Monday, December 14, 2009


Now, I'm not going to say that the American educational system is better than the Spanish educational system...
Wait. Yes I am!

Honestly, school is what I miss most. Today, two of my classes consisted of the teacher talking with the students about their weekend or something, or whatever the hell it was, it certainly wasn't French.

My history teacher, is quite the card. He's a very learned man...but in terms of teaching norms, he's something else altogether.
For instance, if the class is too noisy, he blows a whistle. A really, really, loud whistle. This is of course, ironically, a whistle used to diminish the already noisey classroom. Head desk.
He also is typically Spanish in the sense that he switches before really happy and really upset very quickly. In my first class, he threw two students out of the classroom, and sang the Spanish national anthem.
Which is how we spent gym class: singing Christmas songs.

Gym class by the way, is an absolute joke. The gym equivilent of a test is a series of little physical tests of ability. HOW LONG CAN YOU STAND ON THIS L SHAPED ROD? HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU STAND AND SIT DOWN IN 12 SECONDS? HOW FAR CAN YOU JUMP OVER THIS BLOCK? RAWRAWRAWR.

I miss learning. Mucho.
Not to say we don't learn here but, Spanish public schools don't have levels. So everyone is at a different ability but has to be taught the same (reminds me of a few certain standarized tests I could mention) and it really does not work. I walked into French class with absolutely no French like half of my class, whilst the other half had up to four years of French. And the French teacher is a tool. He asked me today if 'everything worked down there' when I came back from the bathroom, and refuses to speak to me in Spanish. If I don't understand him in French, which I couldn't possibly, he switches to English. Such a waste of my time.

WHICH REMINDS ME! Everyone here tries to practice his English on me. Some of them actually want to learn, but most of them are too lazy to speak slower in their messy Spanish.
SPEAKING OF MESSY SPANISH, everyone here calls eachother 'picha' like 'dude' or whatever. Except 'picha' means penis, not a pokémon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

¡No Me Toques!

As I've already mentioned, Spainards are much more touchy than Americans. But as I've learned, Spanish stereotypes become more typical the farther south you go (sort of like American stereotypes. There are more fat, war-loving, Protestants in the South than the North)

So the touching here is more exagerated here. One of my amigos here likes to kiss all of her male friends on the cheek and sit on their laps. But she has a boyfriend. Two other girls tackle eachother in hugs and kisses in the middle of class until one of them says uncle. A boy and girl rub the underside of eachother's arm for ten minutes non-stop, without any non-plutonic implication. All the boys do that manly arm-around-the-other's-shoulder when talking to eachother. At first it looks fairly normal: until one of them leans over and kisses his friend on the neck.

Which brings me into my next point: the Spanish are much less shameful of their bodies. Kids watch TV shows designed for their age group that have multiple sex scenes per episode. Magazines about music for teens have more sex articles (and corresponding cartoon images) than Cosmo. The boys in gym like to wear their shorts like a thong as a joke, showing everyone their fannies, and any teen that has had sex, has told his parents, including details such as with who, when, where, etc. (and all the parents respond with, "Have fun, and here's a condom")
One of the first questions people ask me is if I'm a virgin, and who I think is attractive and would like to sleep with, and then think it's weird when I don't feel like answering all those questions with someone I barely know.

But at the same, no one dresses like a slut, and they only sleep with people they're dating, which is a lot more than I can say for many Americans. I think Americans put a lot more stress and importance on sex and the human body, as if it were some holy sacrament. But I think this pressure makes it a lot harder to openly and honestly talk about those things, which leads to ignorance, and dumb choices, like sex without a condom. The teen prgnancy rate is much lower here. A lot of American parents like to say, "La la la, that doesn't happen, don't tell me I don't want to know," something that Spanish parents frankly are smarter about.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cádiz Escapades

So this weekend, I changed familes from Madrid to Cádiz. There were fiscal problems with my exchange family in Madrid, and moving was the best option.

So here are the changes in Cádiz, Europe oldest currently inhabited city:

The Religous Influence: The churches here are absolutely gorgeous, filled with icons and relics and all the jazz. There are altars in the streets with images of Jesus, and whenever people pass them, they bless themselves. There are streets named after disciples and even Jesus doorknobs.

