Monday, February 21, 2011

Why are you yelling?

When it rains, the children play inside.  They pound up and down the ancient tiled floors of the school and scream.  Not shout or yell, just scream, a primal "AHHHH" ripped from their lungs.  They crash into each other and eventually collapse to the floor.  They lay there gasping for breath until they are trampled or nearly so by another child, at which point they find their lungs and legs again and stampede down the hall in the opposite direction, another wordless wail without meaning rising out of their tiny selves.

I go for coffee, hoping to escape the din, and my beloved coffee lady is angry at the man who has brought her bacon instead of ham.  They shout the same sentence at each other again and again for twenty minutes, hands banging on the table and flying up around the face, a delicate dance of jilted customer and frustrated bearer-of-bad-news.

Back to school, where the children are taking an exam.  This should mean quiet, but instead means they constantly shout out the answers and shriek about the ease of the exam.  The Spanish teacher is nonplussed, and my lips hurt from the constant shushing.  I teach another class, which again turns into a lesson based solely on the concept of raising one's hand and then not shouting the answer, this time to sixth graders.

I ride the bus to Madrid for class.  I see the loud woman in front of me in line and purposely sit as far from her as possible.  Even with my head phones in, I still hear her entire conversation shouted into her mobile during the suddenly-so-much-longer 50 minute ride to Madrid.  I get on the metro, where I am jostled and shoved.  Where people rest their bags on my bag.  I give them an offended look, and they shout loudly to their friend about the injustice of their life.

Some nights I stay in Madrid.  The following mornings, I catch the first bus back to San Lorenzo.  I always try to sleep but I rarely succeed as someone always insists on shouting into their mobile or to their friend seated next to them at 715.

The passionate "Oles" I so love about Spain are a lot less endearing when they don't stop, day in and day out, in all situations, for several months straight.  My head is swimming with other people's conversations and it's starting to hurt.


LL's Mom said...

They talk loud and rample like your Mom. LOL. I love and miss you so. Love, Mom xo0o0xo0

LL's Mom said...

Ramble. Sorry. xo0xo0x

Expat Arrivals said...

Hi Lauren-

If you find a "quiet" moment, was wondering if you'd be interested in sharing your expat experience in Budapest?

I'm the editor of Expat (, a site devoted to developing comprehensive destination guides aimed at easing expat transitions abroad. I came across your blog through the course of my research for Hungary, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in being interviewed (via email questionnaire) about your expat experience. We find it's always helpful for other's to read about the personal experiences of people in their future destination, and so we're trying to collect as many interviews as possible.

Thanks for your time and consideration, I look forward to hearing from you.