Saturday, November 23, 2013

TIE, Traveling, Snow, and Celia, or, Why I haven't been a loyal blogger

I'm sorry to all of my religious readers out there - I have not been a good blogger. But this girl is back and here to explain why I have taken such a leave of absence. It's all been for (mostly) good reasons. 

Wait, I'm Still Not Legally Here?: The TIE Process

Okay, so, the visa process was hell. And I mean HELL. And that's me being nice. An understatement. But I made it to the Spain end of that process, knowing that my visa would expire 90 days after it was issued. Ough! I thought it would be a simple process, but, seeing as this is Spain, nothing is simple. I had to get an Empadronamiento from the government, collect paperwork, make a bunch of copies and go somewhere in the middle of nowhere to get fingerprinted. But now that harrowing process is done and I pick up my official TIE card in two weeks.

Oh, the Places You'll Go: El Escorial and Segovia, Traveling and Snow

The last few weeks, I have been fortunate enough to do a bit of traveling around Spain. I visited El Escorial last weekend and today I went to Segovia. I loved both of these and you can see pictures of them here.

In El Escorial, I got to experience snow. Now, I've seen snow before - kind of. I've done the requisite ski trips and such and, once in fifth grade, the teacher let us outside for 5 minutes because it was "snowing," which means slush in Northern California. But I'd never seen snow come down in flurries like it came down in El Escorial. And it was amazing. It stuck to the trees and made everything beautiful. And, all though my parents may argue this point, I can say that my first real snowfall that I will always remember happened in Europe. I got to see snowfall in Europe and take pictures of it - all while wearing the wrong outfit since I'm a California girl, of course. 

In Segovia, I got to see a lot of super cool, super historical buildings and structures, such as the Roman Aqueduct of Segovia. I also got to see Alcázar, which provided some inspiration for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle (which I didn't know - I always thought Neuschwanstein was the sole inspiration - another castle on my bucket list). I also got to try Cochinilla, which is a famous Segovian dish of baby pig. Yum! (Apologies to my best friend, Andrew).

The Hanged Man Was Well Hung: Nightmares of Private Lessons due to Celia and Ruben

While all of my other friends are jumping for joy at the fact that they get payed to sing songs and play games for money, I have to deal with nightmare children. Two in particular, Ruben and Celia. 

Ruben is a hand full. He is very creative and very active and very smart, but he wants NOTHING TO DO WITH ENGLISH. This makes my job difficult. He doesn't want to play games or sing songs. He doesn't want to write anything or say anything. He doesn't want to. And his mom mostly wants me to help him with his homework and prepare him for tests. One day, right before I got there, he lit his textbook on fire. So, that was fun. Then, last week, he wouldn't listen to me at all. He kept saying "English BOOOO!" over and over again and me trying to punish him by making him copy and telling him to sit down was not working. I eventually opened the door and told him he had to stand by it, which of course made his mom curious. Thankfully, his mother was pissed at him and took away his soccer privileges for the week. This was a moment of pure satisfaction, which makes me sad - I have lost the ability to feel sorry for an eight year old in trouble.

Now, the really fun stories - Celia. I learned the hard way that this girl likes to cut people's hair. That was my first run in with her. Apparently, she does this a lot at school. She also ran around like a crazy madwoman that day (her sedated grandfather lazily read on the couch) tearing up my flashcards and breaking crayons. The next day she was the perfect angel, giving me hugs and writing "Celia loves Brittany" on all of her papers. She continued to be angelic, but refused to speak English, insisting that she didn't understand anything, while repeating everything I said in English in Spanish because she thought I couldn't understand her. "Only in English at this table, Celia." "No entiendo. Sola en ingles en esta mesa. Vale." She still continues to do this, so, I mostly work with her brothers while she draws and scribbles and says things in Spanish. To her credit, she always tells me her colors in English. This past week, during a game of hangman with her brothers, she was drawing the hangman game we were playing. All of a sudden she taps me on the shoulder, giggles and points. She had drawn a penis on her hangman stick figure. And not a small it-could-be-something-else type one. This was clearly a penis. I was a bit mortified and she kept giggling. This girl is 6 -  I don't even think I knew what a penis was when I was 6.  So, that happened.

So, there you have it. I have been ignoring my blog due to the Spanish government, cool trips, and nightmare children. Tomorrow, I will try to write a blog on language barriers and the use of the Oxford comma, which I am clearly a fan of. 

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