By now I’ve explained the history, the sites to see, things to do, and the food to try. However, you won't get an accurate picture of Oviedo from the architecture and history alone. What truly fills up the city is the bustle of the streets and the people that fill them.
On a typical day, I leave my house 20 minutes before class for a casual stroll. I can usually arrive to class 5 minutes early, depending on if the traffic is good or bad and whether or not it's raining. Usually there’s a light drizzle and the streets are peppered with a rainbow of multi-colored umbrellas.
The streets are constantly filled with traffic, and I still haven’t quite figured out how to walk across them. There are designated spots and times to cross the streets, but many walk across the road fearlessly, dodging and weaving around the cars as they zip speedily by. I’m not sure I’ll ever reach that point, but I am certainly impressed by those who do.
As I stroll alongside the busy streets I pass by probably over a hundred faces. Young people, old women, mothers, husbands, sons … it’s a mixture of people of all ages and backgrounds. No one smiles and everyone walks with a sense of purpose and confidence. (I smiled at people the first week and constantly received strange stares until I realized it was culturally unacceptable.) However, I can’t stop the grin tugging at the sides of my mouth as I look around at the beauty of the city.
Probably my favorite part of the city is the presence of the pigeons. You can't walk more than five feet without seeing a pigeon. It’s simply impossible. Though pigeons in NY are called ‘the rats of the sky,’ I find these vastly entertaining creatures quite endearing. They aren’t afraid to walk right up beside me or cross a road filled with cars. They squawk and fight other pigeons and walk in search of bread or other food. There you have it. People, pigeons and paraguas (umbrellas) … just an average day in the life of this ‘newly born’ Spaniard.