Si.Vale.

When all else fails just smile and say, "Si".

Wait, are those paper bats?

I don’t have a Bucket List. But, after going to Lisbon I am pretty sure I have checked off the important ones.

Jump in to the Portuguese ocean in my underpants? Check.

Scale a cliff in cowboy boots? Yep.

Dance in the streets of Lisbon to Shakira? Well of course.

Headbang to Disturbed in a gothic cave bar in a white party dress? Wouldn’t miss it. 

It is safe to say, I left my heart in Lisbon. Pictures and a more detailed account to follow. 

Listening to: The Decemberists, This is why we Fight

Jesus, is that you?

Not that I would ever think to include myself with the likes of Marilyn Monroe… but I have The Seven (Week) Itch. When I first arrived to Spain everything was new and exciting. I could find endless amusement simply by finding innuendo’s involving Spanish names…

"What’s your name?"

"Jesus."

"Oh reeeeealllyyyy…. because I feel like you are going to make me get down on my knee’s and pray for forgiveness later!"


Sorry Mom and Dad, but these joke were hilarious. Now I feel like the only thing getting me out of bed in the morning is the thought of playing ping pong football with Santi or talking with Charo about her day. That and playing actual ping pong with Jennifer —who is my only source of sanity here, well semi- sanity as I don’t think I will ever be totally sane.

Which got me to thinking, moving to a new place is pretty similar to entering in to new relationship. Except with a new local you can’t just change your number and say you joined the Peace Corps. Yeah I’ve done that, don’t judge. Nope, moving to a new country is like entering into an arranged marriage, you’re pretty much stuck with it no matter how little you have in common. Which, for me, is actually pretty ideal. I have the tendency to run at the slightest sign of commitment. So Spain, you Casanova, you have tied me down. I am….committed. Gross. I am here, in the kitchen, barefoot making you a sandwich. Would you like a beer with that? Shall I come message your feet?

As it goes with most relationships, I am finding that dispite my best efforts I am liking this little country more and more each day. Even if it is a selfish mother f**ker and won’t let me see Source Code undubbed!

Listening to: Foo Fighers: Wasting Light They recorded this in their garage? Epic.

This is the carcus of a leg of ham. It in no way has to do with this post other than I still think it’s crazy that Spanish people keep legs of ham in their houses with special devices to hold them.

"Hola! Sabe donde esta la putaria?" You just asked for the place where they sell bitches, not the place where they sell fruit.

—Estupida americiana

Dime. DEE-meh. Tell me.

I am living in Spain. I do not speak Spanish.

Why am I living in Spain? Facebook, obviously.

As my graduation from college (university to you Europeans) loomed, I kept being asked the same question; now what? The prospect of looking for a “grown-up” job in this tumbling economy made me exhausted, and I hadn’t even filled out one application.So I did what anyone self respecting Generation Y-er would do: I went online. More specifically, I went on Facebook.

There I saw pictures of a vague acquaintance; sitting on a beach, in front of a cathedral, eating gelato on a scooter with a cute boy holding a puppy—ok, maybe not that one. What was she doing in Europe? Was she an ambassador? Dating a prince? Fabulously wealthy? Then I saw the answer. The next picture- her on a beach, all smiles, hugging three bright-eyed impossibly adorable children. The caption “my little kiddies”. Bingo. Light-bulb moment. She was an Aupair. Then, a brighter light-bulb flashed; if she could do it, why not me? I made up my mind there then. I would escape to the promised land by doing what I liked to do anyways, watch kids. I popped on over to my good friend Google and typed in “Aupair jobs”. Within the afternoon I had put my person up for hire to the highest bidder.

Now, mamma don’t raise no fools. I had seen The Nanny Diaries- or at least the first half an hour before realizing Scarlett Johannsen’s attempt at acting made me want to punch her in her rather ample ta-ta’s- and I knew the risks. The most frightening of which was being sold as an indentured servant to some overly manicured cougar who expected me to wax her car as well as her legs. Though in hindsight I should have been more worried about being a Russian sex-slave a-la Taken.

In the coming months each request for employment I received I cast a cloud of doubt as to the full-proofness of my full-proof plan. Six kids, twin baby boys in the middle of the Scottish farmland? You had to be kidding me, I mean I love kids but the thought of sheering sheep with a baby on each hip in no way sounded fabulous and European. Then, like a ray of beautiful Spanish light shining through a sheep sheering shit storm— there was Charo.

Single mom in the South of Spain looking for a fun-loving girl to help one 9 year-old boy with his English and act as his big sister.

Holy hell, I was going to Spain.

Santi, Me, and Charo. My little Spanish family.

Listening to: Sleigh Bells, Tell em’

Yes.

As my wise, though tragically red-headed, best friend said to me. “Haley, look at your Facebook information. ‘Haley Clanton. From Santa Cruz, CA. Living in Algeciras, Spain. Studied Journalism and Media Studies.' You need to blog”. Oh how wise you are my firey friend. That sly little minx has, from across the globe no less, gotten to do a dirty thing. I am blogging.

My long standing hesitation to join the cyber-diary universe stems from my belief -however unfounded- that blogs are just a way for people to make themselves feel important. Online personal writing still feels vaguely renascent of those emo days spent writing angst filled prose on my livejournal. Does anyone remember those? Talk about embarrassing. There is also a distinct possibility that my trepidation could be simply based on the fact that I hate having to spell or punctuate things correctly. That being said, I have gotten over myself- or gotten more narcissistic- and am here to enthrall the masses. Yes, I did have to look up how to spell narcissistic on Google. I Googled. I will continue to Google. I am not ashamed.

Listening to: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo