The life of a fashion, music and food fanatic on her Year Abroad in Madrid.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Nesquik Overload

I'm not a huge comfort eater. But here, I am munching all flippin day. For breakfast, I have at least two chocolate milkshakes, biscuits, cakes and toast, for lunch I'll have soup and salad, plus another two milkshakes, maybe a yoghurt and more cake. Then for dinner I'll have chicken, tortilla, cheese, a yoghurt, then another chocolate milkshake before bed, and I'll probably polish off another four Oreos in bed. Surely this diet is not doing me any good... but I can't help it. 

I've had a pretty awful day, and the only thing which makes it better is eating. This morning the children refused to do their class. Then when the Mum comes in to check on me (as per usual), she thinks it's my fault. For some reason she thinks that her children do everything I say and that I can control them. Well I'm sorry Madre, but you are wrong. If you can't control your own children, then how am I supposed to? 

I'm in bed, it's 10:30pm and the children are screaming the house down in the bedroom next door. When I was younger, my bed time was ALWAYS before 9pm up until the age of about 13. The children are 4, 7 and 8 years old, so why is their bed time 10pm? 

It's a real shame because I feel like I want to quit. I want to tell the father tomorrow that I've had enough and want to go home, but I haven't got the cojones to do so. I've said to myself, that if this carries on and I am no happier by next Tuesday when we leave Zaragoza, then I am going to have to say something to the father. The other day the 8 year old girl bit her 4 year old brother on the back until he bled. At first I stood there in shock, then tried to pull her off him, and I got punched in the face. Is this how all children act!? To be honest I don't know, because I'm never surrounded by children, but I'm pretty sure this is awful behaviour. 

To be honest, I'm not really upset with the children's behaviour, because they are children. I'm more upset with how the mother treats me. She watches my every move and it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. Every day she will come into the class and question the way I'm teaching her children. If you are so bothered, then hire an English tutor, not an Aupair. Whenever I'm with the children, if I am not chatting away in English every second, then she will shout at me and tell me to make more effort. There is only so much I effort I can put in, and I'm seriously being pushed to my limit. I feel like her child when I am with her. I have absolutely no independence, and it infuriates me. I understand that I am a fussy eater and that it can be a pain in the backside at times, but you are not my mother. You cannot shout at me for having a poor diet, you cannot shout at me for not wanting to eat fish, you cannot tell me how to make a cup of coffee, or how to cook a pizza, when I obviously know already. 

Wow. I'm sorry. That was a pretty intense rant. I'm just pretty frustrated to be honest and I can't meet up with anyone to drown my sorrows in Vino Blanco and moan about my day, so I'll just have to do it here instead, with a chocolate milkshake… 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Julia Roberts

Today we walked up the road to see Uncle Pedro's house. He has 7 huge dogs which roam around his farm, and recently the mummy dog misbehaved herself with the neighbours male dog. 10 days ago, two little Perritos arrived on the farm, so the children like to go and visit them in the afternoon. Pedro is an absolute legend. He has a bald head, is pretty hefty and looks incredibly Spanish. He was wearing a black t-shirt which said 'No me gusta la ciudad', which made me chuckle. For all you non spanish speakers out there, he is basically a proper farm lover.

As soon as he met me, he goes 'Julia Roberts ey!' Pretty funny guy. I've actually been called Julia Roberts on a number of occasions, which is obviously quite a compliment! It's better than being called Jessie J I guess! 

The Second Part Of My Aupair Experience


Today has been an absolute nightmare. I have been looking after the children, without a break for 14 hours straight. The girls refused to do their English class, the little boy cried after his mother for an hour by the swimming pool, they fought throughout the whole journey to Zaragoza (we were in the car for 4 hours) and then they were misbehaving and showing off at the dinner table in front of their cousins and friends. 

It is now 10:30pm and I am absolutely shattered. The house we are staying in is a lot older than I imagined. It houses over 30 people and is very traditional with high ceilings and heavy mahogany doors. Usually the family stay here when all their family are here, as the mother has 8 brothers and sisters, and the children have over 30 cousins. However, at the moment it is just us and their 18 year old cousin and her mates. My bedroom has a balcony which overlooks a huge forest and waterfalls. Tomorrow the family are going to show me round the area, and I am pretty excited! The house has no internet (holy moley how am I going to live!) so I will have to go to the hotel tomorrow to publish this blog post. 


