10 Things I Miss from the Good Old US of A.

I’ve been here in Madrid for a month and a half now and I think that’s plenty of time to realize certain things you miss from back home. Here is my list:

1.

Chipotle. I would give anything to be able to have a carnitas bowl with some guac.

2. Punctuality. It is very well-known here that Spaniards aren’t the best at being punctual. If a Spaniard tells you that they’ll meet you at a restaurant around 2 for lunch…expect them at 3. That’s just the way things are around here. I’m very big on being punctual, so this is a bit of an adjustment for me.

3. Eating Times. I miss having lunch at noon and dinner around 6. This whole lunch at 2 or 3 and then dinner around 9 (and that’s early) is rough for me.

4. Stores, restaurants, and banks being open the entire working day. I can’t get use to places closing here for the siesta. And banks closing at 2:30? What is up with that? Most people work here until around 4 or 5, so when do they have time to go to the bank? Thankfully, my bank is open late on Thursdays, so I know that’s the only day I can go to the bank.

5.

American TV. I really miss watching my TV shows as they air live. I enjoy things like sitting down on Thursdays at 9 to watch the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Also, it’s very easy to get spoiled here since all of my friends have seen the episode before me. I have to be super cautious while browsing facebook in the morning so I don’t get spoiled.

6. Movies. Most films here get released much later than in the US and you have to really hunt for a place that will play them in English. I can’t deal with dubbed movies. It is not the same. I’m dying to see Perks of Being a Wallflower and there isn’t even a mention of when it’s going to be released here in Spain. Just to give you an idea of how much later movies come out here: Magic Mike came out over the summer in the USA and it just came out last weekend here.

7. American sports. I love the Yankees and I love the Steelers. Not being to watch a lot of the games/having to watch them by streaming them on my laptop is no fun. My Yankees are the in the playoffs right now and I’m generally sleeping when the games are being played  😦

8. Target and Kohl’s. Those are my two go-to stores in the US and they don’t have them here. I miss them so much…it’s really kinda pathetic. OH and I miss Bath&Body Works. I mainly miss the wall plug-ins/candles. I keep getting emails from them talking about candle sales for fall and they make me sad.

9. Kraft Mac and Cheese. I know that I can find it in places like Taste of America, but it’s ridiculously expensive! I miss being able to get a bulk pack at Costco for cheap. And there is no mac and cheese as good as the blue box.

10. Family (including dog) and Friends. This goes without saying. My family and friends are, by far, what I miss the most here in Spain. And the time difference can make it difficult to call/skype/facetime people. This is my current background on my laptop:

I miss my doggy 😦

Now, I will say that there are also many things that I prefer about Spain and wish we had in the US. However, that’s for a different post.

What things do you all find you miss from home while abroad?

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Toledo in Pictures.

When you click on a picture in the gallery, on the bottom right, there should be an option to see the pictures in their full size right underneath where it says what type of camera was used for the picture.

Anyway, I highly recommend going to Toledo. It is culturally diverse and so beautiful. The cathedral alone is worth the trip.

Segovia (Mostly in Pictures).

The first thing I want to say is that if you are able to rent a car for this trip, I would highly recommend it. There is an amazing scenic route to Segovia that is definitely worth your while. This picture was taken during one of our pit-stops on our way to Segovia:

Now, once you arrive in Segovia, there are many things to see. I’ll just show you my favorites. First, of course, is the famous aqueduct:

Next up is the cathedral:

And, finally, my FAVORITE thing to see in Segovia is the Alcázar Castle. SO gorgeous!

I really don’t want to show too much of the castle because it is something that needs to be experienced in person. I will say that it is amazing and you get some gorgeous views from the tower:

That’s a wrap on Segovia. Oh and click on the pictures if you’d like to see them bigger and in nicer quality 🙂

¡Hasta Pronto!

“There is One Consolation in Being Sick; And That is the Possibility That You May Recover to a Better State Than You Were Ever in Before.”

