Sunday, October 31, 2004

Another Sunday...................

Hello Everyone,

Well,  I am just chillin´ here on this cold Sunday afternoon. I finally got paid from my Dominican students. I really really need the money. One of her sons is in the hospital so I bought him some roses. I really hope he comes home soon. He´s such a nice kid.  Today the father made my favorite Spanish food without even realizing it´s my fave : Octopus, garlic and shrimp, bread, and potaoes. VERY GOOD STUFF.

After I got paid from my telemarketing job I realized that I don´t get paid when I miss work due to being sick. ( I was told otherwise) I was sick for 2 days and therefore lost 80 Euros. And right now, 80 euros is a lot of money for me. That did NOT make my day. And guess what ? I am getting sick again. This friggin´blows.

The ability of employers here to royally screw their employees over is just unreal. In the US I would NEVER even consider doing what I do here. You have no idea how lucky I feel that I have a University degree and TEFL certificate. If I didn´t have those there would be absolutely no hope for me.  If I get working papers I can have a better chance of finding a better paying job. Until I can get those, I´m afraid that I will have to keep bending over.

And to get legal working papers I will have to stay with my current job for another 6 months and kiss a lot of ass. I really hope it´s worth it. I guess we´ll just have to see.

Anyways, I better get ready for my week. Tommorow is a holiday, but I have to go to work anyways. And early, becuase I have to make up the 3 hours that I missed when I went to register at the city hall on Friday.

Ciao.

 

 

Friday, October 29, 2004

Elections, Immigration issues, yada yada yada........

Hello Everyone,

Wow, the elections are really coming up next week. Unfortunately I completely missed the deadline to vote absentee. Crap. I really wish that I could have put my two cents in this time around, especially since it is all part of my American duty.

Honestly, I really don´t know who to vote for. To be honest I don´t like either. But one of them has gotta be president, right ? I was talking to my dad the other day and he told me that he would seriously vote for Kermit the Frog over Bush. I kinda laughed.

I am normally a Republican, and lean a little to the right. I voted for Bush last time around. But in the past four years he messed up relations with other countries. In order to remain one of the most powerful countries, I would imagine that we have to get along with the other countries, right ? We´re only a small part of the globe. Europe is growing each year as more countries entered the EU. 10 new countries became a part of the EU. I would hate to see Europe band together and become our enemy. Of course it wouldn´t happen overnight and maybe it won´t happen at all. But I really feel that we are walking backwards a little. I am really torn over who to vote for. Anyways, that´s my two cents for what it´s worth.

Yesterday I finally got in contact with my boss and he let me take off a couple of hours to register in the town hall so that I have proof that I am actually living here in Barcelona. This is one of the requirements for me to apply for working papers and residency for about one year. My roommate really helped me out. He missed some of his classes to go with me. I woulda been really screwed without him.

I felt like I was at the DMV all over again. I waited for about an hour (which is not that much). Like the DMV there were seats to wait for our turn. There were a lot of immigrants there, and I was trying to read the various passport covers to see where they are from. A lot of people from South America, India and Pakistan. I think that I was the only American girl there. People did kinda look at me. Oh well.

It´s wierd. Back in the states I used to read about immigration issues but I never had to experience any of it because I am a US citizen. Here I am one of the "immigrants" that I always read about in the US and that I always read about here in the Spanish papers . It is different being on the other side.

Anyways, Without my roommate accompanying me I would have had to buy my own apartment to prove that I am living in Barcelona. But he vouched for me and told them that I am living with him and that he invited me from the US to live with him. I was silent the whole time and let him do the talking. I didn´t wanna fuck up any of my chances.

So now I feel better because I registered within the deadline and have a chance to get working papers in six months. Yeah, I have to wait a while. But hey, immigration issues are almost never dealt with rapidly unless you are a refugee or can pay off officials. Sometimes not even then. I was told that if I paid about $70,000 to the immigration officials I could get my papers overnight. Hahaha.

I finally got paid today and was able to put money on my phone. So now I can send text messages. I had no money and was unable to call anyone here for about a week. Shit, that was frustrating.

I also bought some food for the week. I bought bags of fruit for under €5. You don´t know how relieved I am that I can finally go to the store and buy FOOD. We´re not talking about a shopping spree. We´re talking about eating. I never had to worry back home. So yeah, you get the idea.

Anyways I am gonna go out with my roommate and his friends tonight for tapas. I hope to get full.

Ciao.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Warning ! I used cuss words in this entry !

Hello Everyone !

Let´s say that today was not a good day. For starters I don´t like the men in my office. They say the stupidist stuff to us girls. And today I told one of the guys to go back into his office because there was nothing special to look at while he was looking at me. I said it in a joking manner, but he took it seriously and is now being a dick about it. Whatever. Ladies, I swear to GAWD if you meet a guy for the first time and he tells you he is a financial analyst or a stockbroker do yourself a favor and just bolt out the door. Most of them are just worthless.

I think I should get paid tommorow but I have been broke all week, and I am a little hungry right now because I don´t have a lot of food left. I mean, yeah I am not gonna starve. But I am really really low on food. By tommorow I will have nothing left. I am counting on getting paid. I am sick and tired of living like this.

And remember how I wrote a nice journal entry about a glimmer of hope yesterday ? Well fuck it all. I am really nervous about it all right now. If I wanna have a chance to get my working papers I HAVE to register at the city hall by tommorow. And I didn´t know this until I got home after work today. Because if I don´t register by the end of October I have no chance. The problem is getting in contact with my boss. Today he is not picking up his damn phone. And if I don´t show up for work tommorow morning I will lose my job. I really don´t know what to do right now. I am very nervous.

Plus I arrived at work early to work today to ask my boss if he would help me out by putting me on contract ( so that I can apply for working papers) and he told me that he´ll have to talk to his lawyers about it first and then he´ll get back to me. I won´t know if he will help me out or not until December or January. So I will be living with this suspense for the next two months. I could tell by his response that helping me out was definitely not a priority. Motherfucker.

I hope that he ends up helping me out. His business needs me. People quit all the time and I always work holidays and I am on time for the most part. I always do my job and have a good attitude. I really don´t know what I am gonna do if I ask him to let me miss a couple of hours of work to register and he flat out tells me no.

