Friday, September 26, 2008

Exploring Córdoba!

The adventure continues. We have arrived in Córdoba. Housing has been catch-as-catch-can for the moment. We´re in a hotel on a central plaza downtown, but they only had a room available for two nights. The people at the school (Instituto Gran Capitán) have been very helpful, and came up with some options of another place to stay so that we wouldn´t be out on the street. Then our original hotel had a cancellation, so we can stay here a few nights more. On Sunday, we´ll be moving into a hostal which is like a small apartment, with kitchen and washing machine (and air conditioning!!....thank you Rick Steves!). That´s still not a permanent solution, but it will be perfect as we continue the search for nuestro propio piso (our own apartment). We´re meeting with a rental broker this morning, and meeting a Cordoban friend of a friend tomorrow (thanks Rachel!), and of course my new colleagues at Gran Capitán are being a big help. Hopefully it won´t take us long.

Meanwhile we are exploring the narrow twisting streets of this beatiful old city, getting lost regularly and having a great time. It reminds me very much of my time in Guanajuato Mexico, almost as if Guanajuato was built by homesick Spanish conquistadores. The big attraction is La Mezquita, an ancient mosque from the days when Córdoba was the capital of the Muslim Al-Andalus. We´ve only seen it from the outside so far, because we´ve been so busy dealing with the logistics of making a new home. Near La Mezquita is the ancient Roman bridge across the Rio Guadalquivir. Right now we don´t have a good way to post pictures, but we´ll do so as soon as possible.

It´s almost as if we´re having to re-learn everything about day-to-day life. Some things are similar, but many are quite different. Entering a supermarket is a new adventure; everything is in metric, of course, and many of the names for things is unfamiliar. (Vocabulary for food items seems to be very specialized and very local.) Another interesting example dealing with the metric system: we got some detergent to hand-wash clothes in our room. The detergent was supposed to use 100ml per 5l of water. Whaaa.....?? Doing mental conversions: 100ml is one-tenth of a liter. One liter is about a fourth of a gallon. Eyeballing the sink, it looked to hold a little over a gallon, so we figured that it was close enough to five liters. One liter is about a quart, or four cups. Therefore, 100ml is about .4 cups. Therefore, we needed just under a half cup of detergent. Voila! We´ll be dealing with these sorts of things a lot, I have a feeling.

More to come!

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