Wednesday, 31 December 2014


You were right Antonio Ontiveros! A few days ago, apropos of my letter to Santa, you told me:

“We don’t have to reject advantages but, when something hurts, you can just think of getting better.”

On Boxing Day an ear infection reminded me what pain is and what medicines are useful for. As soon as the pharmaceutical gave me the medicine I rushed home to gobble them down with the anxiety of an addict. I fell asleep, wrapped in a hundred thousand blankets and made up sleep lost during the last night.

And when I woke up the pain was gone. I would have kissed the feet of him who invented painkillers and even the filthy overall of the first person who ground the prescription ingredients in a mortar.

I wish to thank all those who spend their hours searching for a remedy against pain. The greed of big pharmaceutical companies often undermines their work. Yet business and vocation are different things, even nowadays.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón



Sunday, 21 December 2014


A difficult week comes to an end.

Last Saturday I went to “Sa Vileta” on bike for private tutoring and the cold air rushed into my lungs. So on Monday I already had a cold. I hadn’t caught one for the last TWENTY years. I had to muddle the whole week, teaching with a stuffy nose.

Late on Monday evening I had to give a private lesson to a fifteen-year-old girl. We were reading a book when the young and foreign stepfather burst into the room, thrusting “niceness” and requiring an explanation, because the teenager had not passed her English exam. Actually, the teenager’s mother moved her into a new school this year and the new institution has a level of English which is too high for her. Now the “baby” urgently needs more than three hundred hours of English lessons to put up with the rest of the class. Instead, the family has decided to “help” her with one private lesson per week. More than a month ago, I reported this to the mother, who promised to study the issue. And, when it seemed that the subject was already forgotten, the glossy twenty-seven-year-old second husband turned up.

An acquaintance of mine has the habit of humming a “pasodoble” whenever someone tries to provoke him. The higher the grievance, the stronger he hums. I was so amused reminding that habit of my friend, that my though unwittingly knocked at the door of “The Tough Cyclist’s Band”. The band is made up of a trumpet, a violinist and a former Santa’s reindeer who retired due to certain intestinal problems which caused him a terrible aerophagia. Now Pudolf, the farty reindeer, enjoys his musical retirement while the fans of the orchestra are absolutely delighted with his hight sense of rhythm. However, Pudolf does not perform popular “pasodobles”, but the most exquisite Vienna Waltzes. For this historical broadcast opportunity, the master of ceremonies chose “The Blue Danube”.

Blaue Donau (Johann Strauss)

Orchestra conductor: Xosé Troitiño (The tough cyclist).

(The conductor approaches the podium and takes the lead).

PA – RA – RA – RA – RA

PU-PU           PU-PU

PA – RA – RA – RA – RA

PU-PU           PU-PU

PA – RA – RA – RA – RA

PU-PU           PU-PU

PA – RA – RA – RA – RA

PU-PU           PU-PU


PA – RA – RA – RA – RA

PU-PU           PU-PU

PA – RA – RA – RA – RA

PU-PU           PU-PU

















A hug from Palma and a new photograph for the “throw back Thursday”.

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón



Sunday, 14 December 2014


Children get really bored when they have to repeat. This is why we transform the most difficult words into passwords when we have to teach them. I point at their eyes with a hand-held torch (a gift of Mr. Meyer, of “Es Fangar”) and I say “new password”... and add the longest word I can think of at the time: hot-air balloon, rollerskating, fire engine.  

Kids love it. So much, that I have sometimes used full sentences, such as “I like oranges”, “fruit is healthy” or “apples are crunchy”. The current password is “a letter to Santa”. In fact we have promised to write to the plump version of Saint Nicholas de Bari which was invented by a freeze drink some years ago.

Amid this climate I have started to feel tempted to write my own letter. I don’t mean the perfect one that a “Miss Universe” would read in her appointment (I want the peace in the woooooorld), but a childish, long list. I want this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this...

It is a pleasure to dispose of the funds of the European Bank in good times, even if this only happens in our imagination. I have been able to ask for a helicopter to fly from time to time to the mainland.

After all, dreaming is free. Why shouldn’t we do it from time to time?

A big hug from Palma

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón



Saturday, 6 December 2014


When we were kids, it was forbidden. In those days, children were not allowed to drink stimulants. This included tea, coffee and all cola drinks. In fact, children used to drink orange Fanta - though a few years after we would also had the option of drinking “Mirinda”-. But tea was no option at all.

