Saturday, September 25, 2004

A Nice Saturday afternoon

Hello everyone,

Well, today was a nice, long day here in Barcelona and I throroughly enjoyed it.

I do have to say that I went to my first therapy session: The Chocolate Shop. And I must say that I feel a lot better.

I also did a lot of walking around the city and just enjoying the nice weather.

I can't really write more. I am a little tired, but I'll update later.

 

 

Friday, September 24, 2004

Well, back from my little siesta :)

Hello Everyone,

I gotta say that I wish that I found this icon earlier. ( Like when I was a waitress !) I sure coulda used it. For the most part, I liked the people I served. But once in a while I had the displeasure of serving some rude assholes.

Unfortunately in my current job as a glorified telemarketer I am the one bugging the people on the phone. So when people are rude to me, I have to remember that it's all part of the job.

Anyways, today was a holiday. Normally the streets are packed in the morning. Today everything was dead and all the stores were closed. I didn't have to work today, especially since I get paid on holidays. But, since I was making overtime, I went anyways.

I am on the phone 8 hours a day. I make about at least 1,000 calls a week. Talking on the phone will never be the same for me again. After I got off work I had to make a call to the states to pay a bill. I felt like I was trying to sell HER something. Haha.

I am just THRILLED that the weekend is finally here. I can sleep in tommorow, AND I don't have to drink coffee. I like coffee, but it gives me the shits sometimes. Yeah, I know that's too much info, sorry.

Anyways, I am busy watching "My Cousin Vinny" right now so I am gonna end this here.

Ciao.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Siesta

Hello Everyone,

Sorry I haven't written in a couple of days. That is so not like me. I have been kinda tired lately. I feel so lazy.

So anyways, I have been taking a little siesta. But I should be posting again very soon.

Don't miss me too much while I am gone, okay ?

Ciao for now.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Another Day in Barcelona :)

Hello Everyone,

Well, I had a wonderful weekend overall. I had this nice apartment all to my little self. I also went to the beach. I wanted to write about it earlier, but I am too tired now.

I also had a nice evening tonight. I went out to go run an errand for my roommate and walked around the city for a while. I saw this band play American music from the 1920's and 1930s. This couple was dancing. I think that they were doing the Charleston, but I am not sure. The really old man was dancing with a young woman, and she couldn't keep up with him. I wish that I could 've danced with him.

It  is moments like this that brighten my day and make me smile. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

What the hell do I do ?

Hello Everyone,

How are you ? The picture above is kind cool because it is a picture of the very traditional bellydancers back in the day, unlike today. Today bellydancing is more Hollywood style. But I don't mind. I love the Hollywood style just as much, if not more.

I am not writing to complain, but I just don't feel too good today. My roommate is coming back tonight and I don't want to be all depressed around him. He took me in and has helped me out so much that if would be unfair to bitch to him. And besides, he'd just tell me to get over it and stop whining anyways. So therefore, I am dumping this all on my own journal.

I read a quote posted on another journal (from Jessie). In fact her journals is listed among my favorites. "We fear the things that we want the most."

This quote is so very true for me. I am just so scared to venture out in the world, and I am holding myself back from what I want. There are many things that I want and I am just too chicken shit.

Yesterday I spent my whole day alone in the house, rested and thought a lot about my life. And I thought hard. Right now I feel like I want to just hide and not do anything at all. In fact I don't really know what I wanna do with my life.

Accomplishing things and achieving goals comes from believing in yourself and having enough confidence to do it. That is my problem. My confidence is just shot right now, and I don't believe in myself as much as I should. And it is my biggest problem. And I wish I could fix it.

People tell me not to put myself down and that I should believe in myself. And I agree with them. But it's just not so black and white. It just doesn't change overnight. This has been a bad habit of mine for most of my life. And I always somehow seem to go back to having a bad self-esteem. It's something I have to fight with on a daily basis. And it is holding me back.

I am so scared of rejection, disappointing people and messing up. And I really shouldn't be.

Let's take my job for example. I am a telemarketer. It's funny. Ask my boss and he'll tell you that I am not a telemarketer and that I am not selling anything. He'll tell you I am a "qualifier" and that I am just getting people to agree to have information sent to them if they meet or "qualify" for cerrtain requirements. But we all know that I am just getting information for a broker to call people back and then sell them financial services.

I can't get people that are interested. I make about 200 calls a day and I am expected to get 7 people. And I get only ONE. And my boss isn't happy. He notices that I don't sound confident. And I know that I am not confident enough. I talk too fast and sound timid. Because I am scared of people yelling at me and telling me that I am bothering them, even though they don't know me and are in another country.

I wish that I could easily get used to rejection and move along with a smile on my face. I need to learn how to face it, because that's a big part of doing business: mistakes, failure, rejection. People sometimes aren't gonna like me.

I don't know how to make my boss happy. When I call, I have to get the manager or supervisor of the company on the phone. A lot of people I talk to don't speak English. Then there are those that are out of the office and a lot of secretaries won't put me through. By the time I actually end up speaking to a manager they aren't interested most of the time.

I listen to the other people in the office and they somehow get people interested. This one girl next to me has such a perky voice and though her English is a little broken, she gets people interested. And I just can't. I don't care about what I am talking about. In fact I don't believe in it at all. And to top it off I can't stand reading from a script, which we are required to read from. If someone from the company called me I would probably be pissed too.

Right now this job is all I got right now, so I do care about doing it well and making the bosses happy. Right now this is my last chance to stay in Spain and I am heavily relying on the check. So I am a little stressed. I need to care about this job and I need to somehow muster up all the confidence I have to meet the quota.

I am thinking about teaching English privately to people here, but I just don't have enough confidence in my abilities. I have no experience and I don't know where to begin.

Then I think about handing my resume to marketing companies here, but I really have NO experience. I wouldn't know where the hell to begin. Especially because I don't speak Spanish fluently.

