The story of how I quit my job and went to play in Madrid

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Hola. Me llamo Margaux y soy su vecina en el numero dos. Estamos nuevo aqui y tenemos que hacer nuestros muebles. Necesitamos un martillo. Usted tiene uno que puede pedir prestado?

Margaux, making friends with our new neighbor. She looked up how to say this, wrote out a little script, I helped her practice two times and then she went knocking to go find us a hammer. Big success, the hot neighbor kindly lent us one, now our IKEA furniture is assembled. 


Apartment update Part 2

So you may have been wondering, what happened with the boletin? Did Jean and Margaux ever get into their apartment?  Well, sorry for leaving you hanging, I’m sure you were just dying to know….. 

Long story short. We got the electricity guy to come in on Monday morning. He was a real nice guy who asked me why I was so happy to see him. I told him we had been waiting a week for electricity.  He said, “Why didn’t you just tell the company it was urgent? I’m in this neighborhood every day.” 

STOP. I didn’t even want to hear that. I pretended that I didn’t. I did tell the company it was urgent, but they didn’t care. If I would have had this guy’s number, I could have called him directly. It literally took him 2 minutes to switch on the lights. Oh Jesus. 

Anyway, we are much happier now that we are in our apartment. I realize that I like to have a little place that’s all mine to be in, I don’t feel so lost and disorganized. For the first time in about a month, we have a set up place, with our things in it. Albeit, not many things, but that’s fine with us. 

Our balcony looks out over the courtyard of this big complex and has a view of the mountains.  The other morning, we saw snow on the tops and we were happy. The morning and late evening are my favorite. We can see the sunset beautifully, and now that the time changed here, it sets around 9pm. There’s a bunch of kids always screaming in the courtyard, and those of you who know me know that is not a joy. But, I can tell they are having fun.  I can also hear lots of people laughing and talking when they have dinner and friends over in the evening. The best part is that we are on the third floor, higher than anyone else, so I can see everyone on their balcony and that’s how I learned the right way to hang up laundry to dry.  Which reminds me, having a washing machine is the best thing ever. It’s the first time in our lives that we’ve had our own!  What a luxury! 

I will post pictures of our place as soon as I can! We still have a little bit of IKEA stuff to assemble this weekend and we will be all set. 

Love to all, 


Our first night in our new apartment. Margaux made some tapas opened a bag of chips, cut up some bread, and sliced some cheese. We poured cheap wine. Lit some candles. Watched the sunset from the balcony. Perfect. Even if there was no electricity.

Just a little breakfast while I catch up on emails and blog posts. More to come! 

Just as I thought I was starting to understand the US economic crisis, I realize the problems are widespread and very very complicated. Read up! 

Spain’s Economic Crisis, Workers Strike

Do you think dogs can be bilingual?

Margaux, on canine linguistics

This seat is reserved for fat ladies, women carrying softballs and footballs, tired shepherds, and Edward Laserhands.  

Ham Ham Ham Ham Ham

Ok, so the jamon obsession is going to take some getting used to. Yes, it’s delicious. Should we eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?  Everyone seems to think so. 

Vegetables don’t seem to be a priority. If you are vegetarian, good luck. Bring some granola bars. 

I would like to thank Anthony Bourdain for the heads up about the different types of ham. We had some delicious bites that come from wild pigs who only eat acorns. There are some that come on a hard roll, sometimes it comes just a plateful of ham slices with bread on the side. For those of you who are uninitiated, I am not talking about your Easter ham, or the kind that comes on eggs benedict. This is jamon straight from the leg hanging above the rows of vermouth at the bar. This jamon, dangling there from the ceiling, has been aging for some two years or more before it gets to be hand sliced and served to you. It’s delicious. It’s complex. It’s everywhere. 


Check out this link to learn more.

Apartment update

Let’s just say we are Angry Birds and we can’t get that last guy with the helmet on, no matter how many tries we take.


Suddenly, there is no more boletin required. We are back to exactly the same place we were a week ago. Now we have to wait for the technician to call us, come to the apartment and install an electricity counter? It will be 3-5 more business days, and no, we can’t do it any faster and no, there’s nothing else you can do. 

The good news is, we have each other, we have a roof over our heads, and we still have enough money for food. Lucky me, we get to eat out every day, since we can’t cook without a fridge or a stove. What is your favorite recipe to make (besides bread at jam) without any refrigeration or cooking necessary? Please share your ideas.

I’m buying candles tomorrow, we are moving in, lights or no lights. 

So much ham, everywhere! I can’t wait to see what Thanksgiving here is like. I bet it must be crazy………………. Wait. Oh….Nevermind.

Margaux, on Spanish holidays. 

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