i love that carly rae jepsen called sia and was like “hey, want to write me a song?” and sia was like “totally” and came up with this debbie gibson-esque jam about that awkward moment when you realize none of your conversations with your friends pass the bechdel test.
anyway this is still my favorite album of the year.
“One of the biggest problems I faced when I first moved to Liverpool was the language barrier. My English was limited to the classes I had taken at school in Fuenlabrada. You think you know a bit of English and that you can get by but when you actually arrive in England you soon realise that you haven’t really got a clue.
“I was told to be honest and say; ‘I didn’t catch that, could you say it again?’ but the truth is I didn’t always take that advice. I nearly always just mumbled a ‘no’. That’s what I did whenever I was in the supermarket and was asked if I wanted ‘cash back’. It’s not something we have in Spain and I had no idea what it was. It was three months before I knew what they were talking about.
“One afternoon, the way back from having lunch we decided to go shopping. I’d been told about Costco and so we decided to go in and have a look. As we were going through the door, the security guard stopped. We assumed he was asking for a member’s card that we didn’t have and so, not be able to explain in English, we just turned and left without a word. The next day I was told if you’re not a member you can’t shop there.
“Two people were vital during my first few days in the city: Rob and Alan, the English teachers Liverpool laid on for me. One of the things they used to make me do was ring people in response to adverts in the paper. You’d get on the phone and ask about a puppy for sale, or that kitten being advertised, or the price of a second hand car.
“The idea was to get me used to speaking in English on the phone but at first the idea terrified me. So much so that I would panic when I didn’t understand something and find myself having to ring Pepe Reina.
“The car radio became my constant travelling companion. Every morning on my way to training at Melwood, I would listen and try to concentrate on what was being said. At first I only understood a few words but bit by bit I could feel myself improving. As I went past billboards I would try to translate them, too, and with every passing day I was getting better and better.
“Some nights, I even dared to pick up the phone and order food. When it turned up, it was nearly always what I wanted. When we were in hotels preparing for games I watched films in English with the subtitles on. The other thing I always carried with me was ‘English Training’ on my Nintendo DS - language games and exercises that helped me develop my English.
“I was terrified at the prospect of having to have a conversation on the phone.”