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BRISA LIBRE

A free-spirited one in pursuit of dreams and self; much to do about Spain

Gripe?

Sometimes, one simply has to get things out of one´s chest and write a shitty post.

Before coming to Spain, I rarely, rarely ever get sick. But since I´ve been here, I have gotten sick at least 3 times. But things have not had gotten worse than last night.

Right after coming home, I went straight to bed. No dinner necessary. I just passed out for hours. During the night, I woke up at least three times, sweating – feeling hot and cold at the same time. I remember thinking that that was it; I must be dying.

It was during these moments that made me miss my mom and grandmother for the first time. I wished they were there to take care of me.

I´m just going to end this damn post here.

Brisa

 

 

Sense of Style: Spain

After spending much of my time shopping over these past months in Madrid, I have decided to quit. So right now, instead of shopping, I am returning to the blogging world.

(Haha, let´s be real, I will probably go shop again at some point.)

My wardrobe is still small, but much more on point.

Selecting the articles of clothes in Spain is not so much about keeping up with the trends, but blending in. It´s a matter of looking like a tourist or a local.

In other words, the clothes I brought with me from the US are no longer relevant. Not only do they make me stand out (not in the best way), they don´t fit me anymore. Despite always eating chips and Nutella, I have lost a couple of sizes.

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Vintage never dies

The shirt in this picture? Why, that´s a size 1. I know, I don´t believe it either.

Speaking of the said shirt, it´s definitely not what the Spanish women would typically wear. But hey, I liked it.

So what do they wear for Fall/Winter? Usually more conservative colors for the winter. Of course, one can never go wrong with black and neutrals, but it seems like navy, olive, and bordeaux earn their spots in the cold. Occasionally, pastels like mint and pink make rare appearances. So this pictured shirt might work, but I just have to keep the rest of the outfit toned down. I have to say it looks quite good paired with a black skirt.

As for the shoes, there seem to be three types that dominate: converse, boots, or heels.

The shoes here are incredibly cheap, especially during the Winter Sales season (¨Rebajas¨), which I believe has just ended.

After moving to Madrid, I have gained a new perspective about shopping. I have quit chasing after the brand names that would cost an arm for only one or two articles. Mixing and matching is much more challenging showcase of who is the real fashionista.

But do not make the mistake that it is only a matter of appearance. Shopping is a means of learning about the culute, observing the world around you. It´s been fun to see how the locals shop, dress, and what they prefer. Most importantly, it is up to you to select what you can choose to corporate into your wardrobe. As much as I admire their sense of style, I can´t wear everything they do. For example, I hate boots and will never wear them. For now, I will just admire them from afar.

But who knows, maybe one day that will change.

Speaking of style….

Like the clothes from the US that will no longer do, the design of this blog no longer suits me. The theme, tags and categories that used to represent me are looking ridiculous. There will be many changes to the blog.

Stay tuned.

~Brisa

 

BCN with A New Perspective

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Let´s try not to start this long overdue post with the obvious fact that I have not been blogging in ages and discuss this familiar and typical but nonetheless stunning view of Barcelona.

Back in November, I visited the city for the second time. My first visit was in the summer of 2014, when I was just a young and free-spirited 20 year-old solo female traveler. Four days were spent in the summer heat and under cloudy sky. I remember the days to be gloomy, matching my mood. I did not have the best time. After coming from Mallorca where the roses are red and the skies are blue, I was disappointed, to say the least. There were way, way, way too many tourists and they gave me anxiety and a slight headache. I should mention that I actually vomited once or twice, perhaps from the food or the water. To this day, I still don´t know what caused the illness.

My second visit was more or less involuntary. I wanted to attend a dirt track race and see my favorite rider compete, not to visit the city itself. My friend planned to go as well but at last she could not. I almost retreated myself, but figured I could use some time alone and away from Madrid. Besides, there would be familiar faces on the pit anyway, and they were expecting me. So I just went with it.

 

Not to go into details about how I missed my flight at 7 in the morning and decided to take the train instead, I arrived in Barcelona exhausted but managed to have a good time. The  event took place up the hill of the Montjuic mountain in Palau Sant Jordi, which has become my most favorite thing about Barcelona. It ended at midnight, and of course, no taxi in his right mind would be driving around expecting customers. Perhaps they forgot to take into account that there was a major event. But with the help of my life-saving Spanish smartphone and Google Map, I was able to locate a correct bus stop and caught the last bus back to my hostel.  Moments like this never fail to add to my self-confidence.

