Couch Musings with Dandruff

el monosilabo guadalajara

Yesterday was a good day here in Guadalajara. I still haven’t moved out of my current house, which was my plan for this month. But this isn’t all bad, as I’m mostly happy in my current house. Mostly. I still sometimes want to murder the neighbor’s dog, and actually the other night lost it a little bit and screamed, “Por favor!” when their dog started barking at 11:30pm and woke me up just as I was drifting off to my colicky baby sounds.

But that’s OK. 

Yesterday I had two articles published on sites that aren’t Ordinary Nomad: 1) This article on Roads and Kingdoms, a site that’s published three previous articles of mine. This article had already appeared here, albeit in a slightly different form. Roads and Kingdoms likes to make edits, and they don’t like to consult you about them. I don’t know if I’ve ever liked an edit they’ve done, and this makes me feel like a real writer, since apparently real writers flip shit whenever anyone threatens the “artistic integrity” of their work.

But that’s OK. 

The other article was on Fear the Wall, a Borussia Dortmund blog. This blog gets TONS of traffic, because instead of writing about themselves and things like what they had for breakfast (!), they (WE) write about something people actually care about, i.e. Borussia Dortmund soccer, one of the biggest teams in Europe. I got into Dortmund because of Christian Pulisic, who, at 19 years old, is already the best American soccer player to ever exist. And at 15 he moved to Germany to play for this team, and has never looked back. I, and I imagine many other Americans, have never looked back in my devotion to him.

Which is special. 

(Note: The Fear the Wall article has 27 comments. I’m terrified to read them, even though they’re probably only about soccer. This terror stems from the comments on one of the first articles I ever had published.)

Two of my English students have canceled on me today, which on the one hand is good because it makes my day a helluva lot easier, but on the other hand is bad because it means I’ll make less clean, crisp $$$$$$$$. I need $$$$$. I live for $$$$$$. But today I’ll make less $$$$$$, because I’ll be working less.

Which is fine.

The greatest thing about one of the students canceling is now I’ll get to watch the Borussia Dortmund game in its entirety, as opposed to in its partiality.

Which is wonderful. 

And now I’ll go seize the day. I’ve already had my budin, which means my stomach is primed. My brain is primed, too, ready to take on whatever Guadalajara might throw at me. Though at this point I already have a good idea what it might throw at me: mate, a delicious lonche de pierna, a chat with Marta,  a couple of English classes, a bit of writing, a bit of reading, a tamal by the Expiatorio, and maybe even a  night stroll along Calle Libertad.

Which is…



A Nomad’s 2017 in Pictures


As I like to do before getting to the “meat” of the post, I’d like to mention a couple things that are present on my mind right now:

1) I’m REALLY tempted to write about my personal life, but even though I sometimes did on Where’s Wetzler, I’m not going to here. Maybe I will on Patreon. But it’s probably better just to keep my mouth shut.

2) It’s cold as shit here in GDL and I’m pretty sure I just felt an earthquake. And yes, a quick search on gewgal (sp?) tells me that this just happened:

I was sitting on the toilet and the plant started shaking. I thought about whether or not I should get up should things really start shaking. I elected to not.

3) I prayed to the universe last night for something wonderful to happen today.

4) I woke up last night at at 2:50am and my mind was as clear as it’s been in a long time. I realized the possibilities for teaching English online. And Spanish, for that matter. So far I’ve only been targeting the Spain market. But what about Saudi Arabia? What about Kuwait? What about the rest of the world? There are people willing to play big doubloons for good teachers.

And now I have told you something the things that are present on my mind and can continue to the illustrious photo essay, A Nomad’s 2017 in Pictures.

Our journey starts and ends in Germany. Actually, if I’m not mistaken, our journey starts on a 787 Dreamliner somewhere above the Atlantic. And actually the journey starts in Lisbon, where I spent one night before Germany. But I’m not going to talk about Lisbon. All you need to know is that something happened there that would drastically affect the next few months. Something that would cause me to move to Hamburg. Something that would cause me to not drink for a few months. Something that would cause me to wonder if I was a bad person, even though I know I’m not.

In Hamburg I studied Germany with a guy named Seb from the Canary Islands who had a French mother and English father. I ate a lot of rice. I drank a lot of lapsang souchong tea. I read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and thought it was really, really, good. I tried to learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube.

After Germany I flew to Nice, France, and then traveled over land into Italy. The above picture was taken in Portovenere, just south of Cinque Terre. The town of Portevenere is every bit as beautiful as the Cinque Terre towns, but much less visited. Here I looked through these archways and contemplated the meaning of life. I contemplated the meaning of coffee. I contemplated the meaning of money. I contemplated the meaning of pizza. I contemplated the meaning of barbecued ribs. I talked to a Portuguese girl just outside this fortress. I can’t remember her face, only that she was beautiful.


Then I went home for seven months. This was from March to early November. Not in many years had I been home for so long. I taught Spanish at Shoreline Community College. I interpreted. I broke my wrist. This would also prove pivotal in my life, because once my wrist was broken I had no choice but to revive my passion for soccer. With this came passion for Christian Pulisic, and would the major factor in my decision to go back to Europe, and ultimately Germany, at the beginning of November. But the above picture has nothing to do with soccer or Washington State. The above picture was taken in Central Park, on a balmy day in early August. I went there for Music in the Park with my friend Jen. The concert was wonderful. I fell asleep during the concert.

After Seattle I flew to Copenhagen, where I stayed with my friend Linda and spent too much money. Then I took the long way to Paris, where I stayed with my friend Darren, pictured above. Darren is a back-end programmer. He loves Paris. He loves electronic music. We drank a lot of red wine and roasted a duck on Thanksgiving Day because we figured a turkey would be too much meat. We were wrong.

After Paris, I went to Portugal, then Morocco, and then back to Germany.

This is the beautiful Florsheim am Main. It’s just west of Frankfurt. I spent a wonderful five nights here in an Airbnb run by a couple from Bosnia. The first night I noticed there was a clock ticking in my room, but it appeared to be part of the thermostat. I quickly realized disabling it would require minor masonry. The next day I mentioned it to Ben, the husband, and he spent the next half hour figuring out how to make it shut up. “I think you’ll sleep well tonight,” he said when he finally removed it. And he was right. I slept well in Florsheim. It started off a bit shaky, but I slept well at the end of 2017.

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