Monday, September 12, 2011

Lessons in nonchalance

Nothing freaks out the Spanish.

After taking the entire month of August off for the summer vacations, our point person at the University of Barcelona just returned to work on Thursday, September 1st (and not a moment sooner apparently!). Upon turning on his computer and opening his email, he saw the five emails the Professor and I had sent in August desperately trying to get in touch with him to tell him that we doubt we'll be able to make it to Barcelona by the time of the fall semester start date which is THIS Thursday!  In our emails, we told him that our FBI background checks, which should arrive next week, were holding up our visa applications and that the Spanish consulate told us that under no circumstances should we buy our plane tickets without having our visas in our hands.  Thus, the whole month of August the Professor and I chewed our fingernails and waited anxiously to hear back from the University, fearing what they would say.

So, what did they say?  No problem! They said that they're sorry for not getting back to us sooner and that we shouldn't worry about this minor (!) delay.  They'll just switch the Professor's class from the fall semester to the spring semester.  In other words, instead of teaching a course beginning September 15th as originally planned, he will now teach a course beginning in February.  Of course, they still want us to get there in October or November so that we can get settled in, find an apartment, fill out the appropriate employment paperwork, and get to know the city before the winter holidays. But basically they reassured us that the job was still there, that everything would work out, and most importantly, not to freak out.

That last bit is a little difficult for us (mostly me actually). Freaking out is something I do naturally. I seem to have a gift for freaking out and if I do say so myself, I'm better at it than most people I know.  That's why these Keep Calm and Carry on posters, ubiquitous though they may be, really speak to me. And while I love many of the variations that have sprung up in recent years, I really think we need a Spanish version of these.

The Professor and I were brainstorming what the Spanish versions would say:

Me:  Keep Calm and Drink a Beer (Tranquilizate y toma una cerveza)

Professor:  Keep Calm and Eat Tapas  (Tranquilizate y ve de tapas) 

Me:  Keep Calm and Take a Nap (Tranquilizate y toma una siesta)

Professor:  Keep Calm and Go on Vacation (Tranquilizate y ve de vacaciones)

This list could go on and on.  So what about you guys? Got any calming mantras? Or can you think of any to add to our Spanish inspired list?

Happy Monday!


  1. My favorite one would be Stay Calm and Sip an Espresso

  2. oooooh...How I wish I could be in Spain 16 days ago.