Wednesday, January 18, 2006

back in granada. i keep not leaving. ian and xoana are wonderful. after a conversation in broken spanish and broken english, i´ve spread rumours about canadian crossdressers. i´m sorry, drag´s a difficult thing to explain across languages.

was on the coast. camped beneath the stars. no andalusian bears ate me. an andalusion rat ate my yogurt, though. no words can describe how amazing it was to be all alone on a secluded beach that you can´t even access by foot. similarly, no words can describe how terrifying it was walking down the cliffs they call hills with my backpack, wondering if and when i was going to die. i have a few more personalities now. we had to talk each other through the descent. the hiking guide should have a big warning saying "the path we call ´marked´ really isn´t, and though we say it´s a good multiday camping trip, don´t actually bring supplies because more weight means greater chance of death." fuck hiking guides.

found a tiny fishing town. loved it. stayed a few days with romanis who worked there. spoke only spanish all weekend. survived. mariano´s a loco romantico. iulian´s such a sweet fellow. turns out it´s the town xoana´s from, though didn´t know that until i got back to granada and raved on about it. i hope it wasn´t her grandmother that i made angry by taking a photo of her underthings blowing on the clothes line in the wind.

supposed to maybe meet ivana this weekend. don´t know where yet. keep meaning to head north. keep staying here. sat in a plaza listening to flamenco and accordian yesterday afternoon in the sunshine. was invited to a fiesta that night. when people arrived, they started playing instruments. all the party was music and people crammed in a tiny room with drums and a bass and a clarinet and an accordian and guitars and singing and castanets and more drums and everything got passed around. afterwards, ian and i talked about the people we met by the instruments they played. it´s what the honey house BYOI party should have been, but wasn´t. next time, we need an accordian. or banjo. or clarinet. because accordian and clarinet players are apparently the life of the party. i really really really want to learn clarinet and accordian now. the previous two sentences are not related.

who has an instrument and wants to make a few bucks making me a virtuoso like the spaniard who had his birthday yesterday?

as much as i want to see ivana, i don´t want to leave spain yet. and i don´t want to leave the south yet. i´m getting to know the city, i can spend my time practicing spanish and getting a feel for the people and the country and making friends, rather than trying to figure out where things are now. if i go elsewhere, i´ll have to start anew. and i really want to keep on speaking spanish. fingers crossed that i´ll end up meeting a spaniard for café later today, if only to pratice more, because last night, when i was too tired to think, it was easier for both of us to just speak english. and i woke up this morning thinking that it was a wasted opportunity to practice.

s´prolly a good idea to leave the internet café and actually interact with people in the real world, then. though the number of hours i´ve garnered for this latest sfss paycheque is ridiculous. i´m going shopping for clothes, because i´m certainly earning enough to pay for it during this "vacation"!

¡hasta luego!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

catchups:

went to Leeds to visit kate. we made a ceramic copy of my hand. it broke, but rachel kept the thumb. we spent hours in a book store and went to Betty´s, where utensils clinked on china and servers wore fancy dancy outfits and everyone was upper middleclass and white and there was an old man playing piano for our listening pleasure. discussed pop culture and movies and kate proved again why she´s awesome.

came back to London. had a mini-affair on the busride home, from start to finish. lost my water bottle on the bus. spent way too long trying to find rachel and devika and ended up tired and cranky when i saw them. that wasn´t good. fortunately that mood was rid of soon enough. talked with rachel until i had to sleep before leaving the next morning.

rachel needs to live closer to me. or i need to live closer to her. something like that. same with kate.

went to Granada. met caelen´s brother. ian is officially awesome. spent a cold night in his new place. walked a lot. found my footing in español. decided i want to go back there to take a spanish intensive later. reminded me a lot of living in prague again, having an old town that´s so different from the newer areas, and you can live completely in ignorance of the scuzzier parts of town. and the cobbles. oh, the cobbles. explored la alhambra. oh my god. if i had slaves, i´d have one of those made for me, too.

actually, i wouldn´t. it´s way too grand for that. but i just wanted to make the slavery comment here, because i couldn´t do it in the email i sent out because that was going to people that would be offended by such a comment. there were other things that were censored at the time. silly people.

went to las alpujarras, tiny towns tucked away int he mountains. there was snow. and dogs. and cats. and fairy winter villages. and friendly sheepherders that shared lunch. and friendly people who were happy to carry on a stilted conversation with me. and an awesome refugio to stay at. and lots of hiking. and beautiful little tiny towns. and tasty food. and good reading. and nice fires. and making firewood.

and then i came here, to the coast. la cabo de gata. it´s warm. but windy. without the wind, totally t-shirt & shorts weather. we´ll see how tomorrow is. gotta go find the campground. sort of wasting time here right now. the place is a bit of a ghost town at the moment, really. but the internet cafés apparently the place to be. but the sun´ll set soon, and i´d rather know where i´m sleeping tonight before it´s dark.

so. fun times. and one of the best moments of today is 20 minutes ago, chatting over MSN with someone i haven´t spoken to for over a year, and catching up. and feeling happy that we´re still friends.

well, that, and listening to the music wherever i am. they like playing flamenco music a lot. it´s glorious. must remember to buy some before i leave andalucía once i can start loading up my bag with purchases. you have no clue how sorry i was that i couldn´t carry one of the nifty woven carpets they make up in the mountains. would have been a lovely addition to the honey house. but nope, too heavy, knew i had to lug everything around for awhile longer!

tragic. truly tragic. lockers in bus stations are becoming my best friends, provided the route back to granada brings me through that place again. so far, i´m lucky.

there weather´s here, wish you were lovely!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

first time in an internet café in a number of days. was just thinking about how i hadn´t really heard any english music on the radio stations here.

and then nickelback just started playing right now. signal to leave!

proper update another day. when i´m not cranky and hungry.

but spain is lovely. very spanish. cold. snow. giant dogs. cats everywhere. thick hot chocolate. solitary sheep herders. only 3 creepy people so far, and two of them don´t quite count because they weren´t really all that creepy in the first place.

FOOD TIME.

Monday, January 02, 2006

happy 2006! now when i write that year down, i won't have to go and correct it.

rachel and i spent new year's eve sitting in bed, talking, playing sudoku, discussing Deep Thoughts, trying to figure out Britain, baking apple crumble, drinking wine, shouting out the front porch when midnight hit, and general laziness. It was perfect.

today we biked around london, and i didn't get run over by a car when i turned the wrong way onto the street. it's harder to get used to looking the other way than you'd think. but i biked without a helmet. because i lead a dangerous life. it's more of a thrill that way.

i leave the UK on thurday. before then, should anything ghastly arrive, i can be reached at: +44 7981 873 796.

tomorrow we plan to:
a) hit up WIRE (if they're open) to get my gift
b) harass patrons at the national gallery
c) look at scarabs in the british museum
d) replace bike tires
e) maybe see a richard e. grant performance

course, right now it's nearly 4am (because this is when i can finally catch up on work that needs to be done), so who knows if any of that'll get done.


Edit: after reading a bunch of other blogs and catching up on the lives of those who are close and not-so-close to me, i feel like i should write something a bit deeper. but it's 4:21am now, and i just can't. though there have been many things that actually are post-worth -- for once. maybe another day. but, so that i don't forget things that have happened so far:
- my flight companion to frankfurt was a chatty russian. at first he was an asshole, but when he shared his salmon, we became friends.
- why did john cusack take up Must Love Dogs?
- aqeel and john saved my day. and i started london off with camden. and it felt surprisingly comforting taking the underground there and finding our meeting point.
- john is an amazing cook. i must learn how to make his pasta sauce.
- i've missed rachel.
- london bus drivers will take every opportunity to splash waiting passengers.
- BBC1 showed the worst news segment imaginable today. i trust someone won't be climbing up in their offices for awhile. hope he enjoyed art school.
- tate modern's lobby is always fun.
- my sleeping patterns are fucked.