30 November 2013

30: tidbits on a Saturday

I purchased items at H$M (insert an ampersand in there), and now I feel guilty, like I'm single-handedly destroying the lives of people around the world and also the environment. (Note that this is not a single-handed type of situation: the place was packed.) I think I will not go back there. 


I asked my Spanish teacher today if native Spanish speakers feel that ser and estar have different connotations, like I could explain, if I were forced, tiny differences between start and begin. He told me that US Americans think more about the nuances of English because we read a lot. "Did you ever see someone reading a book in Honduras?" he asked. (Not that I recall, although there are some amazing authors who write/wrote in Spanish.)

I am fascinated now. I never really thought about the reading culture - however much people complain that it is dying, there are still a huge number of people reading books in this country. I mean, I read a lot of books, but I have always been a book worm, and I assumed that the articles about the dying of the book were just talking about, I don't know, someone else. But maybe we do still read a lot of books in comparison to places with a weaker literature tradition and a stronger oral tradition.

"If I asked my friend, 'Como es tu padre?' he would tell me that his father is kind, and if I asked my friend, 'Como esta tu padre?" he would tell me that his father is fine, but if I asked him the difference between the two questions, he would say, 'What two questions? What do you mean?"

I take this to mean I need to memorize the sound of when to use ser and when to use estar. I feel like I had much more patience for this memorization kind of thing when I was approximately 14 years old, possibly because I was in high school and that's what one did in high school. Now I've been spoiled by the concept of understanding things, and I find rote memorization much more annoying than once it was.


This whole idea of not going in to work on the weekend is kind of fantastic. I didn't realize how much it weighed on me every Saturday to have to rush around and do everything in time to go back to work on Sunday afternoon, but this weekend I am not working for the whole weekend (I could go in; I have plenty to do, but I refuse, because I need a rest) and my lack of anxiety tonight is palpable. In the figurative use of the word. It cannot actually be palpated save in my imagination. But it is marked in comparison to most Saturday nights. 

In the absence of the need to rush in to work tomorrow, I am doing things like mopping the kitchen floor. It's been a while since any of us have had the time to do this, and it showed. The floor was basically sticky. I had to scrub off multiple gooey things that had been stuck for a while. 

Look, we are three busy girls. Finding a time when any or all of us is not rushing off to something else is difficult. I tried to explain this to the landlord the last time he was here, as he scorned us for not having cleaned behind the fridge (seriously? who cleans behind the fridge unless you are moving it for some reason?) and told me that his mom had a third grade education but she knew how to keep things clean with soap and water. 

Unless he plans to offer us a cleaning service, this frantically busy house of girls is going to have cleaning behind the fridge pretty low on the list of priorities, behind, say, surviving another week crammed with activities without having a nervous breakdown.

But today I had time to scrub the kitchen floor, and tomorrow I may even clean my room.

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