Tripping around Spain… (Day 1 and 2)

Day 1

Ah! Holiday. Will utilize time to learn about  people, food, culture, self and try, as a back up option to find a man  to appease mum (who has started fearing I shall be barren before I find Mr. Right).

Slight panic in the morning as alarm decided to not ring at 4:01am, as  planned. Woke up at 4:45 instead. Yelled at Philip for standing in front of loo (who promptly ran away to hide inside his room). And then somehow by 5am, managed to leg it in my sleeping shirt. Oh well! I have mad hair, no make up and wearing my pyjamas. But atleast no one is looking. Or atleast, I am hoping no one is looking! Will quickly nip down to the loo at Gatwick and no one will be the wiser. Oh yeah! Go me!

6:15am

Or not… as have no wish to change in the presence of the floaters at  Gatwick restrooms! Major eurgh moment. Will just try to tame hair.

6:30am

And now… will give up,  as this is completely hopeless.

6:45am

Oooo… Free seating on the plane. Will probably get to sit next to  gorgeous, lovely young man who will fall instantly and hopelessly in love with me and we will get married in Hawaii and have beautiful little mixed breed children and live in Bali and drive ethnic eco- friendly locomotive to the beach! Fabulous!

Bollocks… Looking around… not a good crop at all. No…

Bald. Nope.

Fat. Nada.

Drooling. Yeah right!

Eurgh… Hairy belly button peeping out! No way!

Ai Caramba! Sitting on 15A, next to the window, with two free seats  right next to him, the Future Father of my Children! Church organs in my head! Ha…llelujah!! Gorgeous. Tall.  Blue eyed. Blond. With a slightly vapid-look about him. American!!! Perfect! Will go sit next to him and start impending holiday romance and turn it into life-time of togetherness.

Oh crap! Why did  I have to eat that extra piece of chocolate? Can barely fit bum into the middle seat. Double crap!

It’s ok… I will sit on the aisle seat, and have enough room for witty and meaningful conversation.

Awww… Softly snoring! How cute!! The love of my life… Hmmm…

Random pretty girl- stranger smile. Smile right back! Sweet girl walking past.

What the hell?! Random sweet girl-stranger trying to sqidge non existent bum between self and future life partner. Stupid stick insect, trying to ruin my plans of riding own Tuk-Tuk in Bali. As this flight and the flightful of total strangers are witness, I… Won’t… Let… This… Happen!

Gaaaahh!!! Stupid stick insect kissed Future Father of my Children. What a bitch! Can’t believe this! I am right next to him and the bastard is cheating on me right before my very eyes! Stupid balding git. Horrible ugly cow! They have probably been at it all this time, without me ever knowing! Can’t deal. Massive heartbreak. Dreams of mixed breed children just soundlessly burst in cartoon style bubbles! Think I will sleep now. Singularly sad times.

10:30 (local time)

Ah! Malaga! Hola!

Oh good lord! The sun! I am wearing a T-shirt and jeans! Bloody awesome! Can’t believe chickened out of bringing swim suit. Stupid Purbasha (must stop watching America’s next top model, so can stop endlessly obsessing over body fat content and be unfazedly half naked at the beach before complete strangers at 15 degrees temperature).

Looking around the bus. Oooo… Nope. No one worth obsessing over. Great! Can now go back to enjoying the sun and the view.

Shit! Lost!! Got off one stop too early. Can’t believe left the map on the printer.

Epiphany! 23 degrees. I am stripped to my vest top. Christmas decorations everywhere… still. And live music on the street. I am in heaven!!

Crap! Bloody heat’s trying to killing me! I am in hell! I am foreign… Get me outta here! Where the hell is the door to this damn place?!

Hostel! Phew! Oh thank god. I think I found it. All´s well.

Pretty room. Nice.

Shared loo. Mini-eurgh!

3pm

This is great. Sitting by the square (Plaza de la Constitucion). Staring at lovely uniformed Spanish cops who do not speak a word of English. And old man, with one foot in the grave is trying to kill me with his cigarette smoke. I, am a true traveller!

Sitting in my new favorite space in the whole world that is not my left hand cushion of the couch! Palm trees! Are you kidding me?! I have palm trees in front and a fort behind. I am finally doing the culture I planned to do! Whee… Go me!

7pm

Had forgotten how lovely it is to be stared at inappropriately by male- strangers. Bloody Britain. No body gives a second glance if dancing naked in the middle of the street on Oxford Circus. Lovely wonderful Spain. Men staring simultaneously at boobs and butt and winking lecherously. 33… and still got it! Oh yeah!

9pm

Dinner time. Oooo… Cute hosteliites flocking around the exotic creature that I am. Can barely pronounce their names but someone called Pablo just blew me a Baci. They think I am 19. No need to tell them the truth and break their little hearts, right?!

Tired!

10pm

Bed-time. Hmmm… Fabulous.

10:45

At a discotheque with a bunch of college students from the hostel. Drinking Mojitos. Can barely hear what Pablo is saying. DJ’s  playing Toxic. Cool! I know this song. Will dance to stop screaming and turning hoarse again. Feel so young and alive! This is amazing. This… is life!

