Chapter 3 – Part 1
Final Clause: The Revenge: “This time it’s personal”
Before booking your flights for a nine month stay in
Spain Catalonia, you are given the option of choosing between Valencia and Barcelona; I went with the latter for the alliteration of Barcelona, Beach, Beyoncé. Once the flights are booked, (this is in bold to emphasise there is no going back now as a Poverty Princess), you are given your exact location: Manresa, Barcelona. An easy 45 minutes from the main city in a car which is great, if you’re not absolutely terrified at even the prospect of being in control of a peddle bike, let alone a car.
Therefore the pilgramage was now increased to 1 hour and 45 minutes on a train, that does not have a toilet. Not great for someone who pees a minimum of 13 times a day. Another surprising factor was that my contract clearly stated I would never be left alone with the children, I would always be assisting teachers in the classroom.Not so surprisingly, (as at this point we clearly have an idea of what my luck with jobs is like), on my first day I was ushered out of the classroom with six eleven year old children.
Armed only with a couple colourful post-it notes and a fab Chanel aftershave that I had obviously purchased from Duty-Free, I started the way I meant to go on; pronouncing every single students name wrong and forgetting them within 30 seconds. I could probably name a solid 25 by the end of the year. If I was lucky.
Already I had made the grave error, (story of my life), of telling my first host family’s three One Direction obsessed daughters that I had once seen Harry Styles in a silent disco at Leeds Festival. I left out the part where I snarled him for being rude to my friend. Desperately trying to keep my shit together and not tear the head off of the next child who asked me if I had Harry’s number, I tried to remain optimistic about the next 8 months and 30 days.
I made my first good choice and decided not to worsen the situation by informing them that previous mentioned friend, who was a victim of Harry’s rudeness, did in fact have Zayn’s. The only one worth whatsapping a nude.*
*OMG. Not that I’m recommending 11 year old children send nudes. Don’t send nudes. And if your really set on it, at least wait till you’re over 18 and don’t include your face in it. We all know why Vanessa Hudgen’s fee was dramatically reduced for High School Musical 3. Lets move on.
So due to the fact I literally had 10 days to get my life together, celebrate my 21st early and literally leave the country; I did not get around to really researching Barcelona much. My previous experience with Spain was limited to Mallorca, when I was three years old, and of course, Benidorm. Twice.
Barcelona is NOT part of Spain to the majority of the population of Catalonia. 80.8%, to be precise, according to the 2014 self-determined referendum that took place mere days after my arrival and having spent the previous few days constantly referring to my colleagues as Spanish.
They want to be Independent Women, which is surprising because the only time Queen Bey was every played their in the nine months I was there was when I stood in front of a DJ booth for over an hour with Beyoncé written on my arm in my best gal pals lipstick.
Remember the whole fiasco with Scotland last year wanting independence, well times that by ‘cien’ (100).
I had achieved an A at Spanish GCSE but U at AS. Hola was only getting me so far and to this day the only Catalan phrase I know is, “Vigila amb el bassal” – “Be careful of the puddle”. You could predict that I never actually got to use this phrase. Well, you would be wrong! Thanks to my quick-thinking I basically saved a child’s
life shoes from getting very nearly wet in an incredibly large puddle during a school trip to some town hall thing. I don’t know it’s exact name, I wasn’t very present, mentally or physically.
I could waffle on about Spain for a million pages but I’ll
try definitely not keep it as brief as possible.
The first three months were fab. I ate a lot of food, smoked a lot of cigarettes, made a lot of new friends and bought everything that was worth buying in Zara, the only fashion forward shop in the whole town.
FUN FACT: The residents of Manresa actually prefer Pull & Bear to Zara and it is just as, if not more, expensive.
In hindsight I should have booked my flights home then.
However another three months later, I was still there after enduring:
- Two host families. (Although the second one were of the most gorgeous families I’ve ever met in my life – LOVE YOU QUERALT X)
- An uncountable number of situations where I had to show sassy Spanish children the actual meaning of sass and dethrone a few self-proclaimed queen bees.
- A failed attempt at a second job at an academy where I faced phrasal verbs and the 1000s of tense we apparently have.
- Having a rabbit leg waved in my face whilst sitting at the dinner table hungover already trying to hold in my own vomit. (This actually psychologically scarred me into being vegetarian for a full 5 months – Hush your noise Samantha, whats happens in a taxi in a McDonalds drive-thru, stays in the McDonalds drive-thru.)
- Twice allowing my hairdresser to tint my eyebrows with hair dye.
- Unexpectedly having to buy a whole new winter wardrobe because I had been betrayed by my parents once again as they had advised me to only take summer clothes.
- Being forced to the same club every Saturday to slut drop to the exact same playlist which was basically Enrique’s Greatest Hits mashed-up with what I can only describe as Catalan House Garbage. (If I hear Bailando one more time I will kill a bitch,. I did however become rather fond of Pitbull’s which reminds me of my good friend David #lovinglife every time it came on as if he hadn’t heard it a million times before. Miss you man, I really hope you can get someone to translate this for you X)
- 6 months of asking the primary school children the same mundane questions – “Do you like pasta?” “Yes I do/No I don’t.”
- Facing bankruptcy every morning after payday – WHO CAN LIVE ON 200 EUROS A MONTH!?
- Being quite literally backed into a corner and receiving a personal speech from a man, I can only describe as a descendant of Hitler. He informed me of the difference between the purity of the blood of ‘true Catalans’ and ‘Spanish people’. All in broken English with a reference to ‘underground murders’…
- Getting shade thrown at me by a puta who wore the same Calvin Klein bra everyday of her life. (Bitch remember that time you asked me to come to your class and help because you had a sore throat? I said I really wanted to go watch the children in the Christmas Concert? Well, I really wasn’t fussed about it at all, but I would rather stand in the cold for what seemed like never-ending hours than do your two-faced ass a favour.)
- My first ever disastrous tinder date that I traveled to on previous mentioned train with no toilet, only to arrive and discover that he had clearly learnt hot to angle his photos so that he looked above 5’5 – I decided that I wasn’t wasting my time or the train fare and as I was hungry I forced him to accompany me to a really expensive restaurant. Only to face the absolute shame of all three of my cards being rejected after ordering the pumpkin soup and most expensive bottle of Cava. (Sorry C, you were lovely and all but I wasn’t going to travel and hour and forty-five minutes for friendship.)
- A confused boy who licked my tooth. (Don’t get pissy prin, I had to mention it.)
- And one manipulative Fuckboy who, to put it frankly, is the most insecure, little bitch I have ever had the misfortune of coming across in my life. But you know what they say; if you haven’t got anything nice to say, then don’t say it all. But when have I ever listened to ‘they’. Who are ‘they’, why are ‘they’ trying to tell me what to do. So I will just say this; he looks like a rodent and acts like a rodent.
Fuckboy, if you’re reading this, which I highly doubt you are able to do with your level of English, thank you sincerely for everything. You have helped me to grow into the strong, independent, fucking fab-ed that I am today. I forgive you and I’ll forget you.
Have a nice life, may it be short and sweet, unlike the monotonous conversations you addressed at me 5 days a week. That was too far. I’d never wish death upon anyone. maybe just leprosy or life long constipation – which wouldn’t really make a difference since you’re already so full of shit.
P.S. – No, you are not a good person and no, I did not like your jeans, or your bike, or that coat you borrowed from the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
P.P.S – I hope “your dream” of coming to England does come true .I highly recommend visiting somewhere as far away from Liverpool as possible. I really hope that while you’re there you find that girl you were searching for, that you always seemed to bring up whenever I said something even slightly negative towards you, for example not liking your fugly earring. And I hope that while you’re there, vulnerable and alone, without your friends and family, she treats you like a lap dog and plays the exact same mind-games that you took such pleasure in playing me with. You’re not a stupid guy, you knew exactly what you were doing, so don’t play stupid.
I realise that this lengthy rant may make it seem that I’m still angry at you. I’m not. I’m angry at myself for letting you make me feel as shit as you made me feel.
“And that my friends…”, in the words of gal-pal Rachel Green, “is what they call closure.”.