Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween in spain

hello hello hello.

well. as it was likely evident by my 7am blog post, yesterday was a fun night indeed. met up with oscar (the teacher, my "boss"), his brother Marcos-who is very very funny and quite cool-and their friends at some bar in the city center. they are quite a diverse bunch.. from 27 to 52 years old! well at first I was a bit apprehensive. I thought, what the hell am i going to talk about with these 5 old dudes? who don't actually even speak english minus oscar & his bro? well never judge a book! it was so much fun! they are such a funny gang of crazies. we went bar hopping and honestly i don't remember doing anything like that in a while. it was such fun.. a little weird i guess, me being the only girl.. but it's unbelievable how they went to great lengths to make sure i felt comfortable and welcome.  there was no creep factor whatsoever. they're a very likable bunch.
Marcos showing off the iphone4-everyone is jealous
a funny story about Pepe (gray hair, to the right). he wants to learn english very much. we were all talking about the differences in our languages and marcos was saying the english language has 12 vowel sounds versus the spanish 5.. and Pepe, clearly surprised, turns to marcos with a grave face and declares: "Oh! we are fucking." BAHahhahahaa we all erupted! marcos goes "noo! we are not!" i nearly fell off my chair laughing! when marcos tried to correct him he decided he understood and then changed it to: "We are going to fuck!" hahahaaa i could hardly breeathe!! finally we got it through that he should've said "we are fucked". (i noticed btw that people learning english love to curse in the language)
confession booth in an ancient house-turned-bar

oscar said: what a great picture! none of us look ugly!
happy halloween

today I saw the gang of crazies (oscar actually calls them the circus of locos or some such thing haha) again at the golf course. we went to meet up with them and i learned about golfing and oscar told me about their adorable friendship: they are always supportive of each other, can always confide in one another, and always make time for each other even if they're exhausted. it made me miss my friends. it's amazing how different it is in the US. we are given the same amount of hours in a day yet we manage to do so much less with them. we are always "busy". it's a shame. que lastima. i hope to remember this when i get back..

this afternoon oscar and marcos' parents invited me to lunch with all of them. how freaking sweet is that? i gladly accepted :) i never imagined i'd be hanging out so many people in my first few days here! lunch was fantastico. oscar's parents are awesome. his mom is so sweet and is similar to my family with the feeding feeding and feeding you nonstop! suffice it to say i was stuffed with very good authentic homemade spanish food.

vale vale vale.
i better sleep, my internal clock is all messed up.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

como se dice "vomit" en espanol?

my jeffe took me out with his friends and i am now a bit bit (more than a bit i will admit. haha i made a poem) on the tipsy side.

i don't feel well.

i'd like to vomit.

but i will say this: it was such a fun night. i feel so great besides the dizziness and queasiness. i feel blessed to feel so welcome in a such a new place. i love everything. i love this experience. i seriously can't believe it's really happening. i'm in a state of wow.

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! & yay.

bye :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

hola, yo estoy en espana!

wow, i forgot that blogging is like a job.. and it's hard to do it when you've got several [thousand] things going on..

well. i'm in spain!!!!! holy wow. i made it!! quite surreal.. this week felt like three. and it's friday at last!
i arrived in La Coruna airport tuesday afternoon. so just 4 days here so far! but really, it feels like 20.
one of the teachers [Oscar-but definitely not grouchy..har har..] picked me up from the airport. the flight sucked because i could hardly sleep. we went to buy some bed linens & afterwards went to eat. first mistake. i couldn't finish my food and asked to have it wrapped.. haha yeah that's not done in spain. fool!

i was very lucky, oscar found a room for me right away. and i liked it so i stayed starting from day 1. very lucky indeed, no need for a hostal. me gusta.
from the apartment
my roommates are very nice. una chica y un chico. both 24. i have never had real roommates..people i don't really know but only share a flat with. so this is very different.

the boy-Nacho (short for Ignacio)-cooks all the time. i'm always invited to eat with them. & usually their friend comes over and has lunch or dinner with us too. it's a routine. nacho asks, "comiste?"- did you eat? and even if i say yes or i'm not hungry he says "i'm going to cook" and afterwards "vamos a comer"-Let's go eat. it's very sweet. and they never take anything without asking, yesterday they asked if they could use an avocado for the guacamole (claro! of course!) and today eggs for the tortilla. tortilla in spain is a potato omelette. so i ate their potato omelette and it was awesome and i was full for 5 hours. i definitely like this dynamic. in exchange for Nacho's cooking, free internet connection, and their general hospitality, i do the dishes. it's a very amicable situation, very family-like and comfortable.
patricia, nacho, & their amiga

the unfortunate thing is they all smoke (everyone in spain smokes). smoking sucks. luckily they mostly do it in the living room and my room is far away.

the girl-patricia-has a cat, but he's scared of everyone. que lastima-what a shame. they gave him a bath the other day:

i've been doing a lot of paperwork the last few days. i'm so grateful to have someone helping me every step of the way. i don't know what i would do if i didn't. everyone has been amazing so far.

the amount of spanish i've been exposed to already is overwhelming. my brain is bouncing around spanish phrases or words like a broken record now. i feel a little bit loopy from it. i keep listening to everyone expecting for something magical to click in my brain and suddenly i'll understand it all! i'll probably be waiting a while...

well, i'm off porque tengo mucho hambre (i'm very hungry). i'll update again manana-more about my job here, since i have the day free & it looks like a rainy weekend..

