In a relatively good mood today, actually a SUPERB mood if you want to compare it to the rest the trip, so I think I will take you back to Barcelona and go from there.
No, actually I’ll go back to the last day with Sandra, right before leaving for Barcelona.
I have to explain the posh dinner party in more detail after, as well. So typically British, I felt like we were in Imperialism times and the two couples had just got back from buying countries in Africa and colonizing India. HA.
Anyway. Here’s my journal from then onwards:
“Peeling potatoes for Sandra and all I should be peeling them for my OWN mum.
Oil seed rape flowers brilliant yellow over all the fields.
Gin and tonic with Sandra at noon. She offered it ten minutes earlier in a joking way, but then she was like, seriously though, you want one? Hahah. Both exasperated from a long morning of shopping with with the boys, Peter and Doug. Peter, the exchange student from China, has an interview next week for a big business company. So Doug was getting him all decked out with suit, shirt, tie, shoes. UGGGGGGGGGGGH. Sandra and I found a table in every store we went in and just plopped down and talked.
While in TK Maxx (TK in Europe, interesting, yeah?) this lady comes over to us, “Can I get you ladies a coffee or tea? (Being funny) AHHH been waiting two and a half hours, TWO AND A HALF HOURS, TWO AND A HALF HOURS, for my friend. She starts shopping and she won’t stop. She just won’t stop. She comes up for the weekend and we cook and talk and eat and it is wonderful, but then she starts shopping and she just WON’T stop!”
Ha. kept seeing her for the next hour or so as we were waiting as well. When Peter was done and we were finally leaving she grabbed me by the shoulders and was like, “You are so lucky, so lucky!! Going on three hours now, three houuuuuurssss!!!”
She reminded me of Maretta with her sassy complaining. ;)
THEN finally got back, and waiting on Peter and Doug to come down for lunch. Sandra had this nice meal fixed, and they’re like, we’ll be down when we are down. Shopping on AMAZON for a shirt! GOD. So that’s when she started pulling out the alcohol. ;)
Lunch was nice, carrot soup with salad and bread.
TATTOO. Use pounds leftover from vacation to get self a tattoo to prove I can do anything/overcome anything. And to remember what all I have learned.
Left for train– 4 changes and then back in Leicester.
Nowhere else I would really like to go in the UK— all the same.
Shirley and Dermot– going to Northern Ireland just like traveling in same country.
Sandra and Doug— depends on who you are talking to. Some Northern Irish people are very attached to the UK and are proud to consider themselves a separate country from the Republic of Ireland. But then there are also the nationalists.
IRA bombings going on in the 70s when they were living in London with kids.
Too many new people lately. Too much stimulation. I’m not properly taking people in.
Need either quiet time or familiar faces.
God I’ve got INCREDIBLY good style. Have really defined myself finally without even trying. Messy endearing hair that stands straight up, arabic scarf, nose ring, tattoo and tennis shoes with hoodie jacket. So typically 21 years old. ;P
Alright. Earlier on the train was about to kill the children, the middle aged AND the old people. Little kids screaming and running all over. Old people taking up two seats on the packed bus, and middle aged people taking the seats left greedily for themselves. The only sensible and considerate people were the kids my age sitting on the ground of the train, waiting for it to clear up.
Sandra and Doug were so nice but it was impossible to get a word in when talking to them. Nice to have quiet time again.
Sandra and I bonded at the museum though. She was telling me all about the Tudor history, which was very interesting. I now know the ties and relationships of all 5 Tudors. Then we moved on to another room and somehow started talking about politics for the first time since I had been with them.
Got back to Liecester– went to Tesco to buy some food. Did laundry as well.
Out getting dinner while doing laundry— got some really odd looks. Wearing short sofie shorts because I wanted to wash the rest of my clothes. Creepy as FUCK Indian man on the busride home kept staring at me. People like that should not be allowed to go in public.
Got to Eaton where Jay was staying at JoFo– called her. No answer. Text. No answer. Oh no.
Had to pee so went to reception then asked for Jay’s room number. Went back and pressed button and thank god she was there. Opened up and she told me she had lost her phone! Almost a big misunderstanding but only a momentary problem as it all turned out fine.
So good to be able to curse aloud again around people. I think that’s been my problem the past few days/week: too much bottled up inside. Not being my true bitchy self as I was trying to set a good impression for my host family.