Being here in Spain illegaly has kinda forced me to put up with shit. I took a lot of rights that I had back in the United States for granted. When I go back to the States I am deninitely not gonna put up with as much shit as I used to. I am not gonna turn into a complete bitch, but I will stand up for myself more than I used to.

Yes, I am tired of the way I live right now. But what´s bothering me is that I have a small chance of getting papers to work and live here legally for a year, but it seems like I am even losing that.

I love Spain and things would be a lot easier if I had money. Seriously. Ask anyone who has been here. If you have money this is a wonderful city. If you are broke or have no money life is a lot harder.

I absolutely love the culture here and Barcelona has won a place in my heart. However, I kinda want to go home because I really miss the rights that I had. I miss being able to walk into businesses and apply for a job. I also miss having a social security number. Here the equivalent is called a D.N.I number and I don´t have one of those. Coming here I feel like I took 2 steps backwards. I grew up in the United States where I lived a life where as though I struggled, I always could find a job and have my rights protected at work. I didn´t grow up in poor country where struggling to survive is a part of every day life. So therefore things are harder here for me.

So yeah, you get the idea of how I am feeling. I really can´t wait for this evening to pass. Anyways I now that I got all this outta my system I am gonna go do something else now.

Ciao.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A glimmer of hope..........

Hello there everyone,

Wow, do I have a lot to write about today. For starters I have one Euro left until this weekend. Joder ! I think that I will use it to buy some chocolate tommorow at work. I am so glad that I should be getting paid this weekend.

You probably don´t know that I am illegally here in Spain. Well, now you know. I have no legal working papers, and no health insurance. European citizens can get free health services and I can´t. I guess that you can say that I am kinda living on the edge right now. So when I bitch about my job, just know that I just can´t go look for something better.Well, actually I can but the chances of actually finding anything are slim to none. It´s not so simple here. I kinda take what I can get around here. Hell, I am even lucky to have a job right now. I was told that Spain is one of the worst places to work in Europe. Damn right it is !

Without working papers employers can rip me off and delay paying me and there is nothing I can do about it. Yeah, I can blubber to my mom about it but I can´t go to court.

And yes, I DID try to obtain a visa before coming here. Almost impossible.

So am I scared ? Nope. The absolutely worst thing that can happen to me is that the Spanish Authorities ask me to go back home. But there are no reports of any Americans being sent home.

So...... on to why I am feeling hopeful. Well, I was reading the Spanish newspaper and the government is giving people such as myself that are living and working here illegally the opportunity to obtain a working contract and a right to live. Between January and April people like me can apply for permission to live and work here. People that have been living and working here for at least 6 months can apply for permission to live and work here if they can prove it. And by February I will be able to apply AND prove it.

I am so excited because opportunities like this almost NEVER happen here and for some reason the government is all of a sudden giving people the opportunity to live and work here. For those of you that have immigrated to another country you KNOW how much hell you have to go through to obtain your rights to live and work like the rest of the citizens. It can take YEARS, lawyers and waiting in line for hours. So you can imagine how I must feel that all this can be accomplished under a year.

Once I have permission to live and work here, I can apply for any job that I want without people rejecting me for a lack of working papers.

But I am very nervous. I have the opportunity in front of me, but I am worried that things won´t work out. To prove that I have been working for the past 6 months I will need to ask my boss to write up a letter and sign it, stating how long I have been with the company. But I am afraid that my boss won´t help me out. There are many reasons why he may not do it. And it would be really sad if I lost my little window of opportunity to be here legally ALL because my boss refused to sign a friggin´sheet of paper. Especially since he faces no consecuences by doing it.  So yeah, I am nervous. I will be praying a lot. I guess if things don´t work out, I´ll know that I just wasn´t meant to stay here for a while. Who knows at this point.

Anyways, I better go now. Wish me luck. I will be getting up earlier to talk to my boss about this tommorow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Embarassment

Hello there my lovelies.........

Today at work was kinda funny. I laughed A LOT. You all know that I find my job bring and meaningless. And I am tired of people cutting me off in the middle of my pitch and hanging up on me. So today I decided to speak in a  softer, sexier tone. Not overly trashy or dirty but sexy enough so that I could have some fun and not get busted by my bosses because they are always walking around us while we are calling.

Anyways, I called Germany and Switzerland and as soon as I got the managers on the phone, I changed my tone. And some of them gave me a shy laugh as I was doing my pitch and one guy kinda laughed like Santa Claus and asked who I was. Meanwhile I was trying not to die of laughter. And my coworkers thought it was kinda funny too. Soooo, everyone was entertained and I still have my job.

I also don´t use my real name over the phone. I use the name Eva. I love that name. It sounds like a name of an actress from the 1940s. That way when people shout at me, they aren´t using my real name.

My roommate showed my how to iron today. I was so embarassed. I really just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I really should know how to properly iron. But at least I am learning now.

Anyways....................... I better to and make some food now. I really don´t wanna cook right now. But if I want to eat anything I have to cook it. I don´t have any snacks or anything. Gah ! I am waiting to get paid. I should be getting paid this weekend. My English student should also be paying me too. If she backs out on me I really don´t know what I am gonna do.

Okay, I am gonna go for reals now. Ciao :)

 

Monday, October 25, 2004

Just some more ramblings........

Hello Everyone,

I am in a new internet cafe. It´s pretty nice and I looooooove the music they are playing right now. Some Spanish artist singing his heart out. It is a restaurant/internet shop in my neighborhood. The only problem is that the comp is almost slower than the one in my apt. So therefore I won´t be coming back here.

Did you know that I am in the financial market right now ? Yeah, I have been aquiring more ASSets. Haha. In other words, my butt has gotten a little bigger lately. I am gonna buy more fruits and eat less pasta. But how can I ? The pasta here is so cheap and good !!

I was supposed to have received my diploma from SJSU back in August, but I think that it got lost in the mail. Of all the things that can be lost, it HAD to be my college diploma.

My roommate showed me where I could buy meats and cheeses for dirt cheap prices, so I will be going back. Being in that store was like a new adventure for me because it all looked so good and it is cheap.

