Monday, March 21, 2011


Spain is back to its old lovable self with blue skies and warm weather. I spent Saturday with a book at Plaza de España and. . . got to wear a t-shirt. And the big blue block of beauty to the right is a photo of the cloudless sky I woke up to this morning.

Last week was the last week of the quarter so it was spent last-minute paper-writing mixed in with an unhealthy dose of procrastination via online episodes of Fringe. In private lessons we talked about St. Patrick's Day, which isn't really celebrated here in Spain, and I think 11-year-old Miguel might have attempted to touch my boob during a heated game of leprechaun-themed Memory. Not many men try this on me, though, so I may be mistaken.

With my youngest private lesson we worked on shapes by constructing leprechaun faces. I was unsuccessful in conveying the concept of a leprechaun to either Carlos or Leyre, who were
convinced it was some version of Santa Claus. Carlos told me "Si no es Papa Noel, no me interesa. - If it's not Santa Claus, it doesn't interest me." The lesson quickly turned into one on English Christmas
carols, while the leprechaun turned into what looked like a train conductor from the Village People. Carlos asked me to trade as he was unhappy with the outcome, but I rather liked it.

Laura C's brother was in town so last night we met up with a friend of his from high school at an Israeli cafe/bar a couple blocks from my apartment. The coffee idea was chucked for cocktails when we discovered it was Purim, and since it was 9 pm on a Sunday evening and this place is just the kind of lovely little comfy-couched hippie bar that's not (yet) cliche, we were the only ones there who had not been specifically invited to the party. Meaning we were unaware that fluorescent wigs were part of the evening's dress code.

Purim is a Jewish holiday in which you're supposed to dress in costume and drink wine and do various other things that are vaguely or not at all related to the holiday's actual purpose of commemorating some story in the Book of Esther. Today I saw the Facebook invite for the event and they explained this by saying that when the Israelites were exiled to Babylon when their temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in the 7th Century BC, and they sang "By the rivers of Babylon," they were speaking of the concept of how when wine enters, secrets escape. "They would have said this as well about Mary Jo, if they had known it." Mary Jo is the bar's beer, nice product placement that, all in the name of Judaism. In any case it was cool to be a part of it because almost everyone there was an Israeli transplant, so they were excited to celebrate. I think a lot of times that happens when you're living abroad - the holidays from your country and spending them with people also from that country - become even more important. Solidarity and whatnot. St. Patrick's Day as we know it having been born in the good ol' U.S.A., for example.

Anyway, that's all.

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