Thursday, December 10, 2009
Today has been mellow despite the fact that we woke up with no running water. Luckily Sabine had her poo explosion LAST night. That was fun. It was truly unlike anything I've ever experienced and if it weren't for the fact that I've been so worried about her irregular BMs I might be something other than relieved. Anyway, the water's back on and everything is back to normal, thank goodness. So since we've arrived, Kyle and I have made some observations about the Spanish that I thought I'd share here. 1) The Spanish don't seem to share our American respect for personal space. If you are in line for anything at all, I can guarantee you that the person behind you is going to be all up in your bizness. It's crazy and it's not pervy either - women do it, too and it drives me nuts. I like to have at least a 1.5 foot radius of personal space around me at all time - even at music festivals! We've noticed, though, that the only exception is the ATM machine and it's almost absurd. People will wait up to five feet away while waiting for their turn - so far away that it looks like they're loitering. 2) Everyone wants to offer their unsolicited opinion on what you're doing wrong as a parent or what's wrong with your child. To date I've had people criticize me for allowing Brodie to ride in the stroller (evidently I should be training her for urban living by having her walk everywhere), letting Sabine swing in the baby swing the "wrong" way and evidently I'm completely unable to select appropriate winter clothing for my children - I actually heard an old woman say "pobrecita" poor thing while looking down at Sabine as we were walking home yesterday. I knew what she meant was "poor thing that your mother hasn't spent the 100 euros on the fleecy stroller cover that virtually every baby in Madrid uses." Seriously, I don't think I've seen a baby without one of these. Please keep in mind that yesterday it was colder in Austin than it was in Madrid so don't call child protective services yet. 3) While the bureaucracy here is almost insurmountable there are some efficiencies and services that are exceptional. I won't get into all that has to happen in order to see a doctor, but once we did and she was diagnosed (congestion and conjunctivitis) the two medications cost only 1.70 You can't buy a pack of gum for that in the States. And my favorite: the trash get picked up every single night, which last night was indeed a blessing.