11:30pm

Next club. Oh yeah!

12:05

Next. Bring it on…

12:15.

Shit! I am too old for this. I am dying. I want my bed.

 

Day 2:

9am

Kill me. Please.

10am

Showered. Broken fast with bread and tomato purée (?!?). 3 cups of coffee to stop head spinning (and now stomach’s churning). Off to view cathedral.

Wow! Massive cathedral. For €5 per tourist, you would expect better lighting than this! High arches with crosses all over. Massive frescoed pillars. Gorgeous stained glass windows detailing every form  of medieval torture. Nice… Every third image seems to carrying a warning machette. Even never-ever-done-it-with-a-man Mary is carrying something that looks like the device I wish to use on most of my ex- boyfriends!

Even the cherubs seem to be waiting the day when they can get out of  their fish-netted cocoons and jump to their imminent death along with  the demise of the poor bugger standing right underneath! Shivers!

Need food. Oooo… suited beggar! Lovely tie

Cute ear-rings.

Shit rain! Can’t believe left umbrella at home. Should be illegal for it to rain when on holiday. Wonder if there is clause in  insurance paper for rain-devastated hair!

1:00pm

Change of hostel. Casa Mata! Cannot believe I left my beloved young-people´s hostel for this. Oh well! As long as I do not find body fluid remnants…  But alas…!

Met up with Philip. Philip, my – slightly harassed, constantly suffering from acid- reflux, and majorly worried about work people who never seem to be working quite up to his expectations – travelling companion. Hunger and Philip do not go too well. And when I too am hungry, it’s a lethal combination. Sarcasm flows like free-wine. And eye contact is strictly avoided at all times!

Great! 1 hour after his landing in the country and we are already  having cheesy chips, donut, latte and English muffins. I could shake that boy. Ouch! Still sore from last night. Will shake him later. Must keep eating chips.

Still hungry! Ditched travelling companion and off for my piece of Spain. Back to the cafe. Churros calling!

Sharing table with someone who’s name sounds like Paulo from Granada. Was flirty and said that I was going back home with him on Sunday. Pat came flirt back – he was very excited about that. Yayyy!! Trip’s back on track!

Uh oh! Problemo! Have just got barely €6 and damned place doesn’t accept cards. Shit! Paulo left. What a bastard! Hate students. Shit! Help! Stupid foreign cafe! Stupid foreign notice, “Do not accept credit cards under €200 to 500”. Are you kidding me?! Who has €500 worth of coffee?I am too pretty to be in foreign prison. Have you seen these women?

Crap! Still raining like mental. Should have left for Seville this morning.

Bill €5.15. All is well with world again.

Off to hostel to take short shower and long nap before dinner. Nice hostel keeper, David, made lovely cup of tea. Yayyy! Will keep updated on other happenings tomorrow.

Buenos noches!

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Where Am I?

Been running inside the tunnel for ages now. So freakishly dark. No idea where I am. Barely any light. I am tired. I am… not sure… something… thirsty? My lips are cracked. My tongue feels like a cotton ball inside my mouth. And no water here. What happened? I cannot remember. Was I attacked? Who am I? What am I doing here? I am… running.

Just keep running. Don’t stop.

Supply check. Shoes, worn out a bit. But still in walking/ running condition. Why do I keep running? Why can’t I just walk? Save energy? What am I trying to run away from? Why is it so dark?

Focus!

Shoes? Check. Ruck sack. None.

But I seem to have this notebook in my hands. Was it always there? Why on earth am I running with a notebook in my hands? Whose notebook is it? It’s a drawing pad. Are these my drawings? No way. I do not draw like that? These are drawings of rocks. Smooth rocks. Well, some anatomical drawings as well. Hands, ears… Who do these belong to? Do I know them?

Clothes, don’t look like mine. I do not wear vests. And it’s dark. Why do I not have anything reflective on? Who wears khakis in the dark? Why am I here? Where IS here?

Look around. What do you see?

I see… dark.

Why can’t I tell when I started running? What was I doing before that? I am sweating. So at least 30 minutes.

Stop. Look around.

Tunnels. Tunnels upon tunnels. Some of them have graffiti. Something that looks like… SEP? That’s it, SEP. Sep?!

Septic?

Guy called Sep?

Tunnel dug in September?

I do not know. And some have drawings. Same drawings like in the Notepad. Where is the Notepad? Have I dropped it? Did I imagine it? I just had a drawing Notepad. Just now. I saw it. I turned the pages. It was in my left, no wait, right hand. I was running. I have not dropped anything. That I can recall. But the Notepad is gone now. Why am I still running? Getting seriously tired now.

What’s that sound?

Breathe.

Did I stop running just now. Standing still with my eyes closed. Breathing. Have I stopped. No, I am still running. My eyes are open. Did I just imagine that moment’s relief?

SEP. SEP. SEF. SEF tunnels getting fewer.

More drawings.

Is there a light? No logical visible source of light anywhere. Where am I running to? Where have I run from? Why am I finishing sentences with prepositions? I am so so tired. How long have I been running for? I am sweating. Must have been at least 30 minutes.