The Architecture: Because the city is so old, it's not designed for car traffic (but the people still try. Oh yes they stubbornly do) The streets are really thin and the sun can't reach them due to the buildings on each side. There's a streeted named 'Ancha' (wide street) because it's really wide: aka, a width that can support two lane traffic. Wow, uhm, really...ancha.

The Climate: It's a lot warmer, and I'm as close to the beach as I was in the United States. But this beach is actually nice to look at. Better put, it's gorgeous. But I'm reminded even more to wear warm clothing. I'm not allowed to leave the house without pants, a scarf, and a wool coat.

The Accent: Another language is hard enough, but in an area where people don't say the S's at the ends of their words...
-¿Cuánto gato hay, cree tú?
-Pue, hay sei, má o meno.

The Family: I'm living with an old woman (the acts likes she's 25) and a French exchange student. She cooks fantastically. I should also mention the eight or so neighbors that pass through our apartment every day for meals, chatting, watching the news...they're bassically family too.

And no, I'm not changing the name of my blog, despite the change of my residency.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


So today was easily one of my most stressful days in school.

Before I continue, it's important to note that an exchange program in general is extremely stressful, so small things become exagerated. I'm fully interspective of this phenomenon, but I still get stressed regardless.

As I was saying...

Today in school, Carmen, one of my English teachers, didn't come. No subsitutes here, so normally for that class, the 5th period of the day, we would have gone outside and relaxed.
But noooooo. Some of my classmates had the great idea to hunt for out History teacher, who teaches the 6th period, and the Science teacher, who teaches the 4th period, and persuade them into a new scheduale for the day. It took ten minutes of searching and persuading, but they succeeded. So today 4th period was history and 5th period was science.
The purpose of this was to have a free 6th period so that we could leave early. During those ten minutes, there was so much horseing around, yelling, jumping on eachother and general insanity that I thought they were zoo animals foreshadowing a natural disaster.
Though the age range in my class is 16 to 18, I felt like I was in Kidnergarten.

I don't know if it's my culture or just my personality, but I love structure, order, systems, and predictabilty. Knowing what is going to happen calmes me, because I can properly prepare myself and execute that event to the best of my ability. In my opinion, order keeps the world together.
This sudden shift left me freaking out. I was already anxiously waiting for the results to my test in Castellano (it was promised to be given to me Wednesday. Today is Thursday. I still haven't gotten it) because I knew a lot of people had failed. By the time I got home I had to say a decade of the Rosary to calm myself down. (It works. Don't judge me.)

This is just one incident. Every class there's too much noise from talking students and noise from yelling teachers at the talking students for talking in the yelling teacher's class. The irony escapes these people.

Personally, I like to go into a classroom, know that my teacher and fellow classmates will be there, know what I'm going to learn, and then learn it. That's too much to ask for in Spain.

Instead, I walk into my classroom exactly on time, half my class arrives five minutes later, then the teacher arrives five minutes after that, then the teacher takes his sweet ol' time getting ready (all they have with them is a folder. I have no idea how they're 'getting ready' exactly. Maybe a few breathing exercises and yoga, I really don't know) then actually starts the class, then the other half of my class comes in, but 3 of them aren't allowed in for being tardy (THE IRONY ESCAPES YOU PEOPLE!) which iniciates fights between the teacher and said students, and rampant discussions between the other students, and then a yelling teacher asking them to be quiet.
Then the bell rings.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


So I've learned that here I have to be careful when I talk to people and analyze emotions.

As I've found out, Americans express themselves much less. It's normal to have an entire conversation in a fairly stoic facial and vocal expression. Here, no vale.

In America, if someone asks you 'Why?' it might have a slight tilt of the head and eyes squinted a bit, or both together if the person is really inquisitive.

But here, when my mother for example asks me 'Why?' her entire face scrunches into something unrecognizable. I mistake it for anger every time and begin apoligizing.

My Economy teacher is what I would call fairly normal. He's teaching economy. Nothing especially emotionally gripping about that, therefore, no need to throw your arms into the air and recite Shakespeare. But all his students always remark on how emotionless he is.

I think Americans are more sensitive to faces and voices than the's normal for an American to hold in all his feelings and never express them, and so the slightest indicator of a feeling is noticed. It's fairly commonplace for my American friends to think there's something wrong with me when I'm just tired. My emotions have yet to be exaggerated in Spain.

On the contrary, I'm often called unexpressive. Personally, I think expression of emotion has its time and place, and many times and places it's inappropriate, or even hinderous. The Spanish don't seem to understand this.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Damn them Reds!

So this certainly isn't true about all Americans, but in general, after living here for a while, I've found that we definetely have a certain mentality about life.
That is to say, we tend to have one life plan in mind and if someone doesn't follow it, well then you suck. Hard.

I would never call myself a traditional person, and I don't know anyone else that would either, but I've gotten that comment a lot here.

When I met my friend's brother, Pablo, who is 20, lives at home with his parents, and doesn't go to school, my first thought was: those poor parents. They must be so ashamed.
When my friend told me about her brother who just had a baby, Jona, with his girlfriend, and isn't planning on getting married, my first thought was: that poor baby. It's going to have a terrible life.
When I found out that my Spanish parents here aren't married, I honestly felt physically ill.

But why is that?
On the contrary, Pablo's parents love having him in the house. Jona's parents will be together and love eachother all the same as if they were married. And my Spanish parents don't take care of their children any less because they're not married.

A comment I've gotten about Americans here often, is that they all have it stuck in their heads that their way is the best, and that other lifestyles are less valuable. No one here understands why I think it's funny when people dress in goth, nor do they understand my contempt for people without a college education.

Better put, I'M the one who doesn't understand. Because they understand better that everyone has his one life, and therefore own decisions, and in one way do these decisions need to follow any sort of social norm.
I know many American people that would say a society like that can't function, but then, it does.

It's certainly true though that we've been programmed. I'd be hard-pressed to find 5 students in my school that haven't been taught the magic formula: High School, College, Good Job, Spouse, House, Kids, rinse and repeat.

We're living in a shampoo commercial.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


So today I got my first math test back, and I got a six. BOOYAH! It doesn't sound so great because in America, a 6 (or 60 as the equivilant) is almost failing. But here it's like así:
1-4: Mal (Bad)
5: Suficiente (Pass)
6: Bien (Good)
7-8: Notable (I think you can do that one yourself, even if you did take French in High School, you baquette eating war losing smelly Frenchman)
9-10: Fenomenal (Phenomenal)

So for an exchange student on his first test, a 6 is really good.

But then in history...sigh. I got a 3.
BUT considering the fact that only 3 people out of 30 passed, I'd say it's not too bad.

And this brings up two things:
1: America suffers from grade inflation. A C used to be considered a realistic goal and something overall desired. B's and A's were only achieved by those that worked really really REALLY hard.
And now, not so much. Anything less thsn straight A's is failure. A B is a family shame. No wonder American kids commit suicide, sheesh.

2: Everyone here cheats on tests. Like, EVERYONE. I've never cheated before in my life, so to see people so blatantly cheating in front of me is crazy.
It's actually funny, though. You'd think more people would have passed that history test.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


So Castellano is one of my favorite classes, where we learn how to pull apart a sentence grammatically. It's actually really cool.

For instance, I can now take the sentence, "Me encanta que mi abuela nos prepare las tartas que nosotros comemos en casa," and do this:

I just find it fascinating that the Principal Subordinado Adjetivo Complemento de Nombre actually has a name, and isn't just some concept that we use but can't explain.

Of course, I can't do this in English, which brings me to my main point: Why? Why haven't I been taught to identify the principle proposition in a sentence? Why does our school system think it's acceptable to give a diploma to high school graduates before they can even tell the difference between a direct and indirect complementary pronoun in their native language? Is just being able to speak English without understanding it enough?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Alicante Escapades

So this weekend I went to Alicante to visit my Spanish family. It was my grandfather's and great grandmother's AND grandmother's friend's bithday. Long story short, the Spanish eat and eat and eat and now I'm on Jenny Craig.

But I digest...

On the way there I saw tons of Green machinery.

Solar Panels


And these awesome bull billboards.


I met MariCarmen, my grandmother, and she's the bomb. She's been all over the world and has art all over her house (even a dead cocodrilo from the Congo!)

