writer’s block? and my new ‘boyfriend’

Neglected. Abandoned. Lonely. These are all words to describe my poor blog. I’ve had writer’s block like crazy lately, and I just can’t think of anything good to write about.

I guess I could fill you in on my most exciting private class. I teach an eight-year-old girl once a week. I pretty much play with her and “trick” her into speaking English for an hour. Here is an example conversation:

Student: (in Spanish) Do you have a boyfriend?

Me: (in English) No.

Student: (in English) KEN IS YOUR BOYFRIEND!

Yes, Ken like Ken and Barbie. Soooo now her Ken doll is my boyfriend. She made me kiss him. What’s worse is that the next week he was back with Barbie! I got really angry and told him that I’d never talk to him again. The week after that he was begging for forgiveness…  What will happen next week?? Stay tuned! It’s like my own personal soap opera!

I’ll leave you guys with a picture! The infamous kiss. Ken’s got a nice body, eh? 🙂

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grocery store adventure of the day

This charming little guy is called a “Rape” (Monkfish in English). Isn’t he precious? His best friends are “Calamares” and “Pulpo” (Squid and Octopus). They are such a cute bunch…

Grocery shopping is always a fun experience here in Madrid!

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you can’t trick me!

Today I met a couple of friends at the Círculo de Bellas Artes. I had an interesting experience while I was waiting for them though… and it’s definitely something that happens in Madrid a lot!

I was standing outside of the museum waiting for my friends and I saw this woman sitting on a bench near me. After waiting a couple of minutes she comes up to me and asks me how to get to a certain metro stop. I tell her how to get there and explain how to get to the right line from where we were standing. Then she asks me about a different stop. I tell her what line it’s on and how to get there etc. and she kept asking questions about the metro stops that were close to where we were. After that she just stood next to me for a while and I felt pretty uncomfortable so I tried to chat with her a bit to figure out what she was doing. I asked her where she was from and she said Senegal, and then I thought she was going to leave because she did the normal Madrid “two kisses” deal BUT she did it while hugging me and kind of rubbing my back a bit. That weirded me out! Then she didn’t leave… and that made me think “hmm I think she’s trying to rob me!” She never left my side to go to where I was giving her directions to… and that was another weird factor! I told her that I was meeting some people so I called them and then walked towards where they were walking from to get away from her. RIGHT after meeting with my friends I saw her walking on the same street going in the opposite direction of where she was “going” before. Fishy!!

The main reason we went to the museum was so that we could go on the roof and check out the sunset! Here is the best picture that I got…

That was my afternoon!

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Yes, it’s been a month…

I bet you thought I disappeared, didn’t you?! I’m still here, don’t worry! I don’t have anything too terribly exciting to report, except my first Spanish doctor’s visit! About two weeks ago I got pretty sick, so I ended up going to the doctor. I wasn’t dying or anything, but I had a painful dry cough that was driving me up the wall!

I get to the doctor’s office and it’s inside of an apartment building. There are three staircases, so I just kinda wander around for a bit before I finally pick the right one (it was the 2nd one I tried). I get to the office and it looks just like a little apartment, only there are a few extra people around. The waiting room was pretty small, and it only had six chairs that were pretty close together. That made me pretty self-conscience because of my cough! The receptionist and a random nice older lady both gave me some candy to suck on to soothe my throat. How sweet!

I didn’t really have any problems at the doctor, but it sure is hard talking about medical things in Spanish! I’m glad that it wasn’t something too serious, or else I would have needed a medical dictionary or something! In the end, she told me that I had pharyngitis and advised me not to go to school for two days. I spent the next few days in bed! In total I spent almost a whole week in bed and it was pretty much driving me mad. I had serious cabin fever.

Good thing that I’m back to normal now!

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vacations, how relaxing?

So I’ve been at home in the States for just under 2 weeks now. I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten over the jet lag, and once it gets better I’ll just leave again this weekend. I’ve been running all around visiting and picking up a few things that I need before I head back to Spain, and it’s wearing me out a bit! I made a list of things that I needed/wanted from the States and restaurants that I had to visit. So far only one thing is left on my list of things to buy, and that is really good! I had a lot of things on there… some of the items making it back to Madrid are:

And a few more things.