I am at a point where I feel like I don't know how to do anything and where to start. I just don't know how to market myself and it is frustrating. And I don't know how to just jump in and start looking for opportunities. I am a little scared to just jump in. I don't know where to begin.

I love Spain, but I don't know how much longer I am gonna last here.

I will write more about this later. I better give y'all a break.

Ciao.

 

 

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Things that I am Thankful for

Hello Everyone,

How are you today ? I love the picture above. I miss bellydancing. And there are sooooooo many shops here with the most beautiful jewlrey, makeups and fabric. And what's stopping me ? Money. Damn ! I just don't have it right now. But in the mean time I am growing my hair out as long as I possibly can.

I am still sick and it kinda sucks. But oh well, that is my own fault for not getting enough sleep this week.

Today I was glancing at the Photos of the Week here on AOL. It was sad. There is so much sadness in this world. There is so much suffering on this planet. And hardship knows no boundaries. It knocks on everyone's doors at some point.

You've got people who just worry about making it to the next day because their country is at war, or because they are terminally ill in the hospital. Then you have people that aren't facing poverty or sickness, rather their own personal demons such as depression. Each person has their own harships that is very real to them.

And as I was looking at these photos, I thought about my own life. Yeah I am going through a rough time and it IS affecting me and I am sad and confused. And maybe I should allow myself to go through these emotions. But then I read about what's going on in this world and I realize that I have life pretty good.

So, today I am not gonna bitch or vent. I will do that next week. Oh, you know I will. Today I am gonna list the big/small things in NO order of what I am thankful for. Because I might not have them tommorow. Okay, here goes, and beware because my list is kinda long, okay ?..................................

1.) A very close family friend that acts like my mother sometimes and gives me advice. Sometimes we just need an influential non-family member like that in our lives. She has been in my life since I was 5 and has saw me through EVERY hardship and happiness. My happiest time with her was when she showed up to my college graduation. She knows who she is. For this alone, I am very lucky.

2.) Living Parents. Not only are my parents are alive, but they love me and want to be involved in my life. I am blessed with a mother, father and a step-father and they all love me. Was my life perfect with them ? Of course not . And they are always busy, but they are still there for me.

3.) Grandparents. I LOVE my grandparents to death. Especially my grandmothers. My grandma in CA always hugs me and tells me she loves me EVERY time she sees me which means the world to me. And then you have my grandma in Austria that makes sure I know about my Austrian heritage. She doesn't speak English and I like that. She is a proud, traditional Austrian woman that is all for me learning German and Austrian culture. Plus, she cooks good Austrian food and I am never hungry with her.

4.)The rest of my family. I gotta move the list along since it's getting long and you and I don't have all day.

5.) The fact that I even got the opportunity to go to Spain. I was dreaming of coming here for a whole year. This trip is NOT easy. In fact, just ask any person that just got up and went to Spain like I did. It can be a little rough out there, and a lot of people do it. But the fact that I am here is cool. I got to see a lot of things and meet cool people. I don't know how long I am gonna last here. I could be on a plane next week. But at least I stuck it out for this long.

6.) My education. I am just glad that I took the opportunity to get an education, especially in college. So many people live in poverty and don't even have the opportunity. I am glad I took advantage of my opportunity.

7.) Gal friends. Sometimes we need someone to gossip to about the boys as well girl things. Lemme just say hi to: Christina, Shira, Stacey, Sara. If I forgot any names I am truly sorry.

8.) That I am an American Citizen. I am a proud owner of that blue US passport.

9.) My blue eyes. Okay, I know that seems funny but I am glad God made my eyes blue. We all have imperfections on our bodies. And though I have my fair share, I think my eyes make up for it.

10.) Oh !! And how could I almost forget this one ???? My health !!! I may face health problems in the future, but at least I can say I am thankful that I am alive and healthy today. If you are healthy AND have all your limbs you better thank your lucky stars.

I will end the list here for now, even though I could easily add other things. I hope that you all think about what you are thankful for. It is so easy to forget, especially when we are wrapped up with what's going on in our own lives, which is normal. But remember that there is always someone out there that has it worse than you and I.

I hope y'all will enjoy your weekend.

Ciao.

 

Friday, September 17, 2004

Hello Everyone,

I love this picture. I stole it from Angela's journal. I hope she doesn't mind. I loved the movie Cinderella. I used to watch it over and over as a kid. I wish that I could dance with a partner. I am kinda clumsy with my feet, especially since they are pigeon-toed. But I hope to go dancing this weekend.

I am getting sick. I have a fat headache and I am cold with achey bones. Not cool. Especially since I wanna go to the beach tommorow. This weekend IS the last weekend of the summer season so I don't wanna let it slip away without one last attempt to get a better tan.

Anyways I better go to bed now,

Ciao

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Don't Even Get Me Started......................

Hello Everyone,

How are you all doin' ? Good. Anyways I am here to vent. Why ? Cuz, this is my journal and I feel like it, mkay?

Did you ever see the movie Me, Myself and Irene? I feel like the cop played by Jim Carrey, except it will be a while before I actually break down and become a meanie.

You know what my problem is ? I am too damn nice. Especially here in Spain. I am just taking shit and not responding. I act like it doesn't bother me and I don't respond. And it just keeps building. I could give countless examples where I either was too scared or simply unable to stand up for myself. (*Cough* my job *Cough*)

One of these days I am just gonna be mean to everyone and love it. I know, thats wrong. But at least for now I am still the nice girl. And yes, nice girls do finish last.

I have to work tommorow. Oh, TRUST ME. I will dedicate a whole journal entry to my job. I am just too tired right now.

Ciao.

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

What a Day

Hello Everyone,

Well, today was certainly interesting. I really could write pages about today and ponder my feelings, but I won't do that today. All I care to say it that it was just one of those days.....................Tommorow is another day and I am hoping that it won't be like today.

