2005-05-28 - 1:49 a.m.

This has been a week I do not care to ever repeat. Unfortunately, it is a must. I must repeat this week again and again and probably again and again…though something about this week must change drastically. We had language courses this week. Every day from 9:30 until 2:30 and it was HORRIBLE. Absolutely horrible. First of all, I had barely started to recover from jet lag when I had to start waking up to the alarm clock again. Second, I had just started getting comfortable with a daily routine of sorts, which allowed me to start doing the necessary “for me” things that keep me sane…like exercise, reading, bathing (and by bathing I do not mean cleaning my skin and hair, I mean languishing in a tub of water for a LONG time with candles burning and a soggy book in hand and perhaps a glass of wine sitting alongside the sleeping cat on the edge of the tub, or a cup of tea). But then, just as I was getting a chance to settle down FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS (FOR REAL, YEARS!)I had to start going to these language classes. Courses Idiomas. I REALIZE that of course if I was to continue these classes for a few more months, even a few more weeks, I would start to get a routine down that included the classes and anything else would just be screwy and weird and would mess me up again…but, this class was only a week and so I can totally complain that it really messed me up and I can totally say that I am SO HAPPY that it is going to be a few more weeks, at least, until I have to take another class.

The cool thing about taking that class (besides the fact that I actually learned a tiny bit of Spanish and can now recognize at least two words of every sixty words someone spouts out at me) is that we had a half an hour at “lunch” to wander around town. Wednesday we went to a health food store and I stocked up on cornmeal (you cannot find this in the grocery store), TVP (because I am trying to learn to make my own vegetarian “meat” products), and seitan. Thursday we found a shop that sold potted flowers and I bought roses for the patio and a strawberry plant for a window. And today I bought a couple mint plants, some daisies and petunias, a carnation plant (not because I particularly like carnations but because I know they get big and I needed a big, flowering plant) and a couple other daisy like plants. I am especially excited about the mint plants. I potted them and put one in the middle of the table on the terrace so after BBQ’s people can eat mint leaves and have fresh breath. And I put another one on ANOTHER terrace in ANOTHER eating area for the same purpose. We have MANY outdoor “room” options here. One can sit in a covered terrace on comfy wicker couches or one can sit in the other covered terrace attached to the house where there is a big dining table and a smaller cocktail table. OR, one can sit by the pool, or under the palm tree and there are seating options there as well, and tables to hold your food or drink. We are VERY set up for entertaining and this is a horrifying, yet awesome thought for me.


Right now I am sitting in a comfy wicker couch, facing the pool and the big palm tree. The sun is starting to descend and all the leaves in the trees are tinged with gold. I can hear my cat snoring under a chair and it is totally peaceful and beautiful right now. This weekend Eric and I will probably explore Sitges a little more, or at least go out to dinner which is something we haven’t done since we arrived here. We will also float around the pool on our raft things and drink beer. Have I mentioned the beer fridge? We have a beer fridge. This is great. A refrigerator in Spanish is frigirifico. This makes me laugh. El frigirifico. Even though we were taught another, more commonly used, word for frigirifico, I will always use that word. ALWAYS. Just like I will always use the French word for mustard, moutard, because I like it better than any other option. We should just compile a new language using the coolest option from all languages. Moutard, frigerifico, dude…hmmm….apparently I need to compile my own list first. I only have three favorite words. So…I will now set out to find a favorite word in every single language I can find. That is my new project. And also, my other project is translating the Paulo Choehlo book I bought today at the grocery store. Okay, not translating, I do not want to translate, I want to understand it in Spanish. Yes. .

There are two things I do not like about this place that I will be calling home for a while. One is the hours these people keep. Apparently in summer ones day basically begins as the sun is going down. GOING DOWN…NOT COMING UP. I DO NOT like eating dinner at 10 o’clock at night. I HATE THAT. I also don’t like this siesta crap. I HATE that most shops are closed from 2 until 5 every day. I think that is STUPID. So this whole time thing will take some getting used to. The good thing about it is that if I somehow manage to retain my habits of getting up at four am and having most of my day done and over with by noon, I will not encounter very many people and nothing will be that busy at the times I am used to.

The other thing I do not like is the way the pronounce things here in Catalunya. They lisp C sounds. For instance…cinco (5) here is pronounced THinco. Barcelona is pronounced BarTHelona. When you get two native people speaking to one another it is impossible to understand ANYTHING they are saying, it all sounds like one big lazy lisp. Gracias is graTHias. It is driving me crazy. It does actually sound kind of cool…but it is killing me because any word that I might have known before (and I actually DO know many many words in Spanish, not many verb tenses or proper sentence structure, but I know A LOT of words darnit) has to be erased from my mind and replanted with the new pronunciation. I should have just taken Spanish classes in the U.S., I should have just learned as much as I could there. I had thought it would be best to take my classes here so I could learn their pronunciation and because there are differences in Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Central, South, North American…for instance vosotros is only used in Spain…things like that. But not I am seeing that it would have been better for me to learn this language back in the states where I could have learned the more widely used Spanish instead of this very exclusive form of Spanish. And WORSE than the fact that they pronounce everything very differently than the other 90 million + Spanish speakers in this world…most everything here is ALSO spoken in CATALAN, which is a whole other language. The restaurant that is RIGHT NEXT TO MY HOUSE is all Catalan. There is no way, even when we learn SPANISH, that we are going to be able to go there. Also…I HATE that in this language that when referring to your wife you call her MY WOMAN. Eric says, “Mi Mujer (or however the fuck you spell that).” And it is CORRECT to say that. And yet…referring to a husband you say, “Mi Marido.” NOT, “Mi Hombre.” I HATE THAT. But that doesn’t have anything to do with where I am living.

Oh, there are bats here too. Lots of them. I don’t like that.

But…there is lots of sun and the sea and cheap, good wine. I still love France better and probably always will…but I will be happy here. Kitties will be happy here.

I have SO much to write about that I can’t focus. So I am leaving it at this and maybe next week…MAYBE (because I haven’t reached the color level I want to be at in my skin yet and need more time in the sun and I also have to unpack a few rooms yet and I am washing floors every single day trying to get through the layers of dirt on them so I can get to a point where I have to mop only once a week to maintain and I also have to exercise because I feel like I am getting FAT even though the scale says I still weigh 53 kilos (however much that is???) just like I did the day I arrived here….)so MAYBE next week I can take some time and write about all the things I want to write about.

It's kind of funny/weird when you realize that for the last six hours you have been walking around thinking Spain smelled really, really good, when you have been walking around for six hours sticking your nose in every single plant you pass by trying to figure out what it is that smells so good and then you realize, six hours later, that it is YOU that smells good. Namely, YOUR ARMPITS that smell so good. That is funny stuff.


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