 

If you moved to another country, what would you miss the most?

 

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21.5 hour journey to the atllllll

I got to Atlanta on Thursday night after 21.5 hours of traveling… and I’ve never been happier to be home! The flight was pretty uneventful until the captain SANG over the intercom as we were approaching the airport in London. It was cute!! I had a few hours to check out the airport, so I ate a little bit and did some duty-free candy shopping.

After all of that goodness, I sat at my gate to wait for my plane. After a few minutes, I heard someone say “Can I sit next to you?” I looked up and it was my friend Hannah from my university!!! She has spent the last year in Denmark and she was coming home at the same time. What a small world!!

The flight from London to Madrid was kind of miserable, but I always hate long hauls like that. My back hurts from the seats and I can hardly sleep… but I made it! The airline left Hannah’s bag in London, so she had to sort that out. Then the ATL airport put my bag on the wrong belt after I went through customs and rechecked my bag (hard to explain if you aren’t familiar with Hartsfield-Jackson)… but I found it after an hour! So all is good.

And now it’s snowing! This is the first white Christmas that I can remember having! I got a lot of nice presents and everyone liked what I brought for them from Spain (or they are good at pretending! ).

I’m very glad to be home and I’m extra happy that I get to spend a lot of time here before school starts again!

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t minus 24 hours and counting

In 24 hours I will be landing in Atlanta – joy! I can’t wait to spend the holidays with my family! Three months without them is tough!

More to come!

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tears! ahhh

I had an interesting conversation today with a friend about lying. Today in class a boy cried because I caught him in a lie. We read a book and I told the class to write a summary about the book in their own words. I stressed that it did not mean copying from the book. Towards the end of the class, one boy had a really long summary. Feeling a bit suspicious, I asked him “Did you copy this from the book?” and of course he said no. I read the summary that he had written and it was the EXACT same as the book. I told him that he should think of his own words instead of copying the book and cheating and he still didn’t admit to copying the book. This went on for a while and eventually I gave him a new sheet of paper to start over. He cried for a while and it made me a bit sad.

Right after that class I had lunch, so I texted a friend to tell him what happened. I felt bad about making the kid cry, but he DID lie… My friend told me that “to lie is a contradiction in itself and it springs out of fear. Explain to him that he shouldn’t be afraid of you..it’s what they learn from their parents, it’s not your or their fault. Teach them that they can tell the truth. That’s the biggest lesson you can teach a kid.”

It made me think a lot. When you’re young, you think that lying will get you out of trouble, but it usually makes things worse. It’s a sad feeling that kids are so scared to get into trouble that they will lie to try to make things better. I try to be as honest as possible, but I still harbor that same fear at times about hurting someone’s feelings or seeming like a mean person if I tell the truth. Human nature is weird, as well as society. I still try to be as honest as possible, but I fear that people will view me differently if I tell the truth, even if it’s not so pleasant.

Tell me your thoughts!

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Grocery Store Fun

Grocery shopping here isn’t so different than grocery shopping in the States, but there are differences! I’m going to start posting pictures of things I find at the grocery store that I find funny or just weird. Here are some frozen crabs! Mmm…

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Christmas in Spain

The countdown begins! In 12 days I will be in the states to celebrate Christmas with my family. I’m so excited to see everyone and to eat some good holiday food!

Christmas starts early here in Spain! What I told my co-workers was that we usually don’t even think about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving, but since they don’t have Thanksgiving here, it doesn’t work that way! They put up Christmas lights in November and they are all so pretty (although some are weird!). Check out this video that I made of some “different” Christmas lights. Sorry it’s so short!

I’ll make sure to take a lot more photos of Christmas lights! Here are the ones I have so far.

Christmas Tree at Sol (center of the city)

Orbs? on a side street at Sol (blurry, sorry!)

Lights at Callao

Lights on Gran Vía (a very large, busy street)

Lights at the mall!

In art we made little Christmas trees with some heavy cardboard-like paper and buttons. Here’s mine!

And then there are the finger puppets that the 1st graders made… Here are mine!

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