My photo of something in Madrid I stumbled upon..coughcough.
No hablo espanol. No entiendo espanol. I am one culture shocked little girlie. I finally understand why everyone thought I was so brave to buy a one-way ticket to a non-English speaking country. It appears I was not brave, but rather …ignorant. I feel like that one really ditzy friend everyone has, the one who can’t do anything themselves. I may have perfected the ‘don’t even think about it’ look but my ‘oh, I’m a helpless, foreigner- please take pity on me’ look isn’t far behind.
Getting here has certainly changed my thoughts on a number of things. Things I thought I felt, I don’t; things I thought I’d feel, I don’t. Don’t worry, that isn’t supposed to make much sense to anyone but me I suppose.
I’m starting a course tomorrow so hopefully some study with other useless foreigners; you always feel a bit better when there’s someone more useless than you. With any luck meeting people in the same situation as me will help me regain my awesome, which I possibly left on a playground in Melbourne. But enough of my whining, things are not all tedious; my French Canadian flat mate is singing along to REM, I have English Breakfast tea, I got my first ‘guapaaa’ catcall today (which I pretended not to hear whilst smirking), I can look down onto the street and see little old ladies walking their dogs in high heels.
I guess I didn’t expect things to be so much different from Australia with the exception of the language, but it is the little things which have thrown me- people walking on the right side of the street rather than the left, weird supermarket baskets, doors which I can’t figure out how to open. See, hopeless! I need a personal care worker.
The night I arrived at my new flat my Canadian flat mate took me out for tapas in Sol, the heart of Madrid. At least catching the metro is something I can now do without my hand being held. She did the ordering with her ‘not very good’ Spanish, which is a million times better than mine, and I held onto my handbag with the vigilance of someone who has read all the guidebook warnings. I can see how easy it must be for newcomers to this city to get totally, utterly and completely (yay for using different adjectives for the same meaning) trashed, drunk, smashed, tanked, intoxicated, pissed, inebriated…okay okay. The plan was to go to a couple of bars and then a restaurant, but since every drink comes with tapas, I was full by round two…and somewhat trashed, drunk, smashed, tanked…. slightly tipsy. I also hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in four days and eaten little else but bread and ham since I arrived in Spain; I can’t blame Spain for this, but my complete fear of entering one of the many dimly lit tapas bars, which seem to be almost exclusively filled with males, and attempting to order in Spanish.
Wow, check out my rambling. I am writing this from my room, which doesn’t have Internet or a television, so pre-emptive blogging is my escape for the day. Hopefully I will be able to post it from my school tomorrow, which should have wireless. It’s a Sunday, everything is closed and the Spaniards all leave their houses and take to the streets with their families and dogs. So. Many. Dogs. It’s 8pm and still light and there are children playing with a ball in the park outside my flat. There are always people in the street, even though this isn’t really a major residential area. All ages are out at all times of the day, little old grannies take the metro at midnight, groups of men wake me up at 4am singing loudly outside my window...no, nobody is serenading me yet.
The word that I learnt today: La impresora - Printer