Thursday, February 8, 2007

Nice old guy, and geez I am OUT of it. Such a nerd.

To balance out the crap incident yesterday, I also had a conversation, well that would be generous, but hung out with this local old guy for a bit. I have seen him before going slowly around town with his cane. He's lean, and wears a black beret and the biggest thickest glasses I have seen in a long time. He also has one eye turned in which is a good indicator of the level of health care people had during the civil war and under Franco. He seems like a really friendly old guy. I don't honestly know tif he is or not as I don't know him at all, and if I understand one word in 20 I am doing well, but that doesn't stop him from chatting away for a minute or two before we continue on our way.

Yesterday I hauled my breathless self up to the top of the town while walking the dog, knowing that there was a bench up there in the sunshine with a lovely view. This old man was there, so we sat together in the sun...I figured out some of what he was asking me and answered him with our abbreviated life story about how we ended up here. He seemed to understand my wildly ungrammatical Catalan. Then he decided to walk me home. Now this was very friendly, but he is a really old guy and walks very slowly, and I didn't have a ton of extra time...but I couldn't really put him off, so off we went. He was still talking away to me like I might even have a brain. The difficulty is that I don't know much Catalan, the Catalans will almost always speak to a foreigner in Castillian even if they are speaking Catalan and I don't know much Castillian, and he's an old guy missing a bunch of teeth, so he was sort of slurrying the words around a bit. I wish I wish I WISH I could speak more of the language.

Anyway, he fortunately bid me Adios part way down so I made it home in time to do the dishes and kiss the kids before work.

The eleven year olds I am teaching are good Catalan nationalists. When asked to list things about Spain the listed Barca (the soccer club) Barcelona, Catalonia, the Catalan flag, when I put up Madrid they got up and erased it and showed me the garbage can to describe where Madrid goes.

The other thing that has been fairly hilarious is my discovery of just how out of it I am. They were supposed to come up with famous people. The only one they came up with that I had ever heard of was Brittney Spears. It was good for their English though, they had to keep explaining to me who these people are. The same thing happened in the text for the other student. It had a picture of 5 musicians who had stopped their career for one reason or another, I only recognized two, Bono and Madonna, and I got the reasons wrong. I had at least heard of the third, but the other two were a mystery to me.

There are all these lovely spots in the town that I really want to take photos of, I need a day of sunshine and decent health. Although I am not sure that the disposable is going to do them justice. Better than nothing though. There are doorways covered with the most ornate and gorgeous ironwork, or painted a beautiful blue with tile work, or hidden corners and alleys that are enticing, but private.

It is raining gently out, just in time for friends who are visiting this weekend. They lived in Senegal for four years and are now in Holland, and our eldest daughters were the best of friends when they were four before they left. The girls saw each other for an evening last summer and got on as they always had, and we are finally going to get some time together. Lets hope the weather returns to it's usual state of beauty. Though after the storm they had a few weeks ago, and the snow they are apparently having today, even if it is damp, it should be nice for them.

Just checked that weather gizmo on the blog, rain tomorrow but beautiful after that. Good. Except I told them not to bring raincoats. Hmmm. May have to email her about that one.


Beth said...

What a lovely story about your visit and conversation with the "old guy."
Reading your blog every day, I get the sense you are becoming more and more a part of your community.
Hope you have a fabulous weekend with your visitors. (And no rain.)

Anonymous said...

I will bring my new camera when I come and we can try it out. Do you have download technology ?
Old guy with no beret but teeth still

Dorky Dad said...

What ... Bono stopped his career? And Madonna? OH 80s, WHERE HAVE YOU GONE???

Anonymous said...

I would love to see pictures of the town you live in after reading so much about it.

oreneta said...

Beth: I do feel like i am starting to have a little tiny corner of a place's nice.

Anon: Your here now!

DD: I have no ideaif he did or not, that's just what the book said!

Trish: I'm working on it.....