Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Student Comments {5} and Other Random Musings

Hey hey all,

Nothing like laying in bed with a cold to catch up on blogging lol. Here are some more random musings.


 I was helping one of the teachers grade some history science exams and this is what I read:
Question: What is was the Industrial Revolution?

Answer: It was a rebolution. It was violent.

2. During lunch time at school the auxiliares and I give an English Workshop called Lunch Bunch, where we essentially play games and try to get the kids practicing english... not always an easy task when they have to do that instead of be outside playing whatever they want.

My coworker Makhala and I started the session off with a name game icebreaker. We were all in a circle and you had to say your name and an adjective that describes you as well as remember everyone's name and adjective that came before you. "Cathy is Cool, Makhala is Funny, Sara is happy... etc.

About half way though the circle one of the kids goes "Cathy is Cool, Makhala is..." So trying to give the kid a clue I make the f sound.. (F)... (F).. Makhala is (F)....at, Fat! Horrified, I said, "You mean funny, Makhala is Funny!? Quickly changing the topic and moving on the next person in the circle >.< Makhala was really great and nonchalant about it... unlike me...

2a. Along with doing the Lunch Bunch activities the auxilares also help in the Cafeteria with a mock restaurant where the kids get to eat with us once a week and speak English, as we serve them and show them table manners and the like. At the end of one of the sessions one of the first graders innocently comes up to me and asks..."Teacher are you..em-bara-said?" |Again horrified, I said, "Pregnant? No, I'm not pregnant... it's not embarasaid... that's a false friend" as I hurried her off to get back into the line.

Pregnant? No. Embarrassed? Yes.

3. With my fifth graders in English we are doing group skits. One of my groups are doing a skit about being circus people and the lion tamer brings in her sick lion. They wanted the girl who was playing the lion tamer to also act out the part of the lion, and as I gave an example (during the week that I was pretty much without a voice it came out more like this:

4. This year conversation in the staff room is pretty segregated among teachers and the language assistants... the end of one we did catch was bits and pieces of remote control vibrators at parties and other creams that give sensations... comical and awkward at the same time

5. Reviewing things a previous topics with students:
Me: Can you tell me what marks the beginning and end of the Prehistory period?
Student: P and Y... with a big grin on his face.

6. Any auxiliar can attest to this, if you ask a student "how are you?" 99.9% of the time they are going to say,
"I'm fine thank you, and you?" I've had several classes say this all in unison. Now I tell my students that there are many different ways they can answer this question (i.e... I'm fantastic, I'm sleepy, I'm okay...etc) and there is where it went terribly wrong with my 3rd graders..

Me:  I'm tired, how are you?
Student 1: I'm angry.
Me: Why?
Student 2: He's angry because he (makes heart shapes with hands) a girl.
Student 1: And she (makes heart shapes with hands) another boy.
Student 2: What? No.
Student 1: Yes, she told me at lunch to my face.
Me: Oh no, I'm sorry
Student 1: I just want to punch and kill them both, then revive the girl and (makes kissy face then quickly does a thrusting action)
Me: Stop that!
Student 2: What?
Student 1: You don't know what (thrust thrust) is?
Me: Ok, there are three uses for the word can Permission, Request, and Ability...

Until next time!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


...Feeling like this.

and a bit homesick... even though life is pretty good right now.

