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

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Rain Rain Go Away Part 2

I just got all ready to go walk down to Margaux’s work to have lunch with her, since I have no school today. As soon as I put on my shoes, and grabbed the keys, it started hailing and raining sideways. I called her back, cancelled our lunch plans, put on my slippers and am now heating up some hot tea. I have some new books to start anyway. 

Better luck tomorrow.


Rain Rain Go Away

Rats, our plans to get out of town this weekend were foiled by Mother Nature. Better luck next time. Instead, we are going to go buy a TV and watch movies all weekend.  

We are boring. But we are also San Diegans, so we don’t go out when it’s too cold. 

Everyone said Madrid is so hot all the time…. I don’t believe them. It’s been cold and rainy and cloudy for the last 5 weeks. It’s like I am back in Spokane.

In other news, my Spanish class is going well. I forgot how much I don’t know about pluscuamperfecto de indicativo.  I am still no good at grammar, but I am definitely improving my reading ability! This summer, I am going to read my novels in Spanish. Recommendations? 

A little rambling reminiscence of home

For some reason, I woke up this morning craving waffles. I wanted brunch at The Big Kitchen, then to go to Target and buy groceries at Henry’s. I want to watch TV on my sweet chaise lounge and maybe drive my moped around South Park.  

I miss text messaging everyone. 

Yesterday, Margaux and I had a craving to go to Souplantation with Carly and Yana and to Hive Sushi with Deepika and Frankie.  

I had a dream about my Rav 4. I think that’s what started it all. That little piece of junk and I go way back. Thinking that it’s a big crushed hunk of metal somewhere makes me bittersweet.  Margaux misses her boy Dylan, her Honda, but is comforted to know that he has a new home with new passengers. 

I miss Ocean Beach, especially our tiny apartment with a tiny view of the ocean and having BBQs with our neighbors on Del Monte Ave. 

I don’t miss our windowless apartment on C Street, but I do wish Tanya still lived across the hall from us so we can borrow milk and arroz con leche and cold medicine from her and lend her bowls and cups and our vacuum in return.  

Our little chunk of San Diego now is a memory of good times filled with California burritos, craft beer, Sunday afternoon zoo dates, and always-postponed game nights. 

Not to mention, this is my favorite time of year at work.  Students nervously choosing their colleges and reviewing financial aid offers always is an exciting rollercoaster for the whole family.  Good luck guys! 

Of course, we miss our friends and my mom and brothers. It’d be nice to go to Thousand Oaks and play with Pancake and Biscuit. Margaux misses her family and friends in Woony, and we can’t wait to meet all the new babies that have appeared or are about to appear since the last time we visited (Zoey, TWO Masons, Julian, who will be here any minute, and little Dominic in CT!). It goes without saying that being with the people you love is extra special when you haven’t seen them in a long time. 

It was bound to happen. It’s important to say though, that homesickness is not the same as sadness. I am so grateful to be here with Margaux. This was the right thing for both of us in so many ways. There’s a million things to explore and we have a lot of traveling to do.  I know in the future, our time in Madrid will be the subject of many nostalgic memories. 

Cheers to the people and experiences that have made my life full. Cheers to the mundane moments that are under-appreciated in all of our lives. Cheers to making today worth remembering. 

Love to all. 

An adventure is never an adventure when it’s happening.
Challenging experiences need time to ferment, and an adventure is simply physical and emotional discomfort recollected in tranquility.

Tim Cahill.  

This is exactly how I feel about our moving to Spain. It’s not easy or fun all the time, but it definitely is an adventure! 

My baby brother Ray rocks out. 

Nerd central

Margaux: (Looks up from her Prado Museum book) Hey, is there a sequel to Fiddler on the Roof?
Jean: No, why?
Margaux: I just want to know if they ever end up finding all the daughters. I hope they do. (Goes back to looking at the art book)…Want to go to this museum today?
Jean: Who are you? And what have you done with my Margaux?

A Modest Request

Obviously, we don’t have high speed internet. Yet. But, you see here’s the difficulty that comes with this very first world problem. No streaming music. No NPR All Songs Considered. No Spotify, Rhapsody, or Pandora. No Youtube.  

Here’s the deal. I currently have about 900 songs that Margaux and I have listened to on repeat for the past month. I love Beyonce and Showtunes and everything, but it’s time to freshen this up.  I can’t function without music and my mariachi/Joss Stone/Rent/Damien Rice repeat mix is sounds like tired morning breath to me. It used to be good, but after too long it starts to get a little stale…..

So I am asking for your help. I know there are at least a handful of you out there who have good taste in music.  Ray, Patti, hipsters, travelers, musicians, dancers, students, workaholics and nerds I’m looking at you.  Will you make us a mixtape-style CD with your favorite tunes?  We love everything, of course.
Send me an email if you want to volunteer to help us out, I’ll send you our mailing address.  In return, and as a thanks, I’ll send you a cool postcard from Madrid. Thanks friends!!!!  My email is jsimonalibby at gmail.

Make this happen ——> Dancing

One day, Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.

“Which road do I take?” she asked.

“Where do you want to go?” was his response.

“I dont know,” Alice answered.

“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

Lewis Carol

Tomorrow is my first day of school

This post is dedicated to all the BLCI kids.

Today, I rode the bus around in circles like a frustrating dream where you don’t get anywhere. After about 674 transfers, I finally figured out I had been going the wrong way, and turned around, started over, and found my way to the campus. I felt all awkward and out of place at the huge Universidad Complutense de Madrid. It was super windy and I didn’t have a hair tie, which everyone knows is a big disaster in my book. After I interrupted a study session to ask for directions, walked into a professor’s office on accident, and had to go up and down millions of flights of stairs (sexy for Spain!), I sort of got the feeling that maybe I wouldn’t be able to do it. 

Nevertheless, I remembered that the whole reason I am in Madrid in the first place is to follow my own advice and do the hard things.  I thought, “I am not going to walk away from this stupid task just because it is annoying me right now.”  I couldn’t, that would be embarrassing, and I would let myself down.  

After another half an hour of fruitless wandering around campus (noting that this was just another self-guided campus tour) I finally found the office I needed. Of course, it was randomly stuffed on the second floor of the philosophy building with only a small 8.5×11 paper taped to the door that says “Centro para la enseñanza del español.”  With sweaty pits and windblown hair, I probably looked like a crazy mess when I asked the people in the office if this was the right place to sign up. 

The nice lady had me fill out an “application,” which I had to laugh at, because I have spent the last five years of my life filling out such forms, and this was the best one. Name. Date of Birth. Passport Number. That was it. No essay, SATs, or letters of recommendation. Of course, this is just a short language course, but still. 

Tomorrow is the first day of class. Good thing I practiced and have an idea where to go now and I won’t be so lost on the bus. I bought a brand new notebook and picked out my outfit already.  They told me the class is really small, and I don’t know what to expect.  I hope I make some friends!

Wish me luck.  BLCI kids, I owe it to you guys for giving me the bravery to figure this out. I miss you all. 

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