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The truth is that I’ve been my whole life studying whatever I could find related with linguistics and ancient languages. I started with classical languages (Latin & Greek) and then Indo-European Linguistics. I’ve always been fascinated by how human beings produce such an amazing thing that is a language, how we articulate it, how we develop it and make it evolve into another one. Unfortunately, my passion has never been enough to make a career out of it. Altought I got my Master’s degree, my gradings were not good enough to start a funded PhD and probably I wouldn’t have had the patience nor the strength to do it. Besides, who the hell wants to learn Latin, Greek or Indo-European? Me. Me and some friends of mine.

As a result of it all, I’ve been my entire life working in whatever I could find. I never cared about it, but it never satisfied me either. The only important thing was that I could study what I wanted and, when I finished that, my main aim was just to travel for a year. What happened after that?

All of a sudden I was in Barcelona again. With my degrees, my irregular working experience (from being a waitress to a Spanish teacher’s assistant, through private lessons, Post Office, food store, etc etc) and all my hopes and dreams if the teaching field. I would never be able to teach Latin and Greek at a University level. But hey, what about languages that I actually speak? Would I be able to demonstrate my passion for languages teaching something real?

When I was less expecting it, it happened. One day I send resumes to all language schools in Barcelona offering myself as a Spanish, Catalan and even English teacher (ok, my English is not that amazing but I could teach basic levels, couldn’t I?). The next day a small school calls me for an interview. Jorge interviews me and we get along immediately. We share the same passion, the same view about teaching, I feel like when I first got to the Leiden Summer School: where I belong. After the interview I meet my friend Iki for a beer. 10 minutes later I receive a phone call: I’m a Spanish teacher.

Laura teaching pronouns.

And so it happened. I became part of Dime Barcelona. Another Spanish school? I doubt it. Dime is way more than a Spanish school. Dime is where our students learn Spanish and spanish culture. Dime is where all the teachers share their years of experience, their energy and their passion. Dime is dancing Sevillanas, eating chocolate con churros and going to drink vermut on a Sunday morning.

Vermut in Barcelona

Chocolate con churros y melindros

The people from Dime are not my colleagues anymore, they are my friends. The more I know about them, the happier I am about having the chance to get to know them.

Christmas party at Dime (me and Raquel)

For the first time in my life I truly enjoy what I’m doing. For the first time in my life I wake up every morning thinking about what my students will learn that day.

Every other Wednesday, for example, our students can learn Sevillanas.

After so many years being the black sheep in my family, in my group of friends, studying useless languages and complaining about every single job I had, have I finally found what I want to do the rest of my life? Maybe. Probably.

And for more information, you can check either Dime’s website, or the blog or at least became a fan of their facebook page to keep track of the latest activities at the school. If you just want to gossip a bit, you can check the Dime Team too.

If anyone wonders why the hell I’m writing a post about my job, hey, ask my friends how annoying and pesimistic have I been with finding a decent job and you’ll understand how important this is for me! (this is my way to say sorry and thank you at the same time)

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Probably I will always remember 2011 as the most exciting, weirdest and most surprising year of my life. I started the year as far as I could be from my hometown: in Gisbourne, New Zealand; I ended the year as close as I could be: in Barcelona, Spain.

I keep a text that I wrote the first minute of 2011 to remember that we didn’t start the year dancing Eurythmics, Ina and I went further dancing a catalan sardana while Shihad were playing.

This year I’ve been through all New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and I came back to Barcelona. Not bad, don’t you think? But it wasn’t only travelling, it was also growing, learning about myself and meeting all sorts of amazing people on my way.

Guys, thanks for making this year unforgettable.

 
 

#5 Fujiya & Miyagi – Knickerbocker

Vanilla. Strawberry. Hoky Poky Glory.

Singing this song, Ina and I drove more than 4000 kilometres along New Zealand. Half of it with Marty. Every single meter was worth it. Every single minute was worth it.