On another note, I had a nice evening last night. I did a language exchange and we ate at a typical Catalan restaurant in an old neighborhood. It was beautiful. And the food was divine: Sardines in oil, quail eggs, bread with olive oil and tomato sauce,  cheeses and garbanzo beans with tuna. Then I went home after and had some chocolate.

Tonite I met with a Catalan girl for a language exchange. It was nice, and she helped me out with a lot of Spanish expressions. We also walked down some of the older streets where the Arabic community is. I got to see nice bellydancing outfits and jewelry.

Anyways, this is short today and I will end it here. I know I'll have stuff to write about tommorow.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I gotta wonder

Hello Everyone,

Today was my second day on the job. Today I called people in England and Austria. Oh my friggin' Gawd !!! The Austrians are a whole nother breed to coldcall to. Most of the businesses I called out there were in little small towns with the nice little cathedrals.

Half of the people I called didn't even speak English. One man made my day. In fact, his business is located in Wels, really close to where my aunt lives. When I asked him how he was, he said "Good, because the sun is dancing about." I then gave him my whole spiel and asked him if he was interested in investing in local or international markets. He then laughed and told me in broken English as thick as Arnold Schwarzenneger's muscles, " All I know is that I build little houses. Do you want us to build a little house for you"? Hahaha. Loved it.

I swear, my boss wasn't joking when he said I'd face a lot of rejection. I just almost wished that each person would just hang up on me so that the call would quickly be over and so that I could go on to the next call. But at least I got 2 leads today. Yesterday I got ZERO.

And now for my thoughts of the day....................................

Some people are just born to be successful. There are some people out there that are successful no matter what they do. They are good at what they do, but are miserable because they've have everything they want and wonder why they still feel empty. Then there are some people that work their asses off and are successful as a result. Then there are other people that work their butts off and no matter what they do, they just don't succeed in what they want. They somehow narrowly miss opportunities or they just aren't quite smart enough.

I fit into the last category. I am not in anyway implying that I am a failure, or that I am failing. I am also not saying that I am stupid either. I am just saying that I don't feel like I am quite making it.

Don't you ever notice that some people are so darn successful ? But then at the same time they face many hardships. I feel that I am lucky enough to be healthy and have most of my family members. So far I have been lucky in that respect. But I just can't seem to get what I want in other areas of my life. It just doesn't happen to me. And no, I am not sitting on my ass.

I feel like I am the girl that gets by. I feel that I am smart enough and have the basic prerequisites to compete out in the real word. I went to college, I've worked since I was 14, I have traveled a little bit and I can communicate in 2 other langauges.

But then again, I don't have real work experience in the business world where I really did anything work bragging about and I can't even speak other languages fluently. I feel like I am just scooting by. Somehow I am stuck doing jobs that don't require an education: Coldcalling, waitressing, babysitting..................... I didn't get an education for nothing.

Working in the office just kills me. You've got the brokers that just know how to get people to trust them with their money. They just know how to work people. They make so much money. My broker friend here from NY knows how to get complete strangers to trust him with over 10K. He's not afraid to be quick-witted on the phone. He even got a guy with lots of money to go "baa" like a sheep on the phone. He's getting 2 bonuses in the next two days. He's also starting his own business. He knows how to work it.

Then there is me. I am coldcalling, and I can't even get people to allow me to send them a fucking package. And though I am making enough to live, I am still just gonna get by on what I make.

Someday I hope that I can make a lot of money by people coming to me for a service and trusting me. I wish I could do business where I have great relationships. The people in my office will never meet their clients. I just can't function like that.

Maybe this isn't the right line of work for me. I really wish that I could speak to someone, be polite, and not try to sell them shit. I just wish I could do business, love hanging out with the people I deal with AND get paid for it. But no, that would be too good for me I guess.

I am just afraid that I am gonna come back to the US and have to go back into the restaurant business and kiss the asses of people that can't even tip properly and let their children order me around. Not that it's beneath me. I will do it again if I have to.

Then maybe again, maybe I am not working hard or thinking smart enough. Who knows ?

I know that I have been rambling just now. It probably seems like I am putting myself down and I am not. I am not stupid and I have no problem telling people that. But I've been thinking about this for so long and I am finally getting it out.

This entry is more for me than anyone else. In fact, that's how it is with my whole journal here, whether people read this or not. I will hopefully come back and read this down the road and see if I will have moved forward or taken some steps back.

Anyways, I better go now. Ahh, the joys of journals and venting :)

Ciao.

 

 

Monday, September 13, 2004

First Day as a Qualifier

Hello Everyone,

How y'all doin'? I am not doin' too shabby, considering that I am listening to a nice hard mix of some alternative music that just rocks my socks.

Well, this is a picture of the World Trade Center in Barcelona. And no, I didn't take the picture. But to whomever did, thanks. This is where I work as a qualifier. ( A glorified name for "telemarketer"). It is a nice area. Overpriced, but nice nevertheless.

I work with a bunch of other guys and gals my age. We have a bunch of lists in front of us to coldcall with numbers of businesses across Europe to call. I work from 8-5 every Monday through Friday. I am trying to get solid leads for the brokers in the area next to us. All I have to do is get the other person on the line to agree to let me send them information. Thats ALL. No selling, praise Jesus !!

And Oh My Gawd !!! I didn't even get a single lead. No one I spoke to was interested in receiving the free information package. The minute I mentioned the word "investment opportunity" in my spiel, the doors were slammed on me. Can't say I blame those people, though. But hey, I do have to eat.

I called businesses in Denmark, Norway and England. Part of the battle was simply finding people that speak English. There were some businesses that just didn't.

Luckily people were civil to me. I know that Americans can be downright vicious to telemarketers. I was waiting for people to threaten to kill me, tell me to f**k off or convince me to find Jesus. But my favorite responses were people just laughing at me while I was speaking because they have no money to invest. One woman yelled at me, lol. "Why you bother a small business in Finland?" Haha.

