Why the Spanish greeting? Well, Aurélie’s exchange student from
arrived back in January, and I realized that I forgot to post about her. Better
late than never, right? Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned...
Aurélie was at a ballet class (...or a flute lesson...or whatever else she does) when her exchange student arrived. Since Aurélie wasn't going to be home, she wanted Julien and me to be at her house when her parents arrived back from the airport. Like the good friends we are, Julien and I waited.
I told Julien that he needed to put his hood down because he looks ridiculous, but he said he didn't want the girl to see his terrible haircut. I was annoyed. If this girl was going to judge him because of a haircut, she would be awfully shallow. Besides, it's hair. It grows back. However, being the Hispanophile that Julien is, he wanted to impress her.I laughed and told Julien that he looked ridiculous, but he thought the haircut looked more ridiculous than the hood. I didn't find wearing a hood to be that impressive, but whatever.
We heard footsteps, and then we saw a girl with dark hair, luggage, and purple sunglasses.
"Bonjour!" She said in accented French. "Comment allez-vous?"I couldn't take her seriously. Why was she wearing sunglasses? You never need sunglasses in Lille; that's for sure!
"Eres...lo siento...es-tu Aurélie?" The girl asked me. I told her that no, I wasn't Aurélie and I was instead Aurelie's friend Sabine. I told her that Aurélie should be home shortly, but we were to greet her.
She laughed and said that she understood, and then she began to introduce herself. Her name was Carlota Alonso Morales. She explained that in Spain, people normally have two last names. Alonso is her father's last name, and Morales is her mom's maiden name. She is from Sevilla, and she has been dancing flamenco since she was very young. Her mom and grandmother used to dance professionally, so it kind-of runs in her family. Her sisters, Julieta and Valencia, are flamenco dancers, too. Julieta then once again said that she understands how ballet takes up much of Aurélie's time because flamenco takes up her time, too. Like Aurélie, Carlota also plays an instrument. Carlota plays guitar.
I asked why Carlota wanted to study in France for a trimester, and she said that she wanted to better prepare herself for the bachillerato, which is very similar to out baccalauréat. I understood Carlota perfectly! I'm already freaking out about the bac! It's my dream to pass with a mention très bien.
Carlota then stood up and approached us. She looked at Julien and said, "Why are you wearing a hood? You're inside where it isn't raining!" She rested a hand on his shoulder, which was just too close to comfort for me. I stood back and tried to relax.
Julien sighed and explained his terrible haircut. Carlota said that it looked cute and would eventually grow out. She sounded somewhat flirtatious, and again, I didn't feel comfortable. Julien then began to tell her that he loves Spain and hopes to visit someday. Carlota said he would be more than welcome to stay with her family, and I even saw Julien blush!
She asked Julien why he was wearing a hood inside, so I decided that it was only logical to ask the same thing about her sunglasses. I asked in an authoritative tone of voice that would show her that I wasn't happy with her for getting all touchy-feely with Julien.
"Oh, I have to get eye surgery. Sometimes, I wear sunglasses because it helps protect my weak eye. That way, my strong eye doesn't have to do all of the work," she replied.
I nodded. Interesting. Not that I cared or anything.
Carlota asked if we wanted to help her unpack before Aurélie returned home. I said that I probably should go home because my mom is probably freaking out. Normally, my mom would freak out, but this time, it's just a little lie. My mom gave me explicit permission to be here as long as I finished my homework the second I got home. Little lies like that aren't necessarily a big deal to us French...bienvenidos a Francia, Carlota!
Julien asked me if I was sure, and I said that I was. He told me that I sounded angry, and I wanted to scream my feelings, but I resisted. "Amuse-toi bien," was all I could manage to say, and that sounded very bitter.
"Encantada, Sabine," Carlota said before I left. "We will have to hang out sometime soon! All of us! With Aurélie!"
"O-o-oui," my voice quavered. "Diviértete."
"I didn't know you spoke Spanish, too!" Carlota squealed.
"Yeah," I said in a bored tone. "French, Spanish, English, and a little bit of German."
"Tell Aurélie that I had to leave in case she asks. Have fun. I'll talk to you two later," I said as Julien took off with Carlota nearby.
It wasn't that I didn't like Carlota. Okay, fine. I didn't like Carlota...at first, anyway. I like her now, but that is because some very unfortunate things happened that I'd rather not write about right now. At this point in time, though, I thought Carlota was going to take Julien from me. I was disgustingly jealous, probably because I have been friends with him for so long and didn't want him to date her. I even practically killed myself studying Spanish when my Spanish is already good!
Silly me. They never dated, nor did they want to. No, he was never interested in dating Carlota. They just practiced speaking Spanish together. Now that I think about it, I wish he did date Carlota. That way, they would have broken up when she returned to Spain. It would have been a lot better than what actually happened...
Have you or your friends ever hosted an exchange student? Where was s/he from?