Even after five years in a country, it’s still possible for new things to happen to you, for better or for worse….
I was an hour into teaching my 1:1 private English class at Starbucks last night when I grabbed my notebook out of purse to write down a reminder of the material I’d just promised my student I’d prepare for next week’s class. Placing it down on the table, it flipped right open to the part where I’d left my pen. The rainbow colored glittering alphabet stickers were also placed here and I picked them up to explain to my student that these were intended for my younger pupils and not for her. And then something else caught my eye.
At first I thought it had to be a plastic toy that one of my youngest students had managed to slip in my bag, but luckily before I reached out to touch it, I noticed that next to it was a smear of what must be blood. And thus ensued one of those cinematic like moments where time seems to stop and you’re suddenly acutely aware of all your senses and each and every thought plays slowly through your head as though it’s being methodically tapped out on a typewriter.
There is a dead lizard in my notebook.
HOW did a lizard get in my notebook?
At what point did said lizard die in my notebook?
Was I at risk for finding more dead lizards in my purse, my house, my clothing…?
And most important of all….what should I do now?
I looked over at my student hoping to get some sort of a clue as to how to respond in this situation. She didn’t seem to be phased at all by the dead lizard so I thought that maybe this was a normal sort of occurrence here in Madrid, albeit one that no one had ever spoken to me about (she later reassured me that no, this was not a normal thing).
In the end, I did what I suppose any normal, 30 year old English teacher would do in the hopes of remaining professional and not creating a scene at Starbucks. I took the tip of my pen and flicked the lizard off of my notebook and onto the floor and proceeded to write down the reminder that had started this whole deal in the first place.
I still have no clue where that lizard came from, or how the Starbucks employee who found it might have reacted. But I started thinking–this Saturday I ate insects for the first time and yesterday I found a dead lizard in my purse. Could this mean that the universe is preparing me to go on a trip to some exotic destination in the near future? I hope so!