Posts Tagged ‘time’

Last Saturday I met O & K at the Royal Court Theatre for my first theatre-going experience in London since the summer 2005 debacle at The Old Vic. I thought I was seeing Kevin Spacey in Philadelphia and was looking forward to the drama but discovered, after the bartenders downstairs fell all over themselves to ply me with drink, that it was neither Philadelphia nor Kevin Spacey I would be seeing that night but The Philadelphia Story and his under study.

It is Wallace Shawn Season at the Royal Court with old and new pieces finding the light of the stage and I was able to see The Fever gratis, from the front row. A 90 minute, one woman performance ranging from illness to touchy political subjects; I feel less-than-qualified to give much of a review due to lack of experience with theater, so I will just say that I was impressed by the pacing and how it crept from light talk to heavy political debate. If a tad melodramatic, a bit black-or-white at times, and difficult for me to sit through 90 minutes of one person talking, I still enjoyed the performance and look forward to repeating the experience. Actually, I would greatly like to see Grasses of a Thousand Colors when it comes out. Likely a Monday.

I could have ridden there, but I wanted to wear the black cashmere beaded 3/4 sleeve length sweater that I’ve had since I got here and haven’t had the chance to wear b/c I’m always riding, so I took the train instead. Stupid public transport, it took ages and cost me about £6 there and back. I guess if I have to start taking it frequently I’ll look into getting an unlimited pass. O & K and their friends were in the basement bar of the Royal Court, a nice, dimly lit space with plenty of seating and tasty if not inexpensive eats. After the performance, and after saying goodbye to the friends, we went back downstairs for a quick nip and bite. They had soup & chips with aioli (ha! mayo “with” garlic!), I had rhubarb crumble. I’m obsessed with crumbles and K wants to learn how to bake, so I told him I’d teach him how to make cake. Then the next day a bunch of us went to the Chiswick boot sale and I picked up a cast iron baking dish perfect for making crumble and vow to wow K at the next opportunity. We talked baking for a little bit and then ran into the wall of one particular baked good.

Imagine trying to explain something to someone that is completely unlike anything they’ve ever encountered before and yet bears the name of something they know well. How do you do it? I thought that because he was Canadian he might know what biscuits are but no. Apparently Canadians do not know from biscuits.

Me: It’s…well, they’re biscuits. But not like cookies.
K: Are they crunchy?
Me: No, they’re…fluffy. And when you pull them apart they…*thinks*
K: ……. *blank look*
Me: Imagine a scone…like a pillow. *eyebrow wrinkle*

That’s the best I could do.

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Oh, Spain.

Dear Spain,

I have been super naive coming here without a real plan. It seemed like work would be, if not plentiful, then at least forthcoming. I thought that I spoke enough Spanish. I thought I’d be able to do this bilingual, bicountry thing. But I can’t. So while I wait to find out whether I’ve been approved for a position teaching English to students in your public schools, I’m going to be with my boyfriend in England. It’s been too hard. Your natives speak too rapidly. Your jobs are too hard to come by. Your nightlife is too late for me. Madrid doesn’t have any water, nor any mountains.

I’m bored, I’m lonely, I’m isolated and I feel useless. Not having a job is terrible. But I’ve still got money saved up, will have more come tax time, and I’ll be with my guy, planning my next moves in the coming months.

See you in September!


P.S. No, I’m not talking to my blog readers. I’ll still be posting semi-regularly.

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Well, having your loved one with you in another country is a sure-fire way to ignore everything you don’t want to think about and to spend all your time looking at neat stuff you’ve never seen before. Two and a half weeks flew by and the boyfriend went back to England last night. What do I do now? Why, get a job, of course! I have two conflicting issues in my search for work.

First, I know I understand Spanish decently, but I become absolutely flummoxed when confronted with the majority of the Madrileńos I encounter. My proficiency breaks down relatively early in a conversation and while that’s not necessarily a problem in everyday life, just an annoyance, I worry about whether employers will take the chance on sponsoring me without a better grasp of the language. So I’ve thought about taking a month-long intensive course here in Madrid. I found a place that is much cheaper than others, which is both a boon and something to be questioned, and can afford not only to spend the next three months here, but pay all my bills and still have several months’ income available afterward, should I not find work within that time.

Second, what if I don’t find work within that time? I don’t want to go back, so I’ve thought about how long to give myself here in Madrid before high-tailing it to another city and trying again. A month is the time I can come up with. I need to find work within a month, or at least I need to have exhausted all options of employment here in Madrid that I can find, before trying another city.

Do you see the rub? A month of classes would make me more marketable but I want to find work within a month. Over and over again, what I need to remind myself of is that I have done the math and I know how much money I have and what my expenses are and how long I can stay in Spain even while having enough to start over again in NYC, should it come to that, even if I don’t find work. And that number is somewhere around 5 or 6 months.

So buck up! Do what you gotta do! Find work while taking that intensive course! It gets out early enough in the day that I can still canvas the city looking for the ever-elusive euro.

It’s for real real snowing in Madrid! I need to find some gloves I like!

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