Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back in the old world

I´m house hunting in Barcelona while Oli and Lily are back in England. Our old flatmate Timo has been kind enough to let me crash in his living room and it has been extremely good to catch up on all of the bizarre things happening in this city over the last two years.

Timo is doing well having stolen one of his former business English company´s clients, meaning he now teaches all the English classes in that client´s offices as a free-lance teacher and they pay him twice what his old company did because they´re not being gouged. Timo´s also got a flourishing free-lance art journalist career going, writing for magazines based in various European countries. Nice. His girlfriend Carla is Catalan and an interpreter for the police. She knows every pickpocket trick in the book as she translates for all the poor Americans and English who get whacked.

Work is sorting itself out. Teaching jobs are lining up and I´m meeting for coffee with a guy tomorrow who runs an English lesson website and develops bars. He´s looking for someone to help create English lessons with explanations in Spanish for his new Barcelona website that already has a thriving Madrid sister, a job I could do from home, and is thusly ideal.

House-hunting is full of ups and downs but my most recent up has been an 82-year-old man. I tend to really get on with the old Spanish men (recall my former student Juan and our gleeful shouting matches), I think perhaps because they talk a lot and don´t care if I respond or if what I respond with makes no sense. They also speak slowly, so I am actually able to understand them. What they say is often quite humorous as well, as they pontificate on everything from the horrors of discotecos to the importance of having a good doorman.

So, this Señor and his wife have two properties that they rent, former homes of theirs, and they rent them at cheap prices to people they deem trustworthy: families and couples. I was the first person to contact him and he shouted with glee when I told him we were a family. He said it usually takes him weeks to get through the phone calls from drunks and students replying to the ad for a three-bedroom apartment with a low rent. Anyway, the flat has three bedrooms, two baths, a giant living space, kitchen and two large balconies...and costs less than every other flat I´ve looked at...and is just off Passeig de Gracia and Diagonal, like living at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive for the Chicagoans out there.

So after listening to the gentleman for about 20 minutes, we arranged to meet tomorrow afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed that it´s not an apartment full of old people furniture.

I am missing my Lily and my Oliver VERY much. I can´t possibly come up with more words to express how much so let´s leave it at that.

But, I did take advantage of being single and was out on Friday night and in a bit of pain on Saturday as I generally don´t drink but was given many free that night. At the good old Black Horse pub we watched England lose big time to South Africa in the rugby world cup, moved on to a swanky bar with a mojito special, wolfed down kabaps (like gyros and the favorite food of drunk people) on the Ramblas like real tourists, moved on to an acquaintance´s bar where drinks were cheap for us, and then went home in a cab that saw Timo´s girlfriend puke out the window. I don´t think I´ll go out for another year.

1 comment:

Maiasaura said...

That apartment sounds tremendous... I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Sorry you miss your dude and dudette so much. Will you see them soon?