Saturday, February 6, 2010


Yesterday was not the easiest of days.  The problem was not external, it was me.  It was one of those days, where you cannot, however hard you try, feel the beauty around you.  You can be consciously aware of it, remind yourself of it, but nada.

I remember when we were on the boat, living pretty much a perfect life in paradise, and there would be days like this.  Crap happens, and crappy days happen irrespective of what is going on around you.  The thing about living expat, that one must guard against, is laying it at the door of where you are.  This god awful country and these horrificly stupid people, etc etc etc......Of course some things are difficult.  You simply don't know the system and you have to ask every stupid question you can imagine, and there will still be something you couldn't imagine having to ask about and it will come up behind you and bite you in the ass.

That is frustrating.

You get better at asking the stupid questions, and figuring out which stupid questions to ask.  But still.

Yesterday I failed to ask a stupid question.  One I had not imagined possible.  The Catalan course I was signing up for.......well, it isn't actually a course.  Despite that is it's name, 'Curs de distancia' it is not.  You pony up your money for the chance to take an exam.  You have to buy the book separately, there is NO online component. Not even a stupid chat session. NOTHING.  No teacher, no assignments, no explanations,  you and a book.  Every two weeks you can send in a writing assignment and get it marked!!!!! WOOT!!!!!!  You even have to buy the answers for the exercises in the book separately.

I looked through the book.  Having taken a number of language courses at this point, and having given them for years, I am reasonably fluent at figuring out what makes a good book and what doesn't.  This is not a great book.  Not even a good book.  The explanations are not brilliantly clear and there is nothing but exercises.

You and I all know that between blogs, messenger, twitter, flickr/picasa and youtube very high quality courses can be produced very nearly for free.

I should have figured something was wrong when I had to sign up for a distance course in person.

Ho hum.

Yesterday was not the easiest of days, but I have to send a big fat shout out to Nomad who read the first line of yesterday's post, never got any farther and simply picked up the phone.  LOVE the girl!

Sun's shining today.




Spent most of the afternoon slogging away in the new garden.  MOST enjoyable!  Worked hard and there are improvements......except I seem to be too strong.  The brand new shovel I bought this morning?  Busted the handle this afternoon.  Didn't think I had it in me, did ya!


Beth said...

Haven't known you for that many years, but have always thought you had it in ya - in all ways!

Sun was shining here today, too. ;)

J.G. said...

I always find that my "phase-y" moods improve when I get outdoors and do something active and possibly messy/dirty. It's like I have to just get out of my head for a while and reconnect with the physical world. Working in the new garden sounds to me like just the cure. As for busting the shovel? You must have been working out the kinks, big time!

Beth said...

I hope that breaking your shovel helped get some of the frustration out of your system. And I also hope that the so-called "curs de distancia" wasn't too expensive. I don't suppose there's any way to back out right now and get a refund?

oreneta said...

Beth, sunshine makes all the difference, no?

JG, I used to wonder when I was gardening with my kids if I would still like it when they were big. I do.

Beth, I didn't sign up in the end. Frustrated for the waste of time, but no money gone anyway.