Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Busy teacher makes time for tapas in Madrid

I have 3 jobs. I started the new one yesterday and that brings me up to 17 and a half hours a week. I feel so busy!

It was a bit disconcerting to have been given this job for the reason I'm 'so enthusiatic about teaching' (I wrote my CV while I was an au pair- of course I was excited about doing anything else.)
Then more worrying to be immediately emailed various notices about Rules and Discipline. Apparently the other teachers have been having Problems.
I went to collect copies of my teaching books and lesson plans the day before, as I am a New teacher who likes to be Prepared, and got less than I'd hoped for; a cd that doesn't seem to match the books and some glorified colouring-in sheets. So yesterday morning I was a bit anxious. I dislike being unprepared!

But I've realised, it's Spain. It's just like that here.

I was thinking 'oh how awful I'm going to look really stupid and the evil 8 year olds will throw things at me' but actually, it was fine. We did lots of "point at... the pegs!/computer!/table! and when I told my boss we didn't exactly stick to the plan she just said, 'that's fine, I'm glad you're here!'. Apparently she was desperate. And then I had a class of 4 year olds, who were fun.

Do all kids like to have their fingers bitten by puppets, or is it a Spanish thing? They absolutely love it.

So then after that I nipped home for some lunch, then back out to the other Tuesday job teaching 'art' to some nice but mental kids. One of them shouts everything. He just can't remember to talk at a normal volume, I'd remind him and he's say 'ok, yes ok' and then do it again. We made octopus monsters.

After that, I went to meet someone who I've met once before when I first arrived; another Scot teaching English here. We decided to go and watch Scotland get beat by Spain in the football, and bumped into another Scot teaching English here who I'd also met once before, at the last match, that we actually won. So we joined him and ended up in a large group of English teachers drinking 2 euro pints and comparing our jobs, which was fantastic. Except that I hadn't eaten yet, and as I'm on my cash only budget, I couldn't afford any. Luckily I wasn't joining in the shot-per-goal deal, but still by the end I was in need of some sustenance.

El Tigre to the rescue! 

For the price of another cheap caña, you get to scoff off a large plate of fried things. The croquettas are my favourite, and the barmen know me from repeated visits last summer and this.
I caught the eye of one of them through the crush at the bar and shouted him our order 'dos cañas!' For which a Spanish girl next to us started taking the piss, saying 'dos cañas' in what I assume was a bad Spanish accent. Not in the mood for being made fun of by more Spaniards (we had just lost the football) I replied, 'y que?' (And wot? I should be in N-dubz.) She was a bit taken aback; I think she was just jealous at my speedy delivery of beers and tapas.

El Tigre is a legend in Madrid, the amount of food they dish out to you is phenomenal. The number of times I've been there in a relatively short time is also meritable. It's also the reason I'll struggle this weekend when family are visiting and wanting me to take them nice places. Guidebook at the ready.

So after yesterday's business, today's a holiday! And my birthday too it seems, because I got a card and presents in the post. (Thank you.) I'm off now to do my lesson planning/procrastinating in the park, squeezing the last of the sun onto my legs while the rest of Madrid sweats in jeans and scarves. Yes, I do know it's October. I am also Scottish.


  1. What a bitch, glad you went all N Dubz on her, please take the Paris Crew to El Tigre when we come and visit you!!

  2. As soon as you get off the plane we're there! They also do killer mojitos for a fiver xx

  3. Looking forward to El Tigre action! Like how you threw it back at her 'tryin' tae get wide, pal?!'

    Also my kids love having their fingers bitten by the parrot puppet, they stick their wee finger in his beak and he goes 'uuuurgh' and spits. They love it. Simple pleasures.

    Morvita x