AKA Abraham Bacoln

June 29, 2007, 6:14 pm
Filed under: Spain

Holey moley, I can’t believe it’s been two weeks already. I also can’t believe it’s so late here. I should have been in bed an hour ago at least. But hey, what’s a few hours’ sleep on the weekend? Nothing, that’s what.

All spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors in this post are now declared null and void and not available to be commented on.

Sometimes I have a hard time thinking in English, especially after class. And speaking of class, sometimes I exit the classroom after four consecutive hours and think I’ve really got a handle on things. Sometimes I leave the room and wonder why I’m even here in Spain. Today was the latter.

But, things picked up during the day some, and I remind myself that I now understand my host family a whole lot better than I used to. I also watch the news every day at lunch, and that’s helping. I still can’t understand a quarter of what’s said – newscasters here don’t bother to put spaces between the words – but that’s better than nothing.

I also realized the other day that one of the reasons I am (usually) able to write and speak well in English is because I enjoy reading. With that in mind I went looking for a Spanish version of an English book I already have read so that I could beat my brain into submission by sheer force of will + dictionary. I found a Stephen King book or part of it anyway – apparently it was too expensive to translate all the short stories so they only did the big one (The Mist) plus two others.

I tell you what – trying to flat-out read Spanish at my current level is a real bear. I’m pleased, though, because it’s not the grammar that’s confusing any more, just the vocabulary. That’s a good start.

TWO WEEKS. Did I mention that? I’ve been here two weeks so far. It feels like no time at all. I have my first test on Monday to ensure that I am indeed capable of moving up to the next class. I’m sure I’ll pass with flying something.

Re: things to have mentioned – did I mention the floor here in my host family’s house is little marble slabs? It’s ever so delightfully cool to walk on in the mornings, and even in the heat of the day it’s nice. Who needs carpet?

bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh it’s late
time to review the notebook

– Mullets (the haircut, not the fish) are here and in a big way. It appears to my untrained eye to be the equivalent of a redneck haircut here, but I think I may have seen one or two being worn in some sort of euro-ironic fashion. Also favored: mullethawks and rattails. I kid you negative.

– On the 27th I wrote in my notebook: “Today I walked past a tree that smelled of Tennessee fall and dried hay.” I have walked past that tree at least four times since and not smelled it again. I wonder why that moment was chosen as the moment to remind me of home?

– I kind of like showing up to a restaurant at 9:00 PM and wondering if it’s still yet too early to eat dinner since there’s no one else there and the waitstaff and cooks are standing around idle. Did I make a mistake? Is this place even open yet?

– Also what in the hell do these people do for a living? How can people twice my age stay out ’till 1:00 AM eating dinner and drinking wine and still make it to work on time the next day? Does their job involve sleeping at a desk? That’s what it’d take for me to be able to live this lifestyle properly.

– The back of a wine bottle (wherein the winemaker typically describes the product) makes sense to me in Spanish or in English. That’s a comforting feeling.

– I know the tourist part of downtown rather well now. I found an alley yesterday that I had not yet traveled and felt a tiny bit elated. Also apprehensive, since it was very long and ran through an area of all delapidated buildings and there were no businesses and it (the alley) was full of stray cats (which have differently-shaped heads than US cats, by the way, apropos of nothing thank you very much) and man was it ever movie. Just seemed like a great place for a bad thing to happen. Fortunately nothing did. Later I saw families and teenagers using that same alley so my fears were all for naught, it would appear.

– But anyway, I know the historic center of downtown very well now. Also, I find myself wanting to use the other verb for ‘to know’ but we apparently only have one in English. Brain no for to be language able to make switch effective fast, yes? Anyway, I know downtown well enough I am confident that if I were dropped off in the middle I could find my way back to the bus without too many steps in the wrong direction. Go pull up a map of Málaga and look at downtown and you’ll understand why this pleases me.

– Thomas from Switzerland looked at the Nalgene bottle which I have in class every day and asked me, with a hint of incredulity, “Do you drink the water here?”

of COURSE I drink the water here. How else am I supposed to get super powers?

– I remember years ago when I was in grade school my grandfather (who lived here in Málaga for many years) sent me a birthday card. It was, to my eyes, a really strange and cheap-looking birthday card, with some out-of-date pop culture reference if I’m not mistaken. His note inside explained that it was hard to find cards in English there (here) and it was the best he’d found. Now that I’m here, going on what, 20 years later? I can’t believe he could have found that card at ALL. So what I’m saying is, “Sorry for thinking the card itself was strange or slightly cruddy, Granddad. I had no idea.”

– Tomorrow I intend to take a bus trip to the neighborhood where Granddad used to live so I can try and find his old house. No reason. Not like I ever visited there or I expect to see a sign proclaiming, “Former house of Tom O’Mara!” above the door. Just ’cause. ‘Cause I’m here and it’s here.

– Wow. I actually came to the end of my list. Thank goodness – I’m about to pass out. DANG IT I STILL HAVEN’T TALKED ABOUT LUNCH. Okay, real quick – soup was gazpacho (everyone all together now: mmmmmm), the main meal was croquetes (sp?): bits of chicken and flour rolled into little balls, coated with egg and bread batter, and lightly fried. Side items were strips of canned red pepper as well as fried potato strips. Dessert was sorbet over cherries.

– That’s it. I ain’t got no more. Also, for you, a present. Normally I spell-check and review before posting, but not tonight! Tonight you get this blog post raw. I hope it doesn’t give you an upset stomach.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

this one was great!
thanks for the update
two weeks already… 4 more to go….
glad you’re having such a wonderful time and learning so much

we’ll see you soooooon

Comment by Kyla

whoo-hoo! i second this being a great blog-post. and i really like that it was raw from your tired brain.

Comment by liz

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