Today I had one of those moments where I miss home. Not in a sense that I wanna go home. Just in a way that I am STILL not fully adjusted here. Also in a sense that I hate having to ask my roommate where things are and ask for his help sometimes. I am so used to doing everything on my own. I loved living on my own back home and not having to ask or answer to anyone.

For those of you that know me, you already know that I can´t cook or iron very well. My roommate cooks and irons like a woman. And although I am greatful that he is taking the time to show me, I still feel embarrassed when he is looking over my shoulder to make sure that I am skinning the potatoes properly or hanging the clothes correctly. At least I am learning, right ?

Anyways, I better go. My time here is running out and I better make some food. I am hungry.

 

Sunday, October 24, 2004

My Sunday...............

Hello Everyone,

Today was wonderful. I taught English as I usually do on the weekends. I learned that I am getting a little screwed out of my pay, but I am not too angry. It happened because of a combination of a language barrier and simple misunderstanding. She told me one thing, and I told her something different and we thought we were agreeing on the same thing. So therefore, I will be getting less than I thought.

I could have just walked away because normally I wouldn´t work for such little pay, especially since I travel an hour just to get to her house. But this time I decided to let it go because she is having money problems and I understand that she is not trying to cheat me out of my pay. Plus she and the rest of the family are really, really nice and I am learning a lot of Spanish and about Dominican culture. So, sometimes money isn´t everything. If I just leave I will be missing out on having some wonderful friends. But I will be more careful with my next students.

Today after I taught the lesson I stayed over for lunch as usual. Then after that we spent hours dancing. Everyone got up and danced which was nice. It was too bad that I wore a sweater because the weather was beautiful and after all that dancing I was sweating like a pig.

It was nice to see the mother dance with her two boys as well as her dancing with her husband. There is a lot of love in that family. They are always very happy and nice to me, even though their lives have been rough. The boys also taught me how to dance and they helped me translate one of my favorite songs which was really cool.

I also decided to teach them the insults and swear words, and they loved that. Haha. I have a habit of teaching everyone such things. Oh well. At the same time, my dirty vocabulary is improving too.

I went to a huge shopping mall on Friday and I saw some grafitti on the wall with the usual nasty requests and I finally understood most of it. I felt so proud of myself.

Anyways it is Sunday evening and everyone and their mothers are trying to use the internet here. I had to wait about a friggin´ hour just to get online. The connection in my apartment is such a joke because my roomate´s computer was built during the Ice Age. So I kinda prefer to go to an internet shop. I come here also to chat with my family and friends back home. But today no one is on, and no one sent me any nice e-mails so my trip to this internet shop and wait really wasn´t worth it.

And tommorow I will be back on the phones, trying to send business people investment packages. I hate that job.

Ciao.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I Accomplished Absolutely Nothing Today

Hello Everyone,

Well, my English student cancelled on me this morning because she wasn´t feeling well. So that means that after I woke up and watched a little TV I went back to bed and slept like a baby until 4pm. That´s right. 4PM. And it felt good. My roommate tried to get me out of bed so that he could show me where to buy meat and food for the upcoming week at a cheap price, but I told him I was too tired. I really should have gone because now I don´t have enough meats for my sandwhiches. Oh well.

I should be getting paid next week and I have been fantasizing about what I am gonna do with the money. Right now the first thing on my list is to go to a buffet and eat. Haha ! I also plan to go to the movies, and buy a nice pair of long black boots that I found at a store for a cheap price.

Tonight is Saturday night and I am in the middle of Barcelona in an internet cafe off in one of the windy streets typing this. I am supposed to meet a friend soon in front of the Hard Rock Cafe soon.

The weekends really do fly by here, and sleeping in today really didn´t help slow it down either. Oh well.

Ciao.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Inconveniences

Hello there my lovelies,

I am having some problems with my student loans. And it blows. After I graduated I submitted my paperwork to get all my loans consolidated so that I can make a single payment with the lowest interest rate possible. But no, things didn´t go exactly as planned. My damn marketing professor submitted my grade late. Because it wasn´t submitted on time I have to resubmit everything, and I am still not considered as a graduate by my lenders. I am considered as a half-time student. Its hard to resubmit the paperwork when I am all the way over here. Plus it is very difficult to get a hold of my lenders because they have toll free numbers. And like I learned very quickly, it is impossible to dial a toll free number from a foreign country like Spain. I really don´t know what to do because I have to communicate with my lenders somehow.

I am also kinda broke. I have 20 Euros to last me for the next 10 days. That means that I pretty much can´t go out this weekend. Joder ! Luckily I have enough food to last me until my next paycheck but I really like to have coffee and a pastry during my lunch break. Yeah, my office does provide free coffee but it tastes like shit. The cafe con leche at the cafe below is so much better.

I really really can´t wait to get paid. Then I can finally go and eat at a restaurant or hang out at my new favorite bar. I am kinda confined to my apt without a single red cent right now. It stinks.

Anyways, not a whole lot to write about today. Maybe tommorow.

Ciao

 

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Joys and Gripes

Hello Everyone,

Today at work today I talked to a guy over the phone named Mr. Looser. Hahaha !!! Luckily it´s pronounced as ( Loh-ser). He´s Swiss and was actually nice to talk to. Better than getting hung up on or shouted at.

At my job I am calling many different countries. Sometime people will just hang up on me after hearing me say "hello" or yell at me as if I clubbed their puppy over the head. And I will react differently according to my mood that day. Normally I just let it go, But every once in a while after I can´t take it anymore I will keep calling them back after every other five calls just to have a laugh. And since I am calling their JOB they have to answer the phone. Ah ! The joys of telemarketer revenge.

I have to say that there are a lot of men in the office. And I don´t think that they get out enough cuz they flirt with us girls a little too much. Normally its harmless, but one of the guys had to comment that I should wear skirts more often so that he could see my legs. (Yesterday I wore a short skirt to work.) Asshole. I mean, yeah. Maybe I should have worn pants. But still, I have a right to be treated with respect in the office. But luckily my old roomate told him to leave me alone, EVEN THOUGH I have kinda been ignoring him lately. That was nice of him to do because I was expecting him to join in instead of be on my side. Maybe we´ll be friends again soon because I kinda do miss our friendship. But I am still mad at him. And when I am fed up, I am fed up.

