And I am smitten. Yet again. (No, not with a boy.)
March 15, 2012 § 1 Comment
How in the HECK is it Thursday?
See…this is why I take notes when weeks like the last one come barreling at me. So much happened in just one week, I felt like I was gone for a month. I got back from Spain on Saturday and hoped to have this first one up Monday evening. A very shoot-heavy week, however, has kept me quite distracted.
It’s a nice problem. 🙂
(I totally just sighed out loud.)
I was expecting things to be different, maybe a lot different, once I landed in Europe. And though there are things that are certainly different, like everyone and their grandmother smokes everywhere, chivalry still lives on here, too. One is expected to give up your seat on the metro or tram for someone who is obviously your elder, men wait for women to board first, and so on. These expectations are universal whether I am wandering in Prague or Madrid and I imagine it will be the same in Berlin. For the first part of our journey to the beautiful country de flamenco, I had brought along the backpack I’ve been using as a present, from the gorgeous Ashley Chorba, as the equally beautiful Beth Parent was bringing my roller suitcase to trade with me.
Yes HUH I spent the day with Beth Parent!!!
We’ll get to that next time (hopefully).
So, on the metro from the airport, three very short, very kind-eyed, very adorable clearly-my-elders board where my backpack was occupying its own seat. I go to move it and stand up and one of them, a lady, places her hand on my forearm and, entirely in Spanish, tells me no, no, no…you sit. I am fine.
Ohai, Spain, I kind of like you already.
We arrived at the Opera station, crawled out of the belly of the metro, and found ourselves standing in a plaza that was bustling with people and energy. There were tourists, and locals, and vendors in the middle with these purple lights that flew crazy high they were trying to sell, the two of us with our packs, and six streets going six different directions.
Immediately, the first thing that took my breath away, was the volume.
One of these days, I really must video the tram platform for you in Prague. I have to watch my volume back in the states on a regular basis and here, unless it’s after 10pm at night, I. am. louuud.
I get it. My voice carries and I fit in best at bars on the weekend or with latino families. I mean, I was asked in Museo del Prado to please be quiet while talking at a sub-normal level.
Did you catch that?
I got shushed in Spain!
I just give up. Maybe I should just embrace the volume and offend the whole gosh darn world. (I kid, I kid.)
So, my traveling partner-in-crime, Kent (who is in my photography studio), had found what wound up being an incredible hostel. Typically, in Prague, he is the one at the front of the pack, GPS enabled on his phone, leading us to the next destination. As we stood in that square, surrounded by all these people while schlepping packs, I asked him for the map.
I should have taken a picture of this thing.
We had no address, no street names at all. Just a grey piece of paper, with grey ink (right, not black ink, grey ink), and an arrow pointing to the location just to the east of the palace.
That was it!
“Well, we need to go south”, says Kent.
“Right. Annnnd which way is south?”, I say while I stare at the six different possible directions.
“I don’t know. Let’s go this way. We’ll figure it out.”
We’re traipsing, we’re traipsing, we’re traipsing.
And I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling.
By the time we thought we had gone around the block, but were actually in a completely different square altogether and lost, I was basically in love. By the time we left Madrid, I decided that if Spain were a man, I’d propose to him.
Or maybe just drag him off to the courthouse and bribe him into putting a ring on it.
For the first time since leaving New York City, I felt like I had finally woken up. It was refreshing to feel alive.
I think falling in love with the person who will be my lid (for my pot) must be something like that.