Sunday, February 23, 2014

Le sigh...

So in the past few months this happened.

As well as...

Walking to the grocery store I came across a group of boys probably 13 years old and as they caught a glimpse of me me the usual phrases came out "hostia", "madre mia" then... "ahi va Moby Dick. Proceed to try to ignore along same road come across another group of boys a familiar routine essentially since middle school "oh there goes your girlfriend" "ugh hell no" Finally make it to the grocery store and then another probably about 10 years old is following me trying to sneakily take pictures from afar. When I finally notice that's what he's doing I stop look him in the eyes with a "what are you doing/what do you want" look and he goes away.

 Let's not leave all of the fat shaming to the small town Spaniards...  While standing in front of a restaurant in London (shout out to the English speakers!) deciding if my friend and I should have dinner there, a complete stranger passing by said "Stop eating!!" While looking at some clothes in a store in Rome, the old lady that worked there made a point to come up and tell me "Those are one size only!!" (y que?!)



Walking home behind a group teenage boys...when rounding the corner one catches a glimpse of me and mumbles something to his friends. Then like dominoes they each turn around to take a look at me as I turn left and they carry on I hear the word 'enorme'

Walking home from the grocery store two little girls roughly 8 or 9 years old at the first glimpse of me burst into hysterical laughter (cackling that could be heard all along the empty streets of the main road during lunch time) pulling out there phones to take pictures, when I stopped and said "que pasa" they just looked at me like I'm far too busy being out of breath from continuing to laugh and snap pictures of you face.



Walking home about a block from my house a little boy is walking this dog with his mom just a few steps ahead of me. the boy gets a glimpse of me and tells his mom nervously "There's a monster following us" The only thing the mom says to the boy is "Don't worry, just keep walking"

I am not going to say that I have been unaffected by this because that would be a lie. After all of these incidences I still can't gain the understanding of how people can be like that. My child wasn't even that cruel and I had the nickname Caty-Faty (oh gotta love family) And some people might say well Cathy if you lost some weight then you could avoid unpleasant encounters such as the ones you are telling us about. But that is besides the point. I'm never going to be "supermodel" skinny and even then I'm sure mean people will find other things to be mean about. So being bullied into losing weight is not really my style.

I am not blind to the fact that I'm overweight, but I am totally mostly sometimes comfortable in my own skin, but however i decide to go about that is no one's concern much less their entertainment. There are definite days where i feel like I'm a circus animal, not cause of me but cause of them. It's me versus them . They started a game but on most days I feel like it's one where everybody loses. :-/

Monday, February 10, 2014

S Club 7 {Student Comments #7}

Here is the most recent compilation of Student Comments (Check out #  1-- 2-- 3-- 4-- 5-- 6)

My class of fourth graders are talking about daily routines. They are asking me questions:
Student 1: Cathy, when do you watch TV?
Me- Mmm Actually I don't really watch TV.
Class- *Gasp* Wow! Really?! Omg!
Student 2- What do you do then?
Me- I prefer to be on the computer.
Student 3- Ni tele en los bares?! (not even at the bars?)
Me: lol



Me- What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Student- Pencil.
Teacher- Just because it's in the shape of a pencil doesn't mean it tastes like a pencil. You mean you like chocolate chip.
Class bursts into laughter.

Grading exams for academy.
Question: Say what you and your partner are wearing.
Student. I am wearing a black hat, white socks, and red trainers. She is wearing a blue jacket and white trainers.
Me- And that's all you're wearing? -_-

Yep that's it. Hat and Shoes.


Student 1: "¿Cathy, tú entiendes lo que estamos diciendo? (Cathy, do you understand what we're saying?)
Student 2: Si ella habla mejor español que nosotros. (She speaks better Spanish than we do.)

Like a Boss!


Student- How old are you?
Me- *holds up fingers (2) (5)
Student- Quince! (15!)
Me- hahah I wish!

