Swedish Operatics and a Bottle of Nudity

So i've just had my first full week of teaching.


Yeah, just a little. Everyday I'm there, smiling, chatting, and being 'dynamic' until 10 at night. On leaving work, satchel lolling at my side, chatting with fellow teachers about that last student who was (fascinatingly) stumbling on about the merits of pasta, I notice that everyone else on the streets is glammed up and going out to party. I still haven't worked out whether it's really depressing or slightly novel...

Thinking perhaps i'll go to work in my gladrags and try and combine the two activities. Downing tequila slammers whilst draped drunk round the shoulders of some Spanish bloke, trying to explain to him that prepositions are a bitch because there's no rule and he just has to learn them, pawing his face apologetically - and slighty too hard - saying 'poor spanish man...porrr ploorrr spinash men...', before getting a grammar book to the face and kicked out of the bar for over-friendly use of pronunciation.

That aside, the working week has treated me well. My students are by and large really nice and, let's be honest, it's not the hardest job in the world to teach what I already speak. On Friday night some of the teachers went to the 'local' and got a bit happy. We are known there, so free tapas - mainly nuts, olives and crisps, but sometimes ham and cheese - oft graces our wet tables, sitting fittingly next to our formidable tankards of beery gold. I then left the teachers and met up with some of my Spanish chums, and made some new ones, at the 'Caves of Cesamo', where sangria was both imbibed and spilt onto the floor.

Saturday morning...late Saturday morning, it was decided...dictated by my housemate Elena that we were to go to IKEA and buy an extra chair for the living room. I don't know if you've been to an IKEA before, if you haven't I shan't give an explanation on how it's set up, but here in Spain it is basically what amounts to a colony within a country. Spaniards flock to IKEA every weekend - it's cheaper than flying to Sweden. After spending three days in the carpark we joined the general population and entered the superstore. We bought pillow covers, a bottle, some plug adapters, cushions and a lamp.
But Luke...you wanted a chair?
Oh yes...the chair. Called 'Grankulla', the chair/bed combo was on sale for 49 euros, reduced from 99.
So we - me, Elena, Esther and Carlos - took our little product code to the warehouse area to find our chair. We found the wooden bit...but the cushion bit they housed in a separate box, which was not present. Elena was not best pleased by the apparent lack of Swedish ingenuity. She asked someone, apparently a mongoloid turnip who basically answered 'say what?' and 'erm' to everything she asked. She then asked more 'passionately' at customer relations, which basically said 'well...erm...don't really know...you could try another store...'. Livid now, she went to the top and pinned down the floor manager.
By this point Carlos and I went to get ham baguettes - at the 'museo de jamon' - leaving the girls to slug it out with the Larrs and Johanssons of IKEA Madrid. Tucking into our two baguettes we got a call from Elena 'LO TENEMOS, LO TENEMOS' - 'WE HAVE IT, WE HAVE IT'. We prompty inhaled the remaining bready hamness and rushed back to the car.
Standing victoriously by the car, we rewarded the girls' hard work with sandwiches and proceeded to cram our new sitting apparatus into the boot.

The Spaniards went to the Opera on Saturday night, so I made part...only part - because I didn't want to hammer nails in at that time of night - of the chair. (Later finished by Elena, Esther and Carlos on Sunday morning whilst I visited the Rastro market).

One other random thing to note: At maybe 3 in the morning on Sunday I watched some strange TV. After arriving home from the Opera, we had a little 'botellon' - drinking session - in our flat to celebrate. At 3 in the morning there was a programme about celebrities and gossip and suchlike. Even though the subject matter was juvenile and low-brow, the production value was high. There was a roundtable panel of maybe five or six quite smartly dressed people, and a live audience. Halfway through, and remember, in front of a live audience, there was a striptease. Not a coy one. A full on burlesque, one woman striptease. All major points of interest were displayed to the viewer. Then, as soon as the young frau had finished her set we cut to audience clapping and head back to the roundtable.
And while neither I, nor my Spanish (male) friends, complained, I was raaather confused as to what had just occurred.
Neither Carlos, Esther, Elena, Juan, Marta nor Javi could explain why it happened. But it did...that's Spain.

That's probably enough for now. Don't do anything inappropriate now...