Thursday, October 21, 2010


when i said yesterday, "ok i should go pack." guess what I did afterwards?

not pack.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

two days left in utah

friday i leave for new york. my mom arrives from ukraine saturday! yay! so i get to see her plus most of my friends/fam before i leave for spain :)

god, i haven't even (completely) packed yet... but hey that's just my style. (not a good style to have. at all.)

i'm getting a bit anxious. i hate flying! i mean i kiiind of like it, but i'm more.. unreasonably terrified of it. even though i've done it quite a few times. marcus seems like he isn't really afraid of anything. except maybe breaking his ankle cause he's done that too many times. his philosophy is he can't really do anything about it so why stress over it? so sane, and yet i can not practice this logical, reasonable, and much healthier alternative to my constant worry. coincidentally everything i've been watching lately happens to deal with aero-crashes of some type.. the most recent "Lost" episode where they go back to the island, the movie "Cloverfield" when the helicopter crashes... umm.. I'm sure there were more.. anyway i'm freaking scared!!! i hate flying!!!

ok. i should go pack.


ps: oh yeah & die hard 2 when they were almost gonna crash the airplane!

Monday, October 18, 2010

one-way ticket booked for spain!

I feel somehow unable to grasp it completely.. it doesn't really feel like it's me who will be boarding that plane monday. not me. some far away erica.. but not me. so unbelievable. so surreal. to have a dream coming to fruition.


Friday, October 15, 2010

thanks and nerves

i am so grateful that marcus is so damn supportive about this whole thing. he always encouraged me throughout my entire application process. and whenever i expressed fear or doubts, he was always the one telling me i have to go. Of course, it was different once I was actually going; tension was high in the first couple of days of getting my visa and having the reality sink it.. but we talked about it and he expressed his anxiety and sadness which he hadn't really done previously. So now we're better than ever.. appreciating every moment we have left before I leave. ahhhh it's so sad! whenever i get sad i think about all the positive things that will come out of this, the growing/learning/teaching/expanding, the facing of the scariness of it all, the melting of attachment (..that might only happen at like month 6.5), the improving myself and learning from all the mistakes i will probably make and the failures i will likely have, plus when the program is over, if I move back to New York, his being in Utah will seem like cake compared to the distance between Utah and Spain!

and i'll have a lot of free time in between the teaching which means i can do so much! of course, based on my current track record of the past 25 years i usually find some way to do NOTHING much instead. well, i'll have to start tracking my "so much-o-meter" & if by week 3 of being in spain i'm doing the "nothing much" instead i hereby vow to.. umm... i don't know. do more?
seriously how can i insure that i will accomplish my goals? i think i need a support system. & i'll have to document the list of goals.. first two goals:

1. find a place to live
2. learn how to teach spanish kids english

after the "find a place to live part' it will all be downhill. what if i don't know what i'm doing? i did take a TESOL course but it was a year ago and i desperately need a refresher! what if i suck?? what if i'm not who they think i will be?? what if the kids hate me? or worse: are bored by me!! what if they don't learn anything!!? gahhhh!
ok. well. judging from the emails i received from the teacher at the school they seem really supportive and excited i'm coming. (i hope this is true and not just spaniard politeness.) so maybe just maybe i will do ok and get better in time. well, we'll see. whatever it is it is.

bale. adios!

Monday, October 11, 2010

at laaaaaaaaast.. my visa.. has come along! (...& i'm scared)

that day is finally here that day is finally here that day is finally heereee... (cred Flo Rida. word.)

my visa for Spain has arrived. and i am so excited. but also, paralyzed with fear. the last thing i expected when i finally got the envelope was dread to wash over me.  and it's not the experience of going to a foreign country where i will be all alone and know no one and have to find a place to live and have to be faced with the task of teaching a group of kids who will not understand anything that i am saying (for the first time ever no less!) and have to live in a small town which i'm not used to and not have a means of reliable transport to get the hell out of there once in a while.. no.. no, see.. all of that is wildly exciting! it's an adventure! yes a crazy scary adventure that i have never known and will likely botch up a few times but still.. it's extraordinarily inviting to me! [of course i did panic when i first found out where i'll be living (the small isolated town part) but as soon as i got used to the idea it suddenly seemed appealing again. this location was my 2nd choice after all!]

what scares me, what sends that intense dread into my heart and leaves my bones rattling and my insides feeling hollow is leaving Marcus for 7 months.

i haven't felt such panic in a while. it's fair to say life was "easy" for the past few months. but as i said to Marcus the other night after we watched The 11th Hour (documentary by L. DiCaprio about earth's demise. gloomy stuff. brighter at the end but i fell asleep by then. it was very late, ok? or maybe it was my self defense mechanism. perhaps i'm digressing a bit?) "Easy is boring!" (come to think of it a wise amiga of mine said this once.) our convo went like this: (i was distraught over the rapid degeneration of our planet) 

E: Nobody cares.
M: It's easier not to care.
E: But life isn't meant to be easy! Americans all want the easy way, but easy is boring! That's why I'm trying to make my life more difficult. By going to Spain for 7 months. I don't want to leave you, but I do want to venture into a new foreign environment in which I can learn and grow! Isn't that better than easy?

So my point is, as terrifying as it is to leave the love of my life with whom I have been with every single day for the past few weeks.. as absolutely nauseating as that is for me.. It would be worse if I did not go. I would never forgive myself. I would never fulfill a dream that I've held on to for the past 3 years. That's not to say such a decision would be good for everyone, but I want to see the world and learn a hundred new things a day and have a million different experiences in my life and live lots of different lives like arnold swartzeneckerdigger!

And I'm not really trying to make my life more difficult.. just more challenging. Challenges force us to do things differently, expand our minds, our comfort zones.. improve ourselves. There is so much good that can come out of this.

The Buddhists say that love transcends time and space. And I am so attached to my love that if I can do without it's physical manifestation for 7 months it will only serve to strengthen it. Love without possession, without attachment. That is the kind of love I want for us.

That's not to say I'm not still scared. I'm freaking terrified!!! But as a wise person once said.. "Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway."