Sunday, May 10, 2009


This place is amazing. My activities today included (but were not limited to) getting up after 11, walking out to the plaza to use the free wifi, spending several hours on the beach, and filing my nails. Yeah, it's rough here. I can see why my sister might not want to, like, stay home and do her homework.

Tomorrow we're taking a ferry to the nearby town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, which is supposed to have beautiful beaches and some kind of celebration going on. Yesterday we took a day trip to Sevilla. The weather was a bit drizzly, and two-thirds of what we went to see was closed for the day (the Cathedral and the attached tower) but getting to see Alcazar (which I hear is similar to the Alambra in Granada but on a smaller scale) was pretty awesome. I'll fill you in on the comparisons (if I feel like it) after our stay in Granada Tuesday night.

I don't want to leave the beach! But I guess Paris* will be okay too. Again. Quel dommage.

*I am afraid that I have not been making any kind of an effort here with the language, and even more afraid of the state my French will be in after a week and a half of English.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Rain Train in Spain

Is awesome and spacious. It has way more leg room than any I've taken in France, and possibly three times as much as that available on any Ryanair flight. Plus, they show movies! At least the one I was on from Madrid to Cadiz did, although it was confusingly both dubbed and subtitled in Spanish, and what they were saying wasn't always the same as what was being displayed at the bottom of the screen. Plus it was written and directed by David Mamet (Redbelt, 2008), so I might have found it a bit hard to follow in English anyhow.

After a couple of days in Paris, speaking mostly English (hooray for American friends visiting!), I spent one night in Madrid, speaking mostly French. I managed to avoid talking to anyone as I navigated the metro to my hostel, and I totally caught someone trying to pick my pocket! Er, purse. That sucker was going for the outside pocket, where I only keep a notebook to write down travel information. I saw his fingers reaching in there out of the corner of my eye, and when I turned to look at him, he totally pulled his hand away and acted like nothing had happened. I wish I had known something clever to say to him in Spanish. As it was, I hardly spoke any Spanish at all that night. The first girl I met at my hostel was French and spoke Spanish way better than I did. We went out for a tortilla (a Spanish omelette) and I totally let her do the ordering while we chatted away en français.

My Spanish is in a pretty embarrassing state, considering I did study it for a couple of years earlier in life. Though to be fair, the Mexican Spanish I learned in school is pretty different from what they speak here, and I've been speaking French for the past seven months. So every time I try to reach back five to six years in my brain to find a Spanish verb conjugation or the correct direct object pronoun placement, I always come up with the French first.

But, hey, I'm in Càdiz (a.k.a. beachville) for the next four days, so I should just get over any embarrassment and enjoy it. And as long as I'm hanging out with my sis, she should be able to communicate on my behalf. And did I mention my mom is here? Yeah, it's a regular ladies only family reunion. My mom wisely brought along a friend to travel with, whose second purpose (I suspect) is to shame my the three of us out of bickering in front of a non-family member. So far I'd say the success rate is at about 60%. I don't have much shame.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sistertime, and who is the superior visul artist?

Work is officially over, I will probably never catch up on Italy blogging (basically Sienna, Florence and Venice were all awesome, but I got sick at the end of the trip and spent most of Venice in bed in the hotel room), and my sister and I just spent an awesome weekend in London. We only bickered a few times and we made a good showing at the pubs all three nights. Yesterday we hung out pretty much all day with out second cousin Billy, getting up in the London Eye in the morning and starting a long day of drinking around noon. I started out the afternoon with a meat pie, so things didn't get too ugly. At some point after we had met up with some of Billy's friends to continue the debauchery, I decided to draw mustachioed men on the hands of anyone who was willing. This was the result.

I would also like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite depictions of myself as illustrated by my former students in good-bye cards.

I love this one a) because it's one of the more accurate depictions of my hair and b) because everyone in this class clearly copied the same sentence as given to them by their teacher that spelled my name wrong, but then most of them also spelled my name correctly somewhere else in the picture. Also look at the size of my arm! Or is it a flashlight beam?

I was drawn as a blond in at least five cards. Wishful thinking, I suppose. This was also a very popular spelling of "bye bye."

And finally, this isn't me, but what a crazy/trippy drawing! I love it.

The robot is almost as awesome as the heart-/ex-eyed yes and no characters.

I'll probably share some more when I have a little more time, but I'm about to check out of this hotel in London and take the train back to Paris. Coffee is in order.