Monday, November 8, 2010

Snow Day!!!

Not really but we have the day off from school. Yesterday my students told me that Monday also should have been a holiday because a nun died on Sunday. Since my Colegio has a bunch of nuns living on the top floor, if one of them dies we're not supposed to have school and then the next day I think is the visitation/burial. Unfortunately this doesn't always work for young students as one told me last year the nun had been laid in her coffin and set in one of the rooms of the school for everyone to come see and say a prayer. "But she was yellow!" he told me. "All yellow! And I couldn't help it. I started laughing and I couldn't stop." When I asked how many nuns live upstairs his answer was "Less and less every day, they're dropping like flies." A sensitive boy.

I can't believe it's already the 9th of November. It's getting COLD and I don't like it. This weekend I was out walking in a T-shirt; the weather was beautiful and hot and sunny - and when the sun shines here, it's strong. Then yesterday it dropped I think probably into the 40s. I know I shouldn't complain compared to Boston/MN, but I'm complaining. I was worried before I came here that I would be freezing from October to roughly April because I knew that Europeans don't generally heat their homes as much as North Americans, but I'm finding that for me it's 50-50. The heat in our apartment turns on I think around 4PM and once it gets going my room is a sauna - as in I have to open windows because it's so hot. But during the mornings and probably starting around midnight there's no heat and it's really cold. It's gotten marginally better since I switched the end of the bed on which I sleep so my head is closer to the heater - it's one of those space heater things attached to the wall versus a vent. I had to do this when my bed broke, anyway, so that I wasn't lying with my head six inches lower than my feet, but it's had a happy side-effect.

Yesterday was a big mess of panic for about an hour when I couldn't find my passport. I have about three possible hiding places in my room since I came with one suitcase and one backpack, so there's no extra whatevers for it to be buried under. I looked for a good long forever it felt like then took a chill pill and decided to have some peanuts, so I reached into the plastic grocery bag when what to my wondering eyes should appear but my passport. Don't know how it got there, but I sure did enjoy those nuts.

Good thing I found it, anyway, because I've got a couple of trips coming up. Budapest is in two weeks? three weeks? and I think I'm off to Barcelona the weekend after that. I was in Barcelona a couple years ago, but we have Monday-Wednesday-Friday off and so a couple of us are going to head on over to the Basque country. The Basque region's weird because it's kind of like Montreal in the sense that it speaks a different language and has grand visions of separation, but here in Spain they also have a terrorist group called ETA that occasionally bombs Metro stations and the like in order to get independence from Spain. A teacher I work with, Amaya, told me they talk about la raza pura - the pure race - and are disturbingly freaky like that. Her family's from that area and apparently there's a certain blood type that "good Basques" have, which she's got as well, but she's a "bad Basque" because her last names aren't of the region but are instead Spanish. To Barcelona!

After that it's a couple weeks until winter break and I think I'm going to Algiers for this one. Flights to northern Africa are really cheap and it's the bomb. Thennnn.. I'm currently considering moving to Brazil next year. Teach a little English, tomar un poco sol, plant my bum on the beach... sounds good to me. Juliet, Carissa and I came up with this idea when we were supposed to be working on a school project Saturday night but instead got a little wine-happy. They taught me the "Sorority Squat," which I demonstrate for you in the picture on the right. The night ended when I got rather too wine-happy and had to peace out on the evening a bit early. At least I woke up to thoughts of Brazil...

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