Tuesday, November 18, 2014


In my past, I stuck hard and fast to personal rules I believed to be helpful, such as not eating crap food, and not going out too late. Thing is, it was easy to do that. I already had a circle of friends.

Now, having moved to Spain, I do compromise on my personal rules in order to not make people around me feel uncomfortable nor disturb the waters. I'm trying my best to culturally immerse myself.  If everyone else is drinking alcohol, and I feel nervous about speaking in a Spanish-only group, I'll have a tinto, thanks. When it's time to eat, bars have a limited selection, thus the waiter has no patience for me to order “patatas a lo pobre, but half olive oil, no salt, and only the whites of the eggs, please.” Just take the runny, oily, delicious plate, eat it, and sop up the rest with white, carbo-rich bread. 
(Insert Homer Simpson drool here)
In Canada, I tried hard to stand-out from the crowd. Here, when I buy clothes or makeup, I think about what people in Jaén would find “acceptable”. So no wild colors in my hair, in order to appear professional at work (because I look very young for my age yet I want to convey an air of 'authority' with my students). Mature clothing, avoiding things from 'Seventeen' magazine (although for off-hours, it's no holds barred). Makeup is the same old, same old. No wild eyeliner or crazy, pink lips (maybe in Madrid, for clubbing).

People come over last minute and want to have a fatty meal and drinks? In the past I would've politely declined, and spent a boring night home alone. Here, forget my schedule of going to bed early and hitting the gym the next morning. I'm going to put everything aside and hit the town. The gym can wait another day. Besides, walking all the way to the other side of Jaén for the best bars means – workout!

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