Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vuelta de España and Sandpaper Cheeks

I took lots of notes in my nun planner today. The professors at my Colegio gave me the books their students would be learning English with, and I learned some useful information, like:

"Everyone in England drinks tea - with milk! It's horrible." (This in the cultural understanding section).

Or, Jason: "What's that on your face?"
Jade: "Oh, it's make-up."

Awkward silence.

I'm still only in Colegio for brief bits of time until October. And I still only know the names of three teachers, although I've kissed them all at least twice, as per Spanish custom. There's an art to the cheek-kiss greeting. In Ecuador it was only one check: sensible, effective, sweet. Here with the two cheeks you can run into problems. What if the guy's got some stubble? I have sensitive skin, do I risk chafing my face on him? Suppose a woman is made up like the one in the photo. I don't want to clog my pores with that shit. I actually prefer it to the U.S. handshake though. If it's a job interview, sure, but it seems too formal to shake hands most of the time, and too intimate to bear hug a stranger. Cheek-kiss, you always know what you're going to get: a little rug-burn, some residual lipliner, and the perfect entrance into a Spanish friendship.

This weekend was really cool because the Vuelta de España finished its several weeks course here in Madrid. It's basically Spain's version of the Tour de France and it turned out to be awesome. Kind of like an extended parade that circles the city 12 times after having been on the road the past three weeks. First you have the cops coming in on motorcycles (I mean like 20, seriously), followed by the team cars, their roofs laden with spare bikes, then the actual riders, followed by more team cars. There's a whole bunch of strategy that goes into it, like, follow the lead rider to get towed along in his wind stream, and don't brake, it's a race.

Went out with Sydney afterwards to watch the Barcelona game, but ended up talking too much to pay much attention. Monday night was also BOOK CLUB. Brittaney - and Cait too, but Brittaney's my number one and only blog fan - I wish desperately you were a member, but I don't think we can pull this one on Skype. I started this group myself and it's called "Libros y Wine." I showed up to the first meeting with a 2-liter bottle of sangria, and the rest of them had coffee. Next week I think we'll be reviewing the true meaning behind this get-together.

Some pictures...

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