Back to work (but in Peru)

chris at work.jpg
Buenos Dias, amigos! It’s time to get out the house (before 7am) with all the coffee you can carry!

I’VE just finished cooking spag-bog but experimenting with kidney beans. They are undercooked. I listen to Avenged Sevenfold’s Nightmare Album and The Cure, drinking coffee, hoping I’ll finish this blog and have time to read a Russell Brand book, and knowing I have to iron a shirt, clean my travel mug, and make a peanut sandwich before I sleep. It’s an early start tomorrow.

It’s been three months since I last worked. I lasted a while, but the fun times are over (no they aren’t). It’s back to having to be responsible, and I haven’t been happier (aside from the other day when I was raving about my peanut butter and peppermint ice-creams which combined well together).

Today my housemates and I traveled on the bus (in the words of Billy Madison: “back to school, back to school….”) and arrived in time for our first day of training at our new school. We signed a contract last week after six weeks of sorting out visa requirements and school based tests (with Christmas and New Year between this period).

Imagine being in a room for most of a day learning about how your new job is going to work. But 90 per cent of what is being said is in another language. You are the foreigner, but fortunately everyone around you is warm and accepting.

I tell you what. I’ve never been more motivated to learn some Spanish. I’m sick of not understanding the jokes told in that room, and the students are going to eat me alive (that’s a cliche and therefore not to be taken literally. The kids here aren’t really cannibals).

When I was in Year 7 a boy who years before had a car crash needed a support teacher to help him work and to write – but not because he was dumb. He often didn’t understand the instructions and I remember his frustration. Being in the room trying to understand the basic exercises today must have been a little like how my classmate felt. Each of my housemates and I had our own translator, and I knew by the end of the day that I would make many friends among the colleagues. But still, they were a little baffled and amused by the lack of my Spanish ability.

I went to the mall and spent a lot of money. It was mostly on food but to celebrate my first day of work/training I bought myself Adidas gym shorts, and some quirky socks.

Monkeys were my spirit animals. Now my patronus is an owl.


Housemate-Amigo Amy and I caught the bus back home with our shopping, because I was shamed at the cost of the afternoon and didn’t want to pay for a taxi. So I was carrying too many shopping bags when we walked into the cramped bus. I tried handing over bags to Amy, but that was a rookie move because I dropped the mince and the bottle of pasta sauce, which fortunately didn’t break.

And what happened next was an example of Peruvian good nature at work. Several men got up to help hold my bags and as the bus moved around, and I bent forward to retrieve the mince I nearly fell forward. One of the benevolent strangers helped support me.

I felt embarrassed when I couldn’t pronounce Mucho Gracias properly because if there was ever a time I really wanted to say it properly, it was then.