Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why I Love Bradenton........

Man Hides Bags of Shrimp Down Pants

The Latest Noticias

So the past week has been a fairly interesting one, aside from being under the weather I have managed to enjoy myself. Last week I was at home after school in bed, when Cesár decided that there was something on the street that I simply COULD NOT miss so he decided to bang on my window until I agreed to climb through it onto the balcony. Now at first I was more than mildly pissed that he had woke me up but in the end I am glad he did because what was happening on the street was indeed pretty damn interesting. I looked across to the Peugeot dealership and in front were 2 police motorcycles and about 5 plain-clothed police officers all surrounding what appeared to be a nomral minivan. I didn't think much of it and was noticably upset that I was awake and not in bed until Cesár realized I had no idea what was going on and pointed out to me that on top of the minivan sat about 5 9mm semi-automatic handguns. Needless to say I was dumbfounded...5 guns in a minivan?? I frantically searched the street hoping to see some soccer mom hysterically crying and explaining why these guns were in her car, but to no avail. The two men who owned the car appeared to be in their mid to late 30s and definetly of South American heritage.

And THATS when I began to realize that all of the other people that had been pulled over were also of non-Spanish heritage as well. There were two Africans, a Moroccan guy and some more South Americans. Needless to say I was a little taken aback, I thought to myself 'How is it possible that the police here can be so blatantly racist and cherry pick immigrants off the street to be searched?' But when I proposed this question to Cesár he looked at me like I was crazy, a sort of 'you aren't serious, right?' look, as if it was impossible for him to fathom that the immigrants wouldn't be stopped and interrogated for no reason whatsoever. He bluntly told me, 'THESE are the people that we need to be worried about.' So then I got to thinking, if these are truly the type of people that Spaniards are worried about that I am more worried about them! Are they so blind to their own fellow Spaniards that abuse & murder their wives, traffic drugs, and light homeless women on fire for fun? They should not go without blame either, but no one seems to criticize them as vociferously as they do the immigrants.

Now given, I understand the image that immigrant people have, I am from Florida for chrissakes, we practically have a larger immigrant population than we do native. I understand the stereotypes that accompany these people, but what I dont understand is how everyone can so blindly assume them to be true? The fact that immigrants are notorious for committing crimes etc is an undisputed fact here. No one talks about the fact that yes while sometimes the stereotypes are true, immigration is not entirely a bad thing. It brings development to society and ultimately in one way or another boosts economic production in both legal and illegal senses. Sure alot of work and business is done on the black market but this is still money that enters into the GDP and consumer expenditures. It is something that takes getting used to but there is no way to stop it and personally I find it ridiculous that no one seems to take pride in the fact that there are so many immigrants that choose to come to Spain to seek a better life.

Ok I think thats enough for now since this post may start a whirlwind of comments, but for the record its my blog, my opinions and no one ever said that paradise was without *some* flaws. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

My days.....

So here comes my weekly update! On the whole things are going smoothly. I am settling into my daily routine and trying to enjoy as much of the city as I have time for. Last week was my first full week of teaching and I LOVED IT.

So for all of you dying to know how my days go, its as follows:
8:15- wake up, shower, try not to make alot of noise so as to not upset sleeping beast (aka Ronnie, our dog who thinks that a creak in the floor is a robber) who if wakes up will in turn awake other sleeping beast (aka Cesár my roomate).
8:55- Leave house, turn on iPod and remember how miserable it is that the silicone earpiece for your headphones was lost some days ago, possible unfortunate mishap with your credit card attacking said earpiece and silicone cover escaping to the safety of the street, never to be seen again.
9:15- Hopefully catch #523 to Móstoles, if not wait til 9:26, in both cases pray that bus doesn't break down, en route on side of highway.
10:00- arrive at school, prepare yourself to be slightly deafened by uproar of 250 children screaming in concrete hallways, carefully make way to classroom, avoid all contact with running children or end up on floor.
11:00- merienda aka snack aka I pig out on pastries, jamón coffee and whatever else they bring us, also gossip with teachers about weekend.
11:30-12:30 another class, chase 7 year olds around classroom, screaming questions in english and hope no one hits you in head with eraser, pencil etc...kick out kid making farts noises (secretly laugh inside) and take a deep breath.
12:30-2:00 do nothing, write e-mails, read and

(OK NOT ACTUALLY OUR TABLE, BUT CLOSE ENOUGH minus strange man in Santa hat hiding in corner)

2:00-LUNCH TIME! Undoubtedly one of the best parts of the day. Picture a room with a 20 ft. long table, plates bowls silverware all laid out and a tray with the most glorious amount of delicious food you could imagine waiting to be eaten. This is also known as Lauren-stuffs-her-face hour where I arrive at my next class wanting to barf since I ate so much at lunch.
2:30-4:00 more classes, more screaming and sometimes sneaking off to the 3 year olds room to play with them and hang out with Diana (the teacher).
4:00- HAUL ASS (scuse the language)to bus stop, pray that bus comes within a half hour
4:30/4:45- arrive at Principe Pio, HAUL ASS to cercanías to catch train to north of Madrid.
5:15-8:00 give private lessons to 3 separate families, color pictures with kids, explain to them that calling you a `cow` because they learned it in school is actually not funny, and hope that they can concentrate long enough so that their parents actually think they are learning something. Realize that talking at a kid in English is almost as painfully boring for you as it is for them and hope that source of creativity can be found so as to not kill everyone involved with boredom.
9:30 Arrive home, eat something, drink mate with Diego, talk about anything and everything
11:00 asleep, dead tired and preparing for the next day!