What else ? Well I am just spending my evening at home and listening to my roommate´s huge collection of American hits from the 80s and early nineties. Good music.

He made Paella over the weekend and shared the leftovers with me today. That was nice. For those of you that have never had Paella, you are truly missing out. And eating Paella from a restaurant doesn´t count. It is best when its made by someone you know. Very good stuff.

My hair is growing longer. I really should get it trimmed soon, but I am not going to the salon unless the stylist speaks English. It took me a few years to grow my hair out like this and it would be a shame to have it ruined all because of a simple language mistake. Luckily there is an English salon here in Barcelona but I am waiting to gat paid. I miss my old stylist back in the states. She was cool to talk to and she always knew what I wanted.

Lets see what else. Ah yes ! I am helping my roommate slowly improve his English. He has a little notebook and I teach him new expressions and words every day. What´s funny is that if you open the notebook to the first page you are greeted by the cuss words, vulgar words and insults. Haha. But don´t worry, I am helping him with normal words and expressions too.

As for me, I am slowly improving my Spanish even though I still have a long way to go. There is a saying here in Spanish: Poco a poco. That means "bit by bit". So many people here tell me that and that is the motto I live by right now. There is no way I am just gonna learn everything here within a short period of time. I will learn things slowly each day. And by the end of my stay I will be able to see how much I have improved. In fact, I know I have improved and I can see the results. But still, I have a long way to go.

You know what my biggest pet peeve is here ? It is other people doing or touching my laundry or sharing loads with others. I have always washed my own clothes in my separate loads. I even hate it when my grandma does my laundry. So you can imagine how peeved I must be that I have to share the washmachine with my roommate. When I put in my clothes in the wash he always sneaks up and puts his clothes in along with mine.  And when I am at work he hangs our clothes to dry and I am not around to do anything about it. And sometimes I try to do my own laundry when he isn´t around but that´s no good because I can´t figure out how to use the washmachine so I have to wait till he comes home to help me fix it. Gah !! I know, I can be so touchy sometimes.

Anyways, I better get off this computer and do something useful like clean my room. It is disastrous right now and I really should clean it up. Plus, I still have to write a long, profound letter to my friend Sandra.  Sandra, if you are reading this I promise to write you back, okay ?

Okay, Bye !!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A Tuesday here in Barcelona

Hello there my lovelies,

I would first like to say that I am in an internet shop typing this and the man on the computer next to me smells like a bum. For the love of gawd, man !! Please wash your ass and use a mint !!!!! Cuz, ya know that us humans all have to breathe the same air !

You all know that Halloween is coming up soon !! Well, I definitely will be scaring people that day if it is a work day. All I have to do is say¨" investment opportunity". I swear to God that the other person on the phone sounds like I am sticking a gun to his head when I mention those two words. Sometimes I just laugh when they reject me in a scared voice. And you probably think I am exaggerating. I am not. People really sound like I am trying to get them to use a Ouija board.

I went shopping at the Walmart of Spain : Carrefoure. There I bought enough food for a week or two. Thank God ! I was running low and now I am stocked up again. Doing a simple task such as going to the store to buy food is still an adventure for me because I am STILL getting used to the stores and way of living here. I still am fascinated by the similaries and differences of the products at the stores here vs. the US.

I loved this store a lot more than Walmart and Target because it was cleaner. The Walmarts back in CA are ghetto. Plus I could practice my vocabulary by reading all the signs in Spanish. I went with my roommate and his mom becuase it is best to go there by car. She is a nice lady and was telling me which food to buy.

I get a little jealous when his mom is around because it makes me miss my mom a little. He is a momma´s boy and gets his mom´s love on a daily basis. I miss getting hugs. And not just any hug. I want the hug that my mom gives me when she holds me tight and rubs my back in the process.  Yeah, THAT type of hug. I am sure y'all can relate. At least I hope that you can. There is really nothing that I can do to feel better because ya know, hugging myself really doesn´t make myself feel better. Haha !

What else ? Well, nothing really. Same old same old. Tommorow I will be going back to the phones to call strangers, using the same old boring pitch. And I can be sure that I will be scolded by my boss for not getting enough leads. Sometimes its hard not to laugh at him because he has a unibrow and wrinkles his forehead when he scolds us. Haha.

Okay, I am off for reals now. I am hungry and I am gonna go wreak some havoc in the kitchen. Remember: Give me a hug and DON´T invest all your savings over the phone with a stranger. If you really want to lose your money give it to me. Haha !

Ciao. :)

Monday, October 18, 2004

I am very Annoyed

Hello Everyone,

Last night was a cool night. My roommate and I went out for a drink at the big shopping center that I´ve never gotten a chance to visit because I don´t have a car. Veeeerrrry nice. Bigger and classier than a lot of the malls in the US. I discovered I can take the bus, and I will be hanging out there more often.

I also listened to my Jessica Simpson CD a lot yesterday. Lifted my spirits a little and reminded me a lot of the good times I had in college. Sometimes a little music can do the trick.

You ever have one of those days where just about anything can annoy you ? Well then today is my very lucky day. Today people could smile at me and I would STILL get annoyed.

I am hungry and gotta wait till I go home to eat. I am not home because I am supposed to meet someone for a language exchange today. But he didn´t show or call so I am still here at the bar/cafe. I figured that I might as well stay here a little longer and use the computer.

I got up and took the wrong metro for work today, and thus was late to work by a few minutes. I could have sworn that I was going in the right direction.  Oh well.

Work is also making me more irritable and I am gonna start looking for a new job. I still have to see my old roommate there and although I don´t flat out ignore him, I don´t exactly greet him either. I just pretend that I don´t see him. Just being in the same room as him makes my blood simmer. I really almost never feel that way about anyone, but he´s the lucky one.

I wonder if he even remembers what he said to me during my last week at his place, or if he even cares. He probably doesn´t. After all I don´t expect him to. Like most men he has too much pride and will never admit that he was wrong. And for that, I refuse to walk up and talk to him. But part of me wishes that we were still good buddies. Because it was fun while it lasted.

