SORRY!! Again, I have severely neglected this blog. Sigh. I don’t mean to. I’m just majorly busy now. I am illegally attending la Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, the official language school in Bilbao, so my new routine is up everyday at 6.30am to get myself ready before getting the girls up, fed, washed, dressed, throw them on the bus (sometimes pretty literally) and then I have to run to get the metro into Bilbao to be 20minutes late everyday for class. I am learning ALOT. My class is 2h15m 5days a week so even with that 20minutes lost a day I am cramming my brain with information! As I type this I have my textbook, exercise book, notepad, 2 dictionaries (wow I’m forgetting English that took a lot of attempts to spell correctly), scrap paper, coloured pens, pencils and rubbers covering the dining room table. My parents just came in to get crisps and guacamole and they were like, wow, study study study! Yeah huh.
So, the huge matter of updating since my last entry on the 29th Sept. Shame on me. Well, so I have met a load more people since then. And all but one have been great, normal, interesting people. The ‘but one’ wasn’t weird or anything but I won’t meet him again, let’s put it that way. Was a tad clingy, especially for someone who was expecting a man named Sam to turn up for the language exchange.
The first week of October I spent going backwards and forwards with the EOI (language school) as they rejected me as an applicant because of something stupid so I wasn’t having that and kept returning to the secretaries, bugging them to admit me. I was advised various things. ‘No’ was a common response. But on maybe my third visit to them one of them mentioned waiting until the 17th October and there will be information about people maybe getting in… it’s all very confusing but basically I then went and found the Head of the Spanish Department and she said she has no problem with me attending class meanwhile, and then the teacher herself, Carmen, told me what books to get (which I promptly bought about 7 minutes later) and that I’m welcome. Brilliant! So FINALLY, illegally or not, late everyday, I am attending Spanish classes! YES!
So Friday the 5th October I took a 5hr bus to Madrid to spend the weekend with my Pueblo Ingles friends. A wonderful time was had. Lots of pintxos, helado , te, txakoli, cerveza, we partied hard Saturday night – there’s not much more to say on that but it was wonderfully refreshing to hear all my Spaniards speaking Spanish! And the more I drank the easier my own speaking of the lanugage came, haha. Twas a great, long, knackering weekend. Quite overwhelming to catch up with such great people. It will happen again.
Just a quick note to say I have a LOVELY Spanish man friend right here in my hood, who is bringing me so much happiness right now. I am gaining knowledge of the best local bars to eat, drink, making friends with the barmen who are all pretty cool. I have a very good friend here who provides a wonderful outlet. Not that I need an outlet but you know, to be able to go out of the house for a couple of hours after having demanding kids is lovely. As you parents know. Not sure why I wanted to mention him on here, but he may be mentioned in the future.
The very first Couchsurfer I met, Eder, is becoming a good friend, and he goes to the EOI so we see each other for tea and pintxos quite regularly which is lovely. Last Friday was the birthday of my local American au pair so we hung around the Old Port in Algorta, just round the corner from us, eating and drinking all day then had a little siesta then met up again later to cross the Puenta Colgante/Bizkaia Bridge (so many names for it) which I’ve mentioned before (the oldest transporter bridge in the world and pretty cool) and spent the evening in Portugalete with Eder. The three of us had a great time. You guessed it, eating, drinking, laughing. It was great. This is Eliza’s first time away from home so I got some beautiful little cakes and we did the whole candle thing on a bench at like 1am on the river – was pretty cute and she loved it which was the main thing. The next day, so Saturday just gone, we hopped on a bus and went to Santander to see my other American friend Emily – aaah was great. We were extremely lucky and got a hot sunny day Saturday, but then the standard all day rain Sunday. My umbrella broke and I was about to have a paddy when through the window of a fruteria I saw umbrellas hanging for 3-12 euros. In I went and I am the sad but proud owner of a huge old-spanish-person style umbrella. But it is STRONG as. I love it. I do. Most important piece of kit in Northern Espana. No joke.
