Thursday, May 27, 2010

Here I am, on the other side of the spectrum, unable to say goodbye. Five short months ago, the only thought clouding my entire mind was the uncertainty of what the next semester would bring. Little did I know, it would exceed even my highest expectations. The memories I've made, and more importantly the friends, will last longer than these five months ever had the opportunity to. I don't think any of us held concrete certainty that I would make actually make it, (given my previous track record) but to know that I have is incredibly rewarding.

So to you Spain, its not goodbye, its I'll see you later.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I've got to save all of my energy to mentally prepare for the lunch my señora is having tomorrow. Therefore, just pictures today.

The little girl.
This picture is long overdue since ninety percent of my blogs are about her.
Plus, we've been bonding lately.

One of the many Hello Kitty PJs.
I couldn't resist a picture when they were sitting on the dining room table.
My first urge was the steal and wear them.

My room.

The spinach I've been raving about (mainly just to Mom).
Its out of a box but I loves it.

Trip to Montserrat today.

Third blog in three days, btw. I must be butter.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Well, I came face to face with my second attempted robbery today. I was perched at my usual table, at my usual cafe with my dingy Vera Bradley bag upon my lap and my red and black, tacky, East Central High School football boosters umbrella at my feel. Do I honestly look like someone with anything worthy of being stolen?! This was of no concern to the scummy Spanish man that appeared at my table. He sat down in the chair next to me and asked if he could use my computer to send an email. I just stared at him like a deer in headlights (this seems to be my only defense mechanism in situations of this sort), luckily it may have worked to my advantage. When he asked if I have MSN, I replied no. When he asked if I have internet, I once again replied no (meanwhile I had eight tabs of Safari pulled up). I still don't know what his intention was, maybe he thought he would be able to get away with ripping off my computer. Little did he know, I have cat-like reflexes and could run him down all the way to Chinatown (does Barcelona have a Chinatown?... No me importa). Once he decided my clunky, 2007 Dell XPS with a nonexistent battery-life wasn't worth his time, he made like pea soup and split. My new bestie at the cafe, who oversaw the whole debacle, reassured me that he's a frequent robber. Thanks for the heads up.

Which brings me to my next point, if you know some schmuck frequently robs the customers at your cafe, why not take a lead from BIGGs and plaster his face all over the walls. Then, at least, everyone will know who to watch out for. Thats just what I would do. I'll never fully understand the mentality of Spain.

At dinner lately the little girl has been playing a bizarre game with me. She calls it ¿dónde está mi madre? and proceeds by covering her face with the nearest piece of paper and prancing toward my chair. I in turn have to act cutesy and make faces/giggle/pretend to tickle her. I guess its kind of adorable.

Also, in the middle of our game she plopped a babydoll down on my lap. I asked her what its name was and she stared at me like I had just told her to jump off our seventh story balcony, and then told me it doesn't have a name. How can you not name your babydoll?! That was the absolute first thing I did. There were never enough dolls for all the names on my list. And don't even get me started on playing dolls with mom. She named EVERY doll Petunia. It was the most boring game ever, I think she did it just to get a rise out of Jules and I. Its still a sore subject for us to this day.

Thats enough fun for one day, until we meet again.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some big mile stones have come and gone this week.
  • Bono's birthday.
  • The four month mark - I have been out of the US and A four whole months!
  • The little girl pulled out a new pair of pajays. The bottoms are cute little grey leggings and the top is grey with a pink hello kitty. Big surprise, right? She's just showing off now.
On that fateful morning of January 10, as I walked hesitantly toward my imminent death sentence, I knew deep in the pit of my heart I would one day find myself unable to detach from the city that imposed my strongest sense of anxiety. That day is here and now. I can't wait to see my friends and family, and am looking forward to all the next year holds, but this city has wiggled its way into a special place in my heart. Here, in this city, I have for the first time done everything completely on my own, and it has opened my eyes to a whole new world. Its a mere miracle in itself that I've been able to navigate from my apartment to any given destination. Baby steps. Lots and lots of baby steps.

Thats my sap story for the day, you can expect there will be more to come.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I cannot, for the life of me, eat any more tuna or olive oil. Physically and mentally, I just can't.

I have heard, on more than one occasion, Spaniards complaining that the US and A doesn't know how to properly categorize them. Don't they have more important things to worry about, take for instance their recently conquered level of twenty percent unemployment? I guess not.

Moving right along, Easterpalooza.

Let us move to the situation room for a quick debriefing.

