Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the final days of vacation

Okay. So it has been three months since I've legitimately worked. It's about time I return to the real world... what better than to do that on a Friday?

September...has been interesting. Far too much time to nest, and then even extra time to indulge in fun things like nights out in the 'hood, or concerts in Getafe, or a five day weekend exploring some East coast livin' in and around the beaches of the Costa Brava. Fun, interesting times.

And of course, with too much time, it's hard to be productive. I came back to Madrid, blindly, at the beginning of September thinking I could get started on private classes to make some cash after a pricey summer. But as it turns out, September is actually still summer. Hard to believe, I know. That going-back-to-school month that rings in fall for so many of us..well we're gonna take it easy here in Spain.

September is holy, because although qualified as autumn, it practices so gradual of a transition in Spain that the changing of lifestyles that comes with the changing of seasons is even more graceful than Mother Nature herself. The kids enjoy half days of elementary school, as well as grandma's home cooking in many cases. The employed (which for the moment is only about 80%!!) choose to take vacation in September to avoid big crowds, while others escape away for a weekend to take advantage of the lasting warm weather. Then there was a big fail of a general strike in Spain today (which I won't comment on now because it's a long story and the truth is it's really quite silly.. and furthermore, I hate politics) but either way, many sacrificed, on average, 80 Euros of their salaries to skip out on work. The ones who went, went with slight and in some cases lazy caution.

Basically, everything has been floating, and to me, it feels as though just this week it's all being gradually pulled back down into Earth's gravity. I use passive voice here, because I have no idea who is doing it. Little effort seems to be put in on the citizens' part, myself included, to help out on the endeavor. Viva Septiembre!

And I just started last week...taught two hours of private classes. Well-done. October 1st, first day of colegio, come to me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

more stuff to read

If anyone was getting tired of my can get a good dose of Spanish culture sans my sometimes silly opinions!

I'm now an "examiner" for, San Francisco. Enjoy :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


For those who like snuggies, and also speak spanish...this is HILARIOUS. A "batamanta" would translate to "robe-blanket". This guy does a great job of mocking the idiotic inventions we like to come up with and then successfully sell on TV in the US.

Also, anyone out there know how to put an actual video on this crap blogger? Instead of just a link?


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

la pobreza

So you've got all the time and none of the money to enjoy living the life. I call it hedonistic survival, and it takes skill...

Everyday things you can learn to live without, when the money is tight:

-toaster [even if there is no oven]
-microwave [even if there is no oven]
-peanut m&ms
-eating out
-plants for your balcony :/
-metro rides

Everyday things you can live without, but justify even when the money is tight:
-a pillow
-peanut m&ms
-a strainer
-candles (natural light saves $)

Everyday things you can't live without:
-light bulbs
-train rides

There is a method and an equation to this, both of which I will be practicing and testing for accuracy until the end of October. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

non-spanish speakin suckas!!

I just spit this email out to my aunt Pilar in an surge of affection (it's been two days since we parted!) and clicked send. Then I skimmed over it and realized that it is so ....creepily ....happy. I think it's a good sign. As Homer would say...woohoo!! Thanks Kaitlyn. And sorry you can't understand...hehe sucka! Those that can..can laugh?


renee christensen

show details 11:52 AM (14 minutes ago)
holaa! que tal estas?

pues yo muy bien! disfrutando mucho en decorar mi habitacion :) a ver si puedo sacar unas fotos con el ordenador ahora para que veas...

solo queria decir hola! el viernes vendre a casa por la tarde, que estare en getafe para conocer a y hablar con un hombre que es companero del trabajo de diana, la mama de saul, y quiere clases. tambien esa manana tengo entrevista en una academia! que se llama berlitz. la unica cosa es que esta lejos (nuevos ministerios..) y tambien hay otra cosa grande y eso es que no se si puedo trabajar mas, como no tengo papels de trabajo. no se como funcionan estas cosas.

hace mucho frio hoy y ayer. los vientos de cadiz me han seguido!

me piro, vampiro. (nueva frase)

x renee


Nature, in all it's horrifying glory. Watch this.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the new casa

Hey folks. Jot down my new address, and send me something via snail mail!:

Calle San Cosme y San Damian, 11 Numero 1 IZQ

Madrid, Spain 28012

Nesting is an interesting thing. Supposedly it is a pregnant woman's instinct, but I like to make my own theories based on personal experience in the world (feel free to believe otherwise..). I think it's safe to say that we women in general are particularly prone to the psychological phenomenon of nesting, pregnant or not, and I must say that I do quite enjoy it.