Pretty close to 15 yr old Cathy


In my adult class at the academy, the students were taking turns interviewing each other with a questionaire out of the book. Essentially answer the questions from the person to your left and ask questions to the person on your right.
Question- What is your favorite form of transportation?
Student 1- I prefer flying because I think it's faster..../cut off
Student 2- I disagree
Student 1- Yes, but this is MY moment.
Group bursts in laughter



As a teacher who runs will inevitably always run into students at the grocery story I have seen that they fall into different categories. The ones who hide behind their parents and shyly wave hello and those who come running down the aisle saying "HIIIII CATHYYY!!" Both groups will procede to remind you that they saw you the next day at school. lol


Well that's all folks thanks for reading, comments are always MUCH appreciated!! Until next time! Hasta Luego!

@CathyArely

Saturday, February 8, 2014

2014 (1) Nike Attitude

Here I am again in front a blank screen for a blank blog post that should soon be filled with witty and charming tales of my daily meandering around. The last time I hit "publish" on this blog was back in August, and even then several posts begin with a sincere apology for my absence since I know (hope) that the tiny little things I write inspire something (laughter, thoughtfulness...etc.) in those who read. This isn't the first time I've sat in front of this screen between my last post and now, it's just the time that I've decided to suck it up and write, the longer you prolong it the guiltier you'll feel. So here I am. I know it's not totally rational that I feel guilty when not writing things in my blog, and of course seeing things like this makes it even more sad.

2014 (0)

This blog started slow because I was crazy in my senior year of college, and I didn't really have time to fit in blogging in the mere 24 hours that we have in a day. Jump to my first year in Spain lots of posts leading up to my departure and the several (mis)adventures that popped up along the way. I was also churning out a lot of posts because I involved myself heavily in the blogging community, and wanted to give my readers something worth coming back to my page for. When I found my niche in Spain, it left less time for me to be blogging about the things I was doing, and instead I was just doing them. Comments and readers dwindled and so did the posting. Now we are in 2014, and I'm not really sure what the fate of this blog is. I don't think I have the heart to close it down completely, because it does give me a space to share my thoughts in a different way than I can on facebook and/or twitter, but I am not quite sure I have the same aspiration I did 3 years ago with having a super popular famous blog where everyone reads it, and not only my family. Even though there is a high number of page views on my blog I'm sure 80% of them are spambots from Russia. I also want to keep writing because I am a bit of a nostalgic person and having something to go back to is important.



It's funny though, I really thought that by living in rural Spain I'd write so much more! There weren't going to be lots of distractions like activities and lots of friends that I had in Madrid, and even a fellow writer friend of mine told me that what a lot of writers want is the time and space to write. That's what I got lots of time and plenty of quiet moments to just sit with a pen and a pad (or a blank blog screen) and just let the words flow from my brain to the page. It hasn't happened quite as I'd planned. I haven't been completely dry on the writing block. My poetry blog has had a few entries, and I'm excited that my Spanish skills are evolving to a place where I can write poems that aren't half bad.


I think part of my lack of motivation/ inspiration is partly due to this "fish out of water" feeling I sometimes have in my current place of living. I hadn't anticipated missing Madrid as much as I do, now that I am so close yet so far, and that in turn has occasionally not really allowed me to connect with the place that I live. It doesn't help that I commute to work so the friends I make at work are far away, and the friends I have where I live I can count on one hand (yeah, it could be much worse--- I've been much worse, but it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to :P ). It doesn't help that I have several moments like this in Navalmoral de la Mata, but I'm growing and learning to not shut down because of it.



But I guess with all things you want to accomplish you kinda have to put yourself in the Nike attitude (Just do it!) So that's what I'm doing--- Just do it (write!) Just do it (be happy!) Just do it (clean your room!... well) lol. I think it has also really helped me to take part in the #100HappyDays challenge. If you're curious to see what it is take a look at my fb album and check out www.100happydays.com.

That's all for now, let's hope you'll be reading me again soon! <3

Ciao Ciao

@CathyArely

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Extraordinary Extrajeria Extravaganza

For those of you who have not been graced with the opportunity to have to deal with foreigners' offices around the globe, you are really missing out {/end sarcasm}

The ever dreadful mustard yellow building from your nightmares
(Source)

Jumping through hoops, getting papers stamped, paying fees, waiting in line, filling out more forms, signature here, date there, copy of this, staple that... it's endless. Coming into any country for a prolonged period of time comes at the cost of this bureaucratic madness. And of course, I've had my fair share since the beginning.