I saw La Iglesia de San Nicolas (absolutely gorgeous...couldn't take pictures though) and went to a concert in Plaza de Santa María with my tíos. It was all Spanish festival music.
I wish I could've stayed longer, but I'll be back for Christmas!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Black Market

So today I got an exam back in Economy. I got a 4.25 out of 10.
I almost cried.

Of course, this is considering the fact that I didn't understand the book/material/teacher/test. And at least I did the test, unlike some German exchange student I could mention (she instead drew on her hand. I love that girl)
But apparently, the baseline passing grade was a 4, so I guess I'm in the clear. Next exam is a baseline of 5, so this time I'm defineitely going to study más (heh heh, right)

Speaking of the black market (wasn't that a great segue?) I paid my friend María (one of the 87 Marías in my school. TOTAL AND COMPLETE TANGET FROM EVERYTHING OUTSIDE OF THE PARENTHESIS! So there's no name diversity here. People have one first name, and two last names, one from Mom, one from Dad. And there are 5 Juan López Garcías, 12 María Martínez Gonzálezs, 3 María García Martínezs, 9 Juan González Lópezs, AND EVEN A JUAN GARCIA GARCIA. Head-desk) a euro to fotocopy her History notes so that I could actually have material to study from (as my notes are useless and the teacher doesn't follow the book, which I found out today, which explains why I've been lost in that class for two weeks)

Anyways, I just trudged through 10 pages of messy Spanish notes. Which is SO much fun, esspecially when in cursive Spanish, c l's look like d's, t's look like b's or f's, v's look like u's, c i's look like a's, and there are three ways to write a lower case r. Three! IN. THE. SAME. WORD. Head-desk.

Monday, October 19, 2009


One (of many) thing that the educational system here lacks is substitute teachers. Today, I didn't have two of my classes. Let that sink it.

The first one was a PLANNED absence. My Castellano teacher knew she wouldn't be here on Monday. She, infact, told us this on Friday. So do we have a substitute come in? No. We get to sleep in and come into school late.
The second class was not a planned absence. My Ciencia teacher didn't tell anyone she wasn't coming in. Again, no substitute. We were free to roam the school.


Although I did enjoy the extra sleep.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


So, there's no milk here.
That is, no fresh milk. It's all packaged and stored and proccesed and not at all fresh, and I think they put a chemical into it for the sole purpose of keeping the milk from ever reaching a drinkable temperature.
And it's sold by liter. LITERS. I drink that much per meal. It's such a waste of plastic. But at least it all gets recycled.
Which brings me to another topic. They recycle a lot more in Europe, which is great. My father is the type that likes to burn all of his waste, so this is a nice change.
Except..there's no bag for actual trash. They have bags for paper, carton, plastic, glass, metal, food scraps, BUT NOTHING FOR ACTUAL TRASH. It's enviormentally great but sometimes I really don't want to have to think about which of the 87354 bags my half plastic half carton goes into.

Monday, October 12, 2009


One very important feature of the Spanish culture is how sociable they are. While Americans tend to define themselves by their career, Spainards define themselves through time spent with others.

I'm used to going home after school somedays and just relaxing for the rest of the day, because we all need to unwind a bit. Here, not so much. If you don't want to go out everyday there's something wrong with you.

My Spanish parents actually told me (brace yourself) that I've been focusing too much on my studies and haven't been going out enough partying and what not.

Wow. What a change. In America, I'm very sociable and don't spend enough time on my studies. And suddenly slowing down to relax means you're sick or anti-social.

Another part of sociablity here is physical contact. Spainards touch eachother often when speaking to eachother. (and yes, they kiss instead of shaking hands) It's actually to the extent where at times I want to say, DANGER STRANGER PERSONAL SPACE PLEASE AND THANK YOU, but here if you don't want to be touched, then you're again, anti-social.

At first when I got here, I saw all this physical contact and I thought everyone was a child molester or hitting on eachother. But it's made me reflect on my own culture and I'm starting to think we Americans like our personal space a bit too much. I remember in class in 1st grade, we were all taught about the rules of personal space and how we should respect others' personal space, and ONLY ENTER ANOTHER PERSON'S PERSONAL SPACE WHEN GIVEN PERMISSION!! RAWR!!

