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11th August 2009

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I love you, but…

Those infamous first words of a break-up.  I guess it’s a little dramatic, because I’m not exactly breaking up with Spain, but I definitely needed a break last week.  Luckily, London was on the agenda, so I got 4 days away to speak English, eat some food I had been craving, and to catch up with some great friends.

Here’s the thing about Spain -

- No one knows how to queue.  EVER.

- Customer service is not a known or understood concept. ( I think this is the case in most of Europe, too.)  Sometimes you just want to be thanked. And not looked at as a burden because you want to purchase something….forgive me!

- Everything is slooooow.  Good when you are on vaca, but as an NYCer the past 4 years, you often just wish things could happen a little more quickly.

- Ham, eggs, OIL, potatoes, and maybe some tomato, rice and seafood every once in a while.  Yep, that’s about it.  Enough to make virtually every Spanish meal :)

- August is dead!  Literally almost every store and restaurant in my neighborhood is closed for August vacations.  It’s good for them that they can take that time (we could all use more vaca), but I think what gets me is that as a society they are just willing to accept that basically nothing will get done in the entire month of August.  What a waste!

Okay, okay, I know I shouldn’t be complaining, and they’re really not complaints, just observations of how different some things are here.  Makes me realize that I really do love and miss home, which is exactly what I needed.  So thanks, Spain, I’ve learned a lot, I still love you, and I will be back.  But I am ready to go home!

2.5 weeks to soak up the sun.

Tagged: homeSpainobservations

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16th July 2009

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The 411 on my roommates -

Berta - she’s 25, from Spain (northern part, Rioja), but has been living in Barcelona the last 2 years for architecture school.  She “owns” the apartment, but left this past Sunday to head home to Rioja because her final project for school is a building there.  She’s super energetic and I’ll totally miss having her here…especially because she was the best at making me pratice my Spanish (and correcting me).

Amy - she’s 22 and from Dublin and is going into her final year of university.  She’s an art student, meaning she does a lot of it, but is also studying art history.  She’s here this summer mostly hanging out, but also working on her thesis (which has something to do with feminism and art and perceptions…still trying to get it, but I think she is, too) and she may pick up a bartending job at one of the many irish bars here.  She’s a little crazy, loves boys (and sometimes girls?), but (using a bit of her lingo) is just lovely.  Lots of fun to hang out with.  She also expresses her love of art in the form of tatoos - has them all on her back, stomach and down one leg.  Mostly they are flowers and actually quite nice.  We have post-its all over our apartment with Spanish vocab, which is Tatiana and mine’s attempt to make Amy learn Spanish (she’s knows almost none).

Tatiana - she’s 20 and from Paris and is very 20 and Parisian.  She’s a fashionista, can’t really leave the house without buying some sort of jewelry or clothing, loves to do her (and your) hair and makeup and loves dancing.  Her idea of being sporty is going to the beach :).  She is a great girl and a very good roommate though - super friendly, likes to clean, loves to do things together, etc.  She also speaks pretty good Spanish (and not as great English), so we’re always speaking in Spanish, which is great.  Oh, and her boyfriend (also French, and doesn’t speak English or Spanish) just arrived last night and is staying here for 3 (!!) weeks.  She’s here for an internship at a financial company, so she’s works from about 9-1:30 every day.

So that’s it, the 4 of us.  I love the adventure!  Pics to come.

Tagged: roommatesSpainDublinParistatoosadventure

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