So this brings us to hoy (today)! Well, had my usual class this morning, met my friend Gonza as he is going away for 3months Friday (aka had a tortilla at noon, so NOT the spanish thing to do) then I took myself off to find my local Primark. Yep, that’s right, I have a GIANT Primark right over the water from me. A 20minute walk! And no kidding, it is huge. Like I was in there for 2 hours, on my own, scouring the place. I had a great afternoon. Had a lovely easy evening with the girls tonight too so all in all a very good day. Except now I have finally done this blog I must do my homework aaargh… we get homework everyday which is great but if I forget about it I literally have to do it nocturnally coz I am not doing it at 6am!
Hmm, do I have any plans to share… did I mention I’ve finally booked my flights to the UK for Xmas? Courtesy of my padre, no thanks to NS&I taking their sweet time to do nada for me. But anyway, yep, all booked so will be in the UK Sun 23rd – Sun 30th Dec. Is going to be extremely difficult to not have a car but I have lots of nice grandparents and parents running me around which is pretty amazing. I’ve not experienced homesickness yet but I am GAGGING for a roast dinner cooked by my wonderful stepmum and also have to meet my Dad’s 50th birthday present, little ginger kit Bond!! Can’t wait!
Oh one last random thing to blog about, my mum Ana was so adorable the other day. Last Thursday at 2pm I was randomly attacked by some flu/cold/virus thing out of nowhere – it was ridiculous, I was with my usual intercambio Veronica in Bilbao, one minute perfectly fine and the next shivering, red, goosebumps, constricting throat, nausea, migraine, photophobia, and the worst thing was without wanting to it was raining from my eyes! I had no control over my body and was literally crying on the metro home – muy raro! I got home and all Ana had to do was utter ‘que tal?’ and I dissolved into a blubbering, trembling mess. I was pretty embarrassed. ‘No se que pasa conmigo,’ was the terrible spanish I kept repeating over and over like a maniac. She immediately abandoned her work and went into mama mode, felt my forehead for a temperature and then kissed it (aw!) and ordered me to go put a scarf on and some socks and then in the kitchen she had warm milk with honey, various pills and oral meds and biscuits laid out for me. Was so so nice and massively appreciated. I was then supposed to go get the girls and start my evening’s work but she sent me to bed and 2 hours later I surfaced to the girls trying to feel my forehead for a temperature and saying ‘it’s ok Sammy, Mummy and Daddy are going out later but go back to bed and we’ll just watch a movie.’ Adorable. I stayed up and watched it with them. This lasted like 3 days and I feel fine now. Random. But the moral of the story is that Ana is a beautiful person and I am very lucky to have this family.
So plans… yes. I’m meeting two newbies this week for language exchange, always good. I’ve had a lady wanting me to play with her 3year old son in English once or twice a week but sadly the times just to not work, such a shame! And a lady who lives on the floor above has an extremely smart 11year old son who is about to take his B2 English exam (that’s like, nearly fluent) and wants me to speak with him for an hour or two but the only time possible is the weekend and I’ve finally decided (kinda) to sadly decline as I tend to go away for my weekends! It’s a case of I’d love to but don’t want to say yes now and then fuck you around later. Excuse the language elders. So that’s my days this week, most evenings spent with Javi round the corner then this weekend I am chilling out and trying not to spend any money. And to be honest, I hope it rains. I want beer, blankets and movies indoors this weekend. Oh and I’m curling Ines’ hair. Ooo next week is the week I get to see some of my favorite family members!! My dad and Katie and her bro and wife are coming to Sansan for his 50th (yes I do have to say the figure Aita, get used to it) so I am joining them for 2 days midweek – yay! Ana is great!
My plans tend to be week by week but my calender is a good looking one. Think NYE is going to be in Sansan. What a shocker. Ok, over and out. Homework time! Volveré… prometo
(Oh and I tried pig’s ear in Madrid. Not like the kind you give a dog, which I could deal with fine – this was cartilage on a plate. GAG)