That sound? There. Again.

Where is it coming from? Rumbling?

Maybe a crane? A waterfall? Landslide! Oh my god. What is that? I don’t know. I don’t know! I don’t know anything anymore. I have to keep running. I cannot stop.

Where do you live?

Where do I live? In a house. House has a fireplace. And bears. Bears? I live in a house with bears?! What?! Nothing’s making any sense anymore. I live in a house. A house. A house with wall holes and light screens. There is green on the light screen.

What’s a light screen?

It’s a square, that has light coming through. It lets light come through. The light is warm. There is green on it. The square has green on it. I don’t know. What am I saying? My hair is dripping sweat.

My head hurts. Please. Please! Can I please stop running now? Can you hear me? Anyone? Please? I want to stop running now? Please. I can’t do this anymore. I am tired. And my… my… this thing… what’s the name? This thing in the middle of me… this hurts. And I do not remember it’s name. And I am scared. And this thing. It hurts so much. I am tired. So tired. And I am scared. Please. Anybody? ANYBODY!

Drawings on the wall. So many drawings. Of these.

Hands.

Yes, drawings of hands with stones on them. Smooth and polished stones. I am looking for the letters. No more SEF anywhere. No more SEF. I am tired. I am scared. I am cold. Why am I cold? I have clothes. Time for another supply check.

Shoes, badly worn. Been running for so long. How long has it been since I have been running? Why am I running? What’s there? Where am I? Where is here? How did I get here? I have sweat on my face. I am tired. Must be at least 30 minutes since I have been running.

Didn’t you already say that before?

That loud noise! I am shivering.

You are cold.

I am scared.

Clothes, jeans and a thin T-shirt. Why do I not have a jacket? Did I have a jacket? Was there a vest? I thought… what are khakis? Such a strange word. Khakis. Makes me smile. Kha-kiss! Ha! Funny word.

You are going mad.

I am tired. I am thirsty. I am cold. I am scared. I am going mad.

Sound. What’s that sound? It’s so noisy now. Am I getting closer? Is it the end of the tunnel? Noise is so loud. Should I be scared? Why am I running towards the noise? I should go back.

Go back. Away from the noise. To the quiet. Stop running towards the noise. Stop. STOP!

I can’t. Why am I running? So many tunnels. Tunnels with finger things and hearing things drawn all over the walls. This is not the way. I should not be here. Drawings with stones. Who made these drawings? How did they get here? I cannot breathe. I am scared. And tired. My… my… It hurts. And something is hurting it. Stopping me from breathing. Like in the middle of me, there is something wanting out or in or just telling me to stop running. But I can’t. How long have I been running for? I am sweating. That noise. I can’t. My head hurts. So much noise. I am running. Holding my head between my hands or it might explode. I can’t. I am crying. Just running past tunnels with drawings of floating ears and fingers and ears and fingers. I want to be back by the SEF tunnels. Stop the noise.

Oh god, the floor has stopped. And I am falling. I am falling! I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. I have no mouth. I can’t scream. I can’t scream!!

Ugh… Bloody alarm clock! 5:55.

Damn it… slept funny… Ouch! And now my legs are cramping… Time to wake up.

There is a reason I prefer insomnia.

Nothing ever happens around me

Weekend. Saturday. And I am still in quarantine. Still got the lurgy. Meh! Another day of sitting by the window and making up games, maybe writing. Maybe drawing. At least, had Chris over last weekend. Even if had a bit of a domestic. Bickering really. He said something. Then I said something else. One thing led to another. Yelling happened. But don’t think anyone heard anything. Love these walls. Too thick when you want to eavesdrop. But also, too thin when you want to sleep. Bit of an agro happened and I am not sure who threw the first punch. Ok, so not quite a punch. More like a poke. Ok, a “few” pokes. Could have been me – I mean girls can be annoying too; girls can be anything. Go girl power. I was angry. I was sick. I was on antibiotics. Cranky as heck. I had an excuse. What was his excuse for acting like an idiot?

So much ado over so little. He said I should not be eating so much just because you are “supposed to” feed a cold. And I said he shouldn’t be calling me tubby when I am poorly. And, we were off. What an idiot. Well, at least by the end of it, he did admit he was wrong. But so much clean-up afterwards. I really wish all my fights weren’t so messy. Like literally. Things broken. Stuff leaking. No self control. Where do I find these guys? Oh wait! On tinder. Face-palm. So much to clean up. Every single time. So much paper towel. So many Marigolds. So many bin bags. So much environmental pollution from just a single stupid stupid fight. And time. So much wasted time. I wish I could find someone who can clean up after himself at the very least. Such an idiot. Well, haven’t heard from him in a week. I don’t care. If he does not wish to act like a grown up, I do not need him. I do not care about him. I do wish he would call. But that’s his problem. Another one scratched off the list. Whatever. Wish they didn’t all have to go the same way though. Makes me feel really sad at times.