That is all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

There's Always A Story- Puente~ing- Cáceres

Lucky for me last weekend brought on another puente since I work in Madrid center and have Mondays off. A sudden change of plans from Valencia to Alicante, and finally the decision was made to trek to Extremadura and spend the weekend in Cáceres.
It hadn't really occured to me before to visit this regions on top of every where else, but it seemed to work out the best and my hermana Nelly was really interested in going to see the land where many of the conquistadors came from, so we bought our tickets, booked the room, and were on our way.
Coming back from a packed weekend in the Basque Country, and heading full swing into a week of work, private classes, rehearsals, and having a semi-social life, by the time Thursday came around I was exhausted and this break was exactly what I needed. All I had to do was make it there and everything would be fine.... apparently for me, this is easier said than done. Thursday night came, and my clothes were still needing to dry on the line, which meant I needed to pack them in the morning before leaving for my 8am bus. So I set my alarm for 6am, this way I could shower and be fresh for the bus ride, and then pack my suitcase (hoping not to forget anything like i had the previous weekend. Well I had woken up naturally at 5:45, so I decided I could indulge in those last 15 minutes (always a big mistake).  The next time I opened my eyes, I had the strange sensation that I was just a bit too comfortable in my bed and looked and it was already 6:50! Desperately needing to shower I raced off and got everything together as quickly as i could, and headed to the bus station still a good 35 minutes away. Much to my dismay when I got to the metro the digital sign lit up and displayed the next train would arrive in 6 minutes!! (Darn you holiday schedule!!) While on the train I texted Nelly panicked thinking that I really wasn't going to make it, and when I got to my transfer my heart fell when i saw the other train would arrive also in 6 minutes. Finally arriving to the bus station, I bolted off the train and ran up the stairs only one flight away from the bus, and I get the text message "We just pulled out :("
Story of my life...
My heart sank, and I slowly headed over to the ticket office trying to see if I could sulkily get the guy working at booth to let me trade my ticket for a later one. When it was no go, I told him fine let me get on the next bus and surprisingly it was at 9am!! Such a relief because I thought the next one was at noon, which would have thrown off everything! So I called Nelly to tell her the plan, and we were only slightly off schedule.

For the first half of the ride I knocked out in my window seat only waking up occasionally to a view just outside of Madrid that seemed a bit mediocre after having come from the lush green of the north the previous weekend. My knees were crushed because the people in front of me decided that they wanted to recline their seats all the way back. I decided not to say anything because of a near fight that broke out for the same reason when my sister came to visit me on our trip to Málaga.
As scheduled we had a 20 minute break at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere, where people go and buy overpriced snacks and head for the bathroom. I got off the bus to stretch my legs, leaving my backpack in my seat since I was just oustide of the bus I could see who was getting in and out of it. When I got back on the bus I noticed the people that the people who were sitting around me before had gotten off and were replaced by a group of elderly people.
When I got to my seat the old lady across from me on the other side of the bus said "That seat is already reserved, head to the back." Being that it was my backpack there, I was confused and still sleepy I guess, and in return from my confused expression she repeats again "You have to go to the back" I tell her it's my bag there and she says no and continues to insist that I need to go the back. Another lady who is sitting in front the older woman came to my defense and said "Well that´s where she was sitting before..." I take my seat and try to pay no mind to the crazy sour faced old woman as she's having a conversation with the first lady insisting I shouldn't be sitting there because "someone's" bag is there. The other woman reminds her that I told her it was my bag, and then the older lady replies "Pues la negrita solo pudo haber dicho que era suyo" (The black girl could have just said that it was hers...)

Umm... wait... what??
All I said in response to her is "estas muy equivocada señora" (you're very wrong ma'am), and then went to replay the incident in my head the rest of the ride. As outraged as I was by the incredibly racist remark the lady made, I didn't have the energy to argue and escalate the scene, and quite frankly I knew it wasn't going to go anywhere. Even though this isn't entirely applicable to everything I think the phrase "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" may come into play here.I knew if I got in her face this woman would probably just reinforce whatever negative she thoughts she has in that closed mind of hers. After talking to my co-workers I also realize part of why I didn't say anything is because really when it's happening you're just in shock that someone could be that way. I mean even the fact that I'm not black is beside the point, she could have said gordita, alta, bruta, it would have all come off as offensive. It was an expensive 40 minutes to sleep in... Oh society, we still have a ways to go...

I didn't let the totally rain on my parade... even though it did rain throughout the weekend (again). I met Nelly and we were shown to our tiny room with an incredibly comfortable bed, and then we ventured off to try to find lunch. We got some recommendations from friends and fellow auxiliares, so we went looking for a good spot recommended by a native of Cáceres. The restaurant was in the medieval city, so we climbed and trekked only to be told that the restaurant was closing. (Oh Spain!). So we went looking elsewhere for food, only to find that EVERYTHING was shut down after lunch... even the kebap place!! I guess in Madrid we're spoiled and don't truly experience siesta. This left Nelly and I only to eat the snacks we had brought for our long bus ride, and hold out until dinner.

