Thursday, December 23, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
I am walking down the main road. A grandmother was just commanding her 8 year old grandchild to pull down her pants and urinate in the gutter. The girl obviously did not want to. There are no public toilets here. If need the toilet, you go to a bar. Sometimes you have to buy something to use the toilet.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
This morning, before I got out of bed, sirens pierced the muffled drone of traffic. Now I'm sitting here drinking coffee and two ambulances go by blaring their horns. Granollers is small, but its as noisy as a big city sometimes. The sounds of sirens blaring remind me of movies set in New York City. North American media domination.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Well, we've tried to eat here a few times and it's always been full. Last night, because we were going to celebrate Montse's birthday, we booked in advance. My pizza was delicious. The others said it was good. But we all agreed that its reputation as a great pizza place was a bit exaggerated. Of course, the place is tiny, so they are shoving people in and out quite quickly. My favourite pizza is from Pulcinella. And that's only 5 mins from our apartment.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
As I said earlier, we've been here 18 months. The last two weeks have been amazing. At every turn, Albert and Jett have expressed happiness on all levels. My house is tidy and I'm doing what I like to do, and getting paid for it.
Pause. And wow. Let's just sit down for a moment and look around and say thanks.
I don't know what's around the corner. I'm not looking. I'm happy right here and now and that's more than enough for me.
Thanks to Albert for being so thoughtful, kind and sporty! Thanks to Jett for being a sweetie and brushing himself off quickly to get back on the horse time and time again.
Just to recap: I'm Australian. I speak English and poor Norwegian. I do not speak Spanish. I live in Granollers. I go to Catalan class. I've been here for 18 months. I am repeating B2, in my course. I hit unit 4, and my head kind of un-assembled. (Did I say I spoke English?) What happened? The main problem I have is lack of vocabulary. There are many words that are similar to Spanish, so many of the other students just slip along while I'm fossicking in my dictionary. I am still not really close to my verbs. My brain slows right down in translation, and now there is haver-hi, the past tense of old verbs and the pronouns for shopping fruit, vegetables and all that jazz. Explosion. Lucky for me, I have a great bakery on my way home from class. Donut time! Yay! :)
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I'm sitting with some locals after dinner. The after dinner drinks are on the table. Someone picks up the bottle and pours themselves a drink. The conversation continues. I'm the only one who feels that something 'wrong' just occured. Please let me know your opinion about this. In my upbringing, we must ask everyone else what they would like and serve them, and then we take care of our own wants. Opinions?
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Shaking the hand means 'Uff'. You can shake the hand when your teacher is super angry during class and afterwards you look at your friend and say nothing, but shake the hand. You can also shake the hand when you go to the bar to get a drink and they say 6 euros please. Then you shake the hand and say 'hoorder.' Hot girls also get the hand shake, with a different expression than the one displayed above.
My Mum gave me this book a couple of years ago. I've been following some of its advice and it's helped me organise the apartment. My biggest problem with cleaning, apart from being lazy, was where to start. This book explains the sequence of tidying in a way that has penetrated my foggy mind. 1-declutter. Take away everything that doesn't belong in the room. 2 -dust walls, ceilings, pictures and wipe down switches with a wet cloth. 3 -dust stuff,then wipe down with appropriate cleaner. 4 - sweep and wash floors. That's the basics for each room, and it works for me.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Its really quiet here today, even though is beautiful weather. Jett and I came for an after lunch treat of rice and milk. He's got his nose stuck in a Donald Pocket, and I'm considering rock fashion. You know Albert has just started a rock revival band? Of course, the question is, what to wear for the gig?
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Teenager scare me. And this is their den. It's where 'they' hang out. It is strategically placed across from the church. Coincidence? I think not.
See also K's Fears of Teenagers .
PS - A friend read this and told me they thought it was a bit too harsh and I should let people know I'm joking. Yes. I'm joking. Teenagers don't really scare me. However they do tend to embody the worst of self centered behaviour (as I'm sure I did). Long live the teenager.
My son has an obsessive kind of streak in his nature. For the last five years or so, one of his favourite activities is reading, collecting and learning more about Donald Pockets. His Norwegian grandmother sends him one or two a month. I only allow Jett to read them on the weekend. I'm afraid his prime mythology will be based on a greedy old man duck and a struggling and bad tempered donald duck. Not to mention Daisy's impact on his psychology!
One of the surprises I still have here is basic lack of manners/thoughtfulness on the streets. People push past while managing to have an expression on their face as if you didn't exist. It's true, teenagers are the best at rudeness, but most of my pedestrian encounters are marked by thoughtlessness. And if I happen to stand aside to let another pass me, it's never rewarded with a word or even eye contact. Of course. Nobody is right or wrong here. It's just another way of living together. But usually people I've spoken to appreciate the daily kindness and consideration they receive when they are abroad.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The title is the name of this bakery on my block, and also the name of this type of corner. That is, its like a wedge that fits into a pie. I'm not sure if we have a name for this in English. Anyway, Jett says this bakery has the best donuts, and Montse says it has the best baked cheese cake. This is where I get my xuxus from. It's also the main reason I still can't fit into my old white pants.
Edit: As of the 24th of November, El Xamfra closed its doors after 24 years! The reason has not been established. I've only been here 18 months myself, but I will sorely miss the nice bakery ladies and the excellent xuxu's. The only good news is I have to try lots of other bakeries to find a decent xuxu replacement.
For the latest on the Xamfra