Touch is just one of the aspects of Spanish sociability. They're also A LOT louder. Personally, I want to preserve my hearing until I die so I enjoy the quiet. But it's absolutely normal here to shout to a friend because other people nearby are having a conversation, instead of just walking over there and speaking in an indoor voice. They yell and shout to be heard, even in situations I find inappropriate. My math teacher likes to scream an explanation rather than use different words to explain it.

In this way, they're very hot headed. For example, if you think of the relationship between a parent and child as a sinusidual wave (sorry to get all mathy on you) and an American family having a period of of say 4 (because the distance because two troughs is 4 days, as in, there's a high for two days, or, content and getting along, and two days of a low, or, noncontent and in a fight) then the Spanish family has a period of 64. Suddenly out of peace and quiet they're screaming and shouting and then they're kissing and laughing and an hour later it starts all over again.

Though this sounds chaotic, and it is, there are good things out of this social chaos. It is all verbal, and everything gets resolved. While an American teenager would run to his room, slam the door and not speak to his parent for two days and the parent the same, it is not like that here at all. Americans are much more passive agressive in this way, and only bury problems deeper.
Although I do enjoy the silence that unresolved problems can bring, the Spainards I think have found a better method.

Friday, October 9, 2009


So I've learned that in Europe, you can't really run away from America. But in no way does this mean that I feel at home.

The phenomenon is American media. America is the hands down king of all major forms of media, and therefore, it's everywhere that media can reach.

I turn on the TV and there's Wizards of Wizardly Place dubbed in Spanish. I turn it off, only to find that my little brother is playing Lego Starwars. I run outside to see girls walking to school with Hannah Montana backpacks, cars whizzing by blasting Brittney Spears, business men hurrying past with Obama spashed on the front page of their newspapers, and even in Madrid, one of the utopias of European and Arabic cultures, I see a McDonald's.

The problem with this is that Europe knows of America very well; but not the good things. In gym class, my teacher decided to make a point about the adverse effects of eating poorly, namely, by asking me, "And all the people in America are fat, aren't they, Patrick?" I wanted to say "Not as fat as you," but I held it back. (surprisingly)

Because of our strong media monopoly, America is very very well known, but ONLY through the media. Nobody here as heard of Connecticut, but they all know New York City (but of course not New York state)
It's frustrating that my entire culture has been summed up into a few movies and pop stars. Mariah Carey, Katie Perry, hell yeah! John Cage, Langston Hughes, who?

I've been asked so many times, "Are the parties in America really like in all the movies?"
Go to America and find out yourself.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Madrid Escapades

So yesterday I tripped to Madrid with Marta, Ale, and Mar. (shown in order, left to right))

I saw Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, and all that blah blah.

The better part was all the people. And so many starving musicians on the street. It was like looking at my future. I loved it.

Then of course, in Plaza Mayor, I had to stop and watch this guy perform.

Orange pants means trustworthy, right?

Anyway, he decided to pull me in and make me part of his show. Namely, the part when he uses me to get on top of his tall unicycle. Or better put, when he sits on top of my shoulder, pushes his unicycle over, and insists that I be ridden.

But the best character of all was a fictional one. Spiderman.

Friday, October 2, 2009

No Fumar

As the son of a doctor family, I consider smoking to be absolutely grotesque and bile. It´s also selfish, because people that smoke outside pollute the air others are using, and I believe people have the right to clean air.

My veiws on smoking are to the extreme that I would jump at the chance to pass a law prohibiting any smoking at all, public or private property.
Public property because of the the aforementioned right to clean air that everyone is due. Why should I have to suffer because of your petty addiction?
And private property for fiscal reasons. Tobacco use is the second most preventable cause of death in the United States. The health reprocussions of smoking tremendous, everything from raised heart rate to lung cancer. And the people have to pay for this through their taxes due to our healthcare system. Again, people suffering from others´addictions.

And whenever I pass by a person smoking, I usually start coughing hysterically and procede to asking a companion for an inhaler.

Now imagine a person with such radical views in a country where about half the people smoke.

It´s gotten a bit rediculous at this point. During recreo, we walk outside the school grounds where all the benches are, and once past the gates, my classmates light up in view of teachers. And they smoke with their parents. And people don´t stop smoking until they die, and they start smoking at 15, 14, or even younger.