For dinner we tried to head to the same place, but we headed in to early and it didn't look like they were ready to serve so we went another route. Saturday we went to the centro commercial "mall" that we had scene on our taxi ride from the bus station, only to find that it was a very sad selection of places to shop...I was looking for a jacket since I only brought a hoodie in the midst of my rushed packing, and luckily roaming the streets I found a great one! (Love retail therapy!)

Most of the rest of the time we spent wandering through the old city, taking pictures with several size doors, taking a look at what the people looked at before they made their voyage to America. We searched for Moctezuma's Palace, only to be extremely disappointed that it looked just the same like everything else, and it was closed.

Definitely a nice weekend!
Ciudad Medieval

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 12, 2012

There's Always A Story- Puente~ing- País Vasco

Hey Hey Everyone, 

  Sorry for the slight pause in posts, things have been getting slightly hectic, and of course I'm going out and living the Spanish life, not only writing about it. 

I want to take a slight detour before I get into what's been happening. I've come to the realization that... I'm happy. With all of the things I've had to overcome in this last year, that's the very reason for this epiphany. I'm finally at a point in my life where I really enjoy my job and my co-workers (also that I'm blessed that I have a job), I'm healthy, I'm really living the dream here on the other side of the world and trying to take advantage before the sand runs out of the hourglass. Life isn't perfect, but for now I'm really happy. Ironically, after having this realization my sister posted on facebook that she was having a similar revelation which only makes the smile on my face even bigger. 

Now... with all that being said... even though things are good, that doesn't mean I stop being Cathy, because like the title of this blog says there's always a story....

Here in Spain they call long weekends puentes because often times if a holiday falls on a weekday, they'll connect it with the weekend. November 1st was All Saints day, therefore it was a 4-day weekend four most, but 5 days for me since this year I have Mondays off. So I decided to take advantage and go check out the Basque country. Originally I was supposed to be going with a friend but last minute plans changed, and I decided to go on alone... sort of. A few other friends were making the same trip, but because they work on Monday my trip was kind of a day behind theirs so I wasn't alone the whole time...

Photo courtesy of my good friend Matt
I made it to Bilbao after sleeping pretty much the whole 6 hour bus ride, since we had our 1 year roommate anniversary party at my house the night before... and people were still going by the time I headed to the bus station. I was greeted by rain, and taxi-ed over to my hostel. Met up with my friends, and some of their friends and then we were off to see what kind of pinchos Bilbao had to offer, but not before heading to the view point to see the city. 1 euro to take a trap to the top of a hill, at first with the rain and the gloominess it was apparent why they only charged 1 euro but as the sky calmed a bit, it was a beautiful sight.  

The next day my friends headed to San Sebastian, and I had the day to myself exploring the Guggenheim, and wandering around the city a bit. When I got back to the hostel, the other people there didn't really seem that open, in a kind of un-Cathy way I decided I wasn't going to try to make friends, and it was too cold to go off and venture alone, so I just went to the grocery story, and read for the rest of the evening. 

Saturday Morning I woke up ready to head off to San Sebastian, when i notice that I'm kind of itchy, when I finally make it over to a mirror I see that I was bit by a mosquito ON MY FACE!! A huge red spot right above my eyebrow and on my cheek. I mean, I've been bitten by insects a million and one times in my life but the face is such a sacred place! Luckily my hair was already swooped over to that side, so I could try to be as normal as possible. 

When I arrived at my hostel in San Sebastian, it wasn't the same kind of trendy venue that I'd slept in Bilbao, actually it was some lady's apartment that she'd turned into a hostel, but it was clean, and a place for me to sleep, so it'll have to do. The guy in charge was really interested in talking to me since I could speak Spanish well, and he was tired of being surrounded by all of the English speaking tourists. I cut the awkward conversation short though to go and see where my friends were. 

We had a nice lunch, and then went looking around the city. I found a little store that everything was 3 euros so I bought a necklace and some belts. At that point I was out of cash, one I needed an ATM. My friend couldn't remember where she saw my bank, but at that point, to me I didn't mind the fee of a few bucks compared to wandering the streets all night to find my specific bank. So the first ATM we see I decide to hit it up. I put my card in the machine, I put in my code, and the machine is processing for a while, then comes up with the message "This card is suspect of fraud, please call your bank." SERIOUSLY?! It was Saturday night, so I had no hope of coming the next morning to have them open it and getting my card. So I called the number, and all they said is that they could cancel the card and I'd have to go to my bank to order a new one. At this point I wasn't too stressed out though, because I have two debit cards for my account, I just don't keep them with me because I figure if I'm robbed I'll always have the other one. The trick was just making it through the rest of the weekend. Fortunately my friend came to the rescue and lent me some cash money... CRISIS AVERTED.