But on the positive side, no weed-smoking smells in the house. Yay! Neighbours seem to have stopped smoking weed around the property. I was this close to going to have a word with the responsible neighbour. If, I knew who it was, that is. Well, call to the landlady helped. Happy days. No secondhand opiates being painfully inhaled.

Do I really like living here? Kinda do really I think. It’s pretty. And green. I like green. It’s quiet. And clean.

Really should do my dishes. Dishwasher seems to be getting quite full. And only 2 spoons in the drawer. Maybe order spoons over Amazon? Ok, stop. Just do the dishes after breakfast. Breakfast! Hungry. Smoothie? Oatmeals. Oatmeal smoothie. Class! Knives in the dishwasher. Nothing to chop apples. Knife too sticky to clean. Yuck. Meh! Apple-free smoothie then. Coffee. Coffee in oatmeal smoothie. Food hacked! Actually tastes kind of yucky. Likely will never make this concoction again. Ah well… First lesson of the day learned. Life hacked!

To the window with the smoothie we go. It tastes like mud, with coffee flavour. The smoothie. And the vegan protein powder is really doing nothing at all frankly to counter the taste of the soil. Maybe, the vegan protein powder IS the soil like texture? Oooo… who knew. Another big gulp. And gag.

Oooo… knock on the door. Delivery? This early in the morning? Go Amazon Prime! Maybe my sweeteners are here? I know, they are bad for your health (or so “facebook” says, but they are so yummy. Ok. Someone else opened the building door. And now there is talking in the corridor. Well, at least I don’t have to get out of my chair. Wow! Knocking on my door? What? At this hour? Dude! It’s 9:15 on a Saturday morning. Normal people are still sleeping. Hmmm… Police. Should I be asking to see ID? But I have no idea what to check for on the ID. What if they are murderers? Or serial killers? Or con-artists?

Focus Purbasha. They are talking to you.

She is so pretty. And smells so good. Ermmm…

No, don’t know anything about a serious disturbance in the neighbourhood. Unless you account for my upstairs neighbour playing single-shooter games too loudly on his PS/ X-Box.

Ha! Got a giggle all around. Cop distractingly pretty. There are two of them?! Did not notice the other one there at first. Weird. He should work as an undercover cop; no one sees him or takes notice of him. He is the background!

The background is politely nodding his head. Smiling quietly.

Sorry, what seems to be the matter? Someone make a complaint?

Damn she smells good. What is that perfume?

Yes, a bit of an incident in the neighbourhood. Nothing to worry about really. Thanks ma’am. Have a good weekend.

Next door.

Shut the door. That smell is stuck inside my nose now. Like cherry blossom. Should find that in a room freshener. Need to do groceries. Back to the mud-smoothie and my music. Listening to Coffee Prince album that I am properly addicted to now. I can’t seem to stop listening to it. Should I draw something? Should I go for a walk? Venture out for a 30 minute contact with humanity? Not expected to rain. Expected to get warmer later. More voices in the corridor. Police leaving the building. Pretty cop talking to someone out of view by the gate to property. Cops walking over to the next building. And I have nothing else to do today except figure out whether I wish to maybe infect the retired population of the area by going out for a walk right now. Or should I just stay indoors? Walking around the flat is getting dull as nobody’s business. Do you realise how tough it is to get to 7500 steps inside a 1BHK? Sigh!

Still more voices in the corridor. I thought the guys left. Back to the door.

So what happened really?

Video game playing neighbour and “lives diagonally across from me” neighbour here. Another 2nd floor neighbour on the stairs. Should really learn their names.

Apparently when they came to pick up the garbage on Friday, they were a few too many bags out back. The garbage truck guys got a bit annoyed with that. One of them dumped a bag a bit too hard and some ketch-up bottle or something cracked and caused a mess and a stench. They were not happy about it. Caused a racket. Had a fight with the landlady.

Seriously, where was I when all this drama was happening? Missed out on all the fun.

So the police got called.

Police think it might not have been a broken ketch up bottle.

Lives diagonally across from me whispers…

They were saying something about someone getting stabbed out back in the car park.

Yowza! Again, how do I miss out on all this? So unfair. Everyone has “wonder what happened” face. Polite eye-brow lifts and awkward half-smiles. And door is shut.

Back to my window. Now that I want a spot of drama, it’s perfectly quiet outside. No noises. No people. Not even a dog outside. So dull. I think I will just go clean the kitchen.

Kitchen looks clean. Maybe will just do the dishes. Oooo… spot on the floor by the fridge. Ketch-up? When did I buy ketch-up? Weird. Oooo… must add ketch-up to grocery list. Also kitchen roll. And bin bags. And maybe a better brand of disinfectant. This one doesn’t seem strong enough. And it’s weird using Domestos on the floors. Ok, time to do the dishes now. Running out of Marigolds. My life is just way too dull. Cold be gone… soon. Please…

Maybe I should go back on Tinder? I hear good things about OkCupid…

Unicorns Feel Sad-Pain too

Once upon a time, in the green-grey forest, a golden unicorn was sitting by the side of black-river. The unicorn had a lot of sad-pain, and decided, the green-grey forest air was causing the sad-pain to grow. The only way to cure the sad-pain, he believed, was to go up black-river… to the other-side, and never come back again. Black-river heals all, unicorn thought. Unicorn went up to his friend, rough-rhino and said, “My dear and closest friend, brother-rough-rhino, I have sad-pain. And it keeps growing. The only way to cure it seems to be, leaving the green-grey forest and going across black-river to never come back. I hope you will miss me once I am gone.”

