I have always been fascinated with mechanical things. As a child, I loved playing with LEGO building blocks and looking at the detail in the blown-up pictures of David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work. All of this is to say nothing about my lifelong fascination with every aspect of pinball machines, which as far as I can tell began with Sesame Street. When it came time to pick a major in college, I only wasted one year under the guise of Computer Science before switching to the obvious choice of Computer Engineering, first making sure every class I’d taken thus farContinue reading
This is what I’ve always wanted . . . right?
One of the middle-class, Midwestern American staples we decided to forgo in Spain is dependence upon an automobile. Yes, we occasionally rent cars – and I’m confident Doer will have more to say about these adventures in the near future. For the most part, however, I’ve come to rely upon other modes of transportation. And for the most part, I’ve been happy with this. We’re very fortunate that we were placed in a city that’s on a commuter train line, which can easily bring us to other train lines and even to an airport (with a little help from a metroContinue reading
(no, that is not a misspelling, at least not as far as the Spanish are concerned) What do we watch when Colbert is on vacation? Spanish TV, of course! Kids’ shows are the best: right about at our vocabulary level, and they almost always include subtitles. SpongeBob SquarePants (aka “Bob Esponja”) is a particular favorite of mine that I think I accidentally got Dreamer hooked on. As with Los Simpson, oftentimes I’ve seen the episode before, so it makes following the action a little easier. Things are translated to varying degrees: sometimes a joke crosses cultural boundaries; sometimes, it does not. AndContinue reading
Catharsis (a tribute to Buddy)
[This is a post dealing with some things I’ve been needing to get off my chest for a while. There are lots of mentions of cruelty to animals AND WHERE MEAT COMES FROM, so you might not want to read it if you’re squeamish or a bleeding-heart animal lover like my wife. You have been warned.] Moving your entire life overseas isn’t easy. Sure, we may portray it as a dream, and we are certainly trying to enjoy ourselves now, but there was just so much work to get to this point. Even now, I think Dreamer and I areContinue reading
Even the most reserved travelers have to be somewhat open to new experiences. When you leave your comfort zone, you will have encounters that may make you uncomfortable. Obviously, Doer and I have been trying to approach our time living abroad with as much openness as possible. However, a couple of unexpectedly related recent events have caused me to consider my own openness. The first incident happened our second day in the city of Castellón de la Plana. After spending a week in Madrid, Doer and I were eager to find a home in the province of Castellón, where weContinue reading
Doer and I have been expats for just over three weeks now, and we’ve spent a week and a half settling into our new piso in Burriana (or Borriana, if you prefer to speak Valenciano instead of Spanish), and as he already has shared, it is a relief finally to have a home. Although we love traveling, at heart we are homebodies, and hotel life is not for us. And while we like one another quite a bit, one cannot underestimate the importance of two introverts coexisting at home together, but in different rooms. Before we arrived in Burriana, weContinue reading