Friday, June 6, 2014

hey there!

Oh hey there!  I'm back.

I've had a recent resurgence of blog nostalgia so here I am.  But where to begin?

I'm sitting here at my kitchen table looking out the window at the building adjacent to mine; it's bathed in sunlight.  I could literally reach out with a stick and touch it.  There are two sleeping dogs at my feet. They're extra tired after the stressful ordeal of their monthly bath.

Friday afternoon, on the cusp of a long weekend.  Technically I'm already there, since like many Spaniards I enjoy a half day of work on the last day of the week.  What's surreal about this three day weekend mid-June, though, is that there's only two weeks left of school.  Teachers and students alike have long been checked out.

And as this school year comes to an end, I can't help but reflect on the nearing five year anniversary of my coming to this country.  I decided to start working on a compilation of videos I've made since I came to Barcelona (since I've had an iphone) and I only regret not having made the effort earlier to film more of my time here.  My rudimentary camera skills are just more proof of a burning desire to document the most minute moments of my simple little life.

And yes, that's my only regret, though it sometimes takes a surprising bit of energy to continue justifying living abroad.  Though I often consider myself crazy lucky, there are others when I feel cursed by the overwhelming freedom my generation has been granted and the plethora of choices that always look so tempting.

But those choices aside, the choices I have made have brought me here, to my kitchen table, still writing in this blog after all these years. And as such, I will dedicate this post to the ruminations and the decisions and the days that always led to the next of my last year, my fifth year in Spain.

First and foremost, I made the decision this year to marry myself to Lucas, which was not as difficult of a concept as what it implied.  Lucas and I have an easy relationship of comfort and friendship...deciding to take the very necessary step of making it "official" was never one we had to question.  But marrying Lucas meant marrying a lot of other things. For me, the idea of marrying SPAIN was hard to get past.

As lovely as life here can be,  I am constantly plagued by the sensation that I am living in feudal times.

On Monday the king of Spain abdicated the throne, possibly in an attempt to save it.  The people immediately flocked to the streets demanding a referendum to get rid of this entity that does nothing more than spend their tax money, and sometimes, even worse, scandalously.

So the people flocked to the streets, and I rolled my eyes.  Their pleas apparently fell on deaf ears as we woke up to the same old stuff on Tuesday morning.  I leafed through one of the prominent newspapers to see little coverage of the prior day's protest, instead thirty-some pages glorifying the monarchy and its various characters in this soap opera.

On a smaller, more personal scale, there's my work.  I started working in a charter school, which was a big step for me.  I had been longing for the community and the culture and the classrooms of a school again and I was lucky to land something in the middle of the school year.  But not long into my time there, I was disenchanted as the details of the school's management (run by nuns) slowly unfolded.  I won't go much further, but let me say that this is a school heavily funded by the government, and nonetheless the ethics class teaches pro-life.  Students who don't demonstrate these views on exams fail.

Aaaanyway.  I did not mean to go on that rant.  Back to the point.

We moved into a new place and started fostering greyhounds again, which deserves a whole post, or ten. We walk around the neighborhood with them and make friends with the always-outspoken senior citizens of La Ribera.  We go to the market on Saturday mornings and fight these same senior citizens for cutting us in line.  On Saturdays we eat fresh fish.  It sometimes feels monotonous but almost always it's a beautiful way to spend a sunny Saturday.  My fifth year in Spain has been one of defining proof that I am indeed a house cat.

We went to Morocco in April and I was reminded how good it is to travel.  It's the best way anyone can spend their time and money.  I wish I did it more.  We saw many a sight, had many a laugh, bought many a smelly leather product and all in all, had the best time.  We just bought tickets to visit Berlin at the end of August.

I have questioned my career in education but did not arrive at any conclusions.  Until then, still enjoying, but still questioning.  It's good to question, and never to settle.

We went to Primavera Sound, for free, on Friday and Saturday.  We were extremely lucky, and surely we won't be this lucky again next year, so we decided to never not buy a pass again, it was that awesome.

I decided to change my look, and opted to start wearing contacts instead of shaving my head.

I had an idea to start a free monthly newspaper in English, and considered learning some computer program to realize this dream.  Remembering how much I hate working with computers, I decided to team up with a friend who already has these skills.  More to come soon.

And finally, I gave up the city bike service and got my own bike.  This is so small, but so important.  I love my bike so, so much, and there is nothing that can give a girl one of those "lucky bitch" moments like cruising around the city on a Friday afternoon, which is what I plan on doing right about now.  Thanks for tuning in.

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