Monthly Archives: December 2011

Adios La La Land!

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Two weeks.

Two weeks.

DOS SEMANAS.

After the hair-pulling, rushing, stressing process of obtaining a Spanish visa, it was delivered to my door step in two weeks.

After ripping open the flat envelope, I wondered… Why was I told it might take up to 3 months to get this little 2-week-delivery baby!?

Maybe I was just lucky. Regardless, I couldn’t be more excited and relieved.

Christmas present number on my wish list… check.

As I opened actual Christmas presents this year, somehow next semester sneaked its way into every thank you. After a few gifts, I had to filter my responses so I wouldn’t drown my family with “Spain” responses.

This striped shirt is perfect for weekend-traveling in Europe!

Oh my goodness, tennis shoes!?? You know what these will be great for? Walking in Spain!

Ah, yes! Facial lotion! Just what I needed for Spain!

My mom narrowed her eyes at me.

“You can’t take everything you own to Spain.”

“There’s always a way to make it fit!” I insisted mischievously.

“No, no there’s not.”

“We’re all going to sit on the suitcases until they zip,” was my answer, enhanced by an encouraging smile to the rest of my family.

“……Just open your next Christmas present.”

Regardless of unrealistic packing expectations, I’m ready to trek forward into the new year!

A week and a half ago, I waved farewell to La-La-Land with a final dessert date with my closest friends. Following our strict traditions, we grabbed double chocolate cake, tea, and gossip at our favorite hotel on Sunset Boulevard – the Chateau Marmont.

If gold was a flavor, this West Hollywood celebrity hangout spot would be dripping in it.  And frosted in appealing ambiance.

But, somehow, as I glanced at the laughing socialites around us, fur coats and all, I felt a sense of relief that I would soon be discovering more. I know there’s more out there than the glitz and glam in Orange County and LA.

And I’m ready to be swooped away and fall in love with the romance of it all.

A Spanish proverb reads:

Bueno es culantro, pero no tanto.

Spices are good, but not too many.

You know what that means? All things in moderation. Bye-bye Orange County. Hasta la vista.

¡¡Hola la vida de España!!

Can I get one Visa, please?

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“You here for the Spanish Consulate?”

The bulky security guard reclining behind the desk tapped on two notebooks:

Spain Sign-In          Argentina Sign-in

I had obsessed over Sevilla long enough to know exactly where I was going.

I was going to the cultural center of Spain – the epicenter of bull fighting and gazpacho. I was going to the city where I would defeat clumsiness and learn how to flamenco dance, while overcoming my fear of foreign verb conjugations.

But first, I had to go that dang consulate.

The tales of the visa acquisition process had stressed me from afar. Feeling as though my appointment was already nail-biting close to my departure date (does it HAVE to take at least four weeks to get a stamp in my passport!?) I was left triple and quadruple checking my documents.

As I waited for my name to be called at the consulate, I watched others speak to the staff. Most of the people in the room were Spaniards, and I got shivers listening to their conversations.

Ah! I know what he just said!

Yes sir, you. I may look like a shortbread cookie American blonde but I can understand you perfectly well. Mmhmm.

Will it be the same in Spain?? Will I be able to communicate with people? What if I can’t order something in a restaurant? What if I need to ask for directions in Spanish…

KELSEY KLOSS!!

The shouting of my name cut my wild thoughts short.

Ugh, here we go… I hope I have all these documents…

The woman behind a glass window labeled VISADOS rapidly listed off the documents I had already organized.

“And your proof of funds?” she said.

“Well, that’s included in the letter from CC-CS,” I pointed out.

“No.”

“Yes, it is.”

“No.”

“Let me show you.. ‘La Señorita Kloss ha pagado todos los gastos asociados…'” I read to her in Spanish. “See?”

“I need a notarized letter from your parents,” she said.

“……You.. do!?”

GAH! I’m not going to get my Visa because I don’t have the notarized letter… I’m not going to go to Spain… I’m not going to learn how to flamenco….

“You can send it in,” she added shortly.

PHEW. Talk about being strung a little too tight over this whole thing. I walked away from the window feeling as though my heart had fallen off a treadmill.

Despite that small setback, everything else went smoothly and I left the consulate within 10 minutes. Now I’ll just be counting the days until I receive that little stamp…

A Spanish proverb reads:

La paciencia es un árbol de raíz amarga pero de frutos muy dulces.

Patience is a tree with a bitter root, yet of very sweet fruit.

The next 56 days of waiting until Sevilla may mean just that.

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