Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

It is the time to think about them, to plan them, to write them down, to do whatever you think will work this time around, because, this year, you are going to stick to your resolutions. Or are you?

Today, 28th December, we Spaniards celebrate el Día de los Inocentes. It's what you might know as 'April Fools' Day', but in Spain it is celebrated in December. 'Spain is different', they say. A good day to think about 2014's resolutions, because who are we fooling? Most of them will forever remain as good intentions.

This year I am not making any lists, I won't trick myself into thinking that a new year can trigger a new life. After all, every day is a fresh start, every single day is an opportunity to become a better version of myself. 

This year I aim to stick to my sole and only resolution: do more of what makes me happy
As simple as that. No unachievable idealisms. No becoming someone that I am not. I'll water 2014 with white wine, clear it of toxic people and fill it of shared moments with family and real friends. The soundtrack will be that of the loudest laughters.

I hereby commit to investing all of my energy, time, effort and other resources in being happy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sick of Being Sick

Stages of being ill:
  1. Colleague at work starts sneezing. Sneezer-Colleague
  2. 'I told you so'-Colleague says: "you should have had the flu shot this year"
  3. You brag about not having caught a cold in over 6 years
  4. Hypochondriac-Colleague starts coughing
  5. Sneezer-Colleague calls in sick
  6. You start sneezing... No!
  7. 'I told you so'-Colleague says: "you should have had the flu shot this year"
  8. Your head aches
  9. Your skin turns the shade of grey that no makeup can hide
  10. Cautious-Colleague recommends you to go home
  11. No! you won't succumb to a cold. You brag about not having caught a cold in over 6 years and  try to fight symptoms by taking vitamins, eating oranges, wearing layers... But it's too late
  12. Your nose starts running. Constantly
  13. You take a box of tissues to every meeting
  14. Your nose blocks
  15. You start breathing with your mouth. As a consequence, you are thirsty all of the time
  16. Food loses its taste
  17. You're told to go home. You resist
  18. Your voice becomes manly. And echoed...
  19. Your eyes start watering without reason
  20. Ears stop registering sounds
  21. Welcome to life in a bubble!
  22. Your brain doesn't catch up with the outer-bubble world making your sentences incoherent
  23. Your skin begins to ache
  24. You surrender, admit that you're sick and go home
  25. Feeling vulnerable, you crawl into bed with the sole aim of not getting out
  26. Mummy!!!!
  27. You toss and turn in bed, your cough impeding you to get any sleep
  28. You're bored
  29. Change base camp to sofa
  30. You're bored
  31. Change base camp to bed. Can't sleep
  32. You're bored
  33. Mummy!!!
  34. You're so bored and miserable that you go back to work
  35. Cautious-Colleague asks whether it is a good idea for you to be back so soon
  36. You pretend to be 100% recovered
  37. An ear pops. You feel the happiest person in the world
  38. A nostril decongests. Yey!!
  39. Cautious-Colleague starts sneezing and gives you a killer look

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Language in Language

So you speak English, do you? I thought I did too... up until a little over 5 years ago.

It all started the day I landed on the country which was to become since then my home. Having brought up in the British education system since my toddler days, I pretty much considered myself fluent in the language of Shakespeare. Up until I got into the taxi from the airport, told the taxi driver the address I wanted to go to, and receiving a blank stare and a idle engine in return. I gave up after the third repetition and was forced to write the address down for him to read himself. The exact same thing I would have done if I'd had landed in Taiwan.

English is not a language, it's a world of languages I have yet to explore. It's not only about differences in pronunciation, or accent, or spelling, or jargon or even slang. It's how one same word can have so distinct meanings in one supposed same language. 

If you want to avoid empty glances or awkward looks, here are some of the first words I learned (the hard way, as always) did not always mean what I meant them to mean:
· Pants: underwear for some, trousers for others. So be sure to tell that you wore (or not wore) the correct ones! 
· Rubber: what some use to delete pencil mistakes and what others use to prevent 'other type' of mistakes... 
· Biscuit: think before you order it: am I a tiny bit peckish or famished?  
· Lift: complete different interpretations of up and down
· Bird: think twice before classifying it as an animal... some refer to their girlfriends with this noun 
· Shag: very utterly extremely important that you get this one right, or "selling a shag" can get you from this to this...

Regardless of whether you speak English or any other language, the common truth is that the more you know, the more you know how little you know!