Friday, July 24, 2015

My surprising encounter with the gas and electric company in Madrid

After visiting my London loves, I was off to Madrid for my final week in Europe.

I was preparing myself for the worst, because Madrid was hitting 105-110+ F every day, whereas in London I'd felt chilly some days.

Gregorio (my old roommate from 2009-10, now friend) wasn't around when I arrived that hot Tuesday, as he had actually left for Oliva (near Valencia on the coast) a day or two before because his father was going to have heart surgery on July 16 (that Thursday, which coincidentally was also Gregorio's birthday). So he didn't think he'd be back in Madrid until the 19th or 20th, and my return flight to the USA was on the 22nd.

So on that Tuesday night he texted and mentioned the gas/electric people needed to come on Thursday for some readings, would I be around to let them in? Yeah, my plan was to stay in the dark indoors all day (dark because you close the metal window coverings outside to keep the heat out—no AC) and get caught up on work. I had plans at 18:00 on Thursday to meet with one of my old English students, but he said the company would come sometime between 12 and 16:00.

He then said something about checking the hot water, to make sure it worked before the company came to test it? But that seemed kind of pointless; why wouldn't the hot water work?

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer 2015: Relaxing with my London loves

After leaving Montpellier on July 1, I spent almost two weeks in London staying with Hannah and Hermann.

Yup, he was totally trying to photobomb us.

I will tell you right away, just because I used the L-word (London), doesn't mean I was in some magical faraway place having an incredibly unique experience topped with tea and crumpets.

In fact, it was the normality of it all that made it "magical" for me. For someone who hasn't lived in the same place longer than a year at a time since 2009, it's exciting to see their daily life, and how the roots these two have put down are growing. I loved relaxing in the company of my good friends in a familiar place, admiring the life they're building here.

And Damien came and visited from the 2nd to the 7th, so that was pretty magical too.

Here's a bit of what we did, in photos:

We grilled.

Hannah, Damien

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

State of the French Learner Address: June 22-30

This was my last full week in Montpellier (leaving for London on July 1).

lundi, 22 juin
After working during the day, I took the tram to the end of the line (towards the beach), where Damien picked me up for my second to last Monday of ultimate. Afterwards, once back in Montpellier we got a take-away pizza from the pizza/Italian place right next to my apartment (that I'd never eaten at before). It was tasty!

mardi, 23 juin
My roommate was up early for her final two days of recording an album with her group (traditional Russian music). After work Damien came over and we went and threw frisbee at the park right by my apartment.

mercredi, 24 juin
The dog (Laika) has this bizarre position she loves to be in, all twisted up against the wall. I took some pictures of her while working, because how that could in any way be comfortable just baffles me:

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