My friends left back to Madrid and I still had one day in Pais Vasco. One of my friends from studying abroad in Puerto Rico is from a little village close to San Sebastian, so I was off to go meet her and spend the night in the mountains. As I was headed to the train station from my hostel, I stopped at corner that had a sign that pointed in the direction of various points of interest, just to make sure I was headed the right way. Then I hear "Guapa! Necesitas ayuda?" I turn and I see two guys walking and they're asking me if they can help me find where I'm going, I politely say no, and cross the street in the direction of the train station. I walk down the street and a few minutes later, there the guys are again asking if I'm sure they can't help me find my way, I assure them I'm alright, and I can make my way, then I make a sharp left to get away from them, and as I'm continuing down the street I realize I'm not entirely sure of where I am now, so I sit on a bench to check my map, figure out my bearings and get up to head to the train station. Again I'm greeted this time by only one of the guys asking if he can help me to find where I'm going. Again I say no, but also weary that this fool might go crazy (just like the pizza boy) I put up with him walking and talking with me to the train station. He comments on how I look like such a nice girl, and how we should go for a walk or for a drink, but I insist my friend is waiting for me in the village, so I must go. We get to the train station, and say our goodbyes, and I'm off to the pueblo. 

While on the train i realize that I didn't take that good of a look at what the stops were on the way to Zumaia, and I'm struck with a brief sense of panic as I'm not sure if I got on the right train, and there's no signs anywhere about what the next stop is... luckily I was alright. Then it was wandering around in the rain with a dead phone (my smart self left the charger at home) and asking around where the bar my friend worked at was... luckily I made it, and we had a wonderful time. Her family is beautiful, her 10 year old sister drew me some pictures when I arrived, we got all nostalgic about Puerto Rico, and the mom packed me a lunch for my bus ride back to Madrid. 

An interesting weekend of sorts and a good time.

Thanks for reading,

<3 CathyArely

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things- Student Comments #4

Last year I was cursed, blessed, given  the opportunity to take a look into adolescent mind and got out some interesting insight. Example- A, B, and C.

It's a whole new ball game now that I have the little ones (for better or for worse). Here are a few snippets of month one at a primary school.

1. Background- Between the schedule being a bit off the two weeks and long holidays, there are certain classes that haven't had as much time with me as others.

On a Friday, I'm helping the 6th graders correct their History Science homework from the book and then this exchange occurs-\

Student 1- "What's your name?"

Me -(acting all dramatic to keep the kids entertained)- *gasp* you don't know my name? I can't believe this... Who knows my name?

Student 2- Makhala (the other auxiliar in the school that works with them more often)

Me- What is this?? No, that's not my name... I can't believe this... who knows my name?

Student 3- Cathy!

Me- Yes! Thank you! My name is Cathy!

Student 4- (Quietly in the back) Makhala mola mas.... (Makhala sounds cooler)

*Demotivational times 100* LOL

2. While taking a few students out at a time to get to know them in the first few days of class I was with a group of fifth graders asking them what they did that weekend. One of my students who is a bit behind her classmates in English answered me very confidently-

Student- "I went to the house of my grandfather, and went to the cinema."
Me- "What movie did you watch?"
Student 1- *thinks* Tomatoes, peppers, milk
(everyone looks confused)
Me- What film did you go see?
Student 2- quickly translates under his breath
Student 1- Oh! No Cinema! The supermarket!

A few giggles and we continue on with the class. Bless that child.

3. While grading some exams for some of my fifth grade history science classes, there were some funny responses as follows:

     -Pre-history started when the firs human apparance (3 or 4 year ago) until the invention of writing.
     -Pre-history started when the first human appearance and finished when discovered the fire.

4. In order to get free lunch at school the auxiliares have  to work in the cafeteria doing "Mesa Restaurante" essentially 10 kids get to have a week where we try to teach them table manners and vocabulary in English while trying to converse with them.