But in summer used to come aunt Laura, always accompanied by tea, coffee donuts and “La Violeta” candies. She used to prepare a huge pot and give us each a bit, serving the beverage in our cups directly from hers. Even in pijamas, we climbed on a stool to reach a glass cup. And we went secretly out of Laura’s room with a cup of tea.

Today has been a rainy day; one of those cold and annoying ones which are so typical of the North. When I saw the way it was bucketing down, I preferred to take the underground instead of going on bicycle, so as to open my umbrella. However, when I came back home the rain was leaking through my heels, leaving a trace of water on the floor. And just then, when my whole body was cold and numb, I had a hot shower, dried my back with big towel, put my flannel trousers on, wrapped a blanket around my shoulders and bundled up my neck in a shawl, still smelling the scent of the cologne.

I took the cup with both hands, warming my face with the smell of raspberry. And I sat in my favourite chair, listening to RY X and enjoying the truce of the house once again. Let’s get the day off to a good start enjoying a cup of tea.

A hug from Palma

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón


Friday, 21 November 2014


That happened to me this morning. I was near the train station, hurrying up to make copies of some exercises for my pupils and I saw him at “Plaza de España”. He was sat on a crumpled blanket, opposite the main gate to Palma train station and dressed in his “work uniform. There was a handwritten sign in front of him: “I am a poor man who has 5 kids. Please, help me”. I happened to see him at break time, when civil servants have a coffee. He was smoking a cigarette and discussing business on his last generation mobile. Unconsciously, I had a look at his shoes. And yes, they were newer than mine.  

We live in an extraordinary society which makes business out of the most awful. Anything goes: a good marketing expert is capable of disguising the most obnoxious as friendly. This is called “making a virtue out of a necessity”.

Having such boldness is nothing new. Back in 2004, while I was still living in Frankfurt, a friend told me that she had seen a van that very morning “unloading” beggars at “Konstablerwache” Square and placing them, one by one, in their usual working positions. Her testimony explained that totally handicapped people were able to get to their job positions every day and promptly go away as soon as the shops closed.

It is not necessary to go abroad to see something of the sort. Those who have lived in Madrid at some point of their lives have heard the same speech and the same musical selection from each of the beggars who were busking in the subway. I have always found astonishing that ALL OF THEM can afford a good stereo with loudspeakers and "in a band sound".

And, just at the right moment, when I was reflecting about the current professionalization of begging, one of the most classical beggars of Palma turned up. It was a skinny, tall man in his fifties who always asks aggressively for a little help (“una ayudeta”), assaulting his victims with intimidation and giving insults away when he does not obtain what he wants.

- Give me a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help, a little help…

I decided to answer back exactly as the tough cyclist would have done:

-          Give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me, give that help to me,

The beggar cackled.

And that’s all folks.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón


Wednesday, 12 November 2014


In fact, Javier’s impression was not so crazy. Last week we were talking about the last mobile phone I was stolen in Blanquerna street at the beginning of October and he said:  “Either you are too absent minded or there’s someone following you around”.

Today, I came five minutes in advance to some student’s home. Thus, I was not surprised when nobody answered the entry phone. I was about to rang again when someone approached. It was a guy in his early twenties, about six feet tall, dark bearded, with thick, well trimmed moustache and hair and big, black eyes. The boy stand in front of the entry door in haste and tried to push it. I stand back and I did not call the entry phone anymore.

-          Aren’t you going to open? – he said

-          Sorry, I haven’t got a key.

-          Don’t you live here?

-          No, I don’t – I replied.

-          I am the neighboor of the first floor. I’ve been with that lady who lives on the second. An old lady...

-          An old lady..?

-          Yeah, well... compared to me, she is old. She might be about thirty-six. He told me to hurry up and tell you that we had to take the child to the hospital rather urgently. She told me: go and tell LUISA... because your name is LUISA, isn’t it? ... She told me: tell her to buy the medicine for the girl. She needs it desperately.

As soon as he told my name, the story began to have authenticity.

-          So... she told me to ask you to go to the pharmacy and buy the medicine.

-          You mean that she wanted me to go to the pharmacy...

-          Either you or I... but I need the twenty euros to buy the medicine.

Coincidentally, I didn’t carry any cash. This has always been the case, since I was a child... a result of my ow personality, I suppose. The young man insisted:

- I have ten euros. If you lent me ten, I would buy it.

- But I haven’t any money – I answered.