Rough-rhino thoughtfully looked at his friend and said, “My dear friend, unicorn, if you go across black-river, the only one that will be missing, is you. Once you leave the green-grey forest, slowly, each day, one by one, everyone in the green-grey forest will forget you. Even me, your closest brother-friend. Life in the green-grey forest will keep moving on without you. And what are the chances black-river will take away the sad-pain? No one really knows if black-river truly heals!”

After another moment, rough-rhino added, “How about this instead? Don’t go across black-river. Stay in the green-grey forest. Live with me. And talk to me. Every day. Just that.”

So unicorn decided to stay. And each day, unicorn and rhino would talk. And their words would eat up some of the sad-pain inside unicorn, rise up into the air and burst like so many rainbow coloured bubbles.

Stay with me. And talk to me. Just that.

Tripping around Spain… (Day 4)

Lovely… Last day of fun and frolic. Slightly organised, controlled and planned adventure for today. Just the way I like it. Nothing can go wrong today! Perfect!!

Phew… Caught bus just in time. Must take friend´s advice and join the gym as wheezing slightly in the manner of 85 year old asthamatic. It´s ok… No more excitement for the day. Everything will be worked out in calm, cool and organised manner.

Oooo… Philip! Great! He looks pissed. Shit! Was supposed to meet him for breakfast 40 minutes ago. Oh well… Have slightly squashed Snickers bar in the purse. Will give it to him as apology/breakfast present. Doesn´t want it. Great! I am starving!!

Lovely scenary. Not a pretty face in sight. What a drag! Will sleep.

10:45am
Grenada. Lady at the Information desk has run out of maps! Will steal a secret glance of somebody else´s open map and head for town centre for amazing day full of sights and culture.

Yes… Burger King! 4 slightly burnt chicken wings later, ready for some triple-scooped ice cream at Haagen Dazs.

Had amusing conversation on the way, with man in shop who tried to sell ear-rings made in India. Hmmm…

And now, finally off to Alhambra. Lovely Philip´s in charge of tickets for entering. And Lovely Philip´s done everything online. Fabulous!

Shit! That´s just the booking reservation. Bloody Philip was supposed to have come here 1 hour ago and “buy” the tickets at the counter. Have decided to completely ignore the fact that spent 45 minutes at Haagen Dazs counter to order perfect Sundae as I really don´t feel like thinking about it! Ticket counter about 400 m away (seems more like a mile!). Mini running and panting again.

Tickets in hand. Made it back to building on time (which seemed to have decidedly moved farther away while we were off buying tickets). Purbasha and Lovely Philip (are not trying to give each other death stares anymore) and are back to being friends again.

2:30pm
Really hungry now. Snickers bar, 4 chicken wings, triple chocolate sundae, 2 bottles of juice, a cup of chocolate and a few iffy pieces of candy that I found at the bottom of my bag seem to have all been digested.

Will text Danish knight in shiny raincoat and see what he is upto.

2:35pm
Oooo…. Danish knight calling. Perfect. Will meet for coffee with wonderful man from Denmark (as I now know) at 4pm and will retire in the lovely suburbs of Grenada.

Lovely Philip has agreed to go away for important work (drinking bad coffee at Burger King and reading newpaper) for 1 hour while I plan a life-time of togetherness with shiny knight! Yayyy me!

3:45pm
Slightly late as spent far too long dawdling over pretty foreign looking walls and planning for murder in the palace pool (¨sleeping with the fishes¨ jokes ensued).

3:55pm
Accidentally chucked away both maps into the bin. However, Lovely Philip just claimed to know the route perfectly. So no worries. Everything will go great. Will arrive elegantly late by about 5 or 10 minutes and give sexy, cheeky grin and make shiny knight fall head over heels in love with me. Brilliant!

4:10pm
Bloody Philip! Been walking for 25 minutes and nowhere close to being at appointed spot. Will take a moment to compose self as no point lashing out blame. So prompty yelled at Philip and told him to go back to Gatwick as that seemed like the most intelligent solution.

Will now text shiny knight to cancel. Feel devastated.

Oooo… Shiny knight calling. Perfect. Gave location in foreign accent.

He is coming up the hill to pick me up! Yayyy! Wonderful wonderful shiny knight. All anger has been forgotten. But still pouting to maintain atmosphere. Philip is off to the Cathedral. Wish him luck. He wishes back I would start making my way back to bus station by 6pm. No worries.

Everything will be just perfect from this point onwards.

4:30pm
Oooo… Shiny knight coming up the hill while I wait, up in my castle (more like a bus stand on a slope… but, whatever).

4:35pm
Decide to take a stroll around town. Wonderful, romantic, live music playing next to the river. This is a dream! He is so wonderful. He is so intelligent. He knows everything. Must be a doctor of some kind. Nope… must be a professor. Nope… looks very gentle and kind. Must a school teacher.

What does he do for a living?

He is a MONK!! Of ¨theo-sophy¨! Sorry, WHAT?!

He and his order, search for god in a scientific manner.

Is he allowed to be here, on a date?! Is this NOT a date? Shit! Is he giving up god, for me?

Oh man! 20 million men in Spain. 50,000 in Granada. About 10,000 travel between Granada and Malaga for work every single day. And I find the one monk-guy who decided to take a day off on Sunday! Brilliant! I am Satan´s hand-maiden!

It´s fine. Am sensible and smart, woman of the world. Will definitely figure out a way to run away before he tries to convert me and makes me pay him for his monk-people. Mommy! Help!!

5:20pm
Been talking about the greater plan and constants in the universe and fulfilment of desires and human-will for the past 45 minutes. All I wanted was to see lovely grandchildren wearing racially non-evident clothing, playing along the banks of the river.

Would I like to see his lovely shared appartment that he shares with 5 other people?! Don´t think so…

5:35pm
Text from Lovely Philip.

“Hey! Am on 6pm bus, 6pm and 7pm sold out. 8pm looks like availability still.”

Are you kidding me? He was supposed to be my deaf-mute half-brother, who I had to rush to the hospital when it was time to run away.

Shit! Monk guy´s back from loo. Will just tell him I have to catch 6pm bus and that the next available tickets are only on 9pm (and after) buses. Perfect.

Monk guy´s looking worried. Apparently, 9pm and 10pm buses are always pre-booked. No chance of getting seats on those. He has tried before and never ever been successful.

Shit! Really scared now. If monk guy couldn´t get tickets with high connections from god and all, what chances do I have. Quick call to Philip. Nope! No chances of getting 6pm bus tickets as he is firmly seated and has no plans of getting out! It´s ok, will get to bus station in 30 minutes, book 8pm seat and be quickly rid of monk guy as well. All will be right with the world again.

5:45pm
Will now say bye to monk guy and start walking fast in the general direction of bus stop. Oh man! Monk guy can walk really fast and coming along to drop me off at the station! In a taxi! Fuck! Will now need to shell out for a taxi I don´t need to catch a bus for which I have no tickets! And have mildly stalker monk for a date!

5:55pm
Bus station. Maniac taxi driver. Wow! Good time.

Bloody Philip! If only he had bought my ticket, I could have been safe and on my way away from monk guy.

In the queue. Can probably still make it!

Shit! Man-boy crying. Can only understand “No bus! No bus!”.

Shit! Shit!! Shit!!! May-day! May-day!! I need my Dad! I am foreign. There has to be some sort of arrangement that could be made to get me out of here! I have a flight to catch tomorrow. I have a monk to run away from!! Daddy!

Text from Bloody Philip! Wondering why I couldn´t get a later bus (just let me get my hands on you boy!!!).

Because there aren´t any available! That´s why!!

Oh Shit! Man-boy´s still crying. I should console him. I should join him and start crying together so he doesn´t feel lonely. This is what you get for seducing monks.

6:03pm
At the counter… finally!

Please! I need to be in Malaga tonight. Are there any buses available at all? 6pm/ 7/ 8/ 9… I will take anything. I will stand, if that´s what it takes.

6pm all full! You can take 7pm!

Erm… Sorry! Say what?!

Brilliant! Have 1 ticket back to paradise on 7pm bus. Don´t feel strong urge to kill anyone anymore. Will text Philip in 10 minutes (while he keeps feeling guilty) and tell him, I found a bus and feign dignified anger. Will now pop down to the book counter and browse until ready to ride.

Shit! Philip´s behind me. And asking me in a very pissed way, “Purbasha! Are there any seats available? You told me there are no seats available. Are there any seats available?”. Shit! Feeling guilty now. Wish had texted him sooner.

Lovely Philip got off the bus to make sure I didn´t get left behind in crazy town. Wonder why he didn´t think I could take a train back though…

Shit! Fought with Philip! He has decided to storm off somewhere!

6:50pm
Oooo…. Philip´s bus is delayed. 6pm bus is still here. Wonder if he knows. Will quickly text him to tell him good news and he will be so grateful to catch his original bus, he will forget I almost made him miss it in the first place!

6pm bus just left the station, over an hour late! Hope Philip is on it. On the other hand, if he is not on it, serves him right! The bastard! Leaving me in crazy town with womanizing monks.

Really, really hope he is on it.

My bus is finally ready to leave too.

Between being constantly lost, missed tickets, late arrivals, sexually-forward monks and intense moments of wanting to kill Philip with the pointy end of my map, I am beginning to feel the strain of this relaxing trip.

Oh well! Back to work soon! Thankfully…

Tripping around Spain… (Day 3)

7:22am

Awake! Perfect! Will be ready and off to enjoy lovely Spain and amazing Seville in no time.

8:30am

Keys… check! Purse… check!! Map… check!!! I look fabulous… check check check!!!

