Sunday morning of a three-day weekend, and on my second cup of coffee. In the background, a tango music program on Radio 3 (the Spanish equivalent of NPR and WNRN all in one). Mentally looking ahead at the week and it includes midterms, midterms, cramming, caffeine, midterms, and then hopefully a weekend jaunt to Barcelona.
But now for a glance backwards at the past few days:
T. came to visit from Lyon, France, after many months of us attempting to travel together but never succeeding in it (why?, you ask?). Showed him as much as I could between classes, English tutoring with the niño, applying for various post-grad jobs in Spain, pilates classes (a few of my normal weekly activities). In reality, we mostly just ate well and café hopped, comparing and contrasting our study abroad experiences.
What stood out to me about his time in Valencia was that he does not speak Spanish (not 100% true; he did a great job ordering his meals and thanking people, and even spent days solo in Barcelona, and survived!), and therefore I would have to take a minute and translate for him when necessary. Interesting to me because he was my first true non-Spanish speaker to visit me (Mom don’t even deny it, you speak de puta madre, as M. says), and it showed me how integrated this language has become to me. When I hear it spoken, or when it’s spoken at me, I’m no longer mentally translating, finding the English equivalent, constructing my own response two minutes before I have to give it. Spanish and English now seamlessly glide back and forth in my brain, living in [almost] perfect harmony. I think this is called bilingualism?
Another pleasant product of his visit was the pain in my side from laughing so hard. Whether caused by K.’s flawless impersonations and performances of classic YouTube videos or T.’s own inability to extract a snail from its shell during a lunch of paella valenciana, I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in the past three months.
Also humorous (only in retrospect) was my bus ride Friday afternoon, which I was [un]fortunate enough to experience all my own, with only my [quasi-defunct] iPod to keep me company. After dropping T. off at his hostel, I decided to be productive, break a €50, and recharge my bus pass. After having done so,
I hopped on the first number 10 bus I saw, knowing I was getting on at one of the stops at which I usually get off (meaning it was going in the opposite direction of home), thinking (completely irrationally) that riding it for the full circuit would only delay my return home (which I was greatly looking forward to, as it included a siesta) by less than thirty minutes. A circuit, implying a circular trajectory, it is not. Instead, route 10 is an enormous line extending from my neighborhood to the southern outskirts of Valencia (specifically, ending at the tanatorio municipal of Valencia) crossing a major highway before returning in the opposite direction towards my house (which at this point is now 45 minutes away).
I think the worst part was the realization that, at every stop we made, moving farther and farther from my ultimate goal, the corresponding number 10 bus was on the opposite side of the very narrow suburban road, meaning once the line was finished (and after a five minute break for the driver) we’d be repeating the route, making the same number (a bajillion, to be exact) of stops before I saw my house again. Thinking of my mother, and already plotting how I’d describe this adventure in the blog, I had a brief moment of laughter, especially in light of the fact that the correct place to have gotten on the bus, at the very beginning of the whole ordeal, was literally one block away. It was my laziness and exhaustion (the same things that were making that nap so enticing) that lead me to take the wrong bus; I was the only one to blame here. The irony (is it actually ironic, or some other form of humor?) was just too much.
(SEE MOM! I am capable of laughing at myself.)
And with that, the weekend comes to a close, leaving me with only the prospects of a paella lunch in thirty minutes, and a day of empollada (cramming) for the various exams and papers that await me this week. But if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times over: no pasa nada.