Sunday, October 17, 2010

HOLA! Amigos y amigas!
It's Sunday and I have a little time to catch up with photos taken since last I posted. (Don't you just love the old convoluted English now and then? There are times when it just seems to suit, Non?) Had a wonderful time Friday night out with Isabel and Edo and friends; I spent most of the evening in attempted tri-lingual conversation. Mostly with Juan, who speaks only French and Spanish. Bego, who speaks Spanish and English, Edo who speaks a bit of English (more than my spanish), spanish, and a smattering of French, and Isabel who speaks all three! are lively conversationalists and it was great fun rambling from one language to another – keeps you from getting tired. I know I'm having fun when it's 1:30 before I know it! Everyone here has been so welcoming and friendly. The tapas and wine were lovely, (cervecitas and a bottle of wine for four of us lasted all evening) and it was good to forget school for a bit and relax.

The blurry photo (apologies) was an attempt to capture a white pigeon hiding behind this statue high up on the door of the cathedral one morning. (No, I wasn't trying to actually capture it, don't be ridiculous! I mean, capture it on film, of course!) And the other is of cathedral restorers working on a window element early the same morning as I wandered by.

There is just something about that pic of the bullfighter in the cafe where I take my cafe con leche in the morning (1.20e) that is sooooo.... ooh! as in la-la! They must be intense hombres is all I can say. Just look at that body language!

I went shoe shopping for Tee the other day. Below is some of what I saw along the street I managed the find, THE shoe street in Sevilla, thanks to Marian the school receptionist who gave me the tip.
I thought I would go into cardiac arrest. And I'm not even finished yet. I wonder if Imelda shopped in Spain. She must have, really. Don't you think. Spain, Italy, even France. Wonderful shoes, all made here. Amazing really. Gorgeous stuff I never see stateside. even in NY. So take a gander. I didn't even take pics of the really good stuff cause I was so busy trying them on. Have not found THE one yet. But I'll carry on looking. Soldiering on, as it were. I know, I know. way to take one for the team...

(don't forget to slick on pics to enlarge them)


yes that's a hat! isn't it fab?

lady fanning, bike won't go

As I woke this morning, the same gentle breeze from the southeast greeted me as i slid open the glass door and was engulfed by the sweet scent of jasmine blossoms from the vine that's draped over the entire back wall of the patio. It is the most divine thing I think I've ever smelled, and the minute I get back to Maine I am going to that take- out Thai place on Noyes and getting a large tin of Jasmine tea. I think I'll become an addict.

Nearly through with my course now. Only a week to go. Am teaching the upper intermediates this week and will use Annie Leonard's Story of Bottled Water in a lesson Tuesday, so am psyched about that. I emailed her and told her I was teaching in Spain and using it in my class to spread the word, and she wrote me back right away to thank me. Well, the team did anyway. Nice huh?

Here's some stuff that caught my attention last week I found worth mentioning.

"A political system that expects failure doesn’t try very hard to produce anything else.” Tom Friedman quoting Gerald Selb in the Times.

Now and then I suppose Tom feels the need to state the obvious, and well he should. For everyone seems to be missing what's in front of their nose. While ALL OF EUROPE is in the streets protesting government CUTS, Americans are in the streets demanding less government? Okay,yeah, that makes sense -- IN A NUTHOUSE! Tom's comment should give everyone pause. Is this not the same as insisting on the power of positive thinking during trying times? Or, come to think of it, a definition of depression, the psychological kind, as in: you don't do squat because you don't EVER expect a positive outcome, so why even get outta bed kinda thing? He is, of course, for once in his life, right. The US needs to take some time in the quiet corner and check its attitude.

A true citizen of any country should all be able to answer the question: What have you done today to make the world around you a better place? I am definitely NOT talking about ego building "home improvement" either. We each must ask ourselves this question every day. As in "Ask not what your country can do for you...." Right?

[Note: is this not why they shot they guy? We can't have leaders telling us our future is in our hands, now can we? Far better for the market if everyone believes life is hopeless, that we are helpless, that the only remedy is buying stuff you don't need to try and lift the burden of despair so the banks can make a profit off your debts.]

If you have no ready answer to the above question, well, there's your answer to why you feel lousy. Capisce? (I'm getting ready for Italy, can you tell?)

Anyone who's wondering how things really work in American government these days (thank you Mssrs. Reagan and Thatcher) you MUST plug into this article in The New Yorker that Friedman (of whom I am most decidedly not a fan - his thinking usually provokes an eeeww) mentions in the aforementioned op-ed. Check this quote from ol' Al Gore:

“The influence of special interests is now at an extremely unhealthy [read:viral] level,” Gore said. “And it’s to the point where it’s virtually impossible for participants in the current political system to enact any significant change without first seeking and gaining permission [did he receive none, or not enough?] from the largest commercial interests who are most affected by the proposed change.” [ my brackets and italics]

Check those words: impossible, permission. Could he be any clearer?

Good ol' Al. The guy who they musta had such intense stuff on (his dad, kids maybe?) he actually conceded a national election that he won to a cretin whose marionette strings (Halliburton and Carlyle the puppetmasters – to quote Wiki:
Carlyle's directorship reads like George Walker Bush's inaugural ball invite list) were so visible as to make his performance an international joke and render the US a willy nilly violator of international laws, in plain sight, eschewing all pretense of adherence to those laws in favor of macho muscle flexing, adherence to the military industrial profiteers' bottom line, and the shameful legacy of shock and awe. Yeah, thanks, Al. (Ralph Nader would never have conceded that election, btw, not in a million years. HE is a man of unmoveable principle. don't Americans get it? The only person that can run the white house with any scruples is someone without a family or a spouse to worry about.)

But I guess better late than never, hey, Al? Is this his mea culpa for the election he handed to W without so much as a peep? Is it any less than an admission that the US political system is so corrupt as to be ungovernable by the people and for the people (read: The little people) anymore? Inquiring minds want to know. From scanning the headlines (not reading many articles; why spoil a perfectly nice day in Spain?) it would appear so. The fascist fundamentalist crazies (yes, the Tee Party wackos and their ilk) seem to have won the hearts (their minds lost long ago) of a frightening percentage of undereducated, uninformed America. I shudder to think what crazy political results I'll be returning to come Christmas. Will the patients have taken over the asylum? More importantly, Will they take away my key? (read: passport)

ciao, bambinos

1 comment:

  1. Hey Cee !!! I loved this blob and want to come back to it. I got in here a short bit ago,and
    it's now time to go!I think I'm starting to like Spain, a whole lot! Thank You, for being there!!! I'll talk more later.....tee