Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Anyway, a funny thing happened to me on my way to work. I was in the elevator, same as every morning, though today I was running late and in fear that my Metro ride wouldn't get me to the bus on time. The elevator has a large mirror and so usually I check myself out a bit making sure I am ready to hit the world. Instead today, I was rumbling through my bag in search of my keys. When I found them, I started to look for my car key... this is strange because I don't have a car and for a split second I was trying to figure out which was my car key.
Now, I have had a car since the age of 16 and have since not been without one until this past July 1, 2008. When I sold the car, affectionately called Salsa because of the color, I was a little freaked out but was left with a feeling of liberation. One less thing I don't have to be responsible for, one serious deduction in expenses, and less reliance on the oil, we people use to destroy the planet, get around, heat homes, produce goods, etc... Instead of the responsibility and independence of a car, I now have to be responsible to leave myself ample time to get to the bus stop by 11:20AM. For peace of mind and so that I am not the only one in Valencia rushing to get somewhere (these people seem so relaxed about getting from point A to point B) I should leave at 10:50, if I plan to have breakfast out than even earlier than that, but not much. I usually enjoy the commute it is a peaceful ride that goes passed two or three towns and the highway runs along the sea so for at least 10 minutes, I get to see el Mar Mediterráneo which pleases me.
Sometimes I share the ride with a friend on the phone which kind of feels like I have company with me and is nice. Other times I practice Spanish, occasionally I even read out loud and pretend no one can hear me. Still other days I just gaze out the window and do nothing, which is unusual for me. Most days I don't miss having a car but today I did. I can't have a car here in Spain because I can't register it, I don't have a driver's license here, I can't really afford to keep a car with insurance, garaging, gas, etc... and the truth is I don't really want to rely on a car. I like feeling like of contributing less to the consumption of oil that, as we all know, is a major source of the evils that take place in this word. I know taking the Metro and especially the bus still contributes, but less so... I keep reminding myself of that and try to remember that my day doesn't have to begin by putting my key in an ignition. It begins when I open my eyes and go from my bed to the door in my room that overlooks Valencia, and even if it is raining, as it has been so many days in this month, I smile and feel the fortune that I have found.
Back to Spanish class in the morning. Ahhhhh, 9AM!!!
Found the pic via google, it's from US 1942 WWII propaganda posters... anyone see anything like this now? Funny how conserving oil is considered propaganda (propaganda=propaganda in Spanish, I love when that heappens!!)... I try to do those things too.
Made it through Monday, just three more days left!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This is the part where I find patience with myself a bit difficult and I get angry with myself. Ok so I study a little more on the bus and maybe during lunch... I'll figure out a way to make up for it. Meanwhile I am very hungry and have to get ready for work, I have yet to over sleep for that.
***Footnote: upon further examination of the clock, I discover that the reason it didn't go off again was because I turned it off with out looking.... stoopit clock!!!
It's late and I should be sleeping as I have two more long days ahead of me. I don't feel as tired as I thought I might, maybe because I am feeling motivated or maybe I just feel like someone has lit a fire under my ass and I am once again the popcorn kernel waiting to hit her head on the top of the lid before crashing down again. I don't know. It's hard to tell.
In the first hour of my two hour Spanish class yesterday, I felt completely lost and I was really disappointed. It took me a bit to get in the groove, but I got it a bit. We were practicing speaking in the past tense and I have a real hard time getting out of the present tense, but I think I'm ready. After a while, and some very handy verb charts, I understood what was being said and was able to respond a bit. Today however rocked. We were did a crossword puzzle and I worked with a partner from
I find throughout this whole experience, that I must learn to be patient with myself. It's funny, because I have always considered myself an extremely patient person. The truth is I am patient, but mostly with others. Sometimes it's easier to accept other peoples’ difficulties and to see the reasoning behind them than it is for to accept and reason through my own. Poco a poco... a phrase I have heard dozens of times... it means step by step or little by little...or the most part, that's what the Spanish say to me when I try to speak to them... it's like reminding me to relax and take it step by step. The good thing is they have been very friendly about it for the most part. Ah yes, and the thing about my not starting every conversation with an apology for not being able to speak the language has worked wonders, probably for me as much as the people I speak with.
Another small step for me.
I keep meaning to write about Valenciano, I haven't but I will.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wow, it's been a long time since I have written. This week has flown past, well actually this month.
I started working my full time hours...well kind of full-time. I still only actually teach 20 hours a week, but with the commute and the lunch break I am out of the house from about 10:45AM to 10:15PM. It's a long day, but I like it and I still have Friday thru Sunday off so I really can't complain. Also, I enjoy the work and am starting to get into a groove. The kids are a lot of fun and most are pretty adorable. I really had to learn how to work with the little ones, it's so different than my usual teen scene especially when you include the language barrier.
My boss, Ramona, has been very good to me too. She still seems happy to have me aboard and takes good care of me. In fact, last week when I told her I had a toothache, she had made an appointment with her dentist, drove me and translated for me. It was unbelievable. I was in tremendous pain and kind of terrified of going to a new dentist in a new land...etc, etc, etc. In the end it turns out I had an infection in a tooth which had spilt and a filling was pushing against a nerve... OUCH!!! I am now minus one tooth, on antibiotics but feeling much better... mucho mejor!!! Luckily it was a molar so you can't really tell unless I smile real big... so I don't, at least not for now.
Julie left last weekend. A friend drove us to the airport and I stayed with her until she walked through the gates (not realizing of course that I was still holding her jacket for her). I feel like I lost my friend. It's funny how well we connected even though we are in such different stages of our lives. New people moved in, a couple Dave and Klara. They are great people and I think it'll work out fine.
Meanwhile, I decided now that I am a bit more settled in my job, it's time to head back to language school. It seems the only time I can actually go to school is from 9-11AM. Then I will catch the Metro, which is practically outside the door of the school, to the bus to my the academy where I work. The problem is that I won't get home until 10:15, so my M-Th are going to be really crazy busy, but it's ok.. I don't mind, plus I still have viernes, sábado y domingo... ahhhh el fin de semana !!! I love it!!
Today I did a lot of cleaning but also relaxed. My friend Chris invited a bunch of us over for a proper English breakfast and some Formula One or Grand Prix... I forget. The food was great, but I really don't see the interest in the races.. I tried, but I just don't get it. He cooked us eggs, toast with baked beans, 3 kinds of sausages, black pudding, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes. Then of course there was tea and Mimosas... at 9:30AM. It's a miracle I got anything done at all, but honestly is there anything else like a Mimosa on a Sunday morning?
I am already set to go to work tomorrow. My books are in order, my clothes are picked out and I kind of feel like a little girl staring her first day of classes; a sensation that is becoming more familiar to me since I have been here. Everyday is another adventure though I am feeling more comfortable each day. Of course I will always miss my friends and family the most there are still little things that I miss about home... like a clothes dryer on a rainy weekend, diners, pizza, Franz and Gatene, and autumn in NY. Feel free to send some autumn pics.
The above pic? I just like it...