Ah well, Christmas will be here soon and I will have a couple weeks off work soon. I really have no idea what I will do over the holidays. If I am somehow able to pull enough money out of my ass then maybe I can go to Austria. At least I would be guaranteed some good food and family company. And how could I forget the famous Mozart chocolates ?

But if not, my roommate told me that I could spend it with his family. At least I wouldn´t be left alone in the apartment. How sad would that be ? He has a very nice family. I wish his parents would come over more often to talk. Sometimes his mother comes over to bring him clean sheets.

But my birthday is coming up soon, and I am kinda excited about that. My first birthday abroad. I really hope that I get some e-mails, letters or calls. If not then I guess that I will be the one on the phone chasing down my family and friends. For those of you that don´t quite remember, November 30th is the lucky day. Haha.

I also got a response from the girl whom I helped locate her dream barman. She was so thankful and told me to write her if I ever want to go to Italy. I just might have to take her up on that.

What else ? Nothing more to write about really............... Oh yeah ! I got a guy on the phone today whose first name was Balz (sounds like "balls"). He´s Swiss. Haha. Made me laugh a little.

Okay, gotta go for reals now.

Ciao.

 

Sunday, October 17, 2004

What happened to my weekend ????

Hello Everyone,

I swear that the weekends really fly by here. It´s sad because I really enjoy NOT going to work.

I taught my students again today, and I taught them enough vocabulary words to last them the whole week. It was fun trying to help them pronounce the words properly. I came a little early, so the dad treated me to a cup of coffee at the cafe next door before I taught. I was really tired so I was happy that the coffee helped perk me right up.

There was this ad on one of the websites here in Barcelona where a girl from Italy was looking for one of the bartenders at the Hard Rock Cafe that she met over the summer. She didn´t remember his name, but she remembered his smile and how he looked and she just HAD to find him again. I decided to help her out since I have been there before to pick up take out for my old roommate.

So after my lesson I went to the Hard Rock Cafe and found him right away. When I told him why I was there he kinda looked a little wierded out by it all and told me that he had a girlfriend. He gave me one of those "What the hell ?" Expressions. But he did say that he remembered talking to her and said that they could be friends.

Oh well, at least now the gal knows, right ??? I would have been nice if he felt the same way about her, but then again we can´t have everything we want.

Anywho, gotta go now. Ciao.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

AOL Fu$&ing Suuuuuucks.............

Hello there Everyone :)

I would first like to just say that AOL stinks !!!! They stink more than old moldy ass !! I just came home and typed up a beautiful, tear-jerking entry. And AOL ate it up. Gaaah !

Anyways, moving along....................

I gave my first English lesson today and it went pretty well. They are beginners. I taught them " Hello ! My name is ..........", countries/nationalities, numbers and how to conjugate the verb ¨"to be". Tommorow I will teach the alphabet, "How are you ?", moods, family structure and some vocab words. I have assigned them homework due next week.

I teach a mother and her 2 teenaged boys. They are Dominican and I am learning a lot about their culture. This is good for me because I need to be exposed to different types of the spoken Spanish language and Latin cultures so that I am not ignorant. A huge mistake that a lot of people make is lumping all the different cultures of the Latin world into one group. For example in California there are a lot of Mexicans as well as people from Central and South America. But people usually just assume that they are all Mexican because they don´t know better and take the time to learn.

After giving my lesson, I usually stick around for lunch and the mother made some very good Spanish as well as Dominican food. It was so good: Spanish steak, Dominican marinated beef, rice and beans, peas and potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers in a sauce, a sauce consisting of garlic and olive oil and a salad. Yeah, she made all that just for lunch today. And I piled up my plate pretty high. And afterwards I had a desert consiting of coffee and Bailey´s and creme. Aren´t you jealous ? ;)

I am just here in my apt chilling right now and enjoying being alone. My roommate is off at a wedding. I am a little jealous because I really really want to see a Spanish wedding.

But tonight I am gonna go and chill out with a fellow American from Chicago. Like me, he got his TEFL Certificate over the summer and he teaches English here.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Not a bad day

Hello there my lovelies :)

Sometimes I have days where I feel like nothing is working out and I wanna go home. Sometimes I see a glimpse of sunshine and feel that everything will work out in the end for me. Today I really was relaxed and felt like everything will work out here. I also looked back on the time I spent here and realized that I did a lot of really cool things here and met a lot of people. I don´t know how long this feeling will last, but I thoroughly enjoy it when it comes.

Each time I walk to work in the mornings I see the most magnificent sunrise. And the sunset here is incredible. The days really do go by fast here for me. And I know that my time is limited here. Sooner or later I will go back home and the life that I have lived here in Barcelona will all fade into a distant memory. Bittersweet I say.

My friend, Sandra (yup, there are 2 of us) wrote me a nice big fat letter. It came as surprise because I didn´t know that she was gonna send me anything. I absolutely love long, profound letters and that was exactly what she sent me. I will be sending her one back. 

You really never know who your true friends are. The people that you think are your close friends can easily lose contact with you or find other friends. Then there are the people that you never expect to stay in contact with that continue to stay in your life.

I met Sandra when I was working at Red Lobster. For a long time we really didn´t say anything to each other. Then one day she invited me to go out with her and I decided to go. Since then we have stayed in contact even when she stopped working there and EVEN when she moved away from me and EVEN while I am all the way in Spain. I think that is really nice, don´t you ?

I also have my old roommate Christina that pops in and out of my life as well. We were roommates for 3 years back in college. I remember how we first met back in the dorms of Washburn Hall. She invited me over to watch American Pie with her and her buddies. And the rest is history. I really thought that we would lose contact after she moved out because our lives are so different now. But I am happy that she still writes me sometimes.

What else ? Oh yes, I have been very bad lately. Sometimes I teach my roommate how to say certain things in English and explain the grammar rules and I usually keep it clean. Well yesterday I taught him a lot of swear/dirty words. I swear to Gawd I wanted to die laughing. He has a very very thick Spanish accent and can barely pronounce anything in English properly. Listening to him trying to pronounce those words was just too much. And he really was making a huge effort to say them right. God Bless him.