The next morning was a glorious, warm Sunday, mind you, in November. The sweater weather was perfect for a stroll in the city. Being the now 21-year-old free-spirited solo traveler, I stayed as far away as possible from the symbol of the city (La Sagrada Familia) and saved my 20 euros. Instead, I went up to the Montjuic again early (early being 8/9 in the morning but the people seemed to still be sleeping) and took a panoramic photo of city and spent some quiet time pondering about its beauty.

Feeling regenerated from the city and self-reflections, I made my way down again and took a metro as far away from the city as possible. Hopping off at the end of Line 4, I could not help but made my way to the ocean again. I sat on the promenade and gazed off to the edge of the waterline and captured the moment:

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It was just what I needed. Being far away from everything and everyone I knew but in a place that I already knew. Accompanied only by the Mediterranean breeze and my own thoughts, I took the time to appreciate Barcelona as it is. No comparisons, no expectations. This short little trip taught me to sit back, relax, and things will present themselves only to those who are present and aware. In the end, it was an excellent decision to re-visit the city, not only to see more of it, but to learn more about myself and grow.

Oh, by the way, I think I fell in love with Barcelona.

 

~Brisa

Madrid, Saturday, March 5, 2016, after breakfast of homemade café con leche with bread and nutella, just before noon.

Happy V-Day

Such an inappropriately-titled post.

Well, it is the 14th of February. I haven´t left my apartment since yesterday due to the bad weather and pure laziness. Terrible idea, really, especially when I have no food left in the fridge. Currently, I have been surviving on canned tuna.

Despite the cold, rainy weather, life is pretty good. Loving my job and school. Can´t complain.

It´s rebajas season, but I´ve shopping since I got here so it doesn´t really affect me. I just got a skirt for 3 euros but looks like I won´t be able to wear it next week. The snow is coming, I think.

I´m starving. I´m going to go to sleep.

2016: 1st Day of Work

Good morning from the teachers´ lounge somewhere on the edge of the Comunidad de Madrid.

I am typing away with my fingers as mindless workers and my brain a heavy sawdust. The habit of not being able to sleep early needs to stop now. 3 hours of sleep will not get me anywhere but a state of mild numbness.

It felt good to be back, but the feeling quickly evaporated into the cold mountainous air of Sierra Norte and I don´t know how.

I´m facing the same struggle: planning lessons that I don´t know how, specifically for the 1st graders. For some inexplicable reason, the younger the students are, the more difficult it is to plan their lessons. ¨Simple¨ things are just so hard to explain.

¨So, kids, living things are living. Non-living things are not living.¨

Such ridiculousness, explaining something so evident. But kids, they don´t know these things and have a lot to learn.

I´m already exhausted by the thought of trying to explain this subject.

In the midst of all these, my pheromones are acting up and out of control. Forcing me to think about the forbidden apple, they are powerful…and cruel. I could almost feel them scratching some internal organs inside my chest, leaving them to bleed slowly until everything is dry – all in the while as I fall into a bottomless abyss.

Sigh, feelings.

I better get back to lesson planning.

Please, let me get through these rough waves.

 

~Brisa

 

New Year´s Eve in Madrid

It´s freezing. I´m in my room. And it´s freezing.

The helicopter is buzzing outside. I´m not sure if it belongs to a television station or the police. Either way, I don´t feel like witnessing it. Recent threats and attacks that have been happening in Europe prove too much for my mind to bare. I hope everything will go smoothly tonight, even though I could already imagine waking up to spine-chilling headlines. Hopefully, I will be wrong and it´s only an echo of a firework and not you-know-what.

Tomorrow I have a day off from teaching a private lesson. I´m still not sure what to do yet. Most stores and restaurants will probably be closed, but who knows.

Earlier today I received some unpleasant Whatsapp messages from a relative that made me want to throw my phone away or have someone cleanse it. Never want to talk to her again. I´ve traded so much effort and time for a dream, to be where I am, and yet that doesn´t matter to her at all and she has the nerve to tell me how to live my life. She was not there when I went to classes in languages she doesn´t even understand nor has a will to do so, THEN went to work and stood 8-12 hours a day, and went home to do homework and study. Never partied, never drank, never touched a boy (well, minus my first time visiting Spain last summer). Focused, tired, used, ignored. What the hell does she know, that (inserted and erased some unpleasant name-calling that she very much deserves).

