anyway, despite the funny food habits, they are really great guys. I know it’s only been 3 weeks and we could all still be in the “new roommate honeymoon phase” but I honestly can’t see there ever being any major problems or issues between us. I’m actually thinking how sad it will be in the end of June when the guys graduate college and we have to move out of the apartment and David goes back to his family and starts wedding planning with his girlfriend and Dani moves to whatever city he gets a job in . . . because I know I’ll really miss them! I actually miss them when they leave for the weekend and get excited Sunday nights, anticipating their return.
I guess for now they have become “my family” here in Spain, and they have certainly treated me as if I were family. Which I find refreshing and comforting, because I know that no matter what happens in my daily life, I have three friendly faces (including Sonny!) to come home to every day. Thank goodness for that! 🙂