Gave Sandra and Doug a hug before left but forgot to tell Peter bye! Too many people to keep track of lately.
Two hour train ride standing
Jay’s neighbors really nice.
Found 2 pounds in the washing machine so basically free wash!
omandwill-don’t think ahead. numb and at peace. focused/present.
Estonians in hostel in Barcelona.
Sara told the guy at reception I was looking for them, when she was the one that kept going on about them, so then the Estonians ended up hating me. :P
Hostels are weird things, you are so intimate with people for one night, literally sleeping a few feet apart, but then you will never see those people again in your life, so you don’t really care what they think of you. Interesting situation.
Clanging cups and glasses around like nobody’s business. They really are terrible people. Going numb though. Not letting things affect me. Forgot how to do that for a time this year because everything was going so beautifully it was safe to let emotions into play. BUt here everyone acts like the love of their life broke up with them the night before and they stayed up all night smashing plates and howling.
Should get some vitamins and should NOT let self think further ahead than the here and now. It’s safe in the now– always in control. And that’s how I will live my life.
Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Also, need to remember to pay before I leave. Pay for my damn cafe leche. Keep milk in a heater here- get milk out of a hot water machine we use for tea. The sugar is really good. Give you a heaping packet of it for every little espresso.
Things are looking up. I’ll check up on some spanish phrases tonight and be able to yell back at the motherfuckers the next four days. :)
Apparently the reason for all the orange tress in Sevilla is something like this. THe Alhambra prince married the Sevilla princess. Since Granada has snow year round and Sevilla doesn’t, he planted a lot of orange trees around since their blossoms look like falling snow.
‘calor’ ‘hace frio’
It’s been raining all day today. It’s kind of a peaceful rain, though. The kind that is not dramatic, just there. And the kind that makes you happy to be inside. :)
Bought a good book at an international bookstore; Tender is the night by Fitzgerald. Can’t wait to read.
Jamon hanging from the ceilings of most cafes. Picked one without the raw meat decorating the ceiling– and it is full of Americans. Ha.
Feeling in control again. Nice to get away from friends and just exist with the crowd. I can pull off Spanish well enough.
Poor angry blonde lady with dark Spanish circles under her eyes. I wonder how many years she has worked here dealing with all the dumbass tourists from the silly palace.
So glad I didn’t go in. 13 euros saved, spent on a good book. :)
I felt the vibes from the Alhambra on the walk up though. It was pretty magical. The bubbling stream the entire walk up and the exotic forest around you. Vertical walk up to the mysterious palace. Can’t see anything but tall Eastern trees while walking up. Can almost feel the prince’s spies eyes on you.
Could definitely stay there and write a brilliant novel. It was the inspiration for Washington Iriving’s The Alhambra, right?
Took you out of Europe and the Western world for a bit. No idea what it was like inside. Probably pretty cool. But probably not 13 euros cool. I’ll find out from J and J and maybe swipe some of their pictures and pretend I went inside. ;)
Glass coke bottles.
Gaudy jewelry on ears, wrists and necks.
I can’t believe I didn’t eat ANYTHING yesterday, and I’m still not even hungry today. That damn Spanish food really fucked me up.
I wonder what J and J thought of my emotional breakdown yesterday?
And I wonder why I’m feeling so much more at peace today?
And I wonder what the norm is for tips here. But I’m not really worried about that as I sure as hell am not going to tip these people.
And I’m DONE seeing touristy landmarks, and I think I can safely avoid them without feeling guilty now. I’m developing my own way of traveling. I’m learning to live and cope.
This, to me, is the absolute best part of traveling (getting caught by the table in front of me in the cafe for watching as they fished a lemon out of a glass of coke. :P)
Very much like Italian cafe bars. Slide it along. Only sit down if you buy etc.
GOD THE CLANGING!!! NEVER ENDING!!!!
Off to another shop before siesta (which is COMPLETELY true. They actually close EVERYTHING from about 2-8 everyday.
They serve what they want, when they want, and if that’s not okay with you then go somewhere else. Completely different mindset than modern capitalistic culture in the US.
It was really bothering me earlier– the complete lack of customer service or even CARE about fellow human beings— but once you realize that is how it is and stop taking it personally it is a lot easier to deal with.
But JESUS. How many dishes can you clang together???!!!!!