I´ve already started worrying that I´ll develop a tumor whilst here.

So my plan for Spain:
Put a sin tax on all tobacco products, and deny medical attention to anyone that uses them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aural Dictation

So here in Spain, the teachers teach more in a manner that is akin to a college in the States: they lecture.

For me, this is a minor catastrophe. With my ADD, it´s hard to pay attention, so it helps a lot when a teacher writes on the board because I can´t miss a word or phrase like one might when someone is speaking.

So in my school in Spain, it´s a little bit like así.

-Ok students, make sure to take notes on this very important complicated intensive idea that will most certainly be on your final exam which is worth 80% of your grade, that I will not write down, but rather, mumble at sonic speed and not repeat.-

I write down as much as I can catch, but it´s a terrible system to communicate ideas. We have books for a reason.

So here is an excerpt of my World History notes from today, translated into English:

-And the economic reform inside list in state formed culture if you put and of canals front and the last royals few center.-

From looking at my notes, you´d think I were running for Miss Teen America.

I always knew geniuses would come out of the first state to secede from the Union.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


So school is probably the biggest change. But first, a little exposition.

In a small town of New England, school is the center of each teenager´s universe. The teenagers go to school, and on average of each day, do .5 tests, .7 quizzes, 5.6 worsheets, .13 projects, take 9.8 pages of notes, consume 0 calories during lunch because they need that time to finish their 3.2 hours of homework, attend 1.2 club functions, do 3.6 hours of class work, and get assigned .92 papers. Then the teenagers do their 2.2 hours of extra curiculative activities at school, then go to a friend´s house to do .17 more progress on a partner project, then go home to do 3.1 hours of homework, and sleep 4.5 hours after passing out in front of the computer trying to have a laughable excuse of a social life through Facebook.

And I thought this was for the betterment of our education...

Here in Spain, it´s so different and so much better.

I wake up at 7:30. !!!. That´s usually when school starts for me. And I get home at 2:30, with only 5 hours of school. And each day consists of 6 classes (with no actual schedualing system...I have history more than any other class, and gym less than any) and a deceant sized recreo. Then I go home to have lunch, and start my deberes. Which takes me all of 10 minutes. 2 problems for math and an open ended question in Econ...

I´ve actually gotten the medically reccomended amount of sleep every night here. I thought 8-9 hours was a myth, but it´s real! AND YOU CAN EVEN TAKE A SIESTA ONCE YOU GET HOME.

So those are the good things. Now onto the bad changes.

Everything is lecture style. 50 minute monolouges with I and my German exchange student friend Sibyl desperately flipping through our respective dictionaries. If you want to ask an involved question, well, oh well.

And the schools themselves are tiny. There are five schools to manage all the kids, but each is very small. And the facilities that I have become accustomed to I have realized are very VERY generous.
Imagine an American school. Now subtract the three gyms. Now the library. Now the science labratories. Now the photography dark room. Now all the computers. Now the music wing. Now the sports fields. Now the commons area. Now the cafeteria.
That´s bassically a Spanish high school. Litterally, just classes. All extracurruclatives are through private institutions that cost mucho dinero.

Overall though, school is still the center of my universe. Now it´s just a well rested universe.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Road Rage

So here, road rules are completely differerent.

It´s not just that speed limit signs are in kilometers. I can handle that. The metric system makes more sense anyway.

But there are no intersections. At all. Everything is a fuckin´rotary. And they´re not useful rotaries that connect 10 roads. They connect 4. Apparently Spain hasn´t heard of stop lights.

BUT THEY HAVE STOP LIGHTS. IN THE MIDDLE OF A ONE WAY STREET. And these lights go off so that people can cross the street. Even. When. No. One. Is. Crossing. The. Street.

I was about to shoot someone. And then I noticed that cars stop for me if I even hint at needing to cross the street, which makes those aforementioned lights redundant. So when I´m used to waiting for a large enough gap to cross, I unwittingly create a traffic jam as a driver stops to let me cross, and holds up the line whilst I stand there confused (and of course they start to move as soon as I decide to actually cross)

And there are theese speed bumps, every fuckin´where. I feel like I´m on a rollercoaster. And these arrows. OH HOLY SHIT THE ARROWS. Sometimes they point in a direction that reassures you´re on the correct side of the road (which here is the right side. Fuck you, Britain) BUT HALF THE TIME THESE DIABOLICAL ARROWS POINT IN THE OPPISITE DIRECTION THAT YOU´RE SUPPOSED TO BE GOING.

