Lost in Translation

Online blog of life in Barcelona for a English guy making a life for himself out here and trying desperately to have a good time, become fluent in Spanish, and most of all - not be constantly mistaken for a tourist!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The fog clears a little

So, week number one is work is over and done with, and despite the horrendousness of my Spanish, I can’t say I’ve not enjoyed it. It’s a lovely city (completely bonkers of course, but lovely too in equal measures). My mood has lifted since my last post (when I sounded like I was about to top myself! Hehe). My colleagues are all fabulous, my flatmate is the best I could’ve wished for, the flat itself is beautiful. I could go on, but the point I’m making is that I’m now back in the land of the living and feeling much better generally.

Regarding my Spanish, I’ve decided to put myself in little situations where I need to use it for real with strangers, and this seems to be baring fruit. This morning, I decided it was high-time I introduced myself to our “Portera” at my apartment block, as she’s always in her little room next to the lift (probably guarding the place with an old machine gun left over from the Civil War) and while I always say Hola, I never actually stop to chat. Anyway, she seems to have appreciated it and I made sure I showed the appropriate respect for an elderly Spanish lady by using all my ultra-polite “usted” verb formations. She also seems to have a thing about lace and spends all day in that little room running up something new and lacey on her antique Singer sewing machine while watching Mexican Telenovelas on the TV. Oh, and that’s another thing about Spain - the TV. It’s shit. Enough said.

Also in my quest for Spanish enlightenment, I went to the Chemist (which is about 2 and a half steps outside my front door) for something for my cough. I explained how it feels and he understood, so I was happy again. I more or less understood all his instructions on how to take the medicine, but I figured it didn’t matter if I missed one or two of the finer points as, what harm can you come to with a cough medicine?

2 hours later….

I’m now typing this while having my stomach pumped at the local hospital….! Nah, I’m kidding. The medicine is fine. It tastes like the stinking sweat from a shotputter’s crotch but, don’t all the best medicines??? Let just hope it works because I’m bored with coughing, even if it is only in sudden patches from time to time.

Today was a cool day because I made my first proper friend. I met with an English guy in a similar situation as me. We compared notes and chatted about how clever we both are for having been brave enough to move to Spain etc. hehe. It was great to have someone to talk to who knows the score, so I’m sure he’ll be someone I see more often, assuming he wants to etc.

Not a bad day by all accounts!


At September 25, 2006 6:08 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Of course I will. Good to meet you and now I have some work I can afford to go out once in a while. I luv gin too.


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