 
 
#4 Antònia Font – Icebergs i Guèisers

I don’t know why, but I became obsessed with this album and this song. I think it’s the most beautiful way of saying how much you miss someone. And this might have been a travelling year, but it has also been a year of missing people: the ones that I left home, the ones that I keep leaving as the trip went on. But missing is not bad, it just means that someone went through your heart. Missing people is just a sign of the amazing people I have met in my life.


 
 

#3 El Guincho – Bombay

This song is Melbourne: roast chicken, parties, dancing and realizing that nothing lasts forever, you just have to enjoy it on the meantime.

 
 

#2 George Harrison – My sweet Lord

The hippiest hippies in New Zealand were definitely us.

 
 
#1 Talking heads – This must be the place (Naive melody)

This must be the place. Not a physical place but an emotional one.

 
 
 

Thanks for sharing another year by my side. Wherever you were, wherever you are, Happy 2012!

Usually I don’t use the blog to wish Happy birthday to anyone, I already have my facebook and my mail to contact my beloved ones. But in this case, I had to do it.

I wouldn’t change the last months for anything in the world.

Marina, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I have to admit that I the beginning I wasn’t really sure of what to think when I read the newspapers and all my friends talking about it. Maybe it was just a bunch of hippies, maybe it was a bunch of bored teenagers. But after a couple of days and after reading quite a bit, I’m totally impressed with it. Spain, Spaniards. Totally unexpected. But I’m really proud of it.

– This is the Spanish revolution. And I hope it lasts (video with English subtitles).

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– This is what the BBC says about it:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13437819

– A really good explanation of everything on a blog of The New York Times:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/protesters-rally-in-madrid-despite-ban/?smid=tw-thelede&seid=auto

– This is what we you can do if you are there to help (in Spanish):

http://opvdevotaciones.blogspot.com/p/carta.html

– Some explanation in Spanish to understand it:

http://www.enriquedans.com/2011/05/entendiendo-la-spanishrevolution.html

– Current protest in main cities, not only in Spain but in the whole world. There are protests in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Montpellier, even Sydney in Australia! Look for yours!!

http://acampadas15m.blogspot.com/

“As you don’t let us dream, we won’t let you sleep”

Ya que no nos dejais soñar, no os vamos a dejar dormir.


I am 29 years old, I have a Master in Indo-European linguistics from the Leiden University in Holland, I almost had a Master in Greek and Latin in Barcelona but I never finished it because my job expectations in Spain were virtually none and after years fighting I realized that it was useless. I am fluent in English, Catalan and Spanish. I have never worked in anything related to what I studied because I’m either too educated or not enough educated for that. I have been a waitress, worked in a shop, sold food for less than 4 euros per hour (and that was just one year ago, not when I was a teenager!). Currently I’m in Australia running away from Spain. But hey, I want to live in my damn country. I want to work as a teacher, to have a house, a family. And I can’t because there’s no hope for someone like me in 2011. When I left I was earning 700 euros and I couldn’t even afford a rent for myself. There has to be something we can do. But the governments (in plural) aren’t helping enough, and just two parties keep always the power, which means that in fact is like a football match with a ball going from corner to corner without leading nowhere. Something has to change. Our government has to change. Our Democracy has to change, Spanish Democracy needs to get adapted to year 2011.

I wish I was there to join them, meanwhile I’ll try to do my best from here, which is spreading the word and sharing the information. I just hope it lasts. My thoughts are with you.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE:

Melbourne will also support you, guys!

Saturday, May 21st, 2pm, in front of the Spanish Consulate: 146 Elgin st. in Carlton.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Democracia-Real-Ya-Melbourne/116096098474997  (facebook fan page!)

When I turned 27 I was in Holland, and after one of the biggest party ever my mum sent me three messages (true story):

– Happy Birthday! You’re 27 and still without a house!

– Happy Birthday! You’re 27 and still without a boyfriend!

– Happy Birthday! You’re 27 and still without a degree!

I woke up in my 29th birthday and realized that my mum is still right and I still don’t have a house for myself, actually I’m in Australia jumping from house to house without knowing where will I sleep next. I woke up in my 29th birhday and realized that I still don’t have a boyfriend, as if this was of any importance. I woke up in my 29th birthday and realized that well, actually I do have a degree. I have a Master in Indo-European Linguistics and I’m travelling around the world because I couldn’t find any job related with that.