I must have made about over 100 calls and got NO leads. But luckily my boss told me not to worry especially since it was my first day. By the end, I was just frazzled. Trust me, this is NOT my dream job. I can't wait for the day I get an actual career where I am building relationships with people and making a hell of a lot of money in the process.

You know what's funny ? Last Monday I was starting my first day as an au-pair. I was cleaning the house and babysitting, and I was isolated. And today (Monday) I am in a nice office with different people. I still can't believe that I packed and left San Sebastian so quickly, especially since I kept in touch with the family for about a month before I arrived. I planned my life at the time around moving there, and I thought it was all wonderful opportunity. And I left it all in a heartbeat to come back to here in Barcelona. I never expected that to happen. I wonder if my life here will take any other unexpected turns.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 12, 2004

A Lazy Sunday in Barcelona

Hello Everyone :)

How are y'all ? Today is a lazy day for me. I am enjoying it though because it is my last day before I start the daily grind of 8-5 at my new job. I will be working in a call center, trying to get people to agree to have me send them information. I am looking forward to it because the offices are in the World Trade Center in Barcelona with a beautiful view of the port. Plus, it is air conditioned. I suffered all summer without the luxury of air conditioning (yes, it IS a luxury here) so I am stoked that I will be sitting under a fan all day. In fact I hope I freeze to make up for all the times I was burning and sweating all summer.

I am a little nervous about it because I haven't started a new job in almost 4 years, since I filled out the application to be a waitress at Red Lobster. All I have to say, is that I am glad that I am not a waitress anymore, especially here in Spain. Let's just hope that I find my dream job here in Spain or soon after I am back in the US.

I was going to go out last night, but it ended up raining real hard and I ended up staying home. My flatmate also ordered us pizza and rented movies. I ordered Pizza Hut from across the street. We also watched The Mexican and My Cousin Vinny. Gotta love the comedy. I was happy that we could change the DVDs to English.

I am supposed to go out dancing tonite, but I have to be home at a decent hour so that I can catch the last metro and wake up in time to be ready to start my new job. Lord knows I need the exercise.

Did I tell you that there is a little cheapie place on my street? Yeah, I found things dirt cheap. I bought a pair of socks for 75 cents. A big tube of Crest toothpaste is 1 Euro and written in Chinese. I could EVEN buy a nice new piece of luggage for 30 Euros, as opposed to 60 Euros at other stores. I'll be a faithful customer for a while.

Until then, I better clean up my room. I still haven't fully unpacked everything yet.

Ciao.

 

 

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Sept. 11th in Spain

Hello Everyone,

This is my first September 11th anniversary in Spain. I spent a great deal of time talking to my new flatmate. He was there in NYC that day and lost four friends. He picked up something from the WTC that morning and was out about an hour before the first plane hit the building. His ex that worked at Morgan Stanely at the time and was late that morning and thus, her life was spared. Unfortunately, others weren't so lucky. He was telling me how everyone was frantically trying to contact their loved ones, and how he couldn't go home for a week. I couldn't believe it. He also told me how people on the streets were holding up pictures of loved ones, asking strangers if they had seen their friends/family members.

Before I met him, I didn't personally know anyone that was in NYC the day of the attacks. Hearing it from him was so much more emotional. And I was glad we got to talk about it. Because it should never be forgotten. People should talk about this and pass down this information from generation to generation.

Here in Spain, September 11th is an actual holiday for the people here in Catalonia. Almost everything was closed today except for the shops in the tourist area. This is the day that Catalans show their pride.

To give you a quick background, Barcelona is considered to be the capital of Catalonia, a region in Spain. Though people here speak Spanish and, their first language is Catalan and they consider themselves to be Catalan, not Spanish. Catalans here believe that Catalonia should have it's own government and it's own laws. People here don't want the Spanish government to make its laws.

So many people today hung the Catalonian flag on their balconies and people on the streets were walking around with the flag draped around their shoulders. And for this day only, the Spanish flags were taken down, leaving only the flags of Catalonia.

I was glad that I was walking around the city today and got a chance to see all this. I was glad to see people proud of their culture and demonstrating what they believe in. While I was watching people march down the street, I saw a lot of people wearing the Catalan flag, but I also saw a few people join in with flags from their own countries such as Ireland and Brazil. I wish that I could have draped the US flag around my shoulders. Especially since this is also an important day for people in the US.

Anyways, I will writemore later.

Ciao.

 

Friday, September 10, 2004

Three years have gone by.......................

Hello Everyone,

Tommorow will be September 11th. I am not in the U.S right now so I haven't been hearing anything about the Sept. 11th anniversary. I shouldn't even call it an anniversary. Anniversaries are for days that are happy and that people want to look back on as the years pass.

 Sept 11th was horrific, but it is a day that should never be forgotten. I must confess that I almost forgot the anniversary. But I will always remember the day my old roommate and I were woken up by her boyfriend on the phone and ordered to turn on the T.V. It was a sad day indeed.

But I know people that were there that day. My friend here from NY was in the towers that day and escaped a couple of hours early. I can imagine people feeling pain by watching the TV. But can you imagine what the people in New York were going through as this all happened in their own neighborhood and took the lives of their loved ones? I can't imagine what they went through.

Three years have gone by........................

Time goes by so fast. I remember the U.S being united for a while after. Political parties came together and people were proud to fly the U.S flag and be part of this country. I remember how emotional it was for me to watch a simple baseball game because people in the stands took off their baseball caps, and put their heart into singing the national anthem of the United States.

Now is seems like that is forgotten. Political parties are back to fighting and people aren't as united anymore.