Tonight I tried to teach him the phrase "Good night ! Sleep tight ! Don´t let the bedbugs bite !"  Listening to him trying to pronounce the word "bedbugs" was friggin´hilarious. I broke down laughing and he laughed with me. After a few tries and writing it down, he said it perfectly.

Luckily he knows that I am not laughing at him. Because lemme tell you that I may be able to pronounce words in Spanish. But Catalan is the first language here. And I can NOT pronounce a damn word in Catalan properly. My mouth just can not make the proper sounds. Sometimes he tries to teach me some words in Catalan and he has a good laugh. Hell, it is impossible for me NOT to laugh either.

Anyways, I better get to bed. I am a little tired and I wanna be awake and alert for my first English lesson that I am giving tommorow.

Ciao.

 

 

Thursday, October 14, 2004

My lovely job :P

Hello Everyone ,

AOL just ate up the entry that I wrote. So now I have to post another. Go figure.

Let´s talk about my job a little shall we? Today was another normal day at work. The moment I include the words INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY people reject me. And they actually sound a little scared. They act like I am trying to get them to make a pact with the devil. Sometimes people even get angry. You would think that I am trying to sell their mothers over the black market.

 I think that most of you are like me and don´t like telemarketers. But there are some people that will STILL trust complete strangers over the phone. And in my opinion they are morons. See, that´s why I don´t like my job. Because if people are actually interested in receiving the information that I am sending out then I think they are morons. Because I don´t even have a faqin clue what I am sending. (Actaully I do, but I am not allowed to tell the people over the phone. Go figure.)

Take for example one of the financial advisors. He is a single man with no kids. When he tries to get people to become his client he turns into a married man with a 10 year marraige and small children. He spews out so many lies and he does a damn good job. He gets people to tell him thier details, yet he lies about his. While he is busyin lying about his details, he tells people that this business is built on trust and confidence. Ha !

And he is very persistent. He will say anything. If the guy on the other line wants to consult with his wife first, he will try anythin to stop him. '' You make business decisions every day. Do you consult your wife every time you make a business decision ?'' I also find it humorous when he tries to tell the guy how happy the wife will be when they make a profit on the stock. ´´ Then she can go shopping and buy her Gucci Purse´´ Because of course to him, that´s all we women think about : Our shopping sprees.

There is a saying from the movie Boiler Room : Don´t pitch the bitch. And a lot male financial advisors will not deal with women. Why ? Because according to them we are indecisive. But if you ask me, I just think that we are smarter and more rational about the whole thing.

So next time you trust a stranger on the phone, think again. You can never be sure. Luckily, this business is legit for the most part, and the clients DO earn money. But still, ya never know.

While I was busy making calls and bored out of my brains, I overheard one of the financial advisors try to get in contact with a guy named Mr. Dildo. I just about lost it. I also found a construction company in the U.K. with the name Erection Services. I have a burning urge to prank call them. So far I have not acted on it. YET.

I think that for shits and giggles I will bang out a few fake leads like that right before I leave the company ( if I EVER do). Let´s brainstorm, shall we ?????????

 1. ) Mr. Harold (Harry) Balls.

2.) Mrs. Ima Ho

3.) Mr. Harold (Harry) Merkin. ( Do you know what a merkin is ? If not, that´s your new homework.)

4.) Mrs. Poon Nannie

5.) Mr. Harold Cox ( I actually had a cust with this name at Red Lobster.)

6.) Dr. Phoc Hu

7.) Mr. Harry Johnson

Anyways, you get the picture. Sometimes we all need a way to amuse ourselves I guess. And for those of you that know me personally I really have a potty mouth.

Okay I better go now. I am starving right now.

Ciao.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Another day...............................

Hello Everyone,

Well,  I attempted to do laundry for the second time here at my place, and I failed again. My roommate left me written instructions and explained it, but the washmachine is STILL filled with water. Darn !

It also rained today unexpectedly. Luckily I was near a building and sought shelter. Luckily I didn´t get too wet.

I also did a language exchange with a Catalan guy and we went to an English bar. In addition to an iced tea, I also had a Bailey´s and Cream with coffee. Sure takes the edge of after a day of cold calling people that don´t even speak English. We talked a lot about politics. And guess what ? Yup, he just had to get his 2 cents in about how he feels about Bush.

Since I am an American I ALWAYS get asked for who I am gonna vote for. People also always want to know what I think of Bush. I never hear the end of it. I am sick of it. I KNOW that the Spanish people hate Bush. I wish they would leave me out of it. And if I were to say anything positive they would pounce on me.

Anyways, time´s running out here in this internet cafe. I better hop on outta here.

Ciao.

 

Monday, October 11, 2004

I should be in bed now

Hello Everyone,

It is kinda late now and I really should be in bed now. But I really don´t feel like it, so here I am. I am gonna be so tired tommorow, especially since I have to get up in a few hours. I will drink extra coffee tommorow. I just hope that it doesn´t give me the shits.

Tommorow is a holiday. Everything will be closed. And even though I don´t have to work, I chose to anyways because I will be getting overtime. It´s not like I have anything better to do anyways, so off to work I go. I wish that the US would have as many holidays as Spain.

My roommate is out celebrating the holidays with family and friends so I get the apartment all to myself for 2 nights. I kinda like the quietness. Now that no one is here I can finally wear whatever I want around the house :)

What else ? Oh yeah ! Mullet is back in fashion here. Women tend to sport the mullets and men are starting to sport mohawks. What the hell is up with that ? The clothing from the 1980s is also making is comeback here. You know what that means ? If I predict correctly, this fashion comeback will hit the US in a couple of years. I shudder just thinking about it.

I am also pretty much broke again, which should come as no surprise. I mean, what else is new ?  I have about 100 Euros to last for the rest of the month. This is gonna be an interesting month, I swear. And I still have to buy supplies to teach my students and pay to charge my phone.

 But I bought a bag of potatoes for under a Euro and some sauce to go with it. My roommate taught me how to cook them properly. He also showed me how to cook meat, even though I can´t afford to buy any right now.  So at least I won´t be going hungry. I also made some chocolate pudding that was also under a Euro. Not bad, huh ?