I woke up in my 29th birthday and realized that maybe I don’t have any of that, but what I do have despite the distance, despite my irregular moods, despite all, is my friends.

The friend who travels with me

The one who makes me laugh

The one who makes me sing

The one who makes me dance

The one who makes me scream

And the one who knows me since I was born,

and the one who waits for me in Madrid, actually there are a couple of them waiting for me in Madrid and one was living in New York enjoying her life, and the other was studying to be a lawyer, and talking about lawyers I also have a couple of them in Barcelona, and a friend in Holland with whom I don’t often talk but I still love her, and the Spaniards from Holland, my dear expatriates, and all the kiwis, my family in this adventure, the ones who taught me so much about myself, and all the ones that I can’t mention but I know will be there no matter how.

What I do have is friends.

Sometimes I’m really bad sending mails, sometimes I’m really selfish, sometimes I’m the worst friend ever. But guys, you know I’m serious when I say it: I love you.

And as The Beatles already said, All you need is love.
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Sometimes I’m just proud of where I come from. Of all our music, our culture, our languages. And I miss you all (you all now who you are)

#5 Manel – Gent Normal

I don’t really like this band besides two songs: this incredible version of “Common People” from Pulp and “al mar”, a song that takes me straight to the sea and my beach. But they are huge in Spain now, and they probably deserve it.


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#4 The New Raemon – Aquest cony de temps

The New Raemon are awesome. I just discovered this band a few weeks ago, being in New Zealand. And I can’t wait to see them live. On the meantime, this is a version of a famous song from when I was a teenager.

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#3 Pony Bravo – El Pony Bravo

And Pony Bravo are awesome. Seriously. Their first album is something incredibly adictive, hypnotic. Seriously, one of the best albums I’ve heard in ages! I can’t stop listening to it over and over again. They are genuinely good musicians, and they are the only band for which you don’t need to understand any lyrics to appreciate the music.

By the way, album free to download from their website: http://www.enelrancho.com/. (The best album is “Si bajo de espaldas no me da miedo” by far!)

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#2 Antònia Font – Clint Eastwood

I love Antònia Font, I love Joan Miquel Oliver. That’s it. Their dreamlike mallorcan lyrics, their music, their videos. Pure surrealism. Pure art.

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#1 Astrud – Hay un hombre en España

All in all, Astrud was how I started loving the music made in Spain (or in Catalunya, I don’t want to enter any political discussion here). Genís and Manolo are pure sarcasm and throughout the years they gave some amazing hits that will always be remembered. They did (and still do) dare to tell the truth in the most ironic way about our tacky, seedy yet inspiring country.

(just look the video and you’ll see what I’m talking about…. hahahaha)

Four months ago, 8th November 2010, we started this trip. Maybe four months is not that long time ago, but if I look backwards and I think about all the experiences, people and place we have seen and met, belive me, it is a long time ago.

And after four months we still haven’t had any argument, we still laugh everyday, we still have something to say to each other. Maybe we won’t finish the trip together, who knows?, but now, almost at its middle point, I’m totally sure why I chose her to travel with: we balance each other, we know each other and we love each other.

Four months in which we have visited United States, Cook Islands and New Zealand. But we have met heaps of people who have taught us how live is in all of these countries. We have learned about food, about environment, about culture and, mainly, about people and ourselves. Travelling probably is the only way to know yourself.

 Sometimes I have the feeling that I want to settle in a place, that I’m tired of travelling and never being part of anything. But then, like today, I think about all I have done and I see it was totally worth it. Even if the trip ended just next week, it was totally worth it.

So now we still have eight more months to go. Eight at least! One and a half in New Zealand, 6 in Australia and a week in Singapore. And who knows what else, because we have our minds filled with Fiji, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur.

Marina, you know it, we are made for tropical islands and summer. We can do it! 🙂

(Porque… yo no le temo a los rayos, yo no le temo a los rayos porque tienen luz y brillo, lo mismo que mi caballo!)

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