Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Having Marcos here is another reminder of how spoiled we are in America.  He calls himself a caveman in my home (note that he said it first), and in all honesty, sometimes the way he looks at something, reminds me of one, or a monkey.  Head tilted, scratching head, hand on hip, quizzical brow, " Cole, what is this?"  From the electrical pencil sharpener, that made him jump back, to the can opener that he figured out on his own.  Or the water dispenser in the fridge, "where does all the ice come from?", and the garbage disposal which is the "coolest thing in the world".  We had to go over drying rules for certain clothes so much that I finally just put up a rule board for him "things not to dry".  I came home and found three loads (jeans, white, and colors) all into one, filling the entire space in the dryer, because he thought it would save energy.  It took three times longer than usual.

This realization comes with another one from Marcos.  He now understands why I reacted the way I did in Spain to his way of life. Just the quietness of my neighborhood, compared to his, baffles him.  We went hiking to lower and he loved the stillness of the mountain, stopping every 20 feet and just listening to quietness and the occasional bird tweet.  At night, he purposely listens for noise and finds he can't even hear a dog barking.  "How am I going to sleep when I get back home?  I sleep so good here!"  Two words: Ear plugs.  The only thing that keeps him awake here is the sun.  I supplied him an eye mask so that he doesn't wake up at 5 am due to the bright daylight already streaming through my blinds.

Top ten differences between my experience in Spain to his experience (so far) here.
10.  I wore ear plugs in Spain, Marcos wears an eye mask here.
9.  I hung my clothes in Spain, Marcos gets to use a dryer.
8.  I ate non processed meat in Spain, and he is being poisoned by ours.
7.  My selection of cereal was about 10 different kinds and here, Marcos can choose from about 40 (and I thought Fair way Market was small!)
6.  We stole movies off the internet in Spain, and here we use NETFLIX!!!
5.  I saw a lot of stray cats, and he sees eagles and bears.
4.  I was scolded when touching the fruits and veggies in the market without using a plastic glove in Spain.... here you get produce with everyone's germs smothered on them.
3.  We don't take naps here, but Spain shuts down for three hours to just "rest".
2.  They lock everything.  Marcos had two doors to the outside and both were locked at night and all day long.  Here it's so safe, the door sometimes stays propped open.
1.  I tried their sea food, that all tasted like low tide, and he gets to eat the real stuff here!! ;)


Alisa said...

Those are great comparisons...thanks for sharing! Yes, it is funny how the things we take for granted in the US are so different from the things taken for granted in other countries. Just totally different!!

I hope you find the happiness in Skagaway. I know what you are feeling, and I understand the dilemma perfectly. It will all work out in the best way, I'm sure. Faith!! Perhaps when the timing is right you will be hit over the head with an option that just makes sense...or maybe it will be subtle. Either way, I think you will feel that pull WHEN it is right.

Pacs said...

At first, i have to say sorry for my "(spanish) english", only i want that you understand my opinion (with full respect to you) about our cultural differences, Marcos and your bad experience in Spain.
Starting for Marcos, i have to say that he's living a normal life in another place, completely different from our city, our city is little is like a little district from NY (for example) in US, then is normal that you can't see any other animals...if you like so you can visit a country house in "La Sierra de Cádiz" (take a look in google if you wish), is a place quiet and lovely. If you think this well, you'll know that it's in every world. In Spain we have fridges with ice dispenser and many other tecnological resources, it's only that we can't afford this stuff, because you know the economy is hard and politics here is corrupt, but of course in Skagway isn't matter. Because the economy is hard, there isn't work and in consecuence like Marcos and me, we were unnemployed and is too difficult sleep well if you are not tired. Marcos is working for you 7-8 hours at least and, of course, Marcos is sleeping like an angel...why? the place is quiet, but in fact..Marcos is TIRED! :D.

The little accident with drier is normal as humans we are, Marcos never used a drier here and his common sense sometimes fails, but we are humans as already said. Living together is a work more to do, and a hard work, telling by mi own experience.

Respect the gastronomy you have the rights to say that your food is appropiate for you, only you have to have account for the Mediterranean gastronomy one of the most healthy in the world, including of course, the sea food.
The films that you say stolen, isn't certainly stolen, we call it "shared", is more nice...isn't? The economy is hard" remember the words hehe.
The nap thing: you have reason like a bad habit that's it, but i understand that in your situation is impossible to take a nap. My experience was that i worked three years ago as an aeronautics assembler in a little enterprise, in Spain (like many other countries), the industrial workers starts to work at 6:00 am here, in Skagway is 4:00 am i think, so is a habit to take a nap for an hour (was my nap) if you take a famous and delicious spanish lunch at 3:00 pm (Spanish hour. The nap, in correct proportions is healthy too (a half hour)I'm based in medical studies, i don't invent it.
And finally the "Everything closed thing", is more from the same stuff. Spain is crossing a hard period of economy...the reasons? i ask the same to the central banks where all started ,and of course the main fault is the spain government and the infrastructure problem, always the politics people,and never the worker people, they are responsible and only of them that Spain be the bad looking nation that some foreigners see in it. I only defend that is mine but over all i respect that is ours, Spain is bad for some, for others is a place to live in peace. I say finally "God bless America and her people" but "I'm proud to be Spanish" and this is mine...forever!!

Nicholle said...

WOA paco.. I am not making fun of Spain at all!! I am complimenting Spain and the USA. I am not teasing Marcos or putting anything negative on either country, this blog was only just a comparison of the difference of our experiences. I'm sorry you were offended, but I did not mean to sound like I was complaining about Spain.
I think it's fine you guys download stuff for free in Spain, and I LOVE that you hang your clothes because it doesn't use up so much energy. Your siesta time is a culture thing and that is great!! I think more than half or America would love it too!!
Sorry you were soo upset by this email, but it was written to be funny and in fact Marcos liked it. He is the one who gave me the idea when he called himself a caveman.