This year things were particularly messed up. In order to renew your student card you had to turn in the application, papers proving your finished the program this year and got renewed, accompanying fees, a document called empadronamiento (for census purposes and keeping track of where people live).

Well the empadron was the first hurdle in this heap of....manure. I went to the local office with everything signed and ready to go. The contract my roommate had for our apartment, copy of his ID and signature on the application, SHOULD be easy as pie. Unfortunately for me, my previous roommate who had left on not such a good note with the boys was previously registered with this contract. So.... it was HER signature and ID that I needed. And of course, to my incredible bad luck she was in California (of all places) at the time. I told them all this and they said there was nothing they could do. I went again, and explained the situation to another person. He told me to fill out a new application and check some different boxes and it should work. So I went home got the signature that I needed and went back for a third time. The girl was not really having it since of course I didn't have the signature fromk the person they say they need (even though she doesn't live in the country let alone our apartment anymore). After some begging and pleading and stating that this was my third time there they finally gave me the stamp that I needed.

(Source)
So all I needed to do was turn in my papers, wait for the letter of appointment for fingerprints, get fingerprinted and wait 40 days for my ID card in order to travel freely in the EU. No Problem! Turn in papers (check!) Wait, wait, wait for my letter (...in December Check!) Wait... my appointment to be fingerprinted is... May 9th! Add the 40 days to pick up the card and that puts me at June  18th for a card that is only going to be valid until the end of my contract which is June 30th. So... I have to live most of my second year in Madrid undocumented because there was a huge backup and apparently common sense isn't so common anymore.

Months passed and I accepted my fate for having to get an Authorización de Regreso (authorization to return) whenever I needed to travel this term.

As my appointment drew near I soon realized that my appointment May 9th from 4-6pm was not going to cut it because that was the opening night of the spring show I was in Steel Magnolias. I had made a plan to go the day before (as other auxiliares had mentioned they went in even without a letter and had been helped) and get it out of the way and everyone's happy (or so I thought).

I arrive bright and early Wednesday morning, and there is a line around the corner just to go through the metal detector. 20 minutes in I look for the line where they do the fingerprints when I overhear a police officer saying "let's cut off the fingerprint line" I quickly go up to him and with big eyes ask which line is for finger prints, and luckily he takes me in and makes me the cut off.

¿La fila para huellas?
In the twisting, turning, baby crying, sun scorching line, I waited for 5 HOURS. There is a person at the front of the building doing crowd control, taking as many people fit inside, and when there is room calling more in. I was finally about to get inside, when the crowd control person (a big angry man with a hat) asks to see the back of my appointment paper (with the date on it.... what the heck at least 50 people passed ahead of me and he didn't ask them to show!) So I showed him my paper, and he turned me away. Even after begging and pleading trying to state my case and being cut off. He insisted if my paper didn't have that date on it I wasn't getting inside. So I went to work, late and for nothing, and decided if I made an early enough attempt the next day I would still make it in time to save the show, and get what I need done.

Thursday rolls around I'm there at the beloved Aluche this time even earlier, that there isn't a line for the metal detector but there is still a curve to the line of people a million times worse than the DMV inside. I wait in that line again, for 5 HOURS and this time I make it into the building (GLORY!) I make it to the desk, the young man flips over my paper and says, you're scheduled to come in at 4, and it's only 1 o'clock I can't help you. I again I plead, and say there is no way I can get through that line in time, and with an apathetic face he just shrugs and calls the next person in line. 


My last option is to go upstairs and see if I could get my appointment changed. According to the other people in line, my chances of that happening were grim since they knew people were getting appointments for September... which would have done me no good. I trekked upstairs anyway in hope that I could not go home again empty handed. 

I arrive upstairs to wait in the information line, and see the two people helping are a woman and the older man with a hat that threw me out the day before--cue feeling in the pit of my stomach. Waiting in line in front of me is an older woman who asked my situation and when I told her I'd waited 5 hours 2 days in a row she asks me if I'm pregnant -_- And when I reply no, she told me to tell them I was pregnant so that I could be helped. She gets up to the front of the line and she has to go with hat man, but she steps aside, and says I want to wait for the woman. I politely decline and no you go ahead. She still insists with her pushy older woman ways and I head over to hat man. So when he asks me how can I help you, in as sweet of a voice as I can muster I start to ramble on about how he may have recognized me from the day before and I needed to change my appointment, because I really couldn't be there that after noon. And he says.... "Can you come in tomorrow?" *sigh of relief* I say I can but if there is a way for him to make it on Monday it would be best. He looks at me confused and tells me Monday is the day with the most people, but then I told him it was my day off so he took his pen wrote the new date, stamped it, and I came in on Monday to wait another 5 HOURS (which really you can't avoid unless you get there at the break of dawn and I like sleep too much).

