Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chica is pretty damn perceptive

especially when you consider that she's known me for less than a month and the SEVERELY restricted level of our communication:

"Kati. The word "complicated?" It is your favorite word. And now it is forbidden, I prohibit it. No, seriously. You say everything is complicated but I think, really, it is all in your head. NO MORE COMPLICATED."

I need the ability to tell her that she is so freaking right.

Yes, I plan to see a psychiatrist

about my tendency to fixate on people. In the meantime:

“Today, I went back to the doctor. Carmen [amiga] went with me because José [“amigo” aka he’s totally her novio] and I , we are in a fight. *exaggerated drag on cigarette* Men. Anyway, I thought this maybe, and Carmen told me she could definitely see it, that the doctor, perhaps he likes me. Of course this is crazy because he is much too young and handsome, and I am a mess when I am sick because I do not wear makeup. But I don’t know. I will get better and I will fix my hair and makeup and I will go back. And then we will see.”

Classic. Perhaps in part because she is forced to speak such basic Spanish to me, or perhaps because that is how she is. All I know is that I really wish I’d had a freaking camera, because then I could post a picture of the I-know-I-am-so-naughty expression she had at the end of that little speech.

The American in me is just screaming PLEASE PUT THEM AWAY.

Chica. MIRA.

When you tell me that your breasts used to be so much perkier, I SWEAR, I WILL TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT. But...ok, you know what? I GIVE UP. FINE. TAKE OFF YOUR SHIRT AT THE TABLE. GO AHEAD. I don't even CARE any more. (nice neon yellow lace bra, btw)

/no really i love her except T. FREAKING. M. I.
//no her son wasn't there, it was just us, which lowers her boundaries even more
///and i suppose that I should be grateful that she was at least WEARING the damn bra

Monday, April 14, 2008

I need to learn some Spanish profanity


And I’m having so much trouble getting through the first thing on my list of things to write about, which is to fully explain Paquita.

This is not ever going to happen, because even if I understood her, which I don’t, I would never be able to capture it with mere words. But I can try.

For example: Notable Topics of Discussion During Lunch Today

1. How I need to get to know lots of boys, because I need to make sure I pick the right one. Slash she suggests tall dark haired guys with blue eyes, but she understands if I have different tastes. (Any tall, dark-haired guys with blue eyes reading this, come to Barcelona. She’d like to meet you.) This of course required bringing up her tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed but regrettably crazy ex-husband.

2. Which segued smoothly into the story of how she lost her virginity to said ex-husband. (Because you’re all dying to know: wedding day, she was changing out of her wedding dress into a different dress for the party that night. She asked him for help with getting the zipper of the first dress undone. They were apparently rather late for the party. I managed not to die during this story, fyi.)

3. Then we get into her favorite topic of conversation, aka, Kati you are so skinny! Eat more! You will not be strong! You need nutrients! Also, the chicos want chicas with tits and ass! (This sort of encapsulates the way she really freaks me out because she can do the hi-I’m-your-mom-clean-your-plate-thing AND the hell-yeah-chica-work-it-thing AT THE SAME TIME.)

4. She has gotten the (correct) impression, that my mother doesn’t eat. She would really like to meet my mother and tell her a thing or two. I would also really like her to meet my mother, as long as I get to film the encounter. Instant YouTube fame, people.

5. At this point (we’re in a bar, as usual, because, obviously, when one is hosting American students, one should take them to bars. And buy them shots. Ok, yes, arguably, this one also serves food.) Anyway, guy comes into the bar. He’s about 30, fairly good looking. She gets all “shhh…Kati, check out that guy.” Apparently, he was hitting on her the last time she was here and tried to get her number, but she didn’t give it to him, because he’s too young for her. (And also because she has this boyfriend who she thinks I don’t know about. But I digress.) She goes up to pay, but walks by him and stops to talk. For a while. I wait awkwardly. Long story short---she doesn’t pay, he pays. I suddenly realize how she can afford to eat out all of the time.

I have, thus far, lived a very narrowly Harvard-complex-focused life, and as a result, I have spent a lot of time banging my head against the wall. But all of it---the science research, the screaming parents, the never, ever having a life in high school, the passing out in the hallway, the scarring of multiple innocent first-year English teachers, the not getting into Harvard and going to Dartmouth instead and having an existentialist crisis that somehow resulted in being inexplicably pre-med and taking cell biology and dying, and passing out some more, and stumbling through Spanish class at 7:30 am which is not actually a real time, fyi, and not looking at grades and developing strange obsessions with government professors—in all of it, I would not change a goddamn thing because that was the path that resulted in me going to Spain and getting assigned this specific homestay family and thus spending two hours today eating lunch with the most I-don’t-even-know person I have ever freaking met and ALL OF IT was worth it for THOSE TWO HOURS that I can’t explain because it was just SPANISH and that is AWESOME.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yes, our level of conversation includes lots of hand gestures

And no, I didn't know that was how you say "to breastfeed" BUT I DO NOW. You can stop grabbing yourself. Really.


Monday, April 07, 2008

It's not that I don't understand Spanish...

...I mean, ok, I don't understand a lot of Spanish, but the part where you told me how you were sexually frustrated? I understood that perfectly. The expression on my face was less confusion and more "how can I make myself drop through a hole in the floor?"

/there is no shame in this entire fucking culture

Sunday, April 06, 2008


None of you all are going to believe me, but I have an amazing capacity to become almost completely non-communicative and horrifically shy. (Yes, really.) This generally happens if I am thrust into the company of non-shamed people (see also: Spanish/Latino culture, persons thereof.) The fact that I DON’T SPEAK SPANISH is probably a contributing factor, because I get horrifically nervous that I’m going to fuck up and do something like confuse the words for “hairdryer” and “alarm clock,” which, by the way, can lead to some seriously nonsensical conversations.

Anyway, based on my experiences with my Spanish prof (who I can’t BELIEVE I never posted about, except it’s kind of hard to explain someone fantastically crazy whose sheer personality hits you like an 18-wheeleer, except in a probably-less-painful fashion), I decided that when the study-abroad office gave me an application for homestay housing and asked me to “describe myself,” it would be a good idea to mention that I was on the quiet side.

Logically, they put me with this crazy loca chain-smoking high-heeled-leather-boots-wearing chica. Duh.

I’ve been trying to describe her for about five days, except the only thing I can think to say is to maybe reuse the lame 18-wheeler metaphor from above, or perhaps to repeat that her name is Paquita, she’s 40, and I still don’t know if she’s crazy or just Spanish.

/she is the personification of “chica please”

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Hi. I have no internet access, obviously a problem. I also don't speak Spanish, and I no longer speak English as a result of trying to speak Spanish. My madre is either crazy or just Spanish. I believe it's the latter.

I will sort this out as soon as I crack the neighbor's encryption so I can steal their wireless. If you are a computer science major, please contact me to tell me how to do that. If you have any experience with getting rid of rando Spanish guys on the subway, also contact me. If you teach English, I need to talk to you.

/chica please is the best phrase EVER.