And on top of that, I don't think that Bush is fighting the right war. We have a lot of bigger problems than Iraq. It he was really concerned about terrorism, he wouldn't be focusing a lot of his attention on Iraq. Plus, It is our husbands, brothers, cousins and fathers that he is sending.  He is lucky that he doesn't have to worry about sending his family to fight. These people that are lost in battle can't be replaced by their families. Can you imagine a mother spending 18 long years loving and raising her children only for them to end up getting killed in battle? I can't. Another one of the many reasons I do not want to have children.

I salute the people out there fighting. They made a choice to fight for the US. They knew that they could die in battle and they still chose to fight. They are fighting for those that can't fight, or those that don't want to. Because these people chose to fight and volunteered, the rest of us aren't forced to go to battle.

God Bless our country.

 

 

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Tales of San Sebastian

Hello Everyone,

Oh Wow ! Where do I begin ? Let's see....................  I am no longer in San Sebastian. I am back in Barcelona right where I started. In fact, got back in town today.

I lasted as an au-pair for three days. I didn't even finish the week. It all seemed like a perfect arrangement before I left. And San Sebastian is a beautiful city. But it ended up not suiting me. So I made up an excuse and left on good terms.

And now I am back here starting a new job on Monday. I hope this all works out.

 

Saturday, September 4, 2004

I temporarily leave you with my last images of Barcelona

Hello,

Until I am able to type my next entry, here are my last images of Barcelona. I will miss this great city.

An interesting day indeed

Hello Everyone,

Today is September 4th. Why is that important ? Well according to my return flight ticket, I should be in Munich, Germany boarding a plane back to the United States right now as I am writing this. Instead I am still here in Spain. I now officially have no return flight. I guess you could say I am stuck here now.

I am here for the long haul. I came here for very specific reasons, and the most important reason is to improve my Spanish. I am slowly getting there. I don't know when I am going back home to CA. But I better cherish the time that I have here, because I plan on traveling to other countries after I am done here. I may never come back here. Who knows?

Anyways, moving along to the next topic.............................

Mr. Prince Charming kept texting me last night, telling me to "please" respond to him. He told me that he really, really likes me and that he doesn't want to lose me. He then finally told me that the reason that he couldn't pick me up is because he was in the middle of the job interview. Wow, and that was all supposed to make it all better ?

Well, the messages were nice and I almost wanted to respond to him. Almost. But then I remembered how I felt being stood up and I just erased all of the messages. I don't know if he really likes me. Maybe by me ignoring him, he'll get a taste of his own medicine. Saying words like "Carino", "please", "darling", "I am sorry" don't make things better. Hell, if I feed one of our dogs back home enough cookies, I am sure she could bark out the same things.

I really am a nice, understanding girl. And I would treat anyone with the same respect I would want. I don't lie (that much, anyways)  and I would always be faithful in a relationship.Things like this are rare in both men and women these days. And yet I continue to get men like this abusing my kindness. It's sad. And I know good men with women abusing their kindness. It goes both ways.

Well my friends, this is my last day here in the wonderful city of Barcelona. I am almost done packing, and I plan on chillin' with my friend from Germany today. I have been in the house a lot this week. I have been online and here on my blog A LOT, just pouring out my heart and writing whatever I feel like writing about. After tommorow I won't be updating as often as I have been. The internet can be addicting.

Tommorow I will be on a long,seven-hour train ride to San Sebastian. I really hope that I learn a lot there, make new friends and do a good job helping the boys learn English.

I don't know how much internet access I will have, but I will probably writing less than I have been. I hope that you all keep me and this journal in the back of your minds. Just as I am moving and getting busier, I am starting to get more readers. But I hope that you can continue to read this and leave me a comment or an e-mail once in a while.

God Bless you all.

 

Friday, September 3, 2004

I finally grew some balls and stood up for myself

Hello Everyone,

Well, here I am at my computer again. I am supposed to be out with Mr. Prince Charming. But it's funny how things don't always work out the way we expect them, isn't it ?

Here's what happened: He called me many times and said that he wanted to see me before I left to San Sebastian. Okay, so I agreed to meet him at 6pm in front of my apartment tonite.

So, I get all dolled up and wait for him. And really, I was lookin' good. 30 minutes go by and he doesn't come. I send him a text and he doesn't respond. After an hour goes by, I finally do what I've been wanting to do all along: I sent him a message and told him that I have made new plans and that I don't want to see him anymore.

After he got my message he told me that he was still coming to see me and that he couldn't answer my calls before, and I told him it was too late. He told me not to be angry and wanted to know if we're still friends. I am not answering that for him. He'll just figure it out when I don't respond to his messages. He can text me all he wants, but I will always be "busy".

Do I really have plans now? No. I kinda lied to him. In fact, I have nothing to do tonite. I am too broke to go out and I will be alone here in the apartment. I will clean and pack. I would rather be here and bored than out with someone that can't treat me like the lady that I am. If I don't promote myself as someone that deserves respect, then no one will ever respect me.

I am happy that I am starting to stand up for myself. I have a long history of low self-esteem and putting up with men that don't respect me enough. I had a father that didn't give me enough affection as a girl, and I wanted it so bad. I also lived with a woman that put me down a lot. She put me down so much, that I started believing what she told me. I fight these feelings all the time, and I will continue to fight this probably for a long time. But at least right now I am winning some battles.

But will I win the war?

Anyways, I am craving some chocolate. And a lot of it.

Talk to y'all later.

Okay kids, time for your daily lesson on Spain

Hello Class !

Anyways, I am sure you've seen a lot of entries from me lately. Almost too many............ Yes, well the fact is ever since my Spanish class ended,  I have been home most of the time during the day, cherishing the time I have left with my laptop and fast internet service.

I am moving to a new city this weekend and I don't know how much internet access I will have, or if I can even use my own laptop there. So, I have been writing a lot so I'll have a lot of entries to look back on some day.

Okay, on to the Spanish lesson of the day..............................