Anyways I am off to go to bed. Ciao :)

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Good and Bad

Hello Everyone,

Today was a pretty nice day. I got to meet my first English students for the first time. I met them through my old roommate. They were very nice people. I will be giving them classes at their house. I am glad that I at least found the place. Getting there was interesting, but at least I did it.

They are from the Dominican Republic, a country which I know almost nothing about. I will be teaching a mother and her two teenage boys. The mother made me a nice lunch from her country and I got to talk to one of her sons about life back in the Dominican Republic. They speak no English whatsoever so I hope that I do a good job with them.

For lunch the mother made rice, fried plantains, fried pork, steamed potatoes and broccoli. Very good stuff. Then she gave me cut up mangoes and kiwis. To top it all off I tried a Baileys and Creme with some coffee. Verreh nice I must say :) I will be giving them lessons every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. If they like my classes they will recommend me to their friends.

Life was looking pretty good after I left their house. Then I got on the metro and had the pleasure of getting harassed by 4 teenagers. For the record I detest Spanish teenagers.

Anyways, they stared at me the whole way, and must I add that the journey home is kind long. After me ignoring them they decided to sit closer and insult me in Spanish. Because I wasn´t doing anything they got a little irritated. On the way out one of the girls called me a bitch and spit on me. Luckily she missed. Then she decided to spit on the window after she got of the metro. What the hell did I do do deserve that? Since when did I go back to high school?

Man, I was pissed. But luckily the older guys behind me were nice and made gestures to hit her and said good bye to me after they got off at their stop.

What else ? Oh yes, the computer here remembers my password for my yahoo IM. Apparently I didn´t do a good job of erasing it before I left. I have Spanish friends that I talk to sometimes, and one of the girls that comes here a lot decided to talk to my male friends and hit on them and flirt. I hope that they realized it wasn´t me. At least one of my friends knew it wasn´t. I haven´t heard from my other buddies so I hope that nothing happened. At least my parents would know for sure that it´s not me since they don´t speak Spanish.

 I still have to do my laundry and make lunch for work tommorow. I hope that I will enjoy my upcoming week, and I hope you do too.

Ciao :)

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Don´t read this if you are happy............

Hello Everyone,

It is a lazy Saturday afternoon here in Barcelona. I am going to try and prepare for my first English student. She called me but I missed her call and I have to call her back. We might meet tommorow or next week. I have never taught private students before all by myself and really don´t know how to start. I am almost kinda scared. I need to go look at textbooks. I really don´t want to put this off but I gotta be prepared.

I feel better than I did yesterday. I watched Deuce Bigalow before I went to bed last night and had a few laughs.

On another note I really miss home. I really just want to go back to the US. I think that I have just about had enough over here. I have been here for over 3 months now and sometimes I still feel like I don´t fit in around here. It´s easy to meet people but its hard to actually have a group of friends. A lot of times people tell me that they´ll call me again to go out and I never hear from them again. I have spent the last week hanging out alone. I feel alone right now and it bites. Luckily my roommate and I hang out sometimes, but I can´t do that all the time.

The work situation here also stinks. At least in the US if my job stinks I am guranteed to get paid for it. Here it is not the case. I am starting to look for other jobs. I haven´t tried as hard as I should but I will keep trying. I will be handing out more resumes. Here I even have to hand out my resume to work in a coffee shop. Haha.

I am not saying that I am just gonna give up and go home. Oh no. I will stay here as long as I can. But I am just tired right now. I am at the point where I almost don´t care anymore. I don´t want to do anything. Just lying in bed would be sufficient for me right now. And today would have been grand. I was in a really deep sleep today, but my roommate´s dad came over and decided to knock on my door and see if I was feeling better. Damn ! It was nice of him, but I really was having a nice dream.

Look, I know that I should be more positive. But I really feel like bitching right now. I am in a really bitchy mood. Roar. Grr.................

Do you ever feel like your life is up in the air ? Do you ever feel like you just don´t know what you are going to do or what is going to happen next ? Or that you just don´t belong anywhere? Or maybe you just don´t care anymore ? Well, thats me right now.

I am glad that at least things are going well back home and that I don´t have any matters back in the US to worry about.

Anyways, I better go.

Ciao.

Friday, October 8, 2004

Sick and Tired.

Hello Everyone,

Well I typed up my last entry to post and AOL ate it up. Whatever.

I am sick today and I stayed home from work. I slept pretty much all day. I am still tired and am going back to bed. I think that I caught this from the ventilation at work.

I did miss work today, which I have to say that I didn´t mind. I would rather be sick in bed than hitting up random business people for money. But I better feel well by Monday. I need this job.

What else ? Nothing more to say, really....................

Ciao

Thursday, October 7, 2004

More Random thoughts from a Chica in Barcelona

Hello Everyone,

I would like to thank all of you out there that read my journal and leave comments. Thanks : Angela, Christina, Jessie, Carlette, Jeanette, Mom, Shira, Marc, Antonio and anyone else out there that I missed or don´t know personally.

I am still kinda sick but I went to work anyways. I don´t want my bosses to think I am lazy. I really need this job right now. Anyways my right nostril was clogged so it was a little hard to speak on the phone. But I survived. I called a lot of people in Germany and Switzerland. Over half the people there spoke absolutely no English so I got to practice my German. That at least made my job somewhat bearable today.

What else ? It has been exactly a week since I moved from my old place. It was sad because my old roommate and I were really good friends and he was helping me out, or so I thought. We don´t exactly get along anymore and he was more than happy that I left his place. And he said some nasty things to me before and after I left. But what he will never realize is that I am a million times happier about it than he´ll ever be. I tried to appologize and make things right but he didn´t want that. He just wanted to bitch at me. Everything I did was wrong. It´s too bad we still work in the same building and I have to see him. Maybe one day we´ll talk again. But right now I am still very upset and wouldn´t mind if he just disappeared from the face of this earth to be blunt.

I like my new apartment so far. I think I already mentioned that my roommate is a Spanish/Catalan guy. He is nice so far, but after the experience with my old roommate I don´t know if that niceness will last or not. But I am happy to be living with someone that speaks no English. I need to improve my Spanish and this is one way to do it.