As a child, you would look up to your family members, and sometimes even idolize them, all the while that they stand behind you and be your ultimate support system. But as you mature, you realize that they are human beings with flaws and selfish agendas. At that moment, you feel like your world has turned upside down and you are not sure of anything anymore. That was me some months ago, crying at the realization.

All my life, I´ve been doing everything ¨right¨ according to them, anything to make them happy and proud. And when I was ridiculed somehow -when I have not even strayed off of the track, I felt betrayed. And this is when I decided that my happiness simply can´t depend on any other person. No one.

Let´s come back to the bright side.

45 minutes til the New Year. Looking forward to my first trip of the year tomorrow.

~Brisa

 

 

Highlights of 2015

Let´s not start this post of by saying I have been postponing blogging for months, but by saying that 2015 has been one memorable, radical, ride-or-die year out of the 21 years that I have lived so far.

As a result of me not blogging more frequently, I need to do some back-tracking and remember the details of the unforgettable moments below:

  • Graduation – the elephant in the room needs to be addressed
  • Re-visiting old friends in Catalunya – and trying some authentic small town cousine
  • Meeting the 2-time MotoGP champion Marc Márquez – for the first time
  • Moving to Spain – this would be the room, not the elephant, and the starting point of my year because before this event, there wasn´t much that I would like to remember
  • Starting grad school – at one of the oldest universities in the world
  • Getting on the wrong train to the said grad school – and not on the first day
  • Dealing with (owning) the much-dreaded (by the English-speaking expats which I am not a part of) Spanish bureaucracy
  • Working in a Spanish concertado school – with primary school students and vocational training.
  • Going to the Aragon Moto Grand Prix
  • Going to the Valencia Moto Grand Prix – yes, there are many differences between the two.
  • Attending Marc Márquez Fan Club Dinner – and publicly embarrassed myself
  • Making up with Barcelonaread to see our twisted history from last summer
  • Witnessing the Superprestigio Dirttrack live
  • Appearing on live national television show El Hormiguero – speaking of going public, huh?
  • Travelling to Segovia & Salamanca for Christmas
  • Overhearing a racist shout on the metro – today, so it´s still fresh in my mind

Well, as if I don´t have enough to write about, let´s look at more tangible objects that I need a detailed examination:

  • My cave – also known as ¨piso¨
  • My closet and its castilianization, (in)complete with 7 pairs of shoes
  • My versitile Bershka bag
  • The magical youth public transport card
  • ¨Jamoncito¨

Looking forward to writing more!

Un saludo desde Madrid

 

~Brisa

It´s December

Wow, do I even have a blog anymore?

Time flies when you are having so much fun.*

Well, I wouldn´t use the word ¨fun¨ to describe my life at the moment. To be honest, I have yet to really, really party. Not even one club has been visited, and every time I have had a sip of alcohol this year, I have vomited. Make that 3. It´s funny because the last time I was here in Spain I was an alcohol virgin but never had any problems after drinking.

No, fun isn´t the word. ¨Content¨ and ¨satisfied¨, maybe but not quite. It´s just so much better than that.  Many unexpected things have happened, much of which can´t be shared…. And this has partially scared me from blogging. Some day when the time is right, I will talk about it.

I feel like it is taking a toll on my health. This is the second time that I have gotten sick…And it´s an unfortunate timing because it is a 4-day weekend. While the classmates are out and about in Spain and in Europe, I am in my bathrobe and coughing away. It is also that  time of the month, when everything hurts and a woman becomes especially vulnerable and emotional…and the worst thing one can do is spending time inside with one´s own thoughts…

Will be back to blogging when I can think more clearly.

 

Update: 1st Month Update

Pues, nada…

I´ve become one of those bloggers who forgot she has a blog.

Actually, it´s more like I´m one of those auxiliar de conversación whose school is too far away but is too stubborn not to live in the center. And as I would have it, I spent almost 4 hours everyday commuting.

Pero vale la pena.

The apartment I found is rather unusual. Yes, it is hostel-like, but there is a private bathroom so I´m rather content with it. Now if only the wifi in my part of the place would fucking start functioning, that would be great. I don´t get why it is taking more than a month to fix such a simple problem.

As for the roommates, all was well til one of them bring in a boy – while I was sitting in the common because the wifi in my room wouldn´t fucking work. Ah, I forgot to mention that some pathetic trash duplicated my cards and used them in the US. So, of course I had to cancel the cards and was left with little money… Many transfers later, I am still broke and living precariously.

On the bright side, I am fairly content with work and school (more on this later). I also went to my very first race – it was surreal.

That´s it for now. My brain is tired.

~Brisa

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