8:32am

Shit! Stepped into something (which am hoping is just thick muddy water) and dropped map down the drain! Shit! No time to turn back and change.

No umbrella.

No map.

Late for 9am train.

Have wet socks!

I am fucked!

I hate Spain!

It´s ok. I am smart, intelligent, woman of the world. I can do anything.

8:45am

Shit! Shit!! Shit!!! Lost again!

Time to suck it up and ask for Spanish help. Oooo… lovely old grandma shaped lady with an umbrella…

P: “Skew-C…”

(Oh crap! Wrong language)

P: “Pear-don Sen-yora! Done-day es-taz lay es-tash-ee-on day auto-boos?” (Yo lady! Bus station?)

LL: E… Hablas Ingles?

(Being made to feel like a foreigner by a foreigner)

P: C Sen-yora! Bus station, pore fav-or? (Lady! Bus station…? Already?)

LL: Toe doe rectum!!!

(Shit! What?! Think just got called an ass-hole in foreign!)

P: Have-lar mass despatch-ee-o, pore fav-or… (grimace would just not turn into polite smile)

LL: Go straight. Go straight. Then station. No turn. Only straight straight.

(Ah! Todo rect-O = straight ahead)

Hmpf! Couldn’t say that to begin with? Made me feel like a complete idiot!

8:55am

Yes! Made it.

Cheated slightly by pushing ahead of fat man who was staring daggers at the time table and looked like someone who has issues with pretty much everyone.

Oh man! Lady at the counter “No Nintendo English!!!”. What´s wrong with people? Can´t even find the right page of my traveller´s guide to use the right phrase. Enter… DALOR… my lovely Danish knight in shiny raincoat! Wonderful wonderful Dalor with a wonderful wonderful accent… Who helped me buy my ticket to Seville… Who told me India is stunningly gorgeous (he probably meant Indians are stunningly gorgeous… his English grammar is probably not that great!)… And who I am meeting in Granada for coffee tomorrow. Yayyy! I love Spain!

(Must look up Denmark on the map tomorrow before running off to meet lovely helpful Dalor, so can sound extremely intelligent and smart when trying to look and sound impressive!!)

Bus smells faintly of garlic. Hmmm… Just realized, haven´t had chance to have breakfast yet. Great! Two and a half hours in garlic smelling bus… Hmmm… Could be worse.

(Shit! Shouldn´t have said that! Shouldn´t have said that!! Jinxed it!… Don´t ask!)

Gorgeous cathedral. Don´t go there! I mean seriously… Seen one. Seen them all! Hell, pits of fire, purgatory and all that is great. But cathedrals dont even bring along all that excitement of repetitive, eternal burning about them!

(Wasn´t it Voltaire who, when asked to pray before dying and shun Satan, said, “This is no time to make enemies my good man!”?)

Alcazar… Do go and see it. And avoid buying the travellers´trap that are those stupid foreign translated audiographs. Whosoever recorded them, throw rocks at him! That´s €3 I shall never see again.

Ok… Seriously hungry now. Tummy beginning to make un-lady-like noises.

Will pop-down into busy little tapas restaurant, Bogadita, and enjoy the flavour of Spain. Culture makes you feel so worldly… and wise!

Oooo…. Tram! Tram!! Tram!!!

Crap! Place looks packed with tourists! Damn! No real Spanish people… This is not right! Really really not right. There are entire legs of meat hanging precariously right on top of my head. The entire place smells of wet feet. I am still hungry after shovelling 3 plates of food. It´s pouring outside. And I am bloody miserable in my wet jeans! I hate Spain!!

And while I am experiencing “real” Spain, real Spanish people are at home, ordering Chinese food, watching American telly and staying dry while pointing at people coming out of Bogadita in torrential rain and yelling “Bloody tourists” in English!!!

Will now shell out €10 for 3 spoonfuls of food. Feeling wiser already!!

Will always keep in mind this experience, and only ever choose smart places to experience new culture.

Oh excellent! Starbucks and KFC… Prayers do come true. Of course, at €10 per trip to the Cathedral, they had bloody well better come true.

As a Thai friend of mine once said, “These bloody imperialists have taken away all our natural resources and local produce… All in the name of globalization.”

And as I relied to him, “Long live globalization for saving me from near starvation in 19 different foreign countries and atleast 3 times in India itself!”.

Hmmm…. Sated…

Feel much better now.

Will now walk back to the bus station as almost time to catch bus.

Crap! Didn´t calculate for time difference. Oh well. Have almost an entire hour to people-watch and learn new cultural differences.

Cute student type 1 o´clock! Hot middle-aged man… 3 o´clock! People watching´s fun! I love Spain!

Random middle-aged lady decides to sit a bit too close for comfort. It´s ok… It´s the continent. People have different views about personal space. Will be charming ambassador for two different countries and have wonderful chat with bus-stop stranger lady.

And will one day recall fondly about conversations with a lady-stranger at a Spanish bus-station…

Fuck! Can´t speak a word of English.

It´s ok. It´s OK. I am charming self and will now ensue one-to-one dance routine like conversation which can be enjoyed by all and sundry present at the station.

