Thursday, 23 September 2010

Vid: Hola! Rich from Valenica....

I wrote most of this post a few days ago... I'll be posting a vid from this morning immediately after...



Well here we are in Valencia...

I realise this video has a pretty fucked up camera angle but that probably captures as well my mood after being fucked about by the buearocracy over here so I'm leaving it :D...

Ignore the part about the tour because Neil did that and that's the blog post just before this.

Anyway now we finally have a place to live, residency, bank accounts, and the internet. -

I’m not going to lie and say it was easy to get all that. Actually it should have been, because mainly it’s just us going around to people and saying “here – we have all this money we’ve saved up – you take it and give us x, y and z.” But in reality it isn’t.

The most painful parts have been dealing with the insanely disorganised Spanish bureaucratic system. Queuing for hours on end, day after day, in a long line of discontented eastern Europeans and surrounded in pissed off Spanish police officers. I’m not sure where all the tension comes from – but what you have there is a lot of pissed off people bundled close together in a line for hours on end.

In amongst all that the cops pulled me over for a random spot check in town and give me a hard time for not carrying the paper part of my license. Usually the kind of thing that I wouldn’t mind; but after cracking my head open on Spanish bureaucracy for almost a week and being extremely pleasant to the extremely unpleasant cop, to be perfectly honest it pissed me off big time. That’s the kind of moment where you think – “Fuck this; I’m going back to blighty.”

I wonder if it’s similar for Spanish people who go to Britain, and if so maybe it’s something which countries need to think a little more about. You have these people who come to your country with hopes, dreams, ideas, positivity, and then you treat them with a barrage of red-tape and a definite sense of aggravating authoritarianism (being in that queue felt very much like being back in primary school) which leaves a definite, and I imagine for a lot of people – lasting, bad taste. And we have not had to contend with racism, if you threw that into the mix then I could understand how an economical migrant could very quickly become intensely distasteful towards the golden land they once desired to be part of.

Anyway – time to let all that crap go and move on to the real fun, finding work... and partying on the beach :D

We’ve done next to nothing for our job search so far. The launching bay always seems to look just that little bit better tomorrow with the upcoming x, y or z add-on – ie: getting an apartment, sorting residency, getting the internet, etc. I can’t say how it’s going to go. Any job involving Spanish is almost unthinkable at this moment – even for me, let alone Neil. I can speak pretty well, but comprehension is very difficult – and if a shop clerk who’s paid to help you doesn’t slow down when you say “Más lentamente por favor” then there’s no way in hell a client or customer would be prepared to.

Learning a language is a pretty weird skill when you actually come to the real communication part. Improvement tends to be difficult to see – then suddenly you jump up a whole level. Some conversations are effortless, and some are totally nonsensical. I suspect it depends somewhat on the person you’re talking to – but something it definitely depends on a lot is your mood. If you’re pissed off, scattered, stressed – then it quickly becomes difficult, all the words make no sense and you don’t seem to know any of the words you need to say. But if you’re in a good, focused, satisfied mood then conversation is easy and enjoyable – expressions come out almost as fluidly as your natural language (I’m not exaggerating).

So we’re almost certainly English teachers for the time being. I’ve got a list of schools to contact which I’ll be doing this week. I’m also going to put up some ads for private lessons. I’m not really sure what people expect to get from English lessons – but I would only feel good giving people high quality tuition anyway. So once I’ve got an idea of what a “good English lesson” consists of I’m going to set-aside a regular part of the day to improve whatever I need to so that I can deliver one.


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