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Thursday, 4 February 2010


I've spoken about the strange, mysterious noises that emanate from this block and my wonderment at what the hell the neighbours could be doing at 4 in the morning. Well I knew I had fully integrated when I found myself yesterday scraping candle wax off a bidet albeit at a Christian hour. The full details of how this particular mess occured are not sordid enough to reveal but lead onto my puzzlement as to why we have to have a bidet in the first place. I can only think it is to eventually get rid of and therefore employ someone and keep the economy going. A sort of Plan B contrasting against President Zapatero's Plan E. If you ask Spanish people if they use the bidet they give you a guilty look and say of course and when you ask them what they use it for they will tell you it is there to wash their 'partes intimas' but the guilty look betrays them for it is not to wash their nether regions at all and they go to great lengths to tell you otherwise and insist it is there for that reason alone. Eventually they give in and tell you that OK, the most intimate part they have ever washed is their feet but the main reason is to hide stuff which makes you wonder why they don't just have some sort of cabinet. I remember at one dinner party Henderson returned from the loo with a horrified look and whispered to me 'you'll never guess what Francsico keeps in his'. It turned out to be some bathroom scales and a pair of slippers but I think they were just red herrings, a bit like leaving incense lying around or having a Village People LP in your record collection. Other people have confessed to washing the babies clothes in it and keeping towels or magazines. I had a look in mine earlier and it revealed two sponges, a cloth and one rubber glove just to confuse them all. I think the perfect use would be to stick one of those big hams in so it's nice and steady for cutting a slice. A friend tells me it is illegal to not have one in Portuguese bathrooms and another said her mother reckoned it was only Catholic countries that had them but that leaves out Ireland and adds to the mystery of it all.

Anyway, apart from all this I missed a meeting yesterday. I never miss meetings in Spain because they really are the most amazing things to behold. Yet yesterday I did. It must mean that perhaps I have had enough of the bullshit and the inner laughter it gives me, or maybe I just forgot. In said meeting I was told but also imagined that the English classes we are all giving are still somehow flawed and not enough discipline is used. This is where the little laugh that starts somewhere inside and erupts into hysterics begins. Being told by an entire nation that my teaching skills are not good enough is one thing but a Spaniard telling me that I don't discipline the children enough is risible. To cut seven or eight years short let's just say that meetings in Spain never come up with solutions and if they did it still wouldn't be good enough and would demand another meeting to sort out the previous grievance and then maybe add a meeting with the parents 'cos now they aint happy and then a secret meeting where the teachers can all have a gripe and on it goes till you find me in the corner tittering away as it is just what I need right now, a bit of character building to keep the old strength up.

But let's not get bogged down with the histrionics that occur here on a daily basis. I read a headline and no further today that children with a sweet tooth will become alcoholics in later life. Judging from one of the latest English grammar books I have seen I am surprised the kids aren't hitting the bottle before the sweets. In this book there is a topic on the environment. Years ago it would be about the pandas and recycling but this one gave the thumbs up or the odds on for a terrorist attack, a dirty bomb, complete meltdown and other grim stuff in the near future. I said to the pupil that it all seemed a bit depressing and she looked at me and said 'but the world is going to end in 2012 anyway'. Nothing has changed since the scaremongers informed me I would have a few minutes to run home when they gave the four minute warning.


mike the trike said...

I use the bidet every day and had one put in my house in England. Certainly better than sitting over a plastic basin to wash the intimate parts. Absolutely ideal for anyone suffering with the old piles. As it says in the song I'd walk a million miles if it weren't for these piles -- my mammy!

ANA said...

Only just saying today about my neighbour Mercedes, 'she piles on the agony', as I saw her running up the road stick in hand faking a limp.