Last weeks top comment (4th grade)-
   Student-Do you know what my favorite sport is?
   Me- No, what?
   Me- Finish your food.

This week's top comment (4th grade)
  Students- Let's speak Spanish, it's Friday.
  Me and other Auxi- No we're in an English Restaurant!
  Student under his breath- Estamos en España, que se jodan los ingleses. (We're in Spain, the English can   go fuck themselves)

Oh the joy of actually having to pretend I don't understand.

5. Not all the moments are awkward these days my time is also filled with random hugs, excited to see me faces and waving hands, and I've already had 2 students draw things for me. All is right in my world.

Until next time!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Just Got A Letter, I Just Got A Letter...

I just got a letter... wonder who it's from?!

So I received my placement letter, and there's no more confusion!! I'm staying in the elementary school that I work at in the city center! Woot Woot!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Call for YOUR opinion!

Hey hey all,

  So one of my new friends is looking to set up an open mic night, and has asked me to show off some work there (ahh!) So getting things prepared I've brought it down to 5 poems I think I could pull off in public, after polishing and practicing of course! So I'd like to hear what y'all have to say... any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! Much Love!

Here are the links to my picks... some have videos others don't as I said before everything is going to need polishing before it is unleashed lol

1. Hungry
2. A Penny for Your Thoughts
3. Cathy's Blues
4. One Picture
5. La Challenge

<3 CathyArely

See You Eventually

They stood looking at each other through the windows of the trains, taking in what could quite possibly be the last moment their eyes would meet in an unknown amount of time. As the idle wheels let them share this moment remembering all the camaraderie their eyes fill with tears as they go off in opposite directions. -Cathy Smith

This was me and my friend DeAnna today as we parted on the Madrid metro- seriously something out of a movie. She's headed back to the states, and I'll be here continuing on this Spain adventure for a few more months. It was a bitter sweet goodbye. The kind where it's like you know you could possibly never see this person again, even though you're gonna try to make sure that doesn't happen. I went through it when my semester in Puerto Rico was over. It's amazing how in such a short amount of time certain people can touch your life. Of course this doesn't make people back home any less missed, but I guess it's a different feeling knowing you'll come home to them. We had a great run as the Ying and Yang of Madrid Players. This one's for you D!

 How do you deal with goodbyes?

Thanks for reading


Friday, October 12, 2012

‎"Aren't we all unfinished? Don't we all need some editing? Aren't we all waiting to be read by someone, praying they will tell us that we make sense?" - Rudy Francisco

Friday, October 5, 2012

Your Bad Luck Is Impressive 3.0

So after a semi-blissful week back to work, I was hit today with something that isn't going to let me feel at ease for the rest of the weekend. 

When I woke up this morning I had an email from the bilingual coordinator at a high school in Mostoles that they had been waiting for me all week, and to let them know if I was going to resign the position then I needed to let them know so that they could replace me.

So all security that I was going to tranquilly be able to work in my adorable curious elementary students in the city center is out the window and filled with doubt about having to go back to the daily grind of fighting to motivate teenagers in an out there community with the not best reputation. 

When I had gone to the administration office they told my my placement without giving my my official letter of appointment, which means there could be a mistake and I get sent over to the other place... although unlikely because I'd like to believe that reason would enter at least a few people's brains and see how I've already started at this other place it's the easiest thing is to stay there.

I replied to the other coordinator telling him the situation, and the game plan now is to wait and see if I'm told to go elsewhere... and if so, try to get my new principal on my side... but we'll see.

Trying to stay optimistic. REALLY trying...

In the meantime you can check out the new Reader Spotlight, or CathyBean Poetry.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What do you think?

At what age should a girl stop wearing pig tails?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Round Two- Let the Games Begin!

Hey Hey all,

   So some of you may or may not know... but I was really sweating my future for this year because some unfortunate ideals, I was booted out of my old school. When I contacted the ministry of education to check on my status of getting reassigned to a school, the lady had said I was put on a wait list... OH NO!! For weeks I was contemplating worst case scenarios in my head as if they were a Glee marathon. 

Last week, one of the ladies called me and told me "We're going to give you a placement, today." That's it. I was calm as I awaited the email with the details during my rainy relaxing weekend in Valencia. 

