Sunday, 15 January 2012

Momentos graciosos en clase


A few of the highlights of my classes so far:

Activity on the kids' ideal school:

Q. Who is the school for?
A. 'It's for beutifol girl and me.'

Q. What classes would be on offer?
A. 50 Cent gives raping class. (A most unfortunate spelling error.)

Q. 'What are the teachers like?'
A. 'Can I write: “I like Claire?”'

Activity on describing photographs:

I handed out a photograph to each pair of pupils and asked them to guess what they thought was going on in the picture. I purposely didn't give two 13 year old boys a photo of me and a particularly buxom pal at a wedding, because I knew that their little hormones probably couldn't take it, but they leaned over the desk and looked at it anyway. 'Woooah,' one said to the other, 'qué melones tiene!' (basically, 'her tits are like melons.') The funniest part was when he realised that I had understood him ('Joooderrr, ha entendido!! Perdón!!')

A letter to Santa:

Activity: Please make a list of all the things you would like for Christmas.
Answer: 'A girlfriend.'
Trying to encourage the pupil in question to write a little bit more, I asked him to describe his fantasy woman. 'What would she look like,' I asked, 'Tall? Blonde? Would it be a famous person?' All he replied was: 'I don't care, I just want her to be normal and not lie to me.' Pobrecito, apparently his heart had been broken before he'd even hit puberty.

Activity: Complete the sentence – 'Santa, if you cannot bring me all the things that I want, please...'
Answer: 'Die.'

Predictions for 2012:

Activity: Make predictions for your classmates in a number of different categories.

Health: “Claire, cómo se dice vas a tener una enfermedad de transmisión sexual?” (“Claire, how do you say you're going to get an STI?”)

Half way through this class, one boy asked me how to translate 'tu te jodes.' I told him that a good way of putting it would be 'you're fucked', depending on the context (with the added caveat that he should NOT normally say this in the classroom!) When I collected his answers, he'd written:

Love prediction - In 2012, you will get married. You're fucked.

Sometimes I love my pupils.

La Felicidad


"The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others."

— William Phelps

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Una ganga para las mujeres!


Anyone who knows me will know that I don't wear a lot of make up, nor am I obsessed with beauty products.  There is, however, one thing that I use every day and always have in my handbag - Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream.  It's reeeeally versatile (see for some uses) and it's hands down best lip balm I have ever used.

You may (rightly) be wondering why am I telling you this on a travel blog.  The reason is that you get a 30ml tube of 8 Hour Cream, and a diary, free with this month's Spanish Cosmo.  4.10 for a magazine, a diary and a product that is worth at least 10 Euro seemed to be an offer too good to keep to myself!  

(Just remember that if you take up this offer, don't believe everything you read in the magazine!)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Mi cumpleaños


I don't really have a good track record when it comes to birthdays. For the last 5 years especially, turning a year older has seemed to be overshadowed by exams or some twist of bad luck. To give you an idea of what I mean, I spent my 21st in Bristol airport and was then treated to a comparative public law exam (in French) at 8am the next day. Then, last year, I turned 22 in the university library trying to write a chapter of my dissertation, party animal that I am...

Mi tarjeta!
In the absence of exams/ a dissertation/ cancelled flights, I had slightly higher hopes for my 23rd, but I could have never imagined how fabulous it was going to be!!

Last night, I thought I was going for a quiet drink with my flatmate at a friend's bar and told everyone on facebook that we could meet up to go out at 11pm. Some people showed up at my flat at 9.30 and I was taking ages trying to get myself ready, oblivious to the fact that they were trying desperately to usher my friend Sebastian (whose 25th is today) and I out the door!

So we dawdled along to the bar at a leisurely pace and were expecting only one other person to be there. Instead, we were greeted with all of our friends in party hats, with a huge cake and cards for us! I was so surprised, I wanted to cry!

Absolutely HUGE THANKS go to my wonderful flatmate Inma, who organised the party and somehow kept it a secret, to Diego, José and David for getting the cakes and decorating, to Rafa for his magic Caipirinhas and to everyone for coming!! I can't believe I've only known you people for a few months and you went to such trouble to make my birthday so special!   

Me with the best flatmate and party planner EVER!
My fabulous amigos!

La vuelta


(This is an entry I wrote on Jan 6th and forgot to post!!)

Hola readers!

Today's blog entry comes to you from a bus that is currently somewhere between Zaragoza and Logroño. A sign has just wished me a 'Bienvenido a Navarra', but where exactly I am, I don't know. Now, I don't normally write blogs on buses, but the driver of this one was adamant that my hand luggage couldn't actually come on board with me, despite my protestations that my computer was in it. His solution was for me to take everything valuable out of the case and put the rest in the hold, which has resulted in me sitting with the laptop on my knees (and me making a bit of a spectacle of myself trying to separate my luggage).

I can't be annoyed though, I was convinced I was going to miss my flight to Zaragoza because I had a really tight connection in London, but by some miracle, my first flight arrived early. Gracias, Easyjet!

My time at home was short, but it was great to see my friends and family again! Thanks to all for making it so great :) Also, as always, it was a pleasure to:

  • Have a proper cooked breakfast/ a roll and square sausage.*
  • Have a cup of tea made with Scottish water and fresh milk. (Made with the aid of my beloved kettle.)
  • Cure hangovers with Irn Bru.**
  • Go into a shop and be able to explain exactly what I wanted, without getting flustered about how to say anything.
  • Shop in Glasgow and walk down a bustling Buchanan Street.
  • Go to a card shop. I literally spent about an hour looking at cards yesterday because there's no such thing as a card shop in most places in Europe. I also got distracted by mugs with my name on them and ended up buying one because it was on sale.
    * square sausage is a really Scottish thing, I don't know why you can't get it in England?!
    ** For an optimal hangover remedy, the Irn Bru should be accompanied by the aforementioned cooked breakfast.

And just as I took a taste of La Rioja back to Scotland, I have brought a taste of Scotland back here. In my case I have -

  • 100 tea bags (plus a new kettle and that mug)
  • 10 sachets of porridge
  • One packet of Bisto
  • A box of vanilla fudge
  • And 4 tins of haggis!  I wonder if anyone here will dare to try it...