I think thats a pretty acurate descirption, so until I can find something interesting to talk about for my next post, I send you all my love and tons of hugs & kisses!


Monday, October 6, 2008



So I know this may come as a humongous shock to the majority of people reading this, so brace yoursevles, but I have been cooking lately! Not extraordinarily hard things, but seeing as the cooking gene definetly skipped my mother and I, this is a pretty big deal. I have successfully cooked a hamburger (a la plancha a.k.a frying it in oil), over easy eggs for breakfast and a weird pasta concoction that consisted of pasta, cured ham, tomato sauce and any spice that I could find in the cabinet! They all turned out fairly well, were eaten by other people and no one got sick or died so I am gonna chalk my success rate up to about 98% (just in case someone in the next 48 hours contracts Mad Cow disease or food poisoning!)
Luckily, Diego has been supervising me alot while I cook though I am not sure whether its to help me learn or because he thinks he may need to jump in at any moment to put out the grease fire that I am about to start...haha. Either way its nice having someone to help me in the kitchen, en cualquier sentido.
Ok so lets see what else is new in my life....well I had a pretty eventful weekend...On Friday since I didnt have work my friend Amanda and I went to Principe Pio to grab lunch at a cerveceria called La Tasca (Paseo de Florida) where we were more pleasantly surprised with out waiter and how cute he was then by the actual food. Later on we went to the Retiro park to drink some Shandys (beer con limon) and take in the sun. Later on in the night Amanda and I met up with my friend Fanny and some of her grilfriends to go out in Sol, we went to Bar Cibeles, drank a few copitas and straggled home at 5:30 in the morning. On Saturday I was lazy and spent most of the day in the house, watching fútbol and recuperating in preparation to go out on Saturday to celebrate with the girls who took the LSAT!
We started out the night at El Rinconcito, in true Madrid Fall 06 Style! I was a little bit wary of going back since Heather and I had spent so much time there together before, but I overcame my nostalgia and went in. (This part is mainly for Heather but the rest of you should enjoy it too): So I walk into Rinconcito only to walk past a guy that looks alot like our friend Alberto, who used to be the bartender there. I think nothing of it since Alberto had quit by the time we left Madrid, so I say perdon and push my way around to the bar. Upon arriving at the bar I ask for my mojito and also if the bartender knew Alberto and Miguel who used to work there. Bartender laughs and says 'oye mujer, pero ya esta aki' and i'm like '¿quien?' and mr. bartender proceeds to point out said Alberto look alike at which point I realize that it is in fact the one and only, Alberto. I swear I could've died. I dont know what was funnier the look on my face or his when we relized it. Anyway not to drag things out, we talked, exchanged numbers (he still had my old number in his phone) and asked for Heather's e-mail because apparently he'd been wondering what she'd been up to. LOLZ love it. The night ended again at Bar Cibeles where I met some great people and then spent all day yesterday in bed/watching TV/being useless, so I could rest up for work today!
This afternoon I am going up to Bambú to meet with the families I am going to be teaching English to, and then hopefully will be back early enough to eat dinner andgo to bed at a decent hour!
Ok I think thats enough for now, more later. xoxoxo

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt? 2008 a fantastic video that everyone should see! go on and search for it!

love you all!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jeez I am bad at this...

Hola todos! Well in pure procrastination style I am writing this way too late.

Lets see, what first? Well I found an apartment! I am living in Oporto in the south of Madrid. I can get to work in about 40 minutes and its close to the center of the city too. I have two roommates, Diego and Cesar. Diego is in his early thirties and is from Buenos Aires. He's been here three years and has a one and a half year old son, Bruno, who is the cutest thing in the entire world! Obviously Bruno doesnt live here with us but he comes over after school to play! Cesar is 24 and from a town in Cantabria in the north of Madrid. He works as a security guard right now but is training to be a police man, he's excited because he gets to carry a gun starting next week. Needless to say it makes me feel a little safer :) haha.

I went to my school today to meet all the professors that I will be working with. I start tomorrow at 10am. I work Mon-Thursday 10-4 with a break from 12:30-2:30. I work in a town called Mostoles, its a fairly large city to the southwest of Madrid and is full of families. There are over 19 bilingual and regular elementary schools in the town alone! Its crazy! I am working with another American, Kyle who is from Lincoln Nebraska. He is super nice and seems to be just as excited as I am to begin work! I will be helping the teachers for Infantil (which is 4 and 5 year olds) and also the 2,3, and 4 year students! Some of the students are slated to take the Trinity English Examination in December so I will be working in groups of 3 students also to help them prepare.

I will also be giving private lessons to four families in the north of Madrid to make some extra moolah!

A the beginning of last week I went to Barcelona for La Merce (patron saint festival) to visit my friends and enjoy the Barcelona night life a little :) I stayed with my friend Raul and was able to see alot of my friends and my host mother. It was fantastic being back in the city and I really enjoyed my mini-vacation!

That's pretty much all for now! Miss all of you tons!