Come Monday morning (the day I was supposed to start class), my inbox had not been graced by the message I was expecting. So I got up, and went over once again to the main office. It was kind of funny because as I was passing through security, I already had my id out and my bag off my shoulder to put it through the xray. The security guard was surprised and then just laughed and commented about how I wasn't a stranger to the house anymore. When I got to talk to the lady in charge, she was surprised I wasn't at work (umm... I would be if you had told me where I needed to be). She recalled the conversation we had but apparently forgot to give me the crucial information. So she looked up where I needed to be. When I asked where about in the city the location was she phoned the school to get a better idea than google maps, and before hanging up she said, "Okay great, your new auxiliar is on her way..."

Umm... what?

Actually I wouldn't have found this a problem if I had been prepared, but because I went to the office with the expectation I was going to be shooed away for another few days, I went the office in jeans, a hoodie, and barely brushed hair... not really the kind of first impression I wanted to make, but I sucked it up and went on over.

I initially had mixed feeling about my placement. I was very apprehensive because the school is located pretty much at the most inconvenient metro stop, but I was excited because it's still on the metro line so I would be paying less for my transport! I was also grateful because I had been put into an elementary school, finally getting more relevant use out of my degree, and away from apathetic teenagers (even though I'll miss my kids).

When I got to the school they said they weren't expecting me for another month since the ministry told them I was from the waiting list... even though i was hired since Thursday... oh isn't communication great? I went to some classes for the rest of the day, and got a hug from some of the 2nd graders on my way home (!!)

So many things are on my side this year... great kids, supportive network and fellow auxiliars at my school, and I can't wait for what's ahead. Of course I'm sure the Cathy-like misadventures are sure to keep occurring... like my dress being tucked into my underwear on my way to work this morning.... but let's just keep our fingers crossed that's the worst of it all.

Thanks for reading!! Ready to Rock Year 2!

@Cathy Arely

Wrap up- A Year in Photos

Hey all,

  So year two has officially rolled in, but before I get into that in my next post I wanted to sort of do a summary of my year in Spain in photos... enjoy :)

My room at my coordinator's house when I first arrived
Rally for Public Education
My first meal in Spain!
(After the ramen noodles I had brought from home)
PR BFFs meandering Madrid!
Trying to not get my food eaten at La Casa de las Brujas
First Trip out of Madrid!
Notes from Students
An American Thanksgiving in Spain
White Elephant Exchange!
Reyes gift from roomies <3
10 sessions going on 35... it was a rough journey

In the Circle of Life!
First Trip post injury... LAS FALLAS!

Sister Spring Break- Malaga, Spain

Madrid Players Debut

Italia! Leaning tower of Pisa

Primo Reunion in Rome!
A view of Granada from La Alhambra

Last Stack of Journals to grade

Interway Summer Camp July 2012

HaU in Madrid!

I'm an Au Pair

Madrid Players- September Serenade!
Now time for round two and a whole new set of photos... probably with a new camera too... once I have the money :-/

@Cathy Arely

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'd Be Safe and Warm... If I was in LA

It's getting colder and I know back home people are getting to enjoy beautiful California weather...so I'm jealous!

And a little homesick, especially after reading this post on my original real blog, about the comfort of coming back home. 

I guess skype makes it all a little more bearable, I had a wonderful conversation with my niece who is going to be 3!

For now, I guess it's just California Dreamin'....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

11 is the Magic Number- Liebster Award

Hey all!

 So today in my post Glee episode gloom, I found out that, Joyful Sparrow,  one of my new blog friends from 20sb nominated me for the Liebster Award (pretty much for bloggers with not such a great following to get more connected and out there in the world)! Anyway so pretty much here are the rules-

1.  Post 11 Facts About Yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions from the blogger who tagged you
3. Leave 11 questions for the bloggers you tag
4. Spread the love and tag a few blogger friends. 

So Here we go!

My Deetz-

1. I like taking pictures of myself

2. I am a singer, dancer, poet (my work is here), actress, not too good drawer
3. If it were safe and sanitary I would walk around barefoot everywhere. 
4. I have a new found addiction to the game Parchis

5. In the 3rd grade I had an 11th grade reading level. 
6. I'm a sucker for nostalgic moments

7. I lived in Puerto Rico for 4 months.
8. I was trapped in an elevator for 2 hours in New York City.
9. I am a college graduate, first generation on my mom's side.
10. I've worn glasses since I was 4 years old.