We have an affinity for Easter egg hunts, it is our most prized tradition. We are, and will always be, the oldest and most proud hunters on the whole block. And probably in the entire country for that matter. When I decided to spend a semester in Barcelona, one of the most Earth-shattering realizations was that I would miss the hunt. Luckily, Mom wouldn't stand for that. She put a quick halt to ALL Easter celebrations; this meant not only the hunt but baskets as well. My siblings were like deprived little orphans on Easter day. But, this can only mean one thing: Mom is ransacking all the post-Easter candy sales, hoarding pounds of Lifesaver Bunnies and pastel M&M's.

On June 4, the Thomas children will go to bed with more anticipation than a four-year-old on Christmas Eve. In fact, our Christmas ritual will likely carry over to this coveted event. Jules will set her alarm and wake the rest of us up before the sun even considers rising. Jules, RJ and I will find Gabe sitting at the kitchen table, smirking, because he couldn't wait to open his basket full of Bubble-Yum and Star Wars paraphernalia. We will scold him for betraying us and then proceed by terrorizing our own Easter baskets. We will then wait painfully until Mom and Dad slink out of bed.

Next, we'll all congregate on the back porch, waiting for Mom and Dad to give the go ahead on the hunt. Jules and I will ridicule RJ for peaking at all of the glorious eggs poking out from among the trees and dog bombs, and then again for snatching all of the most obvious eggs that we left for Gabe. RJ will inevitably win the hunt by stealing all the easiest eggs. I'll be tripped up by one last camo egg that mom hid in the drain pipe near the road and Jules and Gabe will battle until the end for the last golden egg. Blood will be shed. There has been talk of Mom and Dad pelting water balloons at us meanwhile, as an added challenge.

This my friends, is how Easterpalooza will play out on that fateful day, marking the first annual Easter massacre.

Friday, April 30, 2010

I remember far too vividly the days when Jules and I found ourselves stranded at the dinner table in front of what seemed like a never-ending slab of meatloaf. "Guess what we're having for dinner tonight," Mom and RJ would ask tauntingly as Jules and I fell silent, followed by raw denial. Tears swelled as we reflected on the unavoidable shape our night would soon take. It was made even worse when Mom forced us to prep the ingredients that led to our eventual demise. We scoured the kitchen for bread and sauces to distract from the taste, to no avail. No matter how voraciously we tried, our night always ended the same. Blood shot eyes, tear stained pajamas, two plates of untouched loaf; the only way it could have been worse is if I had to face it alone. Jules knew better than to desert me on meatloaf night.

My apologies, I got lost in the story, akin to dads speech at my graduation party :) The point I was trying to get to... at the end of that brutal night Mom would threaten us by boxing up our meatloaf for breakfast the next day (and we would let her believe it was a threat because it was our only chance for freedom from the dinner table).

Last night, the little girl didn't finish her fish and her mom boxed it up and made her eat it for dinner tonight! What kind of a mom actually follows through with that sick joke? But, moral of the story, every little girl needs a sister to share in the suffrage of inedible foods. I suppose I was intended to be that surrogate sister, but I don't play those games. I live in constant fear of my señora kicking me out for not licking my plate clean.

My señora is now scolding her daughter, the little girl is screaming, stomping, crying, and Mariah Carey is blasting in the background. I can't think of any worse form of torture. Get. me. out. of. here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sant Jordi.
More books and roses than Barcelona knows what to do with,
but beautiful no less.

Not only is Bob Esponja haunting my every move, but now attempting to teach life lessons as a side job. The last episode featured a standoff between Bob Esponja and Patricio, initially flaunting their best friends t-shirts. As soon as Bob Esponja found out Patricio doesn't wash his hands all bets were off. It was like dogs in warfare (don't know what that means but I saw it on wiki and it involves my favorite phrase, dogs). I hope this isn't foreshadowing...

Speaking of implicit messages, the rolex store I pass everyday on my way to class is plastered with big, blue letters reading mothers day. They took the words right out of my mind. Mom, you can expect one of those is headed your way.

The little girl has added a new pair of pajamas to the mix. Striped, light blue and white, with a minimum of three hello kitties and perfect for summer. I can't wait until she pulls out a pink nightgown with a hello kitty the size of her torso, then we'll be ready to duel.

Side note: I googled duel for the correct spelling and this is how it is defined...

a prearranged fight with deadly weapons by two people (accompanied by seconds) in order to settle a quarrel over a point of honor

That is exactly what's going down. If Hello Kitty isn't a point of honor I don't know what is. Some things are just worth fighting for.

Other points of observance:
  • If I lived in Barcelona full-time I would never get anything done. The beach is so enticing. When I'm not basking in the sun on my brown scarf, court-side to the Mediterranean, I'm daydreaming about it.
  • I'm visiting North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Gettysburg, and Washington DCburg this summer.
  • Bono's birthday is May 10. His anniversary is August 21, it is by no means a coincidence that this just happens to be my birthday.
  • Thats actually all thats occurring as of late.