By Elizabeth White, Wroxton Correspondent
(WROXTON, ENGLAND) – The long-awaited break halfway through the semester finally arrived, and I went off to Spain with four of my new friends. We opted for a more relaxed vacation, choosing an all inclusive resort in a beach town in southern Spain.
One of the first things we noticed upon our arrival to the resort was the fact that we were literally the only young people staying there. It may seem like this would not be a huge deal, but we were treated like total outsiders. They would stare and gape at us wherever we went, be it the pool, the lobby or the dining hall, like we were some zoo creatures at the zoo.
I also still haven’t figured out how people just know we’re American. Before I even open my mouth and my accent can fall on their ears, they know that I am American. How is this possible?
None of us spoke Spanish, a factor we did not take into consideration while planning our trip.
I took three years of French in high school but I could not speak it to save my life. I did the best I could by at least saying please and thank you in Spanish but I felt so awkward as a white person butchering their beautiful language.
At some point I almost said “merci”, French for thank you, because that was the only language I could kind of speak.
Luckily, since we were in a resort area, a lot of people spoke English, even though it was mostly broken and limited. Even when we left the resort for the day to explore a local town, we got by on the very little Spanish that we did know.
It wasn’t until we were in the airport trying to get back to Wroxton that we truly experienced the language barrier.
My friend was trying to find the place in the airport where she could pay to check in her luggage.
We were both walking around the airport, asking various people how to do this, and none of them spoke enough English to help. One lady told her it was the office on the right even though there were no offices in sight and another guy told me it was the “near the red plastic thing in the middle.”
By this time we were getting anxious because it was taking so long and we had a plane to catch. Finally, after asking at least ten people, we located our airline’s office and they helped out. We reached our gate only ten minutes before it closed.
Although we didn’t do much sightseeing, I was so glad we were able to go to Spain and relax for a few days before the renewed stress of the second half of the semester.