Tuesday, 22 September 2009

An evangelical Mexican mathematician on the metro

Sunset at Debod, the Egyptian temple at Parque Ouest. The nights are drawing in ..

A delay since my last post due to the need to relentlessly pursue paid employment. Realisation hit that the promised contract was not coming my way - at least not this side of 1 October. So last week was a frenzy of sending out my CV again and advertising for conversation classes and I am pleased to say"what a difference a week makes!" Another interview, some real classes in the pipeline and new students who want English conversation and I can pay the rent without resorting to the credit card.

I learnt a valuable lesson this month. There is no such thing as a job until the contract is signed, sealed and in my hand. Anything less is a promise and we know what happens to those. Teaching is a strange game because unless you have a full time contract with one company, you have to put together a melange of teaching contracts and private lessons and there is a skill to making this work. The great teacher in the sky was looking out for me last week as all my opportunities are in easy reach of where I live and the timings have worked out. Let's hope it continues ..

So what about the Mexican? Well, I was on the metro coming home from teaching and trying to time how long it would take me to get from Canillas metro to Alameda de Osuna (via Diego de Leon with a long changeover). Clock in one hand and notebook and pen in the other, I was totally absorbed in the task when a smiley man gave me his seat at El Carmen. Then proceeded to chat. He is a Mexican living in Madrid studying Mathematics. However in the course of our conversation it transpires he is also evangelical. He was concerned about whether I am a Christian (hey, I live in Peckham so this is familiar territory even in Spanish!) Anyway trying to convert the English teacher - with poco espanol from me and poco inglese from him - on the metro before he got off at Torre Arias was clearly too much for my Mexican friend! He left me smiling and counting the minutes to the end of the line as I realised I had "clocked" a mas o menos moment in our conversation.

We also talked about the best way to get around Madrid. He said I should fly like Superman (complete with mime and sound effects). Flying is the super power that would be most helpful for me right now or maybe a magic carpet. In fact to be able to fly like Mary Poppins across the skies of Madrid, popping into one house after another to teach English, sing a song or two and generally have a nose around would be perfect - and get paid for it of course!

1 comment:

  1. You really do attract some odd sorts, don't you?! I trust you'll be attempting some Superman-esque flying very soon, maybe in Plaza Mayor for some extra cash.

    Oh yes, the teaching lark is a funny old game indeed.

    Yet we appear to be getting quite good at it. It's clearly been a serendipitous week for us both, long may it continue.


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