So I've survived!! For now... We'll see  how the Cáceres version of Aluche treats me come September.

Much Love!

@CathyArely


Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Year in Photos- Round Two

So last year I made a post summarizing my first year in Spain through photos and I think it's a good way to sort of keep a sort of timeline of things without being too exhausted from sifting through facebook. So here it goes Season 2 of Cathy in Spain in Photos.

Rained on in Valencia right before the school year started but ended up going to a Nigerian wedding reception.
Started working at an elementary school and one of the perks is the loving and interesting drawings you get from students :)

Going to an Improv comedy night in Madrid, first of many nights out with Makhala and saying goodbye to DeAnna
(but we're gonna be back for adventures in Extremadura!) 
Bilbao, Pais Vasco- the one day it didn't rain!!

San Sebastian, Pais Vasco

Reuniting with Kristina from study abroad in Puerto Rico...3 years later!

Casco Viejo, Caceres, Extremadura, Spain-- After being called Negrita on the bus ride over.

Hermanas Around the World!! Me and Nelly in Caceres

First and only Pantomime- I'm a Living Doll- Take a look at my hair ti's real!

Getting Charity from Mr. Scrooge!

Reuniting with last years teacher group! And losing my abono one last time... -_-
Taking the Christmas Lights Bus around Madrid

Roman Ruins in Segovia before my Camera Died 

Christmas in Barcelona- La Rambla

La Sagrada Familia

New Years Eve in Rome with the cousin! First time having pupusas since leaving Cali!

The struggle to always making the plane on time even when they change the gate on you. 
Rained out yet again- Torre de Belem- Portugal

Pasteis de Belem- Good pastries, best orange juice EVER!

Church in a Cave- Asturias

Gijon, Asturias-- just before it started to hail uncontrollably-- OW!

Fries in Brussels! Ahh-mazing!

Chocolate from Brugge that I couldn't have til after Lent.

Underground "Caribbean" AntiTapas Dance Party in Belgium

Hanging out at our favorite Mexican restaurant with our favorite Mariachi!

Girls night out- Drinks and Les Miserables

Out for Matt's Birthday!

The things I do for Madrid Players... For Love nor Money

I kissed a boy once.... my monologue was a hit!

Soler, Mallorca, Spain

Spring Break- View from our Hotel

Walk along the Mediterranean
Marwan- cantautor y poeta... Parisa made me a groupie!

Celebrating my birthday with the roomies

The wind is not on my side on the Rio Ebro in Zaragoza.

La Aljaferia, Zaragoza

More posing :P

Finishing of my poetry writing obligations for NaPoMo

Ecce Mono-- Borja, Zaragoza, Spain

Then I got cast in Steel Magnolias-- And Daryl Hannah replied to my tweet!
And  I became a hair dresser

And objected to looking like a nun the whole way. 

And got the Hollywood treatment- four people working on me 2 on hair and 2 on makeup. Living the dream!

Oh and I had a baby... :P

And this project became the gift that keeps on giving such great reviews and such wonderful friendships made with everyone involved in the production <3
Last trip of the Season Galicia, Spain

Hike up Pont de Eume

All my favorite people... standing on a bridge

Finally saw a game at the Real Madrid Stadium

Last Metro Rides 
Enjoying THE typical spanish dish- Tortilla de patata!

Goodbye staff lunch

Diego's getting married!! Last year's colleagues :)
Auxiliares enjoying breakfast in the staff room

My Wacky Kids

A sad goodbye to a good place...

MP Pool time!

Last night out dancing!

The original posse

Mis Amores

Goodbye Lunch.. :'-(

Goodbye Gifts
Packing all of this...

...Into all this

And Safely landing Home.



Well there you have it folks another year wrapped up nicely in one post. Thanks for the memories!

Besos!
@CathyArely