Still here! Finally I have my own little weekly routine. Monday through Thursday I arrive at my school bright and early, and I am consistently shocked to watch the parents chain smoking as they stand over their baby carriages waving goodbye to their children. I work with 3rd and 4th graders, and while they are little demons, they are somehow at the same time very endearing, even on days when I want to light myself on fire. We teach British English in school, and I nearly peed my pants the first time an 8 year old asked me if they could borrow a rubber (turns out in England this is a very normal way to say eraser).
One of the only rules I have at my job is to never speak Spanish to the chiclets, in fact, in the beginning the first thing I told them was that I didn’t speak or understand any of their language. They all seemed genuinely upset and sad for me, and at first wanted nothing more than to help me learn. Unfortunately, they quickly caught on that I do actually understand most of what they’re saying, and for a few weeks they spent their time tricking me into proving that I understood, for example, telling me I have a spider on my shoulder. Now that the jig is up, most of them are pretty mad that I’ve been making them jump through hoops to ask a simple question, like “Can I go to the toilet?”. As far as I can tell, kids here are pretty much the same as kids in California. They love Miley Cirus or Spiderman, they laugh at the same kinds of dumb jokes, they watch the Disney channel. The difference is that here it’s okay to have a lisp, the most popular names include Alba, Innoah, or Osvaldo, and they are more fashionable at age 8 than I will ever be.
When not at school I pass my time teaching private classes, doing intercambios to practice my Spanish, exploring the city with friends, and stealing delicious food that my roomies cook. Some of the highlights include a life-changing paella cooked by the Australian, and a lasagna made by the Italian that I still dream about. Lately, most of my time has been spent trying to find a new apartment, as my current one is riddled with bedbugs. The only silver lining about doing this terrible process all over again is that I’ve stumbled upon parts of the city I otherwise may not have discovered. Look at this gorgeous basilica I found the other night at sunset when walking home after seeing another dud:
Vale, it’s time to get out of this internet cafe and brave the “ola de frio” I keep hearing about in the news. Wish me luck, I don’t know if my California blood is cut out for winter in Spain.