It Ain’t Easy…

I’m about to get real. Maybe a bit too real; I might wake up in the middle of the night and think seriously about deleting this post, who knows? But sometimes, just sometimes, being real is liberating, like the first breath of fresh air when you’ve been underwater, a gulp of precious o2, a sensation unlike any other.

I read other study abroad / expatriate blogs and I think, WTF am I doing wrong? I mean, I’d like what they’ve got, please and thank you. I’d like a big dose of “I am in love with Spain and Spaniards and learning Spanish!” Stat. I’m sure the high from a shot of that would really, really do me some good right about now.

‘Cause right now I am in hate-mode. I thought I’d left that mode behind, you know, when I was 7 and whiny in the grocery store because Mom wouldn’t buy me Iron Kids bread. Nope. Turns out I haven’t. I secretly would love to flop angrily down upon my bed, pound my fists, and scream into my pillow. If I were going to be really bad, I might even thrown a dagnabbit or two. Who knows!

You may be wondering what there is to hate about sunny Spain. Oh, plenty…

  • People on the street who pay you no attention and ram right into you, then say nothing by means of an apology. Gee thanks, Ms. Grey Suede Ankle Booties, no, I didn’t mean to get in the way of your elbow!
  • Beggars in front of the grocery store. Please, I’m no callous witch, but I’d like for once to not feel guilty for entering in the grocery store and coming out loaded down with bread, produce, and perhaps a packet of cookies. (Those digestive biscuits are amazingly tasty. Betcha can’t eat just one!) I can’t afford to give you just one Euro every time I’m there, seeing as I visit the store more than once a day on average.
  • Being unaware of what the hell everyone’s talking about. I don’t understand Spanish politics or soccer. I try, but no. The obsession with the sport remains a mystery and I will never fist pump while watching Ronaldo sink one into the back of the net. Nope. I will also never understand the ins and outs of Zapatero’s mumblings and Rubalcalababababo. Sorry.
  • Learning Spanish. I may sound extremely negative, but I hate feeling like the student in every. single. situation. I really am an eloquent writer (I hope) as well as a speaker who gets her points across in a clear, concise way. In Spanish, there’s always a key word I forget, leaving me stumbling, circumlocution my only bet. (Example: Today I forgot the word for washing machine. If I were with Mario’s parents, who know no English basically, I would say “La máquina que lava la ropa,” but really, most things are much harder to describe than that.)
  • Trying to explain American cultural things in a way that doesn’t make us sound like losers. Tailgating –  uhhh what? Our obsession with huge trucks? Our sometimes blind patriotism? Try it sometime.

I really better stop this before I convince myself. Next post: why I love Spain, being a foreigner, and learning a new language. Keep your fingers crossed for me, mmmkay?