If you haven’t traveled a lot outside of the U.S., you may not have noticed how much Americans enjoy rules and structure and deadlines. It seems completely natural for us.
Now, it might sound nice to have some lax rules and some flexibility on things. Right? I mean, as a kid, rules ruined all the fun. But the thing is, I like rules. I like knowing what is and is not acceptable up front. I like being able to plan, I like knowing where I stand in it all.
So, this week has been sort of frustrating for me. Our two days of orientation went pretty smoothly. It did seem as though no one was exactly sure what was going on, but they pulled it off and emphasized that we are to come to class, show up on time to work, and do our stuff (concrete rules!)
But, when I did show up on time at work, nothing was quite so clear. I have been waiting and waiting for months to find out what ages of children I would be working with, and what my schedule might be so that I could possibly try to get some extra teaching hours in order to pay off the beer debt I’m accumulating. No one knows the schedule. Or what we’ll be teaching (they thought we knew!) or anything. They don’t even want us to start until October.
So, sweet, right? More days without work. Except I’m bored. I want some structure. I want to be able to get some extra work. I want to be able to imagine what my life will be like when this all gets rolling.
But no one knows. And no one knows who will figure it out. And when I ask if someone would please try to figure it out, they tell me to calm down, and to not be so scared. I try to explain I’m not scared, but they just repeat themselves. So I guess for now, I wait.
Ok, let’s talk about some other fun things about Spain:
- Feet. My feet have blisters EVERYWHERE. It doesn’t matter which shoes I put on, I am not used to so much walking. My feet are a bloody mess. I guess I could theoretically wear my tennis shoes around town, but that would be frowned upon here. Which brings me to
- Fashion! All of you out there will be glad to know that Spain is still embracing the mullet (although less now than before) and the rat-tail. It seems that almost anything goes here, fashion wise, and my style seems to be very conservative compared to most.
- Tiny napkins. One of the things I forgot about Spain. Instead of letting you use one or two regular strength napkins, the napkin holders on Spanish tables contain tissue-paper-thin teeny tiny napkins that do not wipe up ANYTHING therefore you use about 2039482098 of them, but still have a mess. Who knows.
- Pastry. Love it. Cafe con leche. Also love it, although it makes me not sleep.
- Convenience. Has left me. Spain is seriously 15 years behind the rest of the world so I have to just deal.
- Hulu, MTV.com, Pandora, all hate me because I live in Spain. ARGH. How will I keep up with 18 kids and counting? Jon & Kate plus 8? Medium? I’m going to have to take a lesson from the Iranians and use a proxy server.
- Beer. So much beer. When ordering breakfast, you can choose what you’d like to drink: coffee, milk, juice, or beer. Also, for lunch, beer? Why not? It’s cheaper than a diet coke. Then I go out and drink beer. If only beer were good for me.
So I guess I’ll be patient and wait for things to work themselves out, even though I don’t want to be. I want to know now. I can’t help it, I’m American.
I’ll just go have another beer.