There are some big changes in my life. Okay, well one major change. Jorge, our Venezuelan roommate has decided to go live in Puerto Rico for the next two months and then will be relocating himself to Prague, Czech Republic. This is going to be a great experience for him but we are sincerely going to miss living with him.

I for one hate change and seeing our balance be thrown off really bothers me, especially since I get along with Jorge so well. He’s been so supportive of all of us and has loaned me books and helped me out on several occasions. I’m going to miss just having him around.

This weekend we started our new roommate search and it went terribly. We got some of the strangest people to come over here and check the place out. We got these two Italian guys who were slimey and gross. One of them like blew kisses and winked at Chloe as he left our place. Totally kreeper status.  Anyway, we all got along with this other Italian guy who was basically the only person that came in that wasn’t either doped up and creepy.  So we settled on Carlo from Milan. So the new “series” of Corredera Baja will commence on Tuesday when he moves in to replace Jorge. This means two things: We’ll be sad and I get a bigger bedroom with a bigger bed.  I’d be willing to keep my “small” room and my feet-hang-off-the-edge-of-the-bed small bed for Jorge to remain, but I guess this is just a part of life and we’ll have to get used to a new person. I’ll be as welcoming as I can.

We are still sad about losing Jorge and are nervous about the change in dynamic with a new roommate. So far Carlo seems really nice and I hope he’ll be a lot of fun, but we are all still sort of uneasy about letting someone else into our tight-knit group. After all, my roommates and I have become “family.”

Speaking of family (**here’s my shout out to Mom, Dad, Dyl, Frank, and the rest of the family out there that I miss), we really are like a family with Julian as our father, Marta as our mother, and Chloe, Julia and I as the children.  We do everything together and we take care of each other. It’s really cool when I get off of work and can’t wait to get back home to my apartment just to see my roommates who have now become some of my best friends.

This weekend was Julian’s thirtieth birthday so we celebrated all weekend. We had the regular partying on Friday (which included the usual trip to Independance, one of our favorite rock bars). Saturday was Julian’s “aperitivo” (or appetizer) party where people made a ton of food and we all chowed down. Then we all went out to another dance bar later that night. Then Sunday, after all of us being completely exhausted, another friend wanted to do a surprise get together so we all went out again to a bar, but this time it was really low-key and it was only a small group of us: The family and I plus Anibal and Jose Luis who are like our adopted brothers since they practically live here. That still wasn’t the end of the celebrations though. Monday night we had Mexican dinner where we went to this amazing Mexican restaurant (first time I’ve actually had good Mexican food in Europe). This of course included the Family and some of our other closest friends.

In fact, last week, we scheduled a special day for “family dinner” (we really called it Family Dinner). We went and got Moroccan food or something, but it was delicious and it was so much fun going out with all my roommates.

There’s been a lot of other noticeable changes here too: Chloe and her boy friend of several years have broken up so that has made Chloe a whole lot more fun, Julian is starting to get back on his feet (he’s been jobless for a few months, and even though he still doesn’t have a job but he’s gotten some interviews and hopefully he finds something soon), I got a haircut (stupid guy cut my hair to make me look like some fashionable European lesbian, then I went back and he fixed it…mostly, except for the right side of my head is a noticeable half inch longer than my left side, but that’s okay, I just play that off as being punx).

As for my future travel plans, I canceled my plane ticket that I purchased to go to Carnaval in Cadiz because A) no one could go with me and what’s a carnival like alone? and B) I never ended up finding a place to stay. So I feel like a lot of omens were telling me not to go. I knew it was a good decision to cancel the flight because a day or so later, my good buddy Chris Kelley wrote to me saying that one of our favorite Spanish indie song writers, Ivan Ferreiro, will be playing in Santiago de Compostela (that’s where Chris lives) the Friday I was supposed to go to Cadiz. Moreover, it’s Chris’s birthday the following day so I said what the heck and I bought a 30 euro round-trip ticket to go see him in Galicia for the weekend instead which sounds a whole lot better to me. So that’s my next trip. In April, I’m going to be traveling around Italy if I get, as we say in English, all my ducks in a row.

I have also officially renewed my job. The papers got sent in this week. I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned that, and if I have, I apologize for being repetitive, but it’s big news I suppose. At least I’m excited to be “Spanish” for one more year.

Two weeks ago, I dropped one of my private lessons because the students were horribly behaved and I was just way too stressed out with teaching so much. I was losing sleep and my mind. I feel so much better not having to go teach those lessons anymore. I mean I’m not making as much money now, but what’s 20 euros a week if I can finally sleep and enjoy myself during the week?

But I’ve got even more good news. I was teaching one of my kids on Tuesday, his name is Alvaro, he’s like 9 years old, and he has told me on a number of occasions that he doesn’t like English at all, but he is still really respectful, well behaved, and quite honestly, he’s pretty good at English.

So, I like to think of my private lessons as fun because I’m a funny guy, right? Well, after I dropped that one family, the mother called me back and said she was so shocked that her children were so poorly behaved, even though I had told her on other occasions that they were little nightmares [not a direct quote] (this is where my mother is probably shaking her head saying, ‘payback is a bitch’).

What I’m getting at is that those classes were never fun for me or for the pupils (pupils is this cool new English word I learned meaning “students,” just in case you didn’t get that.  British English is fun!!).  But now I know my classes really are fun because Alvaro, my pupil, told me after the class on Tuesday that, “Quiero que quedes aquí más porque siempre me lo paso muy bien contigo.” Translation: I want you to come by here more because I always have a really good time with you.  I about cried!! It was so nice to hear that from one of the kids! I’m glad he has a good time in my classes, that was really reassuring for me to hear. And to be honest, I like teaching him. I’m very happy with all my private lessons actually. I really enjoy these kids a lot. The other day I even got to skateboard with Luis, another one of my pupils. That was so great! Not only am I teaching him English, but I’m showing him how to shred!

Anyway, Alvaro’s father also burnt me a CD with a few movies on it: Invictus, Eat, Prey, Love, and Karate Kid. Haven’t seen any of them. It was really nice of him. Way stoked! Free movies!

Anyway, can’t think of anything else.  Miss you all at home.

Write more later,


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