Squashed in Singapore


Today I went to my Spanish class, where we mostly discussed illnesses. There was a listening exercise where various people went to a doctor, with ailments ranging from gastroenteritis to full-blown depression, and in each case the prescription seemed to be to drink some mineral water and have a few ibuprofen. So it’s good to see the same quality of care across Europe.

I learned another few body parts, like axila (armpit) and espalda (back) to add to my repertoire. It turns out having a small child is quite good for learning the names of body parts, just as it is for animals and (sometimes) counting. Sadly, the days when La Serpiente Aquatica Negra would go to sleep if I counted to a hundred in Spanish are long gone, as we determined last night when she screamed "Mummmeeeee" at me for half an hour. Still, we live, we learn.

Today I had a meeting that started at 7:30, and the day continued in epic fashion until about 5:30, with just a short break for lunch. As I’d been awake late into the night on calls yesterday, I didn’t feel so bright. Friday I have a bit of a respite but before then it’s wall to wall meetings. This means I have to make a special effort to eat healthily, rather than just crash through the door of the apartment and make a cheese sandwich.

Oh dear.

I took the train to my Spanish class today, and hadn’t realized how packed it would be. I also hadn’t realized how annoying some people could be. Everyone lined up for the train but when it arrived, two people walked bold as brass past everyone else and got on, to a packed carriage, before anyone else could. (Also before anyone could get out, which seems par for the course if you’re an inconsiderate sod.) There was just enough space next to them for half another person, and when nobody in the queue advanced to take that spot, I clambered in, gaining more evil stares for being associated with the queue jumpers. The queue jumpers themselves weren’t happy about it either. But then nor would you be with some stranger jammed up against your buttocks on public transport.

I, of course, am made of sterner stuff, having travelled on the Northern Line and take this in my stride, with a face full of rage and a sweaty back, and the fury you get when you disembark a carriage to let everyone else off, and then get trampled by people pushing past you to get onto the carriage. So that wasn’t the most relaxing way to prepare for my language lesson.

Ah well. I came home, tried to file my tax return, freaked out because it seemed too simple, panicked and shut my computer down. Do I want trouble in my life or not?


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