He then suggested to go to the bank and take out the money. More specifically, he mentioned the financial institution I work with and urged me to go there. That was the moment when I came to the conclussion that I didn’t like the young boy at all. I went back home, riding my “two-wheeler”, which was tied to the bicycle parking space on Blanquerna street.

The children’s mother confirmed later that the story told by the young man was absolutely false. Of course, I denounced the fact to the police station.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón



Wednesday, 5 November 2014


That makes two more! Yesterday I got another two pupils. They came together in a hustle and bustle. I should get other eight more before the end of the year to achieve my goal. But if I want to be realistic, I should first start teaching more hours at home. By the time being, I have multiple workplaces and I work little at home.

Today, I have gone to Vodafone to communicate my new personal data. You know, my new address and telephone number, which I have actually been using since mid-October. Our data can be found in many places. Thus, when it is necessary to change them, we have no choice but doing it gradually.

So, as I was just saying, I went to the store. And I saw something absolutely amazing: a huge screen, consisting of four others, showing company ads. I imagined it at home, showing the photos I use to pre-teach vocabulary. With the word written on them and hi-fidelity loudspeakers. Woooow! The thought alone struck me! Absolutely great! So much, that I even ran to find some lottery. If I won (I told to myself) I would install them immediately... and invite the parents of all my pupils to a free lesson. And I would record it (with their permission and the help of my friend Andrés, who is capable of making Quasimodo appear as handsome) and upload the video in YouTube. I am sure there would then be candidates I could teach at home.

I came back home and checked today lottery results. Unfortunately, today it has not been possible. But nobody can take the pleasant feeling I have had today away from me.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

Friday, 31 October 2014


Since the fateful day when I did not prepare the young learners’ lesson enough, the principal has been reminding me the incident and reproaching my behaviour once and again. First she gave me a long lecture in the classroom; after that, she sent me a rather negative report of a page and a half; then she commented out in loud voice that never before had she seen so many downsides in a teacher.

Yesterday, shortly before the class, I was reprooved for the fourth time. The children had not arrived yet and I had already opened my laptop and logged in. I heard a voice coming from the hallway. It was the sound of a slow-pronounced English without any genuine accent and a trembling “zzz”.

-          Geeeeeehhhhh – cracked the door - Louiiiiiiiiiizzzzze! Do you also teach German? Zzzzzzz?

For a moment, I thought she wanted to suggest me a new challenge.

-          Yes, you obviously do. Because sometimes YOU MIX both languages. Zzzzz. You are probably too tired... Tiiiiiiired... You are teaching too many lessons, aren’t you? Zzzzz? Yes, this is obvious: one can see it in your face. You look soooo stressed and unhealthy. You look unhealthy and sickly. You should be careful. Otherwise, you will get ill.

Two cold eyes fixed their glance on the victim, while the “zzz sounds were trying to put the consciousness to sleep.

-          You are ugly... uuuuuggggglyyyy. You are too tired... tiiiiired. Sleep, sleeeep. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Haaaaa, ha, ha, ha!

Behind that darned old face, patched by the inexperienced knife of a plastic surgeon and those flabby arms, showing the true age of their owner, I could hear the metallic voice of the immortal money. She approached, making a schrill while she walked. A shrilling walk which would frighten children.

-          Geeeeehhh – Uuuuuuggggglyyy. Uuuuugggglyyy.

At that moment, I saw a tentacle coming out from her right eye. It was not the hook of Doctor Octopus, but the palp of Piedniaze, who is displeased by the presence of old and ugly. In fact, Piedniadze only eats the fresh meat of young and children, the energy of hard-working employees and the beauty of virgin maids. He is the one who causes wars in the middle east to sell the weapons that he manufactures. He causes abortions in Rwanda to gather hyaluronic acid and smooth his wrinkles.

I saw him getting closer and, instinctively, I walked backwards. But I got caught between Piedniadze and the wall. I felt fear, horror and then anger. He continued going forward until I had no way out. I thought of the children that were about to enter the school. They had to be prevented. We had to look for help. My heart beated. I warned him not to step further...

But it was too late. Piedniadze had already taken the last and final step forward, anticipating Halloween's night. I was dead.

-          Help! Tough cyclist! Help us, please!

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

Sunday, 26 October 2014


You lie on the sand, still wearing your clothes, barefoot, in any old way. You let yourself go, forgetting fashions. No tourists, no perfect lives or smart people seem to be allowed. “El Molinar” does not care how you look like or what your age is.

