get up, get down with the sickness

I am sick again, this time with a terrible fever that gives me sweats, chills, and other unpleasant effects. It is a widely-held belief that first-year teachers (especially with little kids) get sick a lot more often because they are not used to being around so many germs. Okay, but enough is enough. Let’s have a look at the polls:

Number of weeks I’ve been in Santiago: 9
Number of illnesses I’ve had since arriving in Santiago: 5
Number of illnesses I usually have per year: <1
Number of times I’ve been to the hospital: 1
Number of times I’ve been to the hospital in the rest of my life: 0
Number of medicines I regularly take: 1
Number of medicines currently stuffing my nightstand drawer: 10
Number of children who regularly sneeze/cough all over me during class: all of them
Number of times I’ve gone to the bathroom in my pants as a result of aforementioned illnesses: 2
(that’s gross.)

I am tired of being ill. If this continues I will be forced to quit one of my jobs.

* * *

Also, I have been depressed and lonely lately. And happy at the same time. With the holiday season drawing ever nearer, a feeling of homesickness is creeping slowly into me with each passing day. The one saving grace of the holidays here is a wonderful and elusive creature called the Polvoron. The polvoron is a cookie unlike any other. Aside from the obscene amounts of shrimp I ate when I spent Christmas here five years ago, the one thing that I remember most about Christmastime in Spain is the polvoron. Polvo, in Spanish, means dust, and it is a fitting description for this delectable goodie. These thick round cookies are extremely dense, but have a dusty texture that crumbles easily and melts in your mouth. They are usually almond-flavored and dusted with powdered sugar, but they also make them in cinnamon, lemon, and chocolate varieties, among others. I hadn’t realized it was a seasonal treat, so when I arrived in Spain a few months ago, I kept my eye out for these delicacies, with no luck. And then one not-so-special day last week, while browsing my local grocery store for lemons and yogurt, I saw a new section of shelves set up, full of the freshest shipments of various Christmas delights. There was the beloved turron, the almond paste-brittle which I smuggled home from Spain and never ate, and then there was a huge section of every kind of polvoron imaginable. I think I let out an audible gasp of delight. The prices weren’t even up, but I took the first bag of assorted polvorones and, upon arriving home, immediately sampled three of them. They were everything I had remembered and more – these hidden treasures were well worth the wait. I’m pretty sure I will be purchasing several more bags of delicious goodness before the Christmas season is over. This is one of the reasons I like Spain so much. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “get up, get down with the sickness

  1. i can see it!
    you know jess i can actually SEE you walking ever so diligently down the eisles *wow i cant spell* just going about your day and then looking up, gasping, reaching out and grabbing your beloved cookie and pasting on that grin i always remember seeing on you when you are absolutly truly happy…. literally see it… lol i hope you are still loving spain, i cant imagine the homesickness…. but i know you much be having the best of adventures…. i was in chicago last weekend and thought of you girls, i visited the bean and the grass of grant park where we saw the counting crows and invasion of the body snatchers!!! lol…. miss you bunches!!!

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