A Few Fuck-Yous…


…Brought to you by international air and train travel.

1. Fuck you for wearing your skunk perfume on a plane (also on the train…I’m looking at you, passengers of renfe who showered in old man cologne). I’m glad you’re making an effort to smell good but we’re all hurtling through the sky in a coke can so everyone can smell everyone else a little too well and I will sneeze on you.

2. Fuck you for wearing your nicest heels and jewels through the security line. I’m glad you’re wealthy and old, but there’s really no reason to hold up the line with your nonsense just so you can stick your fake nose a little higher in the air.

3. Fuck you for looking nice on an airplane, honestly. This isn’t so much of a fuck you as it is a how is this possible? I look like a gremlin who was caught in a flood and a tornado and a hornets nest. It’s just rude to look so much better than me, and to make it all look so effortless. I’m wearing socks with sandals, goddamn it, because I’m tired, these shoes were too heavy to check through, and my toes get cold. I’m a wreck. This is a PSA.

4. Fuck the system. Or…yeah. Fuck this whole first class business class nonsense. I get it, because I, too, would like to actually be able to stretch my (very long) legs out whilst flying. But I can’t, because I don’t have money flying off of trees and landing in my wallet.

5. Speaking of first class, fuck the stupid curtain. “Okay so what we’ll do is take the rich people and put them up front and then keep the plebs away from them with a mesh curtain.”

6. Fuck airports that don’t have free unlimited wifi. Sorry I have a six hour layover and wanted to write on my laptop but only had 30 minutes to do it, JFK. Sorry. So sorry I refuse to pay $5 an hour for shitty wifi. On that note, fuck writing a blog post on your cell phone whilst using data.

7. Fuck. I’m so fucking tired. I’m in that mood where nothing matters so I don’t understand why people put any effort into anything non-essential. Also I broke a nail and I’m annoyingly emotional about it.

8. 12 hours down, 8 to go. There’s no place like home. Fuck everywhere else.

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Chapter 2: In Which Everything is Overwelming and I Lose My Mind But in a Good Way


21688163_130984047636455_2539152691532689769_oY’all, I’m tiiiiiired. Or at least I was a few days ago. My jet lag set in after 5 days, which was later than I’d expected. It sucks. I think it’s gone now, as I’ve been here for 8 days and my sleep schedule is finally back to normal.

I’ll tell you this for free, though: it’s awkward realizing you did not try hard enough in your college Spanish classes, and winning the foreign language award for your high school’s graduating class in 2011 does not a fluent Spanish speaker make.

So yep. I’m tired. And I like the food but it’s also so strange? And they eat so much of it at lunch, which is at 2:30 in the afternoon…so I suddenly understand why siestas are a thing. After eating ninety potatoes, who wouldn’t need to rest? Can I just have a permanent beach siesta, please? I don’t want to walk. I don’t even want to breathe. I just want to lay here and listen to the little Spanish children running around in the street saying things I don’t understand. I like doing this, because I don’t have to try to understand them. Their words just float through one ear and land gently in my brain before floating out the other.

But honestly, I’m having a good time. I get to see the ocean every day, and I can actually swim in it. I’m taking a break from being vegetarian so I can try new foods, and I’m accidentally remembering how much I like chicken. Oops. I’ve always kinda hated palm trees, but they look nice here, and some of them are super short and squat and it’s adorable. There are old, beautiful, colorful tiles on some of the buildings and in the parks, and even the pigeons look different here. The dogs here are goofy, sometimes — I saw one man walking 8 chihuahuas at once the other night and took a photo because I’m the biggest tourist ever. I had the song California Dreamin’ stuck in my head all morning, and this afternoon someone drove by blasting it. A few days ago, some random woman was holding a bunny in her arms and yelling across the street at her friends. God knows why, but now I want to move here and start a bunny commune with my friends. This morning, I watched a man hardcore reel in a fish off the pier whilst smoking a cigar. All the flies in this entire country have decided they love me and want to make little fly houses in my hair, on my arms, and in my water glasses. Every. Single. Fly. Yesterday, one day after I’d mentioned I’d never been pooped on by a bird, a little tiny one decided to make my left arm its toilet. I guess I’ll try anything once, but I’d rate the experience 2/10, would not recommend.

holaaaaaa


sunset 9:12Here I am, sitting in the dining room of a small Spanish grandmother, looking at a silver plaque of “La Ultima Cena de Jesus” (The Last Supper) whilst a cool breeze blows across my shoulders. It’s bright out — surprisingly less humid than the past four days — and I can hear the neighbors chatting over the lazy sounds of the occasional car passing by. Concha (who, judging by the many many many depictions of Jesus around here, is Catholic) is in Jerez visiting her sister and has left us her home for the next few weeks. Here. In Cadiz, Spain.

It still doesn’t feel real, honestly, that I’ll be in this city for another two weeks before heading up to Barcelona, then to Brussels. My mediocre Spanish skills, however, are very real. I studied the language until I was 20, but that was four years ago, and it’s disappointing how little of it stuck. But every moment I spend here, with my brother-in-law’s family, I improve. It’s out of necessity, really, since their English skills are worse than my Spanish ones. It’s like everyone says: I understand much more Spanish than I can speak, which results in me understanding entire conversations but being able to add very little. If you didn’t know better, you’d think the only words I know are “sí” and “me gusta.”

I’ve spent two of the past four days at the beach. Or, more accurately, floating in the ocean for as long as I can until the sun sets and I get cold. I’m so used to the frigid waters of Pacific Ocean on the Oregon and Washington coasts, so actually getting in the ocean is such a treat, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna waste it. It tastes sooo salty (fun fact: I got some up my nose and it hurt like hell but suddenly my sinuses were very clear, so there’s an upside to everything) but all that extra salt makes me buoyant, and I’m getting a kick out of watching the sun set over the Atlantic whilst I prop my feet up over the salt water. The sunsets here, y’all. The sunsets.

So much has happened, so here’s a synopsis: eggs, potatoes, smoked paprika, white fish, gelato, humidity, a store called la cucaracha, tinto de verano, mediocre (and shy) Spanish, broken English, beach, sunset, more beach, boats, more sunset, mangoes, more mangoes (fun fact: the mangoes they sell here are almost as good as the ones we bought off the street in India, but I think these come from Brazil), and just a touch of jet lag.

I’d forgotten how exhausting it can be to live in another country for a while, but I think my Spanish is improving daily and I’m honestly enjoying not really knowing what’s going on anyway. This entire world is catching fire (both literally and figuratively) lately, so I’m allowing myself to ignore all of that at least a little bit and just enjoy my time abroad.

And now, I head to the beach once more. ¡Adios!