The great paradox is that this place has almost been bought by the rich and is still been used by the poor. Whoever has bought those tiny, once rickety (now millionaire) houses will not easily recover what they have invested: they are unlikely to be rented for a good price and selling them obtaining a profit is even more difficult. If someone can pay such high prices, they do not accept living in a small house. Thus, as long as our statesmen do not decide to put doors to the sea and build a new harbour, we can still recover from our unhealthy rest of the day in this garden. The garden of a house, where we can still close the front door and open all innen doors; that place where nothing seems to affect us.

Tomorrow the fight begins again. And maybe also the Government intention to devastate the shore and build a large port. But today we are the conquerors. “El Molinar” does still exist for us to enjoy: to skate, to swim, to walk or to make a promenade on bike along the coast.



Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón



Friday, 24 October 2014


Today has been a criminal day.

I got up early to get some new students. If you want to acquire a new recruit and you do not count on the financial ressources of Madrid RFC you have no alternative but to hand out do-it-yourself flyers at the gate of Palma schools. I walked down “Socors” street to achieve my goal, despite of knowing that I was breaking a Mallorcan regulation which forbids the distribution of any written information in the streets. No decent MP would had ever dared to violate such regulation the way I did.

I stood near a school gate, in a quite discrete point, trying not to disturb pedestrians.

-          Good morning! – I greeted to parents accompaning their children, smiling and giving them a criminal flyer  with my guilty hand at the same time.

What took the biscuit was the presence of two local policemen at the school entry. In fact, the local government has decided to protect our children, ensuring that they cross properly and that drivers stop when they cross. Such officer’s presence is absolutely welcome. However, it is very stressful for someone who is an outlaw.

My criminal attitute increased during the day: I went to the language school were I work WITHOUT HAVING PREPARED the lessons in advance. I had struggled with serious inconvenients and had scarcely rest in the night. A Little Red Riding Hood.

Suddenly I got a call from the school principal, warning me that I would have a routine control at the young learner’s class in the evening. This was like a kick-in-the-pants. Preparing lessons for children takes a lot of time: they require a lot of games and attractive stories. And, given the fact that I still had to teach other lessons in the afternoon, I could scarcely prepare a draft and download some photographs from the internet. I always use this kind of photos to pre-teach vocabulary, adding the corresponding word (which the photograph introduces) with Picassa software. Of course, the result was predictable: an absolutely awful one. The last straw was that I called a girl by a name which was not hers. I did not even notice. I must have done it unconciously, maybe to fulfill the family tradition: telling the names of all kids, one after the other, until all have been mentioned. The correct name is always the last one to pronounce (Pablosorrycarlossorryrafasorrygalisorryluisa...). The cyclist hero would have hit me once and again with his yellow paper stick.

I rode on the bike and went to another school centre in order to teach the last class of the day. And I was still under the influence of the related negative verdict when I went home on foot, thus leaving my bike on the sidewalk.

Once at home, I decided to be condescending with myself and I made a very different balance of the day. Today I have worked in maintenance (cleaning the house), graphic arts (performance of flyers), direct marketing (flyer distribution at a school, with a permanent smile and helping mums enter baby seats into the school), general administration (calls and reorganization in order to attend tomorrow’s staff meeting), velocipedism (cycling throughout the whole city of Palma and the border area of Son Fuster to get to work), psychology (listening to complaining students). As if that were not bad enough, I have conducted five and a half hours of class. Let me make a toast to myself.  

... And I also make a toast to all my friends. I add a photograph of 2009 for the “throw back Thursday” and go quickly to search for my bike.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

Saturday, 18 October 2014


After having installed an ADSL, I had to buy a phone. Yesterday I was calling to national landlines. As soon as I got home, I took my appointment book and started dialing as many numbers as I could, until it was too late to phone a respectable person. It was as in that advertisement, many years ago, in which an impertinent child took possession of the family phone.

 -          Hi! I’m Edu! Merry Christmas!

This is one of the advantages of having a flat rate. One can have a trendy “vintage” experience for nothing and get into a trunk full of souvenirs.

Sometimes, I felt a bit embarrassed: “Do you remember me...? How are you doing... by the time being?” I rediscovered a lot of names that had been forgotten in my appointment book for a long time due to the lack of a mobile number or a Facebook connection. Anyway, I have noticed that only a few people use a landline nowadays... and that many landline numbers y had once written in my book are no longer in use.

I started putting some things in the fridge for future visits. As a grandma of the seventies, thinking what everyone likes and buying some kicknacks to offer to friends.

My current goal is to get ten more new students by the end of the year. Let’s go in for it. The countdown starts.



Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón


Friday, 17 October 2014


I am already sat in my apartment, with bags and boxes only half unpacked. My two-wheel vehicle parked in the main entry to the building, attached to the banister with one of those “18 gauge steel” protective locks. I am constantly going in and out. There are pieces of fiber optic cable on oneside: I might have not swept them due to a Celtic superstition of not sweeping at night or just because I am too tired.

For once in my life I am using an ADSL line exclusively. I have inserted the password into the computer, closed the front door and left the internal doors opened, left the window opened despite the absence of courtains. As I like it. Whoever does not like what I do, should look away. I have cut onions on a new wooden table with a sharp knife and am currently listening to Mallorcan Germans talking on “Insel Radio” about what they call news. A hot cup of tea. This is freedom.

Yesterday, before starting the class, one of the young learners hugged me spontaneously. And the others imitated him. In a couple of seconds, I was surrounded by a wall of about one meter height, made of children.

By the time of going back home, the spontaneous did not want to go.

-          I want to stay here.

They have gifted me their first drawings. And I would like to share them with you.

Do you want more? Visit my web-site:







Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón


Thursday, 16 October 2014


I had already been warned about it. Many years ago, when I first came to Palma, long before having lived in Frankfurt or Bern, someone advised me: whoever comes to the island, stays in the island forever. It’s true. I can’t explain the reason why, but even a tramp can settle here permanently.

In fact, it is difficult to adapt at first. Mallorcans are different from other Spaniards. They are calm, relaxed, less spontaneous. I have many friends in Mallorca, but almost all of them are outsiders. Only a few Mallorcans would invite you to their homes. Thus, we all grumble when whe come to the island.

But then you get used to sunbathing; to that tomato, onion and pepper salad which is so typical in the island; to going out dressed as a weird and that nobody really minds; to enjoying the tranquility of going out alone at any time of day or night; to going everywhere on bike safely without being bothered (but for some local officer who warns you not to ride on the sidewalk). Suddenly, you have become addicted to Mediterranean culture.

I would like to thank Mallorca and the Mallorcans. They are experts in the art of living.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón


Wednesday, 8 October 2014


A fiftyish friend of mine lost his job about two years ago. His company, a Majorcan SEM, was declared in a state of insolvency which was followed by a Dismissal Programm. Many employees lost their position in the company. After the regulated months of unemployment benefit, our friend was left without any financial ressource: Being a person over 35, under 52 and Spanish of origin, he is not entitled to receive any further subsidy.

During the last eight months, Mr. X (let’s call him this way so as not to infringe that Law of Data Protection we have already heard so much about) has spent all his savings while he was looking for any job anywhere. We live in a country where the unemployment rate exceeds 30%. Thus, having lost one’s job when one is over fifty means being an early retired without pension.

Notwithstanding, difficulties sharpened the inventiveness of Mr. X. A couple of days ago, he prepared some flyers with his MS-Word. He offered piano lessons at home. The next step was to hand them out in the streets. Everything seemed to go well until a police officer intercepted him:

-          Excuse me, Sir! It is forbidden to distribute propaganda in the streets of Palma.

-          I did not know it. Is that true?

-          I’m afraid yes – answered the local policeman – it is totally forbidden.

-          And, can you busk in the streets then?

-          NO. – replied the agent – It is prohibited.

-          Could you, please, tell me, what is one supposed to do, if one does not have enough to eat?

The agent shrugged his shoulders.

Of course, my friend’s disbelief urged him to get more detailed information. Indeed, the distribution of any written communication is totally forbidden in the city of Palma, due to a “Public Occupation Ordinance”, published in the bulletin No. 148 of August 23rd 2003. A regulation which was planned and approved by people who, unlike Mr. X, have always had more than enough to eat.

The funniest part of it is that the only transgression of this regulation which goes “unnoticed” is the one made by the authors of the regulation themselves. I am referring to that transgression they do during the elections. (I am sure you have once being given electoral propaganda in the streets of Palma).

The million dollar question is the following: What can be the reason of such regulation, which is, in fact, a real limit to the freedom of expression? May be we should remember the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen: “La libre communication des pensées et des opinions est un des droits les plus précieux de l'Homme : tout Citoyen peut donc parler, écrire, imprimer librement, sauf à répondre de l'abus de cette liberté dans les cas déterminés par la Loi.