As you can see, I've posted different pictures. The first one is of Spain and it's various regions. I have been staying in Barcelona, which is part of Cataluna (or Catalonia, can't remember the correct spelling). Here, people speak Catalan and Spanish and refer to themselves as "Catalans" . Pic #2 is of the Spanish flag and Pic #3 is of the Catalan flag.

On Sunday I will be moving to the region, Pais Vasco. It is a Basque region and people there speak Basque and Spanish. By the way, the food there rocks !! I think it's the best food I've ever tasted.

People that have never visited Spain, think that Catalan is a dialect. It is not, and it is a completely different language, even though it is a little similar to Spanish. In fact the fastest way to piss these people off is to tell them that Catalan is a dialect of Spanish.  The Catalans here are very proud of their culture.Throughout history, leaders have tried to forbid people from speaking Catalan, and forced them to speak Spanish, especially when Franco, the dictator of Spain during WWII was in power. Many older people still have terrible memories of the times when he was in power. The Catalan culture is alive and strong today.

 All the signs here are in Catalan, and sometimes Spanish. Little children here grow up speaking only Catalan at home, and learn Spanish when they start going to school. I met 2 little girls, who are cousins to my roommate. They only spoke Catalan. I couldn't even speak to them in Spanish.

On another note, I was watching the news today. I am happy that I am starting to finally understand whole phrases. Yeah ! I still have a long way to go, but hey, I am getting better.

The images shown here are much more graphic than in the US news. For example, if a US news reporter is talking about the war in Iraq, usually only images of soldiers marching, or military planes are shown. Bloodshed is rarely shown. Maybe one bloody man is shown in a hospital. Here, the news is another story. I saw so much more blood.

The media in the US are pussies. I am sorry, but we need to see the truth. The US invaded Iraq, and US soldiers are fighting. We, the taxpayers should be seeing what our men and women fighting are going through and where our $87 billion dollars are going. We're so sheltered.

I also saw images of the kidnappings in Russia. I saw soldiers carrying little babies carried out into cars. I saw dead bodies lined up against a wall with rags over their faces. I saw things happening in action. I saw soldiers invading homes with guns. I wanted to cry. This world is such a messed up place.

 If the media in the US started publishing atrocious images, I know a lot of people would be complaining. I am sure many parents would complain because they don't want their little ones to see such ugliness. But these same children will have to face the truth someday. Maybe I don't know what I am talking about. I don't have children, and I am not a parent struggling to raise a child the best way possible in a messed up world like this.

But I can speak for myself as a child. My parents didn't sugarcoat everything. Sometimes we talked about issues on the news, and I think it was good for me.

We need to have the shit scared out of us sometimes and see how other people live. Why ? For one, it makes us thank our lucky stars to be living in the US and it makes us more appreciative of what we have. Another reason is because it could happen to us someday. Unlikely ? Maybe, but it's not impossible. I don't know.

On the news, I also heard more sad news about the hurricane in Florida. I hope that people don't get hurt. I will be praying. I have some family there and I hope that they are all safe.

 Speaking of natural disaster, CA is known for it's earthquakes. We haven't had any major earthquakes in a while, and I know we're due for another big one any day now. That's where most of my family is and I hope that day doesn't come for a while.

Anywho, today's entry wasn't particularly happy, but I am sure I'll have something nicer to write about tommorow. I hope y'all enjoy your weekend.

Ciao.

 

 

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Good ole' U S of A (This is gonna be a long one, got lots to say )

Hello Everyone,

This article is taken straight from CNN. I don't know how to put it behind a cut, so i just pasted it here. If you have suggestions of how to do it next time, please let me know.

I normally don't just put other people's words directly on my journal unless it moves me. This article moves me.  It reminds me of my mother. My mother and Arnold have a very similar story. Hell, I am surprised the two aren't related.

She, like Arnold, immigrated to the United States from Austria at an early age. She just knew that she wanted to come to the United States and make a new life for herself. She came and studied, and became the valedictorian of her class. She knew that if she didn't keep a certain GPA she would be sent back home. She had a dream and she saw it through. And she told me that the day she became a US citizen was the best day of her life. "I'm an American," she says. She still loves Austria and drools when I bring back Austrian chocolates and German crossword puzzles, but this is her home. She even thinks in English, Speaks English with an Austrian accent and speaks German with a bad American accent, just like Arnold.

Please remember I didn't post this article for political reasons, and I am SO not interested in political debates. You have your views and I have mine. I am still very undecided myself on a lot of issues myself. If you don't like the part about President Bush, just skip it. I did.

But the point of this article is that if people have a dream, America is the land of opportunity. Yes, there are flaws with the USA, but I still think we are doing well in comparison with other countries.

I am from California. We are a state filled with immigrants, and they keep on coming. I read stories about people from Mexico crossing the border, risking starvation, disease and death just to have the chance to work and earn money for their familes. I have talked to my coworkers from other countries and have learned their stories of why they came to the US. Everyone has their reasons as to why they come.

If you visit Washington D.C, you will also see that every citizen can talk to their congressman.  Yeah, yeah, I am fully aware that corporations with dollars get priority over people like you and I. But at least I still have that little chance to talk to someone. And if enough of us believe in something, we have a better chance of changing the laws. It has happened.

When people here ask me where I am from, I don't hide behind the Canadian flag. I smile, and say "Los Estados Unidos". Though I don't agree with Bush and the war in Iraq, I still believe in my country. Yeah, I would love to have a European passport because I have family here and would like to live and work here. But, I would never give up my American passport.

And now, on to the article.................

NEW YORK (CNN) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an immigrant, Tuesday night addressed the Republican National Convention where he spoke of the greatness of America. Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, is a former actor and body builder. Here is a transcript of his remarks:

Thank you very much. Thank you. What a greeting. What a greeting. Wow. This is like winning an Oscar -- as if I would know.

Speaking of acting, one of my movies was called "True Lies." And that's what the Democrats should have called their convention.

You know, on the way up here to the podium, a gentleman came up to me and said, "Governor, you are as good a politician as you were an actor." What a cheap shot.

Cannot believe it.

Anyway, my fellow Americans, this is an amazing moment for me. To think that a once-scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become governor of the state of California and then stand here...

... then stand here in Madison Square Garden and speak on behalf of the president of the United States -- that is an immigrant's dream.

It is the American dream.

You know, I was born in Europe and I've traveled all over the world. And I can tell you that there is no place, no country, more compassionate, more generous, more accepting and more welcoming than the United States of America.

As long as I live, I will never forget that day 21 years ago when I raised my right hand and took the oath of citizenship. Do you know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with an American flag around my shoulders all day long.

Tonight, I want to talk to you about why I'm even more proud to be an American -- why I'm proud to be a Republican -- and why I believe this country is in good hands.

When I was a boy, the Soviets occupied part of Austria.

I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw Communism with my own eyes. I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector.

Growing up, we were told, "Don't look the soldiers in the eye. Just look straight ahead." It was a common belief that Soviet soldiers could take a man out of his own car and ship him back to the Soviet Union as slave labor.

Now, my family didn't have a car. But one day we were in my uncle's car. It was near dark as we came to the Soviet checkpoint. I was a little boy. I was not an action hero back then.

But I remember. I remember how scared I was that the soldiers would pull my father or my uncle out of the car and I would never see them again. My family and so many others lived in fear of the Soviet boot. Today, the world no longer fears the Soviet Union, and it is because of the United States of America.

As a kid I saw the socialist country that Austria became after the Soviets left. Now, don't misunderstand me, I love Austria, and I love the Austrian people.

But I always knew America was the place for me. In school, when the teacher would talk about America, I would daydream about coming here. I would daydream about living here. I would sit there and watch for hours American movies transfixed by my heroes like John Wayne.

Everything about America seemed so big to me, so open, so possible.

I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire.

The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

But then I heard Nixon speak. Then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.

Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.

I said to my friend, I said, "What party is he?"

My friend said, "He's a Republican."

I said, "Then I am a Republican."

And I have been a Republicanever since. And trust me -- and trust me -- in my wife's family, that's no small achievement.

But I am proud to be with the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Ronald Reagan, and the party of George W. Bush.

To my fellow immigrants listening tonight, I want you to know how welcome you are in this party. We Republicans admire your ambition. We encourage your dreams. We believe in your future.

And one thing I learned about America is that if you work hard and if you play by the rules, this country is truly open to you. You can achieve anything.

Everything I have, my career, my success, my family, I owe to America.

In this country, it doesn't make any difference where you were born. It doesn't make any difference who your parents were. It doesn't make any difference if you're like me and couldn't even speak English until you were in your 20s. America gave me opportunities, and my immigrant dreams came true.

I want other people to get the same chances I did, the same opportunities. And I believe they can. That's why I believe in this country, that's why I believe in this party, and that's why I believe in this president.

Now, many of you out there tonight are Republican like me in your hearts and in your beliefs. Maybe you're from Guatemala. Maybe you're from the Philippines. Maybe you're from Europe or the Ivory Coast. Maybe you live in Ohio, Pennsylvania or New Mexico.

And maybe -- just maybe -- you don't agree with this party on every single issue. I say to you tonight that I believe that's not only OK, but that's what's great about this country.

Here we can respectfully disagree and still be patriotic, still be American and still be good Republicans.

My fellow immigrants, my fellow Americans, how do you know if you are a Republican? Well, I tell you how. If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government, then you are a Republican.

If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group, then you are a Republican.

If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does, then you are a Republican.

If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children, then you are a Republican.

If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is thebest hope for democracy, then you are aRepublican.

And, ladies and gentlemen, if you believe that we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are a Republican.

Now, there's another way you can tell you're a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people and faith in the U.S. economy. And to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: Don't be economic girlie-men.

The U.S. economy remains the envy of the world. We have the highest economic growth of any of the world's major industrialized nations. Don't you remember the pessimism of 20 years ago, when the critics said Japan and Germany are overtaking the U.S.? Ridiculous.

Now, they say that India and China are overtaking us. Don't you believe it. We may hit a few bumps, but America always moves ahead. That's what Americans do.

We move prosperity ahead.

We move prosperity ahead. We move freedom ahead. And we move people ahead.

And under President Bush and Vice President Cheney, America's economy is moving ahead in spite of a recession they inherited and in spite of the attack on our homeland.

Now, the other party says that we have two Americas. Don't you believe that either. I have visited our troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia, Germany, and all over the world. I've visited our troops in California, where they train before they go overseas. I have visited our military hospitals. And I tell you this, that our men and women in uniform do not believe there are two Americas. They believe we are one America, and they are fighting for it.

We are one America, and President Bush is defending it with all his heart and soul.

That's what I admire most about the president. He's a man of perseverance. He's a man of inner strength. He is a leader who doesn't flinch, who doesn't waiver, and does not back down.

My fellow Americans, make no mistake about it: Terrorism is more insidious than Communism, because it yearns to destroy not just the individual, but the entire international order.

The president did not go into Iraq because the polls told him it was popular. As a matter of fact, the polls said just the opposite. But leadership isn't about polls.

It's about making decisions you think are right and then standing behind those decisions.

That's why America is safer with George W. Bush as president.

He knows you don't reason withterrorists. You defeat them. He knows you can't reason with people blinded by hate. You see, they hate the power of the individual. They hate the progress of women. They hate the religious freedom of others. And they hate the liberating breeze of democracy.

But, ladies and gentlemen, their hate is no match for America's decency.

We are the America that sends out the Peace Corps volunteers to teach our village children. We are the America that sends out the missionaries and doctors to raise up the poor and the sick.

We are the America that gives more than any other country to fight AIDS in Africa and the developing world.

And we are the America that fights not for imperialism, but for human rights and democracy.

