Thursday, November 6, 2008

Well, it's unusual that I get to write in the middle of the day between Monday and Thursday, but today is a bit of an unusual day. Before I can explain why it is unusual, I should first explain what has become usual for me because what is now a regular day used to seem quite irregular to me.

On the days that I work, I have to be out of my house and on the way to the Metro by 11AM. I get on the Metro at Xativa, pass Colon, Alemeda and get off at Falcutat where I catch my bus in front of the Universidad de Valencia. I like this area because I see all the university students on campus studying, socializing or rallying for one cause or another (sometimes I even understand what cause they are rallying for). I wait a few minutes for my bus than sit for a half hour or so until I get off at el Kiosko en Puerto de Segunto. From there I have 15 minutes to walk three blocks. Sometimes I stop for coffee or at the grocery store, other times I have to rush to get prepped for my first class.

At 12:30 I pick up my first class of kids at school. This is the beginning of their 2 1/2 hour lunch break. Some parents, but mostly grandparents are there to pick u the little rascals who range in age from 3 to 11. It is quite a sight. What amazes me the most is the grandparents... so many of them picking up there kids for a family time break together. This is when the Spanish eat their big meal of the day and most do so with the whole family. On the streets, one can smell the soups or meats cooking in the air. It is amazing to me as is their commitment to this meal time. Most work from early in the morning until late evening, so this break is very important. Almost every shop in town closes and the streets become all but completely empty... barely even a car in sight. It continuously fascinates me. People will tell you they need their 2 hours, there is no stopping them.

At 1:30 I take the kids downstairs or to their lunchtime daycare center (for the few who don´t eat with their families) and I go back to prep for the afternoon. At 2:00 sharp, almost everyday, my boss, Ramona, and I have lunch together. Usually we go to her house where her housemaid (for lack of a better word) has prepared lunch for us. Spanish soups, homemade croquetas, stews, meats, etc. If Aurora, the family friend and cook hasn't cooked then we make a big salad and eat that. For the second course, which there always is, we usually eat a variety of cheeses Then a piece of fruit or grapes, sometimes a dessert and finally coffee. I used to drink cafe con leche, but Ramona has turned me on to cafe cortado which is the same thing, only less milk. I love it!!! Ok, it is insane how much food is consumed at this time, but it is so nice and relaxing. Each course its separate. It used to actually bug me that the she wouldn't let me start the coffee until the fruit is finished... I mean why not get it ready? Ramona told me it's like rushing to relax... you have to relax to relax... It's funny because I can't tell you how many times I have said, "Hurry up and relax so we can get on with it!" I though it was a joke.

Ramona and I talk about life, politics, teaching, education, ex-husbands, friends, etc... While we don´t always agree, we are very respectful and have become quite comfortable with each other at this time. In the beginning for I felt quite awkward, like I was being treated to a feast everyday. Because she takes such nice care of me, I have offered to take her out once a week, or at least to bring some food sometimes. So on the weekends I try to get to el mercado de Rusafa and get some nice, fresh treats... fine cheeses, fruits, herbs, hams, whatever I can find that I think she may like. I have learned enjoy this time of day, but often crave some time to myself too. I have a bedroom here, well it is a guest room and so I can take my siesta after we eat. I love this. My boss actually encourages me to sleep in the middle of the day so that I can be rested for my afternoon!! Whoaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Today, unusual? Well yeah... Ramona has meetings this afternoon and so I am here with the work laptop. I just ate leftovers (she calls them tapitas, like little tapas) from yesterday, which I neglected to mention we also do sometimes. I am finishing my little dessert of homemade flan and now I will take my siesta before I go back to work. Another reason I love Thursdays (I mean besides that it is really my Friday) is that I usually teach three classes in the afternoon and then go tutor for an hour before getting back on the bus at 9:00 to be home by 10:10. Today, instead of teaching my 4:00 class from hell, I have my private Spanish lesson with a colleague who is really, really helpful. Cristina, is also one of the few people at the academy that will speak Spanish with me. I really like when she does too.

Ok... I will post this tonight because I need to nap and don´t want to take the time to proofread right now.

Hasta luego!

Ironically, by the time I got home last night I was feeling like total crap so I just went to sleep. I woke up at 6AM and am hoping to go back to sleep but I figured I wold post first.

1 comment:

P.A. GIbbons said...

WHat a lovely description of your life in Spain. Wow. Often I am amazed at your bravery and adventurous spirit..far greater than mine......though I do love adventure and do like to take little steps outside my safe zone.

Hugs to you Senorita, xxpatti