First let me say that I love, love, LOVE my new school! It’s been such a wonderful change to actually look forward to going into work. Plus, I get along great with the 3 teachers that I’m working with. The kids at this school are fantastic and since I’m working with the older groups, I’ve found that I’ve had an easier time getting them to talk with me and building a good rapport (I knew my knowledge of Justin Bieber and One Direction would pay off one day!). It’s nice to finally be enjoying what I came here to do 🙂

Of course, when one thing starts to go well, another starts to go wrong…only a few days after starting at my new school, I got sick. It started Saturday evening and proceeded to get worse on Sunday. I had a fever/chills and a horribly congested nose. I spent most of Sunday lounging around the house and drinking water. I called the school Monday morning and told them that I couldn’t come in because I had a fever. Monday was spent very similar to Sunday. I pretty much looked like this:

I decided that I didn’t want to miss another day of work and headed into the school on Tuesday. Major mistake. I woke up feeling better and thought I would be able to get through the day fine…wrong. I ended up with a fever once again and completely exhausted with a very sore throat from talking to my classes. My teacher even told me that I shouldn’t have come in at all and that I needed to rest. When I got home, I called my insurance company and they told me to go to urgent care at my neighboring town since that what the closest hospital to me. Luckily, my Spain mommy (as I like to call her) called my insurance company and was able to get them to bring the doctor to me. I’m definitely not use to having a health plan that covers house calls from a doctor…but I love it! The doctor arrived about an hour later and told me that I had some type of bacterial infection in my throat and prescribed me some antibiotics and gave me a doctor’s note to excuse me from school for the rest of this week. Oh and I didn’t have to pay a single penny for the doctor’s visit. Afterwards, my Spain mommy drove me to the pharmacy so I could get my prescription, which only cost me about 8€ . Have I mentioned that I live with the greatest family here in Spain? I would probably have been living off of lipton soup if I lived by myself, but I was able to have delicious homemade soup instead 🙂 Plus, it’s been really nice to have the kiddies around me because they can always make me laugh, which is a great thing when you’re feeling sick and mopey.

Well, I think I’m going to have my first nap of the day. I’ll keep you all posted. Oh and since I have free time these next few days, I’m going to finish up the posts I promised weeks ago about Segovia, Madrid, Ávila, and Toledo.

¡Hablamos Luego!

Ch-ch-changes.

There are two main reasons for my lack of blogging as of late:

1. I have been incredibly busy with work for the school.

2. When you have nothing positive to blog, it’s best not to blog anything at all.

I posted awhile ago about the responsibilities at my school for BEDA. I also mentioned that I had spoken with the coordinator regarding the issue of me being left alone during one of my classes my first week. Well, even after the coordinator called and spoke with my school, they had a meeting with me and informed me that I would be left alone with the students because that was the way that they had designed the auxiliar hour to function. I didn’t bother to mention this again to my coordinator because I thought that maybe I could cope with the situation. I was able to deal with that aspect pretty well, just like I thought. However, I could not get use to the amount of students that I was responsible for and the amount of lesson planning that I had to do. I spent over 7 hours on Sunday researching lessons and videos for my 6 Monday classes. I knew this week would be the true test of whether I could handle being at this school because it was the first week with full school days. All of September was half days, so I didn’t have the majority of my assigned primary students.

Turns out that this school and I are just not compatible. I had a complete breakdown yesterday and made the decision to call the coordinator again first thing in the morning and tell her that I could not handle the situation at my school. During my commute to the school this morning, I called the coordinator and explained my situation to her and she offered to switch me to a different school. I happily agreed. I should mention that my main issue with the school was that they were treating me like I was a legitimate teacher rather than an auxiliar.

Tomorrow I have my NIE appointment at the comisaria at 8:30 in the morning and will be starting at my new school afterwards. My new school is in another region of Madrid, so I won’t even be in Majadahonda anymore. My commute will likely be a little longer and I’ll be working less hours, but I will GLADLY make those sacrifices in order to maintain my sanity. I’ll keep you all posted about the NIE appointment and my first day at my new school.

¡Hablamos Luego!

P.S. To my friends back home: I am terribly sorry for my lack of communication. I promise that it was due to lack of time, not my lack of missing you all since I miss you all terribly! Now that I’m switching schools, I should have more time to talk 🙂