11. I want to fall in love. 

My Answers-

1. What song describes you best?

I would have to say "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" by Whitney Houston (RIP). After all the trials that I've had to face through the years, and especially this one, my ability to bounce back never ceases to surprise me.

2. What is the best part about where you live?
Well I just wrote two blogs talking about my top 10 favorite things about Madrid, but if I had to choose one thing that I like best it would be being so close to so many historical destinations- Rome, Paris, London...<3

3. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Despite enjoying my European stay and longing for a New York chapter of my life, I know that the place that I will forever call home and settle down in is California.

4. Your Perfect day would include...
My family coming to visit me, and sharing with them all of the cool opportunities I've gotten to experience.

5. What are you looking forward to?
Getting Paid!! Lol, and starting off year 2 in Spain on the right foot!

6. If money were no obstacle, what would you do with your time?
I would put on a Broadway show that I would star in, of course!

7. Your Favorite Item in your closet is...
...my little red dress ;)

8. In an hour you will be...
almost 1 am, so hopefully closer to falling asleep!!

9. What countries have you visited, which was your favorite?
Spain, France, Italy... I would say I have to hand it to España!

10. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Ha! I don't know where I see myself in 2 years... but that's besides the point. In 20 years, I hope to have a family, and work at a job that I can help my community either in Law or Education or both.

11. What are you currently reading?
Embarrassing... I've succumbed to the pressure of my peers... I'm reading... 50 Shades Freed.

Now It's Your Turn!
Your Questions-
1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
2. What was your first kiss like?
3. What is your favorite day of the week, and why?
4. What is something you want to improve about yourself?
5. Who is your idol?
6. If you could be any part of a sundae, what would you be and why?
7. If you could only take 3 items with you to a deserted island what would they be?
8. What is the best song to sing at Karaoke?
9. What would you want as your last meal?
10. Backstreet Boys or NSYNC?
11. What is the most valuable thing a person can have?

Thanks again to Joyful Sparrow, for my first award! Hope it's been fun :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

5 (More) Things I Love About Madrid

Hey Everyone,

  So earlier this week for my 1 year anniversary, I posted 5 Things I Love About Madrid, and of course in a year you accumulate (hopefully) more than just a few things that you enjoy about a place, so I've decided to add a few more.

6. Food

Spanish cuisine is great! Although different from the various spices we're used to having in foods from other cultures, Spanish food is a category of it's own. From tortilla de patata (spanish omelette), paella, lentejas (lentil stew), the varieties of ham (which I have yet to convince my sister it is not bacon), salmorejo, empanadas, and so many other great delicious dishes to choose from.

7. Culture and diversity

Madrid has so many cultural activities that you can take part of. Go to the Prado Museum during the day then a flamenco show at night, or a brazilian jazz concert, or an English improv show or a capoeira workshop . Take day trips to go and see the house where Cervantes was born, and the list goes on and on.

8.  Fiestas!
The nightlife in Spain is no joke. I mean the party doesn't even start to get crackin' until 3 am, and there's usually a decision in the morning if you should either have breakfast or go to sleep. With always something fun to do partying in Madrid is a good time. On top of that you have traditional parties or festivals that towns all over the country do year round for added fun! This year I went to Las Fallas of Valencia!

9.  Getting/Staying Healthy In Spain is so much easier!

Since I've been in Madrid I've lost a good amount of weight (still an ongoing battle), but I really think that it was easier for me to start accomplishing my goals because Spain has a generally (not always) healthier lifestyle. Groceries are cheaper, people eat fruit for dessert, going for a walk is a frequent activity, climbing all those stairs to get to your apartment.

10. Mis Amores!


All of the great people I've met here! You really can make a place 6,000 miles away from where you were born and raised feel like home, I know these people (definitely not all pictured) have been a huge part of that, and that this experience wouldn't have been as valuable.

Well there's my top 10.

What are some of the favorite things you have about where you are?

I've also did a list of 7 things I Miss While Abroad.

Thoughts and comments always appreciated!

Catch ya next time!

<3 CathyArely