I am feeling a lot more positive today. I was able to lie in until 9.30am which was awesome and I actually slept really well despite being in a different place. We are staying in an area called Monasterio de Piedra. It is incredibly quiet and chilled here. We spent the morning doing a bit of homework, and relaxing by the pool. The pool was situated at the top of a cliff, surrounded by trees and is extremely peaceful. The mother told me before we arrived that there isn't much to do here, and she was right. However, it's kind of refreshing being in the middle of nowhere. I am writing this from my balcony, looking down onto the forest, listening to the sounds of waterfalls and wildlife. Being away from home this summer has really given me time to think. Everywhere I live, there is always some form of drama. There is never complete peace and tranquility. 

After this experience, I don't think I will be au-pairing again. It's been fantastic to be able to travel around Spain and not worry about money, and the family have been incredibly generous. However, my patience can only go so far until I break down. There have been a few moments where I have just had enough and gone for a little cry in my room. Children really know how to push your buttons. Being called fat, ugly and a pig every couple of days by a 4 year old boy doesn't exactly boost my confidence. Being spat on by him is also pretty rancid… However, there are a couple of moments in the day where he will make me smile and I'll forget about how much of a little brat he can be. 

Buenas noches x

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

My Aupair Experience So Far...

So I've been here a week, and boy has it been hard work. I teach the children for 3 hours in the morning, and at first, they were incredibly enthusiastic and well behaved. As the days passed, they became cheekier, moodier and were misbehaving regularly. The children's level of English is actually pretty good, so I spend the mornings going through their workbook, watching english programs, playing games and helping them with their homework. Their favourite game is bingo, which I find rather amusing, as it is what I associate with the older generation in the UK. The girls also love to sing and dance, much to my amusement. They know all the words to Adele - Rolling in the Deep which always puts a smile on my face. 

The mother obviously finds the kids hard work at times, but in general, she copes rather well with them. Something which has surprised me though is the way the parents speak to the children. They can be incredibly nice and complimentary but they can also get pretty angry. (The Spaniards would call it 'passionate.') I would never dream of swearing at my children, but I have heard them being called a few naughty words when the children misbehave. Maybe the children pick up these words from their parents, or from other children at school, but the children regularly say in Spanish 'fat ass' or 'asshole' to each other. The four year old boy has an obsession with my 'culo' (bottom) and will often insult it. (I didn't think it was a large bottom, but maybe he is right…) I encountered a rather awkward moment a few days back when the little girl was playing with her bits, and her mother asked me what the name of that body part was in English. I blushed and just said urrrrrm… bottom? I couldn't exactly say Vagina could I!?!

Anyway, enough of that. My Spanish has improved quite a lot since being here, as I am always picking up new bits of vocabulary and phrases off the children. It's rather annoying though because I can't speak Spanish with the mother unless the children are out of the room. They have been told that I cannot speak or understand any Spanish in order for them to improve their English. I must not complain though, as the reason I am being paid by the family is to speak English all the time with the children. 

The weather has been ridiculous in Madrid, reaching up to 38 degrees every day. It is incredibly hot up until 11pm in the evening, which is proving rather difficult to sleep in. I am building up a pretty sweet tan though! 

I am living with the family in a really modern flat 30 minutes from the centre of Madrid. It's a big urbanisation with a swimming pool, tennis courts and a huge park area. I spend my free time in the afternoon either lounging by the pool, walking around the centre of Madrid or eating at some of my favourite cafes and restaurants. I do wish there were more people here that I knew though, as even though I enjoy my own company, is does get a little lonely at times. Every time I re-visit somewhere, so many fond memories come flooding back. 

I try and eat out when I can, as I really don't like Spanish cuisine. For breakfast I will have a couple of biscuits, toast and Nesquik, which isn't too bad. However, lunch and dinner is a different story. When I told the family that I didn't eat fish, they couldn't believe it. They have eaten fish 4 out of 5 nights so I usually eat any else that is in the fridge. I'm really starting to dislike green beans and processed sausages though... I am losing weight by the minute, but I'm sure as soon as I get home, my mother will plump me back up again with her amazing food. 

We were meant to go to Tarragona this week, but the family have decided to stay in Madrid. They are so much more laid back about plans. I'm really glad we are staying in Madrid though, as the mother said there wasn't much to do in Tarragona, and also it means I can go out at the weekend and see my buddies. 

I am going to post about my weekend at Madrid Gay Pride in the next couple of days, so watch this space!