1) I would very much like to attribute any mental instability in the past few days to jet lag; but in reality, I'm beginning to see strong similarities between concepts such as jet lag and say, peer pressure. They're both what you make them - and for some people, they simply don't exist.
2) Perhaps "crisis" fits into that category as well.
here's how the first few days went down.
August 30th, 2009: Beccaniles's first flight.
Assessment: Uncomfortable as hell. Free wine. Not so shabby.
The take off was, while a bit unnerving, quite exhilarating. It's really strange (and liberating, really) knowing that if something goes wrong, you really have no option but a swift plummet to your death. To the 99% of those reading this who have flown before, sorry I'm so late coming to this realization.
Long story short, Chicago -> London -> Madrid.
London to Madrid was quite interesting considering our flight was full of Spanish high schoolers (just as restless as Laura and I) who had just come from Canada.
They all had I heart Canada t-shirts on. To which we thought, "what the hell? America's three feet away, guys..."
They stared alot and talked about my tattoos.
As we finally entered Madrid, Laura and I carried our ridiculously awkward suitcases all over the aeropuerto until we found the metro and took it to the hostel (Cat's). At this point, I realized that my wallet with the 200 euros I had just changed, as well as my debit card, license and suitcase keys had been jacked.
Story of my life. I would like to point out that this is first time I've ever lost a wallet/license. Good thing the passport was safe.
Another long story short, I flipped shit, Laura was awesome, the hostel was pretty tight, the potatoes were awesome, my parents and bro were on bank control back en los estados unidos, I flipped more shit, Laura was mas awesome, and I ended up here at this university housing at Colegio Mayor.
All I have to say is thank you, Mr. Camel, for being with me through all of this.
(The familia and Laura too.)
Today, 4 WesternUnion and Post Office trips later, I finally have some money.
As I walked triumphantly from the Western Union today, euros tightly shoved into a thief-proof corner of my bag, I was able to really take in Spain for the first time since the night of the 31st when Laura and I got some mystery sauced potatoes.
Today was absolutely brilliant - not too hot (I'm not even going to try converting centegrade for you), totally clear, no humidity, and for once I was completely alone with my thoughts walking down Calle de Bravo Murillo - and for once, I wasn't automatically pegged as an americana perdida. I stopped in a hole-in-the-wall libreria (all stores are pretty much holes in walls in Madrid) to purchase a Callejero (street guide) to Madrid and had a really awesome conversation with the lady at the counter. After we were done talking, she grabbed the 5 euro 2009 guide from me and handed me the 2008 guide for free. That right there is customer service. She's got my business from now on, man.
Which brings up an interesting cultural difference. Spaniards DO NOT participate in phatic speech and "polite" introductions in places of business - or elsewhere, really. No pleases or could-yous. No thank-yous. It took some time before I realized they really didn't hate life, they're just vocally efficient. Pretty awesome social characteristic which, in my own mind, I would like to attribute to not only the fast pace of the language, but the dropping of irrelevant or minor parts of speech. Maybe the dropping came before the social practice. Whatever. Chicken or egg.
(p.s. there are eggs on cheeseburgers here. also awesome.)
I suppose I'll close with this point.
The apartment hunt must begin.
I'm only housed here at Colegio Mayor until el 16 de septiembre.
Hasta la proxima vez,