I also really like his parents. He always goes over for lunch and he invited me over once. His mother is a good cook and is really nice. So is the dad. Sometimes they come over to our apartment and we get to chat. It´s easy to meet individual people here in Barcelona, but it is hard to meet a family altogether.

What else ? Oh Yes !!! my mom sent me Dvds !!! One of them was Deuce Bigalow with Rob Scneider. He is my favorite actor and that movie always makes me laugh. I am saving it for when I have no plans and am all alone.

Tommorow is Friday and I am happy about that. I love the weekends. I hope that I can go salsa dancing again. I need more practice.

Anywho, I better go now.

Ciao.

Monday, October 4, 2004

I need a hug, damnit !!!!!!!!!!

Hello Everyone,

I am going to keep this entry short. I have only 10 minutes left in this internet cafe.

I am getting sick. And to top it all off, my boss is an asshole. Yeah, I said it. AN ASSHOLE. And I think that I am going to lose my job very soon. And when I do I will have some special words with him.

Today sucks. But last night was awesome. I went salsa dancing at a club near the beach called Habana. Live salsa music. Oh yeah :)

Anyways, gotta go.

 

 

Sunday, October 3, 2004

Sooooooooooooooo Bored

Hello Everyone,

OMG. I usually do not have any problems going out at night on the weekends. There are plenty of things going on here in Barcelona and plenty of people willing to go out.

But this weekend I had no plans and I had nothing to do last night. I was a little irritated. I called my friend from work as well as some other people. I also sent out some e-mails. NO BODY RESPONDED. How does that happen ? I ended up watching Terminator II and falling asleep on the couch. I love Arnold.

My roommate yesterday also showed me a nice little restaurant in our neighborhood with different types of food. But I ended up eating Catalan food. I had the traditional Catalan bread with tomato sauce and olive oil topped with sardines and red bell peppers. I also had some truffles for desert. My roommate knows the owner so I had some melon liquer on the house. THAT felt good going down. I normally don´t drink. But after I had that I had a good night sleep. I will be visiting that place again soon.

Yesterday I commited a huge sin. I bought a nice new pair of shoes for work and dancing. They are black, shiny and classy. AND they make my legs look longer. I also bought a sweater because the weather is getting colder. I was so relieved that I finally had some money to buy it. I´ve been needing new clothes and shoes for when it gets cold.

And tommorow I will be going back to the daily grind of coldcalling doctors and business owners. My bosses give me pages from the phonebook on the internet. Half of the people I call don´t even speak a lick of English. How the heck am I supposed to convince them to invest if we can´t even do business in their naive languages? Then my bosses aren´t happy if I don´t meet the quota.

Anyways I better try and enjoy what´s left of my Sunday. I better go and find something to do without causing too much trouble ;)

Ciao.

Saturday, October 2, 2004

I finally went dancing :)

Hello Everyone,

Last night I went salsa dancing. It was awesome. The guy I went with took me there on his motor bike ( No, it´s not a motorcycle), so I got to see Barcelona without windows or doors in the way. It was nice going through the old streets and seeing the full moon. There has been a full moon lately.

We went to a club called Performance and we danced for about two hours nonstop. Now, I really don´t know how to salsa and I couldn´t teach anyone moves myself, but I managed to dance. My partner told me not to think, but just to move. And it worked. I loved being spun around.

The club was filled with people from Latin America: people from all over South America, Dominican Rebublic and maybe Cuba. I think that I was the only gal from the USA there. There was music to dance Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and some other dances I don´t even remember. I was just happy that I was finally dancing and that my partner was good.

I love to dance and I can do alright if my partner is good and can help me learn the moves. I love a smooth dancer that can spin me around and dip me. I don´t care what he looks like while we are dancing. He can have buck teeth, a mullet, it doesn´t matter. If he can dance, I am a happy woman.

On another note, I am still getting used to my new home. I tried to do some laundry today, but I don´t know what the hell happened. The washer is still filled with water as I am typing this. I really hope that nothing is wrong. I have been in Europe for over 3 months and I sill can´t figure out for the life of me how to use appliances. And forget me trying to learn because my roommate speaks too fast. But at least he is nice and I get to practice my Spanish.

I am also trying to look for a second job. Either that or another job completely. I heard that Deutsche Telekom is looking for people and I am gonna give them a shot. They want people that speak English, Spanish and German. I am not expecting anything, but I will fall over in excitement if they even give me consideration.

Anyways, I am gonna end this here and enjoy my weekend. The weekends here go by way too fast.

Ciao.

 

 

Friday, October 1, 2004

Holy Crap ! What a week !!!!

Hello Everyone,

Well, I usually post every day. But now I have moved to a new apartment and I don´t have as much internet access as I used to. I will continue to post as much as I possibly can. Because now it seems like more people are reading my journal and I really don´t want to lose my readers. I value each person that reads my journal and leaves a comment.

Today is Friday and the weekend is finally here. I had a VERY rough week. I will talk about it later but I learned some very big lessons in life:

1.) You never know who you can trust.

2.) Sometimes things are never what they seem.

3.) NOTHING in life is free or without strings attached.

4.) Everything DOES happen for a reason. But they may not happen for the reasons that you think.

I learned big lesson, but at least I learned it the easy way. I coulda had it worse.

But on a better note, I earned my first paycheck. I was so extatic. I paid my rent and recharged my phone. I felt so much better. I don´t have much money left, but at least I can stay here and buy food.

I also moved out and moved into a new apartment. My new roommate speaks only Spanish and he speaks way too fast. I think that he´s getting frustrated. But, oh well. Now I can be sure that I will be learning Spanish. 

I do love the new place. It is remodeled and all the furniture in my room is brand spanking new. There is even a jacuzzi. My roommate is also very clean. It scares me. There are so many different cleaning agents, and he was trying to explain it all to me speaking Spanish way too fast. I wanted to faint. I have a long way to go before I am anywhere near fluent. That´s all I gotta say about that.

Anyways, I am so relieved that I don´t have to work tommorow and try to hit up doctors and managers for money for investment opportunitues. I do hate my job, but at least I love my coworkers to death and we hate our job together. I will talkmore about this later. Trust me. As I am on the phone getting rejected in different languages, I think about all the different things I get to say here on this journal.

I hope that you all enjoy your weekend.

Ciao.