It's been a rather hectic couple of weeks I must say. I shan't keep you long as you are probably all preparing for Christmas and whatnot.
1. Boys Night-In
This was last Saturday night, but it had been in the pipeline for a good couple of months. It consisted of maybe 14 men in Simon's (a teacher) living room. Manly men. Not unmanly ones. We played poker and Trivial Pursuit while peering through smoke that dribbled out of cigarettes and cigars. Rum was there, and his friend gin. They weren't there for too long though as they had a prior arrangement at various other belly parties.
Our American teacher-friend Ray cooked some of the best chilli con carne I have ever had the pleasure of eating. We had crisps too, and beer. Football was on at the start, but was later replaced - on the same channel mind - by some distressing 1970s pornography.
More Trivial. This time a bird's eye chilli for the losing team. I had a 'great' team-mate for the game. I can report that you cry for about 30minutes, then the tears subside and just a firey, burny heat remains.
The night waddling to its end, many of us getting sleepy or bored of watching the longest poker game ever. Long because the pot had climbed to 100 euros. Real, monetary currency euros. Too rich for my blood. I had enough time before I left to cook one of Simon's steaks and see another teacher (good old sensible Derek) stumble into the kitchen, look at the waterlogged citrus fruits he had brought for cocktails drowning in the sink and blurt out 'my f**king, my f**king, what are those called? LEMONS! He then went to relax outside the flat by the lift. A priceless night.
2. Collecting the N.I.E (Numero de Identidad de Extranjero)
This means I'm on the civil registry. They know I'm here. I'm going to have to stop the bevy of drug and prostitution rackets I've set up. Oh well. We had to meet at 10 at a random metro station in the North of the city. I was translator for the three of us - Euan, Anna, and myself. We had a simple task: go in, hand them papers, get stamps, and leave for work. Three hours of waiting in a hot, angry room waiting for the computer systems to restart later, we got our crappy piece of paper that was, from now on, our 'identity'. As foreigners we don't even get a card! All of that bureaucratic tolerance from us and we get nothing but a print out. But it was a laugh and we missed our first classes, which had to be covered by the other profs.
But couldn't you have just done it the following day?
Well no, stupids, I couldn't. If you miss your cita (appointment), you can't do it again for 6 months. Makes a lot of sense don't you think.
The morning of the N.I.E there was snow!!! Not a lot, but enough to create a small, dirty snowball and piss off a Scottish person.
4. Company dinner
Last night we had the company dinner (and combined secret Santa - I got a nice bottle of olive oil :)) at Mano a Mano. It was a confused but gloriously tasty mix of different foods. Starters: oven cooked goats cheese, sushi, and mussels! The main was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten and the pudding...well I actually don't know what it was...
Strange digestif liquor.
Bit messy this one, but I'm leaving for England on Saturday so I don't have much time to remember things. There are cobwebs already. Tendrils of teaching tactics tenderly tussling with my personal affairs.
I went Christmas shopping. Let's hope the blighters like what I got!
See you in 2010.