Moving into a new house is like adopting a new pet, or meeting someone of whose relationship you know will inevitably end in something profound shared between the two parties involved.

It's because homes come with history. Even those that are brand-spanking new…despite their novice in sharing space, they nonetheless glow with the touch of whatever human sweat was put into their making.

In the case that the home has been lived in (and god, is that a loaded phrasal verb)…well, all the more emotional baggage it carries.

Yesterday I moved into my new home in Madrid. I now dwell in a three bedroom apartment on the southern border of the capital, and once again, I possess "a room of one's own". Oh!..the freedom! Thank you, Mrs Woolf.

Thus I nest. And because I am particularly fond of those especially worn-in homes, it has been even further stimulating than what I have experienced in my previous solo endeavors (and how few I have had..)

I suppose I am excited to be living in the center of Madrid, Europe's breath softly humming in every corner. Who knows how many people have made their home in this very room I sit!…whose walls are covered with marks and bruises of previous owners, and whose dimensions are all a bit off… the floor of the balcony slightly tilting upwards on the left-side..the tiles cut at slanted angles to take advantage of small, awkward spaces. It's quite lovely, in all its imperfections.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

fotos, cadiz

Well..Cadiz is up and over, and I'm back in Madrid. It was a wonderful few weeks roaming around the province, and I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the scene there, which I mentioned back at the beginning.

It's crazy…this social network that is. As it turns out, or as it seems to me, people in Cadiz generally stay in Cadiz. Wouldn't you, if you had over 40 first cousins from just one side of the family alone (in Luis's case..)? During my two and a half weeks, I met so many individuals, all of which are somehow related. Just knowing Luis's immediately family led to meeting their close friends, and their families, and so-on. Whether they be siblings, cousins, couples…the world here is small. Andalusia is seriously Spanish (as opposed to European), whereas Madrid could be qualified as a little less deeply rooted. Then even further north there's Barcelona, which in many ways, could be a metropolitan city in any EU nation.

It made me wonder…what is it about the geographical entity that is "the south", that people become so deeply settled that they may never leave? I've noticed a trend…

Now that I am back in touch with reality…I finally have an internet connection fast enough to post a selection of photos. Enjoy!

Luis's youngest brother is really into fishing. I kid you not..he does not mess around when it comes to pescado. On my first day in Cadiz, he came home with over 80 fresh caballa, which is sort of like tuna (or so I was told). These were the first fish I've ever eaten whole! They were delicious, and totally worth the fact that the house STILL smells like fish guts.

On my birthday I went to a beautiful place called Zahara de los Atunes…a small fishing town famous for its tuna nets that drag in thousands of fresh Almadraba daily (atun=tuna). There, Luis's other brother held his annual end-of-summer barbecue. Here he is dressed up as a Flamenco dancer with his partner-in-crime (example of above-mentioned effect: his girlfriend's sister's husband…)

Another from the barbeque...Luis's brothers' girlfriends, and to my right, his little sister. Buena gente.

The Andalusian flag…is green and white and everywhere. This was taken while enjoying a cup of coffee in a quiet corner of Cadiz (the city). The only thing that was missing were the cries and claps of the Flamenco performers.

I actually spent a few days there with this guy, yet another brother of Luis'. He is 28, if you can believe it (I couldn't), and rather handsome.

One afternoon we walked the whole perimeter of the old part of the city (the "island" is divided into two parts by the Puerta de Tierra--the historical casco and the new section), and it was quite lovely. This is the most famous beach--Playa de la Caleta. Supposedly a scene from James Bond 007 was filmed here, fooling all viewers into thinking it was Havana, Cuba.

On one edge of the beach, there is a decrepit castle extended out into the ocean, that often goes unseen under the water. When the tide is low, however, you can swim all around it!

Nuns: love them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Wouldn't it be nice to be 23 again?

Oh yes, it's nice.