How I’m Learning Spanish

Living in a Spanish-speaking country does not magically make  you a Spanish speaker. Especially when you live with an English-speaking spouse in a city where it’s easy to meet other English speakers and find restaurants, shops, and doctors that cater to them. Were I in my 20s and living with a host family, there would…

One Year In: A Trip to the Hair Salon

It has been one year since Michael and I moved to Spain. Which means it has been one year since I’ve gotten my hair cut. Why? It just hasn’t been a priority. And Michael likes it long. Would prefer I never step foot in a salon, in fact. So I had a happy husband. And…

One Year In. . .

“So, how is it?” people would ask when I first moved to Spain. And I would gauge how much of the truth they really wanted to hear. And how much of the truth I really wanted to get into at that moment. Let’s put it this way: Imagine moving in your own country. Whether around…

A Day of Rest

Every morning I wake up and think, “Really? We’re going to do this again?” By “this” I mean walk 12-17 miles through Spanish towns and countryside. In rain. Or sun. Or, ideally, partial clouds. But I don’t express this thought because what’s the point? Michael and I came here with one goal: to walk from…

Life Lessons

“Cannolis!” Michael exclaimed, seeing them stacked behind the glass. “Eh,” I said. “What do you mean, ‘eh’? You love cannolis.” “But those are pre-filled,” I explained “So?” “So who knows how long ago they filled them. The shells are probably soggy by now.” And so it was that I taught Michael one of the most…

Modern Family

“Do you want to stop for any bakery stuff?” Dad asked me. He was driving me to JFK to catch my flight back to Spain. It was 4:20pm. We’d only left the house twenty minutes ago. “Nah, I’m good, but if you want to stop. . . “ “No, I don’t need anything,” he said….

Printing the Internet

“Have you seen those insurance commercials where the doctor talks about how he can’t stop you from becoming your parents?” my friend Lois asked me. I googled them. And realized I had seen them. Because I’ve spent the last two weeks at my parents house and they actually still watch television with commercials. Two nights…

Airing the Laundry: Part 3

Back in November, I learned that our summer-sun-drenched-terrace is not so sun-drenched in the winter. In fact, about the time the clocks change in the fall, our terrace is reduced to just an hour or so per day of sun—and usually that hour has passed by the time I wake up. And so it was…

Tales from the Terrace: The Clothesline (or Airing the Laundry: Part 2)

We didn’t know if we’d be required to remove our newly-purchased porch furniture from our building’s communal terrace, but that didn’t stop Michael from moving forward with his next plan for the terrace: a laundry line. After the near-debacle of drying our clothes in the cement air vent in Oviedo, we’d become more proficient at…

Tales from the Terrace

A knock on the door. Michael opens it to find a thirty-something woman standing before him. Rapid fire Spanish bursts from her mouth and Michael, having arrived in Spain just six weeks earlier, is mystified. “No entiendo,” he manages to get out, which only means, “I don’t understand,” so the woman starts to explain it…