Wednesday, June 16, 2004

random thoughts & the origin of epiphenita

i haven´t blogged in a while. i am afraid i´m experiencing blog know, bloated with unexpelled thoughts.

started to lose my voice last week. wouldn´t that be ironic? i come halfway around the world to learn a new language and then i can´t speak. not to worry--it came back. i can hear the universal sigh of relief, gentle readers.

fluency creeps forward. one preposition at a time. in the meantime, english slips away and i´m in that purgatory between losing one language and not having enough ability in another. lots of grunts and gestures. which makes talking on the phone especially tricky.

i am having fits finding an apartment for next month. however, it has been a test of verbal skills and i´ve found the huevos (don´t pronounce the "h" or the profesora will bite your head off) to use the phone to call and speak in spanish...which, let me tell you, removes the all aforementioned critical grunts and pointing from the equation...

a couple of things i am understanding better here. one, i am so defined by language. i love words and logical, concise communication. so one of the major aspects of how i define and feel about myself is reduced to the now twice-aforementioned grunts and pointing.

ditto with humor. who the hell can understand irony or sarcasm if all you can muster is, "how you say salmon mousse* make me feel ca-ca?" it could affect the self-image of the most stout-hearted. but i´m bouncing back. i just rest on the laurels of my beauty and charm until the language thing kicks in or the game over buzzer sounds. still, i have this writing and it does save me on some days.

there´s way too much graffiti here. most of it ugly and uninspired. however, saw some great graffiti recently: homofobia es fascismo. hurrah for cognates.

they use the same word here for big women as they do for strength: fuerte. that is so fabulous. i´ll never refer to myself as fat again. no, it´s fuerte all the way.

as i may have mentioned (ad nauseum) it´s damn hot here (without air conditioning). but the mornings are blissfully comfortable. some people here think it´s cold in the morning. last week on the way to class, i saw an old man walking around with suit jacket and a muffler. it seemed positively reptilian.

culture out of context:
the couple of stay with have a 2-year old grandson. when it´s time for carlos´ nap, they wind up some electronic music toy for him to fall asleep. one day i paid attention to the tunes and it turns out to be a medley/concoction of the rolling stones´ satisfaction, paint it black and then, what i swear is a snippet of auld lang syne. the rest of the tunes are too hard to identify. it does strike me as odd that a child would associate those blissful drifting off to sleep at grandma´s house moments with a tinny electronic version of mick´s hits.

well, the apartment thing has been resolved. that sentence really deserves about 20 exclamation points after it but i´m plum tuckered out. my good friend maggie worked some magic with her señora and hooked me up. yes, it´s a real damn apartment and it has 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and living room. the major suckage part is that it is a four-story walkup. one of the best parts is that it has a lavadora (a washing machine) and the very best part is that i have an apartment for july...

by the way, this whole epiphenita thing has a story (of course). it´s short, hang on. i was talking to someone in broken spanish before i left for spain. and suddenly, i realized that i would really learn to speak. not an intellectual realization but a gut-level belief that i´d never had before. it seemed an epiphany, only not so dramatic so i said it was an epiphanita. which, with a slight alteration, seemed like a perfectly good new name. so epiphenita it is. that´s all.

*the only thing worse than salmon mousse for lunch is left-over salmon mousse for lunch. i´ll eat almost anything (okay, almost anything, except for organ meat and blood sausage) but the pink cream of fish, asparagus, mayonnaise pudding on soggy bread had me challenged. do i really have no gag reflex? well, evidently not. i forced it down on day 2 without so much as a little cough.

i´m off to galicia this weekend. it´s a five-hour drive and it´s supposed to be beautiful. will report back. i swear.


Susan Chu said...

i finally "logged in" to post instead of doing it anonymously... since i first joined up about a year ago to see what this was all about. turns out, i bored myself with my own writing.

before this, i thought i'd post anonymously to encourage others to just do it. (do it!) (you know you want to!) (it's free!)

anyway, i'm sure that you probably look forward to seeing comments as much as i look forward to returning to a new blog entry.

your last regarding the periwinkle nissan had me in tears of laughter.

take care and writecha soon.


Anonymous said...

Mujer Loca, como estas? He decidido que de hoy en adelante me comunicare contigo en espanol (bueno, hasta que regreses a la USA)Lori me dio esta pagina, y que bueno, asi tienes aun otra persona con quien comunicarte en espanol.

No puedo creer que estes en Espana!!! Fue tan chistoso cuando dijiste que sabias decir ampolla. Dejalo a ti de ser tan graciosa con tus chistes inevitables. Por ejemplo, "Epiphenita"-- eres super chistosa!!!

Bueno, vi a tu hijo e hija el Sabado. Tu hija se parece mucho a ti. Su sonrisa es una copia de la tuya. Y el hijo, guapo como siempre.

Felicidades con el apartamento espanolo! Veras que pronto podras hacer todo en espanol. Ojala que no se te olvide el Ingles.

Espero que sepas quien soy. Me puse como ANONIMA porque no quise perder tiempo haciendome miembro del "blogger." Avisame si nececitas ayuda con el Espanol.

Dime si no pudistes entender algunas cosas. Ponme en tu lista de E-mail--

Con muchisimo amor espanol,
Ada Ramos