Thursday, February 15, 2007

O my o my o my!

The things that go on here. Well, yesterday the elder daughter had a presentation by two women who had lived in refugee camps in North Africa about what their lives were like. A good idea on the whole given that there are so many North African refugees arriving in Spain all the time. Unfortunately, she didn't understand much of what was said... Today in counterpoint, she thinks that this afternoon she is walking up in the hills to eat omelets. She isn't sure, like most things here with us.

Here are two examples of fun with my sparkling linguistic skills. The administrator of the language school I work at does not speak any English at all, so we are 100% in Catalan. She was talking about one of my new students who is a sculptor and anxious to learn English as he is going to have some exhibitions in, well somewhere they speak English. The only thing is that the word for anxious sounds something like ganes. So she said that he has moltes ganes, much anxiousness. However much and many are the same word, and the word for legs, something like canes sounds very similar, so we had to go around it for a while as I was pretty sure she wasn't trying to tell me that he had many legs.

A few minutes later on my way home from work this morning, I went into the pet food store to buy more kibble for the Chuckster...I managed to ask the lovely lady there for salad for the dog. Hmmm. The lady speaks English quite fluently and we had a pretty good laugh about that. I was going to buy a moderate sized bag, but the killer bag weighing in at 15 kilos works out to cheaper in the end. I didn't have that much with me, no problem, I can bring it in later....and they insisted on delivering it, though the store is only a block from my house. Very nice.

I had to run out for bread in the middle of lunch, and on my way back, there was a van in front of my door, filled with big jugs of wine. I watched this for a moment or two, they were delivering wine! Hmm. Called the husband to talk to the guys, reticent fellow that he is, he didn't want to bother. I however, was intrigued by the idea of door to door wine delivery. We had always figured there was a system to get into the good wineries, or at least the small local ones that don't export, but are for purely local domestic consumption. Well, lo and behold, there they were on the doorstep, and my man won't chat. *ahem ahem* Drag out my crappy Catalan, how much? 5 Euros for four litres. Not a bad deal I manage to ask when they come around. Every Thursday at around 1pm. They will ring my bell to ask next week. Well I go up and report all this to the man. I don't drink alcohol of any form, but the man has red wine usually. We figure with him drinking a glass or two a night, this won't keep. Back down to ask about this. No problem, it should be OK for a week or two. Now this is starting to sound a bit more like plonk, but still intriguing. I have little money left after the dog food purchase, so we have to borrow off the youngest kid to buy it, so she figures she gets to hand over the cash, and heave the hooch up the stairs. Big jug in a really ugly plastic hamper. I suspect you are supposed to pour it into the pourro...that drinking jug the Catalans use.

Then the washing machine is problem basically, though they whine about having to take it up to the third floor to hook it up in the shack on the terrace. I hate mechanical noises, and I'll be damned if that thing is going to roar away in my kitchen if I can put it up on the terrace. Once they realized how little Spanish I spoke, and neither of them spoke Catalan, they figured out why the floor number was incorrect, and they were very nice, and found it all fairly funny. Tick that off the list.

The girls and I now headed out with the increasingly desperate Chuckmeister, only to realize that we still have to wait for the dog food delivery. Knew I should have hauled it myself. Ah well, the big child gets deputised to stay at home while the little one and I run out. Return home, of course nothing has happened. So the little one and I gather up some laundry and head upstairs to try the new machine out. No English instructions of course. I got it half way ready when the door bell goes, I run down three flights for the dog food, and the giant plastic jug to store it in. I have bought almost as much dog food as the dog weighs, and as we pour it out into the container, you can see that Chuck thinks he has died and gone to heaven. Then we put the lid on. Poor pup. Got the machine spinning, got the kids to school. Did the dishes, and now I am sitting in the sun on the balcony catching up on it all.

It's a different world in some ways. No milk or bread delivery like some folks used to have, though few still do, but you can get wine delivered to your door on a regular basis, nicely timed for the weekend.

The folks are here this weekend, and they have a reasonable palate, unlike the husband, so we will find out if it is rot-gut or drinkable. Interesting system one way or the other.

Oh and one last thing, for those of you in the UK and the US, Canada is only about the middle of the list for good places to grow up, but Spain is number FIVE, and the US and the UK are last and second last. See the link here for more info. I would like to know more about the criteria they used, and where they got their information.


Beth said...

"Sitting in the sun on the balcony..." I am so envious. Massive snow storm here yesterday.
Hey, make sure Chuck doesn't figure out how to get that lid off. You - and he - will be sorry if he does!

traveller one said...

Glad your new washing machine is working!! And I would love to have wine delivered. How decadent is that!

Boo and Trev said...

Bascially, it's the class divide and the lack of family units. It was a Unicef report
Quite a horrific indictment, really

Mom of Three said...

I'm not surprised about the Britain thing, being that they feed their uniformed schoolchildren into that meatgrinder thing.

Sadly, I'm also not surprised about the US, because we actually have kids here living in deplorable conditions--and not just a few. And what do the rich say? "It's their own fault because of choices they or their parents made." It salves their souls and clears their consciences. Did you know there's a religious movement here that posits that Jesus would have wanted you to be insanely wealthy and keep it all for yourself?

Boo and Trev said...

That's scarey! You do wonder if these people have ever actually read the new testament

oreneta said...

Beth: I have to admit, I am loving the weather here...the kids cannot get the lid off, so hopefully the dog cannot.

Traveller One: No question, between the washing machine and the door to door wine delivery life is getting quite decadent around here.

Boo: Thanks for the link, I went over and read that, and started to get into the public newsroom, but ran out of time...

Mof3 and Boo: That is weird, but I believe it, especially having trolled around Ft. Lauderdale and there for a while. The money is RIDICULOUS!

Beth said...

Oreneta, I so look forward to your posts. I feel like I am in Spain too...I can feel the sun, hear chuck barking, see the guys delivering wine to your door...does it GET any better than that?! ;)

I think you have a great place to grow up.

oreneta said...

Beth: Thank you so much. I hope you and your husband are doing all right with everything going on with you. I must say though, wine at the door!!! I thought that was pretty cool too.