And the drivers here are so freakin´relaxed. Lane designation? Who needs it. Turn signals? Not neccesary. No free spots to park on th street? Why the sidewalk is just dandy.

And the most obnoxious thing (yes, it gets worse) people here decide to park in the middle of the street to run out and buy a pack of ciggerettes, and of course talk to an aquantince about his new baby for 15 minutes. And they justify this by putting on their caution lights.
-MOVE YOUR FUCKIN´CAR YOU ASSHOoh your caution lights are on. Everything is fine then, my good sir. Oh really? New baby you say? Well why don´t I just park right behind your car and join you.-

I bought a gun today.

Friday, September 25, 2009

La Casa

So that´s my room. Tons of light, TONS of wardrobe space. I love it.

Además, la casa at first seems just like it does in America. But the details are there, and they add up pretty quickly.

Here, people leave windows and doors open ALL THE TIME. It´s as hot outside as inside, so it makes no difference.

But then there are things that are a bit loco. The washing machine is outside, and there are no dryers- they hang clothes on a clothesline and let it air dry. -No no, padres, that´s cool. I didn´t want my clothes to dry all the way through anyway- (freaks)

La casa is actually an apartment, and as it turns out, everyone here in Sanse lives in an apartment. Some are in this sort of community complex and are as big as a modest house, like my friend María, but there are no white picket fences nor giant lawns.

Anyways, that´s all for now. I´m going to see Madrid with some friends on Sunday, and I´m REALLY excited.


Monday, September 21, 2009


So today is Monday, my first full day with my host family.


Iván: An actor with a talent for cooking.

Cuca: The army officer that wears sweats in 70 degree weather.

Huma: The cutest little kid since Aniken from the Phantom Menace.

And me, the American with no idea what he´s doing.


Anyways, I came here by train from Bacelona, where I stayed for a couple days in a hostel and made some awesome friends.
I´´ll post some pictures of Madrid in my next post.

Friday, September 18, 2009


So I'm currently in Frankfurt, Germany, ready to transfer my flight to Barcelona. I'm here with some hot joops, namely, Becca, Kaylee, and India.
The Germans are as gorgeous as promised.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Napkin

Upon realizing that I will be leaving America for 9.5 months (it's finnally hitting me) I'm starting to think about all the things I've taken for granted.
For example, my sister who studied in Argentina realized she loves American napkins, because the ones in Argentina suck. What followed was an entrie tirade on the lack of absorbency of Argentinian napkins, and waves of frustrated color actually whelled in her face at the mere memory of these pathetic excuses for a napkin, that were better thought of as the retarded cousin of Brawny that they always kept in the back so that people wouldn't stare.
Though I don't find myself this emotionally invested in such trivial kitchenware, I'm sure I will come across my Spanish version of a napkin. I can only hope that I don't wake one day and shoot everyone in sight because I can't get a hold of my treasured Resse's Peanut Butter Cups that have gotten me through more breakups than chocolate chip cookie dough and the Lifetime network combined.
Never get between a gay man and his self-destructive methods of filling his void.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mailing Address

If you wish to send me a letter (and I would of course reply) here is the information.

Address:Beatriz Galindo, 3, 1º, D
City: San Sebastian De Los Reyes
Zipcode: 28702,
State: Madrid

And here is the greatest thing ever:
If you hate Twilight as much as I do, you'll love this.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

D.C. Ahoy!

So today I took a six and a half hour train ride from New London, Connecticut, to Washington, District of Columbia. I'm here in Arlington with my brother and sister in law, until my flight from Dullas Airport on the 17th.
This week I plan to buy little tokens of appreication for my host family. Any suggestions?

Anyway, East Lyme High School has terrible management skills. I got a call a few days ago from the Main Office asking me why I hadn't been showing up for class. Apparently I was never taken off the attendence record like my counselor said I was. Realizing that I had been technically skipping school for a week, I felt a warmth of sadistic satisfaction. I had a Hot Pocket to celebrate my anarchistic victory.