Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Springtime Hiccups

It's been a while since the last blog, and in part it's because I can't seem to un-busy myself. I'm like brand new fly paper- I just get covered (not in flies, per se, but in things to do)
Spanish class every day, applications for festivals, meeting people(which usually means a lengthy lunch meeting), cello class, and commuting to Kodiak's school somehow the days go by.
Springtime is always a bit bumpy for me emotionally and that is ringing true here as well. I fluctuate between being inspired to be here to feeling isolated and overwhelmed by the mass amount of people here at any given moment. It's fast paced, loud, obnoxious, dirty, smelly as all big cities are, and there is little room for being soft.
There is plenty of room however to get all minor health problems taken care of. We have very inexpensive health insurance here and I am taking full advantage of it! Just to compare, which is a bit depressing for people in the States, dental is included in our family plan, which costs us €90 /month. My $4000 implant procedure in the US will cost me less than a quarter of that in Spain. The difference is so stark, it's hard to understand. Repealing the ACA will put us back in the dark ages of healthcare. But I digress.

One of the hiccups has been some significant adjustment problems for Kodiak in school, (he is attending a tri-lingual school, with emphasis on English) which has made for an interesting observation. I initially thought that Language would be the most important component of being able to adjust within a school system- no matter how different the school system was. I now think that the System is of greater importance, and the language is secondary. From a tree hugging social emotional learning based school(Anansi) to a conservative authority driven school is quite a leap. My best example would be if I was dropped into a small village in Central Africa, where no one spoke my language, but I recognized the communal aspects of the village and the way in which people related to each other. How would I adapt to this situation versus for example being dropped into a Trump voting community in Oneida, Kentucky, where I would speak the language but not share any common values. I think I would be much better off in Africa.
I am going to tell the story of the past few months in pictures, as they often say more than words.

My friend Kath made sure I knew about a talk that was happening a block away from our apartment (everything is a block away from our apartment)- Brian Eno spoke with political master mind Evengy Morozov, and it was a memorable evening. This is when I loved the city. The access to brilliant minds and amazing art is of course very seductive.

Then we flew to Sweden for a very sweet and memorable life event, and here are two pictures from Christian's brother Cles of my favorite place in Sweden- by the cliffs where I used to hang out with my grandparents in the summertime. We went in February, when the brackish water is half frozen, but the  landscape is kind of timeless, as are we.

We had just been visiting the Vasa Museum, which houses a real salvaged 17th Century Galleon, and Kodiak was finishing his very Swedish lunch of meatballs and lingonberry juice...Cles captured his mood and I love this picture.

Then, once back in Barcelona, it was full making stuff mode, mainly for mackettes for submitting proposals to various festivals. Looks like we will have a busy Summer ahead!

Every day in Barcelona there seems to be a festivity of some sort, whether Barcelona's soccer team won over Madrid, which causes a major hoopla in the city- parties all night long to random parades taking place seemingly spontaniously anywhere in the city, to giant puppets parading in the streets or people climbing on top of eachother to create an impressive human pyramid...One day I walked out of the apartment to enjoy this on our street!

...and now we are almost caught up- We went to see another incredible circus/dance performance by some very talented new friends, Sarah and Adriá, and in the beautiful historic building that housed the performance was also a very punchy art exhibit... here is one of the pieces by artist David Pérez.

Springtime is also marked by our visiting friends. It's such a joy to share some of our favorite things with our old posse- so here's a few of Cedar. He is staring into the eyes of an old Roman guy, who was uncovered under the city at some point- in the incredible Museum of the History of Barcelona... a few blocks from our apartment. It shows the city as it was in the early centuries BCE.
Below, we are visiting for the (5th?6th?) time one of the most incredible science museums in the world- Cosmo Caixa. Oh, and that would be free entry for those who bank at Caixa, which the vast majority of Spanish do..for the others it's a entire €4....!

Not bad for accessible science and culture.
And yes, that is Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, and Albert Einstein sitting contemplating in wax.

More soon!
Off to see a movie called Captain Fantastic, in it's original version(English) with Catalan subtitles. 

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