Sunday, October 28, 2007

the mighty boosh

Moved into our new flat. Happy days.
It's funny, but after 4 weeks in Spain I find myself needing to learn some set phrases for situations that frequently occur. You might imagine this to be an exchange at the market, introductions to new people etc. You would be wrong. I need witty invective to dress down seriously rude Catalan people who don't wait for you to exit the underground train before barging their way on (even when you have a stroller/pram), who try and run you over in the street (happened today) and who lack every common courtesy familiar to those of us from the civilised world.

In other news, we played some ronders on the beach today (pre-cursor and girl-like version of baseball) with some colleagues from our school. We're living with some delightful Romanians who organise festivals and beyonce concerts when not transporting Ikea furniture for us. Got a hair cut the other day. Thought it was good 'cause he gave me a face massage, but when I got home I realised he'd given me a Spanish. This is long at the back of the neck and on top, but short at the sides. Disgusting. I'd rather a Wicker Park side parting and tight jeans combo any day.

Other than that, Barcelona is fuckin' A and I'm glad to be back. Feels very much like home.

I left my camera in the rain so bought a new one and took some photos in B&W. This is them:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Not captured by gypsies

In response to emails asking after us, know that we are alive.
We've just been busy and currently living in conditions lacking regular access to internet and phone.

As a quick update:
The dream flat didn't work out. The owner is old and afraid of foreign renters due to a whole court battle incident he had with the last tenants.

The same agency showed us another place in the same area and although it is a newer apartment lacking the old charm, it has all the appliances and space we need, and has a spectacular 11th floor view to the sea. Nice.

Kevin Rooney will likely be living with us for a bit while he settles into BCN. He's in a hostel now and traveling for a couple weeks as of this weekend, but will return thereafter to make a life for himself here. Betsy and Casey were just here passing through and we had a nice day at Park Guell. Michael McAndrew also gave us a random phone call last Saturday at 8am noting that he was in BCN and wondering if we wanted to hang out. So really, even though we're living in a flat that is under construction (story for later), we've had a lot of distraction and found temporarily living 5min from the sea a happy repayment for the crappy home conditions.

Oli works A LOT. Things will get easier once we have internet and phone, and my computer comes over form England.

My classes are good. I teach 14-year olds and adult beginners. I love my beginners and forgot how easy it is to teach the zero level because every class they have such a high learning curve and are not yet disillusioned. Teens are teens.

I actually must go now and plan a lesson based on High School Musical. My students have demanded a lesson that includes some of its songs.

Oh! Lily is such a big kid -
She wasn't eating vegetables and fruit, just bread and meat, for a while there. I realized if I offered her something, she would always say no, but if it was mine, she wanted it. So now I just prepare food in front of her or with her and wait for her to ask about it. It has worked and today she had cucumbers, carrots and green beans at lunch. Laura Hartrich will understand the immense implications here and how good I feel right now.

She speaks loads and we have little conversations. She even says "sí" or nods her head, a big improvement over weeks of "no" being the response to everything. Everything. She speaks more Spanish now, not just caca, but also pan and bús. Every day when we go in a panadería, we get something free because of how cute she is asking for pan over and over.

OK, more soon. High School Musical calls.