Sunday, November 22, 2009

Creature Comforts

There are several little things about living here that are different from the life I lived back in the states and they still take a little getting used to.

For example- we don't have a microwave. The other day I was craving lasagna, so I bought a little frozen one and was so looking forward to it until I realized it was for microwaves only. That wasn't so hard to deal with, though. I wrenched it out of the plastic tray, put it on a plate and heated it in the oven and it was still quite tasty.

We also don't have a TV. Well, we do, but we don't have it plugged in or hooked up because most of the TV here is not even in Spanish, it's in Catalan, so neither Laura nor I would understand it. Not really a problem there, either, thanks to the wonders of the interwebs. As long as you have the patience to give shows time to load completely don't mind occasional Japanese subtitles, it's great.

The other thing is that we have a washing machine, but not a dryer. We have five clotheslines outside on our little terrace to hang up laundry to air dry.
So far this has been fine as it hasn't been too cold yet. However, I did go out today to bring in my sheets and found that a bird had pooped all over them.

I don't have a solution or redeeming element or happy ending to this one. That just sucked.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


When people ask you what super power you would like to have, I usually answer either the power to be invisible or the ability to read minds. I think it's based on the fact that I'm both very nosy and very curious about what people really think of me (call it self-absorbed, self-conscious, whatever) so I'd like to hang out unobserved whether in actual rooms or in people's minds, just to check things out and see what I'd learn.

I had never imagined that I might possess an actual super power, but I'm starting to think I do. Not unlike the plot of the mediocre-at-best date movie Good Luck Chuck, starring Dane Cook and Jessica Alba, I think I might possess the power to help people find the the love of their life.

Am I a sassy, no nonsense matchmaker? No. A precious little cupid pushing people together? Nah. An Amelie wannabe, tinkering with people's lives to help them fall in love? Not so much.

I do, however, seem to have an uncanny ability to casually date or get somehow involved with guys just as they're about to get really serious with someone else.

Exhibit A: Two years ago. We'll call him Ken. A friend from college for whom I'd always had a soft spot. He'd broken up with his girlfriend recently, but of course I wasn't going to go there, it seemed like it would be too awkward and sticky. But then we hung out one night and he tried to kiss me, so I kissed back (what would you have done?) In all fairness, I assumed it was just a rebound and didn't think too much of it. I figured the time wasn't right, but thought maybe a few months down the road we could pick up where we'd left off. A couple weeks later we're at a party and one of my girlfriends tells me how Ken was confiding her that he was feeling pretty good about his break up because he'd realized he'd always had feelings for this girl he'd known for a while and was going to make a move. You guessed it- not me. I didn't really enjoy the rest of that party.

Exhibit B:
A year and a half ago. Let's call him Billy. We met out in NYC on a Friday night, hit it off right away and talked all night. He was visiting from Virginia for the weekend so we met up again the next night too. We exchanged information and talked daily for the next month. My birthday was a few weeks after we met and he was the first person to call and wish me a happy birthday. We even talked about one of us coming to visit the other. I thought it was going great. Then one week I stopped hearing from him quite as frequently, so I stopped reaching out as much and sure enough, a week later his all important Facebook relationship status had changed to "in a relationship." They're now married.

Exhibit C: A month ago. I'll go with Jake on this one. Met while I was on vacation. We hung out almost every day I was there. He brought me to hang out with his friends after work. We got along so well and had lots of fun. He seemed intent on staying in touch right after I got home. Then we didn't talk for a couple weeks and just yesterday, again, the fated Facebook relationship status change. Along with sickeningly cute messages posted to his wall from the sickeningly new pretty girlfriend. I have since removed him as my friend.

Clearly it's entirely possible (and by entirely possible I mean absolutely true) that rather than having the power help people find their true love, what I actually have is a horrible ability to choose what men to be interested in. But "super power" just sounds so much better than "bad taste."

Monday, November 16, 2009


In case you didn't believe me- here are some action shots my boss took for the school's Facebook page...

Unfortunately she didn't get any of me with the really little ones but I'll just have to take those myself.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Today in Barcelona

Today I saw a man fall off his bike. Like hard core, splat, ate pavement. Morally it wasn't a funny thing, but visually it was hilarious.

I also passed one of my students walking down the street with his grandmother. I was going to say hello but then I thought she might be creeped out by someone greeting her grandson by name and then not being able to fully understand or clearly answer her questions about why and how I know him. Also, he tends to keep to himself and looks kind of like the title character from the movie Willow, so he's not one of my favorites or anything anyway.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What I've Learned So Far

So I've been here about two months now and have really enjoyed myself. I have also learned a lot. Here are some of the things I've learned since I've been here:

- People weren't exaggerating when they warned about the pick pockets and purse snatchers

- Lentil soup is really easy to make

- Children are pretty similar no matter what country they're from or language they're speaking

- Unfortunately, so are creepy old men

- A wedge of Brie cheese only costs 90 cents here

- There are a lot of ways to use Brie cheese

- There are even more ways to use ham

- Irish men see nothing wrong with commenting on a woman's breasts in the same manner one
would compliment a hairstyle or necklace

- Apparently I have some pretty flattering bra and shirt combinations in my wardrobe

- When you run a language school, it is more important that the children have fun than actually
learn anything

- Being fun doesn't come as easily to me as I would have thought

- If you live above a bar, you don't need to watch soccer games on TV to know exactly what's
happening throughout the game

Can't wait to see what else I learn during my time here.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Tonight I saw one of my favorite Barcelona sights yet. It wasn't a Gaudi building or Picasso or a beautiful fountain.

It was a on the sidewalk in front of a restaurant. A tiny Chihuahua resting atop the back of a Collie, relaxing there as though it were a microfiber sectional.

Sadly I did not stop to take a picture as I was running late for a lesson, and that is truly one of my greatest regrets of my life here so far.

I can only hope that they belong to someone who works at the restaurant and that I'll find them there like that again so I can capture the image.