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March 21, 2001 Seville Spain

I'm learning Spanish. I'm working in Spanish. My coworkers don't speak English, except for the manager Jorge (un poco) and the Japanese waitress, Rie (bien.)

Well, that's a good feeling; and even though I do not consider that I speak Spanish, there are those whose opinion of it is higher than mine. Partly, I think, is that I am a good mimic, and so the Spanish that I can speak sometimes sounds good. That counts for a lot, I think.

My gramatica is pathetic; I hate to study. I want to be free! But I need to study; the grammatics of Spanish are very important, and indeed I've been studiously avoiding the conjugations of the verbs.

You know, this is when you want to say I walk or I walked or I'm walking, etcetera. Conjugations of the verb to walk.

The conjugations in Spanish are complicated; there are many forms of past and future tenses, and then a whole mirrored set for hypothetical type situations. Ay ay ay.

Maybe you can see why I've been avoiding it. But of course if I cannot conjugate verbs with some facility, I'm going to feel like an ass in Spanish.

Learned a lot of vocabulary for a while. Been working in Spanish, as I say. Gone out several times after work, in Spanish too. Man o man. Whole different world. Spanish nightsme encanta. Comfortable, fun. All night until just before dawn. It's just that way.

Beautiful people I work with. I don't think this sitio is going to last much longer. I'm pretty sure of it. Boss problems. There are changes, and some things that never seem to change. But I'm trying to keep a cool head, and maintain control. I really don't like the way the guy treats people. It's hard to express that, and harder to keep it inside. Sometimes I think I try too hard to keep it inside, and when it comes out it is then under some pressure.

Ah, theory.

— March, 2001 Seville, Spain (from an email I sent to my brother.)