My friend and I gently ASK FOR the abolition of the Public Occupation Ordinance. And that the authors of that ordinance have to subsidize people like Mr. X with their own financial resources.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

Friday, 3 October 2014


Yesterday, I was cycling in a hurry to work. When I was arriving to that section of “San Miguel” street where bikes are allowed to circulate (you know, the one where there is a petrol station) there was a double-parked car on the curve. There was very little room left and this was alternatively used by vehicles moving precisely in the opposite direction: cars and bikes coming alongside other traffic into “Plaza de los Patines”. There was absolutely no room for vehicles moving into the Avenue.

Luckily, there was a friendly local policeman, sat on his motorbike, uniformed and presumably on duty. I then approached the officer to ask him if he could gently talk to the owner of the car, so as he moved away.

- Whaaaat? Don’t you want that car to be parked thereeeeee? Come on! It is just a double-parked caaar! Don’t FFF.... anymore!

If I had driven my bike on the sidewalk at that moment, the same policeman would have fined me fifty euros. However, a double-parked car, blocking the way and causing a jam had was not important.

I got off the bike and walked for a while, with a terrible sense of helplessness. I would have liked that one of those comic heroes had reminded the officer the importance of the law and order the police is supposed to protect.

Suddenly, I pictured a cyclist descending from heaven, wearing a biker suit and a yellow cape, as if he had just won the “Tour de France”, armed with a yellow paper truncheon matching his suit and his cape. Xosé Troitiño, “O Xusticieiro de Lourizán”, also known as “The Tough Cyclist”, beating the policeman with his yellow paper truncheon, his “yellow oncle”, as a German would have said (“der gelbe Onkel”).

Zip! Zap! Here you are! This is a present for your good behaviour! – The tough cyclist said.

And, with these words, Xosé Troitiño punched the officer, catapulting him directly into the “thinking chair”. The one that English teachers use, when they want a kid to stop doing mischief.

- Have you understood the reason why you have been sat here? Do you feel prepared to go back and sit with the others?

I felt an enormous and immediate relief when I thought of such fatherly protection. And I quickly began to expand the framework of possible situations in which the tough cyclist could help: someone has stolen an old lady’s handbag; someone has been run over and the driver fled the scene; there is a pig who has urinated in the entrance hall of your house; a boss who is totally unbearable. Xosé Troitiño can help everyone.

And thus, feeling protected by the new Majorcan hero, I went on my way, with the inner peace of those who trust in justice.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Yesterday, I gave the last lesson really pressed for the time. I had left my bike in the entrance hall, previously folded and protected with two locks. I wanted to get quickly to  the “I” meeting point: that do-it-yourself shop where we all have been, at least, once.

It was a rather hard work to get the parcels home safely. And, having no lift in the house, it was necessary to do a great effort to take those parcels up to the first floor. But, when I opened the door, I forgot immediately how tired I was. The studio was lighted up by the streetlights; perfect with that mixture of white colour and aluminium of a modern kitchen in an old flat; with that orange sink and blue tiles in the toilette. It looked different: more beautiful than ever; as if someone had secretly realocated the space, changing the bath room position with the help of a magic wand. Even the small terrace had come alive at night, thanks to the quietness of the street.

I open soft-drinks tins while I was putting those puzzles together, with the help of those strange “Chinese” instruction sheets, feeling the glow of the streetlights. What a feeling of teen adventure! It was like going back to those days where every Saturday was charm and magic. I turned on the radio... and plugged a lamp, since I still have not put up the lamps in the ceiling yet. Silbermond singer enshrouded the environment with youth freedom, cultural diversity and signs of good fortune; with the excitement of those past teen parties and of the promenades along the “Costanera” in the evenings of December, long time ago.

I suddenly recall those kids who have given me one of their draws as a gift. All those draws where they paint me as a belly dancer, with a golden star on the chest and an incredibly long hair, even though I have never worn too long hair. I pictured all my books together in the flat, the computer on the table and a big screen on the wall. I felt the smell of laurel and cilantro of future hotpots, which I always like with some cayenne.

I made up the table, four chairs and the bed; I left the crockery in the kitchen wardrobe. And I forgot the tiredness and the rain; the demanding requirements of labor and social standards and all those rolls among bosses and subordinates where strange treatment differences are absolutely allowed: those games where a person has to be very formal with another, whereas the latter can address rather informally to the first one. Yesterday night, while I was at my future home with the only rumor of the radio, I felt I was in a safe place. In that place where no rules or differences are allowed. The place where one can find hundreds of reasons to be grateful.

I would like to make a toast for that freedom and absence of enforcement. As the old Romans said, the law holds back at the door of a house.


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón