Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 3 in LA

wildflowers in bloom and a view of downtown from Griffith Park
It's silly, I know - I'm right near the beach now that I'm at my cousins' place...  but what do I do?  Go all the way inland to meet Omry for lunch at Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada, and then follow it with a hike up in Griffith Park.

It was a windy and perfect day in LA

 I should just pick up my Bianchi from my dad's and ride my bike along the beach before I leave for good... But then again, I don't really like the beach much. 

Another view of downtown - from higher up and farther away -with different wildflowers.
I do love Downtown, however... I should go there before I leave.  Maybe I'll sign up to give a couple of evening walking tours. <--- I support them - you should go on a tour... all are great... I give Art Deco.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Back in L.A. - and what I miss about BCN

I made it "home" - back to Los Angeles, the city I love.  But I no longer have a home.  

My suitcases will be in full usage as I will be hopping all around town and road tripping throughout the summer.  Why return to Barcelona for August when everything is shut down?

Good morning dead battery!
Yep, after 7 weeks of sitting in the driveway, my car battery was dead.  Not just drained - but completely dead.  At least I had almost a half a tank of gas left... 
Ok, fine... I'll take a new battery, Mr. Triple A man.  
I just need to get to Beverly Hills from Westchester by 10 am.  
30 minutes? That should be fine.

Hello 405.  Thank you for reminding me why I hate you.  15 mph on a thursday at 9:30 am? why?
Santa Monica Blvd - that was my mistake - shoulda taken Wilshire.  I know better than that.
15 minutes late for my appointment.  How dare I blame traffic - but it was true... but, oh forget it. everyone else was late too.
Is everyone heading out of town today?  
I thought it was a 3-day weekend, not 4!  
405 wasn't bad enough, eh? the 10 East - crawling.  
stop... roll forward a bit... stop... repeat... agonizing.  
At least no one was heading south on the 110 or west on the 105 this afternoon.  

I miss not having to drive.
I miss how everything is fairly nearby in Barcelona.
I love their mass transit system.  
I miss my new friends.
I miss being able to eat a croissant with my coffee in the morning - and being able to justify it due to my daily 3-4 mile walks.  

I don't miss the food there.

I had the most kick-ass Ramen at lunch today with my dad.

And this sunday - that's right - we're having Carne Asada from Sanchez Carniceria.  (swoon)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

my favorite car

I love driving... but I hate traffic.  

What's worse than traffic?  Looking for parking. 

I've been loving exploring BCN on foot... but there have been a few times where I just wish I had a car - like when I wanted to go shopping, yet didn't want to have to carry anything for more than a kilometer.  And while the taxi's are cheap enough - it still seems to indulgent. 

love it! graffiti & all.
But if I did have a car to navigate these streets, this would be it.  Not that I understand the traffic rules here.  The prospect with having to watch out for all the vespas & motorcycles also terrifies me. I guess i'll keep walking for now.  not that it's all that save anyways... almost got hit at least 3 times in the past month.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Learning all about English... in Spain?

the view outside my window at school.
1 month ago

me:  "By the time I return to the States next month, I'll be speaking Spanish fluently"

May 10, 2011

me: "hi, oops - i mean hola!"

or alternately

me: "hola, oops - i mean 'hi!'(they're not supposed to know i speak Spanish!)

TEFL Certification classes... they're taking up all my spare time.  Not much time to blog since the days are long and yes, there is homework.  Not so much homework, but constantly thinking in terms of lesson planning, memorizing phonemic speech symbols, reviewing grammar... I 

Think I get to unwind and listen to some music?  Hah!  I now think "That's a good song to illustrate the past perfect..."  

I came to Spain thinking that I'd sharpen my Spanish and perhaps even pick up some Catalan.  Nope... and during outings with the classmates, we continue in English because that's the setting we know each other from, and we just default to it.  

Intercambio... that's what I need to do.  after i get certified.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

BCN: Virtual Disconnect

Dear Barcelona,

Because you have made it so frustrating to find information online about places & things within your city, you are forcing me to actually go out and wander the streets in search of things to do.  Sure, I get to stumble upon things I'd have never otherwise found - but finding out about places to go and things to do is so challenging. 

And Facebook doesn't get interesting for me until 4pm which is when all my U.S. contacts start waking up and posting... my contact list here is still rather meager.  As for Twitter - since I'm roaming, I can't really tweet at leisure - so there's no point there...

Talk about word of mouth: Sunday (May 1st) was Mother's day & Labor Day here in Europe.  At about 5pm, we heard a helicopter circling overhead here in my mom's 'hood.  But I didn't even realize how unusual that was until my mom pointed it out (helicopters circling overhead was the norm when I lived in Koreatown, Miracle Mile & MacArthur Park adjacent in L.A.)... Mick was over for lunch & after he left, he called and said the whole Zona Alta was on lock-down with police barricades shutting down access into the area.  Why?  Dunno... Think they had anything on the evening news?  Newp.  You know how we found out what was going on?  Mum went to the hairdressers, and that's how she got the skinny.  Old fashioned gossip at the hairdresser's.  Apparently there were some discontented unemployed rioters and anarchists protesting the banks due to the "crisis" (unemployment is 22% here), and they were throwing bricks and white paint at the bank windows all around town.  But there's no reporting anywhere!!! 

I know more about what's going on in Los Angeles than here.  sigh.  Even getting a connection here with my Mac is a tedious effort:  the Wi-Fi (pronounced wee fee) keeps going out, and I have to call up Telefonica to have them adjust their router (pronounced rooter) every few days so they can switch the channels to help me connect. 

Well, my return flight to LA is in less than 10 days... we'll see if there are things that I'll miss when i'm there until my return to BCN (not including people). 

Thanks for letting me rant.