Friday, February 26, 2010

School on Wednesday! I went to meet the principal a couple of days ago and there was a bit of a semi-heated discussion about whether their Years 11 and 12 co-ordinator-equivalent was willing to let me study there (I think). Anyway, I'm a bit worried because Emerito (the head of the exchange company) was all, 'Victoria's so nice and clever and she will be brilliant!' so I guess I've got to be a super student now. (For the record, he drives pretty crazily and is quite animated.)

Their school system is like the one in France, where you pick an elective 'area' and do all the subjects in that area. I'll be doing all the compulsory subjects (PE, Philosophy, Religion, Spanish, English, Citizenship and something like current affairs/history/HSIE) as well as Physics and Chemistry, Biology and Geography (no idea why they're grouped like that), Maths and French.

I've made some friends in my Spanish Classes for Stupid Foreigners, and yesterday after the lesson four of us went to the bar and had a complicated conversation. One of the guys, Javid, is a Muslim, and he was trying to explain to Veselin (I think he's from Romania) something about politics and religion and wow that was a bit heavy for limited Spanish.

Anyway. Today I was planning on going to buy some school supplies after lunch. The other day I went shopping on Calle Fuencarral but it was raining and I thought, gosh, I miss shopping centres. I bought a lovely blue-grey wool cape for super discounted price and I thought about getting a pair of gumboots (it rains a lot, actually, and the weather is somewhat temperamental) but haven't gotten any.

Carnela is getting better. She still sheds like crazy, though. How do you get dog hair out of one's clothes?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I seem to have this strange habit of getting sick and bringing up the contents of my stomach when I travel. First it was food poisoning (or so I believe) in England in 2006, more what-I-think-was-food-poisoning in Paris in 2007/08, and now some virus in Madrid, 2010.

You probably don't want to know the details, but all my lunch came up, I blocked the sink and slept about twenty hours. Now I have an excuse to do nothing at home! Life is good. But it did snow yesterday. Very pretty.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just one last addendum: Angelenes keeps calling me Gloria. It's pretty amusing. Alberto calls me Vicky, which in Spanish sounds like 'Bicky'.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I forgot to mention that it's snowing in Spain! Raquel said at dinner that it's supposed to snow here in Madrid at the end of the week.
I didn't tell you about the other day, when my host dad (Manolo) and I went for a walk with the dog in the afternoon and he had some business or other to do and said I could keep walking wherever and then take Carnela home. She almost got run over. I nearly died. I wouldn't know how to say, 'Sorry, I just killed your dog about thirty seconds after you left because she refused to let me hold her leash and then she ran off onto the road; please don't hurt me".

Yesterday we went grocery shopping and my host mum, Angelenes, tried to get me to buy all this stuff I didn't need (or want), and tonight we had a great time just chatting and laughing and stuff - I'm getting on quite well with all my host siblings, Adrian, Raquel and Manuel (who wears his pants halfway down his butt and makes me laugh with his English and the funny things he does). I don't, however, want this to be a bit of a premature statement to make and have things fall apart two weeks down the track.

One more mishap, too: this evening, after enrolling at some school I'm going to go to on Mondays and Thursdays for language classes, my host dad left me in front of the school because he needed to go to work and as I headed home, I wasn't paying attention to where I was walking. I didn't take a turn I was supposed to and had a slight panic when I found myself stuck in a grid of streets with no idea which direction was which, no money and no mobile (though I did have a dictionary). It turned out all right when I backtracked and actually looked where I was going, so no harm done. Unfortunately, I still have no school to attend, for some reason; we did have a chat to Manuel's school this arvo but I didn't quite understand the reason for me not being able to go there. So I suppose that means that tomorrow I will wash more dishes, do more laundry and play Restaurant City on Facebook (yeah, I know) and maybe venture out to buy some shoes. Maybe I'll mop the floor.

I've also got a couple of pictures for you: one is of Alberto (I think that's his name, but I could be wrong), Raquel's boyfriend, helping Manolo fix the front door last night (he told me to delete it, but I didn't, obviously), and the view from my window (sans the usual pigeon flock).

Adrian said we might go to the movies tomorrow, and Angelenes said when she's got some free time we'll go to the supermercado together and buy stuff so I can cook Chinese for them (though I think their idea of Chinese is a bit unChinese-y). Mum, help!

just a few photos.

The girls (and boy) inbound for Spain.

This is Joseph. He has a Spanish surname that I can't spell and he is...pretending to be a gangster. I am...being scared.

Ciann, this is for you.

See that corner stack? Those are cherries. I feel sorry for the person who had to stack them all. And now I really want cherries.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's this ad on tv in Spain that is practically exactly the same as the O'Brien windscreen crack one (but in Spanish, of course, and with a different company). It's eerie. They even do that weird flicky thing to the glass. I've also been watching the Simpsons in Spanish, which is an interesting experience.

Anyway, so I did my laundry today. I have discovered a good way to get things dry within a day by using the heater and a number of props - fingers crossed that my jeans dry in time for tomorrow. Which, incidentally, is the day I go up to the school for a bit of a chat and figure out what I'm doing, because it's been rather holiday like so far - mostly bumming around at home or venturing out to buy things (next on my list: boots and maybe a handbag). Is five pairs of socks for about $11 AU (that's seven euros; I really need to figure out how to make that sign with my keyboard) expensive??

A special note for Ed: you would love eating here. We have chips or some fried potato variation at every meal (excluding breakfast).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hello! So today would be Monday, which I would have thought meant going to school, but I'm not sure I've been enrolled or if I'm going or...really, I have no idea at all. There might have been some serious miscommunication with the exchange company? I don't know. But everyone seems to have woken up quite late, and setting my alarm for 7.20am in order to get to school by 8-something might have been a bit futile.