You know, when the Germans brought down the Berlin Wall, America's determination helped wield the sledgehammers. And when that lone, young Chinese man stood in front of those tanks in Tiananmen Square, America stood with him. And when Nelson Mandela smiled in election victory after all those years in prison, America celebrated, too.

We are still the lamp lighting the world, especially those who struggle. No matter in what labor camp they slave, no matter in what injustice they're trapped, they hear our call. They see our light. And they feel the pull of our freedom.

They come here, as I did, because they believe -- they believe in us. They come because their hearts say to them, as mine did, "If only I can get to America." You know, someone once wrote, "There are those who say that freedom is nothing but a dream." They are right. It's the American dream.

No matter the nationality, no matter the religion, no matter the ethnic background, America brings out the best in people.

And as governor -- as governor of the great state of California, I see the best in Americans every day.

I see the best in Americans every day, our police, our firefighters, our nurses, doctors and teachers, our parents.

And what about the extraordinary men and women who have volunteered to fight for the United States of America?

I have such great respect for them and their heroic families.

Let me tell you about the sacrifice and the commitment that I have seen first-hand. In one of the military hospitals I visited, I met a young guy who was in bad shape. He'd lost a leg, he had a hole through his stomach, and his shoulder had been shot through. And the list goes on and on and on.

I could tell that there was no way he could ever return to combat. But when I asked him, "When do you think you'll get out of the hospital?" He said, "Sir, in three weeks."

And do you know what he said to me then? He said he was going to get a new leg, and then he was going to get some therapy, and then he was going to go back to Iraq and fight alongside his buddies.

And you know what he said to me then? You know what he said to me then?

He said, "Arnold, I'll be back."

Well, ladies and gentlemen, America is back -- back from the attack on our homeland, back from the attack on our economy, and back from the attack on our way of life. We're back because of the perseverance, character and leadership of the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush.

My fellow Americans, I want you to know that I believe with all my heart that America remains the great idea that inspires the world. It's a privilege to be born here. It's an honor to become a citizen here. It's a gift to raise your family here, to vote here, and to live here.

Our president, George W. Bush, has worked hard to protect and preserve the American dream for all of us. And that's why I say, send him back to Washington for four more years.

SCHWARZENEGGER and audience: Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years. Four more years.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you, America. Thank you, and God bless you all.

More random thoughts .................

Hello Everyone,

Lemme first say that I hate AO-Hell. I was logging on my journal today and I notice that they lost all of my pictures for this week. So I go to repost them again, and it won't let me. WTF is up with that ??? I worked really hard to post them.

I also hate them for other reasons. When I bought my new laptop, I was allowed 6 months of free service from AOL or Earthlink. (Why the hell didn't I just chose Earthlink?) Anyways, AOL didn't feel that I was entitled to the free six months, because I was already a user. Nevermind that I paid the same price for my Dell as everyone else.

But yes I am still with them, and have been for 5 years now. I didn't really have problems with them until this year. I didn't want to go through the hassle of changing my e-mail address before I came all the way over here to Spain. And by the time I was fed up with them, I already had a lot of entries in my blog here.

Anywho, moving along, I got other things to talk about................

I am sure you noticed that I posted a picture of Shakira. I love her to death. She is half Columbian and half Lebanese. She is also a wonderful bellydancer. I love learning Spanish and bellydance. She also can play a lot of instruments, and I love it when she mixes in rock music. I have her DVD so I love watching her bellydance to traditional Egyptian music in one song and then rock her head back and forth to rock music while she's playing the guitar in the next song. I also love her because she does a lot of good for her community. My roommate told me she is helping some of the poorest children in her community get a good education.

Speaking of Shakira, I miss taking bellydance lessons. I don't have enough money for lessons, so sometimes I just practice when I am alone in my room. I also miss performing for others. My roommates found out my passion for bellydance and keep asking me to dance when they bring family over. So, at least I am getting some practice.

What else ? Oh yeah ! I almost forgot to tell you that we had a huge thunder and lightening storm, with a lot of pouring rain last night. It was so loud and piercing. I am just glad that my roommate was here. The lightening even hit the tree in front of our apartment, but there was no fire because it was raining. Okay, I have experienced strong thunder and lightening before, but never like this. I was a little scared.

I also bought my train ticket to San Sebastian last night. Perhaps I could have taken the bus for about 10 Euros cheaper, but I decided to shell out a little extra for the train. Being on a bus for 7 hours really sucks because the seats are small and it is hard to rest my head. It can also be bad when there is traffic on the roads. Plus the reststops they ususally stop at are NASTY.

Though the train ride is just as long, it won't be as bad. Plus there is a chance that I can possibly get some rest.

Anyways, I think I have enough thoughts for the day. In the mean time, I will be trying to figure out what happened to my pictures...................

Ciao.

 

 

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

More Thoughts from a girl in Spain..............

Hello Everyone,

Wow ! It is the first day of September. I came to Europe a week before summer officially started. And now, it's almost over........................ And before you know it my birthday will come and go.  This year sure went by fast, and was a truly special one for me indeed.

I feel so lazy today, and I spend a lot of time online. It's such an addiction for me because it's my only main connection to my life (or the life I had ) back in the United States.

 I still need to go shopping for food and buy my train ticket to San Sebastian. I think that I should be moving on Sunday. Speaking of which, packing will be interesting. I dunno how I am gonna fit all my shit into the luggage. Plus there is no elevator here and all I have is windy stairway. I remember moving in. THAT was a nightmare. I am just glad I am not on the fifth floor.

 All I gotta say is that I hate the train station. Buying tickets there can be just as bad as going to the DMV in a big city sometimes. And you probably think I am exagerating (did I spell that right?). Last time I went, I took a number and waited over an hour to be helped, only to be told that tickets were all sold out. But that's a different story.

Anyways, I really better be going now. I hope y'all enjoy your Labor Day weekend coming up.............................

Ciao.