Poor lady! She is very very cold. I get it. I am very cold too lady.

She is trying to convince me very hard that she is cold. I am convinced. Afterall,  I am still wearing afore-mentioned wet socks and jeans!

She is now trying even harder to convince me by wrapping a shawl all over her face. Slightly amusing. But seriously, no need to convince me that hard lady! Trust me. My shoes aren´t dripping sweat!

She has now fished something out of her bag and put on my lap. And I, have a pair of damp pants on my lap. She then politely takes my hand and puts them on the said pants.

She was probably trying to say (and god I sincerely hope this is true) that she cleaned them and they just wouldn´t dry due to the cold. Either that, or that she was so cold, she peed her pants and she had to change out of them.

When in Spain, do some Spaniards… Not touch some stranger´s wet pants!

In any case, my bus is mercifully here. And I shall take everybody´s leave while I sleep through the bus trip and repress the memory of stranger´s wet pants on my lap.

And then, I shall burn my jeans!

Signing off!

Awake…

How did Hamlet’s father die? …cursed juice of hebenon in a vial, and in the porches of my ears did pour… Can I do that? It’s not legal to do that. But totally untraceable, right? Actually no. They did catch the killer and his mistress. Mistress? Wife later. What is “hebenon” any way? Do they sell it at the supermarket? What am I doing thinking about Hamlet? Stop this racket. Stop this racket. I am tired. Please stop this racket.

The incessant snoring was driving her insane. She couldn’t sleep. Back at home, dad used to remove the batteries from the wall clocks just so they wouldn’t go ticking in the night and disturb her sleep. Mum made dad remove his flip-flops so he wouldn’t go slapping them all over the tile floor, disturbing people in the wee hours of the morning. She herself had removed the batteries from her wall clock on the day she entered her new house… 12:13 it pointed at… eternally! But now, there was this god awful noise… like someone was try to saw through a cat. Sometimes it was like a chain saw. At other times it sounded like there was woodpecker right on her pillow going at it… tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut…

She got out of the bed and checked the time. 01:30 in the morning. It was Thursday already. But still 3 and a half hours until sunrise. She had forgotten when she last got a full night’s sleep.

Three weeks ago, he turned up with a two week notice… “Guess what you are doing in two weeks time? I am guessing you are playing hostess to me… for 6 whole weeks!”. Three whole weeks ago… She had slept peacefully. She had been cheerful. She knew a long time back she didn’t love him. She was with him out of this arcane sense of responsibility, duty and let’s face it… a ton of guilt but she had made her peace with that. Nobody put a gun to her head. Nobody forced her to stay with him. Nobody “made” her do anything. She was the sole perpetrator of this atrocity on her self. Great!

They had gotten into a fight. What was the fight about? She should ask her neighbours. They heard it. The whole neighbourhood heard it. The whole street heard it. There is actually a slim chance the naked guy that begs by the station with his dog… he too might have heard it. Embarrassing? Yes. But that didn’t bother her. After being yelled at on the streets, in the kitchen within hearing distance of the housemates, in the store… she was getting used to the scenes and the general drama. But what made her lose sleep (other than the “first whistle, then snort” snore that was going on right now) was the strange clarity that came from realising what had just happened… again.

He had walked out of the room yelling, “I need some air.” This was after midnight. She had asked him to take his keys along so she didn’t have to stay awake and he could take his time on the walk. But he had bashed the room door on his way out saying, “I can’t find my keys. You can stay awake or sleep. I will probably just stay outside all night.”. The door had made the kind of noise that would have woken up every soul, living or dead in the tiny flat conversion. Cue the cringe.

He had known. He had known she would stay awake, if only to stop him from ringing the doorbell in the dead of the night. He had known she would crumble and call and apologise. He had her like a puppet on strings. He had known her through and through. He had known from experience. This wasn’t the first time he had done something like that. And she had let it happen. She hadn’t had the strength to call his bluff. She didn’t even know if it was a bluff.

Is it abuse if the marks are only on your mind and not on your body? Does feeling suffocated by the presence of someone instead of perhaps a pillow on your face, count as torture? Is slowly allowing your body to degenerate by sickness of the mind and not doing anything about it classified as suicide?

She had called him and apologised. She had asked him to come back. She had done the right thing. And he had come back. And hugged her. And kissed her. And she had wished he had been stabbed by one of those invisible faceless creeps, that all women feel following them in the dead of the night. Or get bitten by one of the rabid foxes. But no such luck.

Is it forgivable if someone wants to “murder by guitar string” their betrothed at 01:42 in the morning due to severe lack of sleep? Is it human to manipulate someone so although you do not hit them they feel lacerated anyway? Is it ok if you scare someone into submission as long as no weapons are used and no violence to the body has been suggested? Is it acceptable to kill your body to avoid the slow death of your mind?

She shook him awake and asked him to pick the duvet he had kicked over to the floor on the other side. He got up, picked the duvet and she prayed she could fall asleep before the next burst of snores started. The next time she looked at her watch, the time was 02:00 in the morning. She had managed to sleep for at least 15 full minutes.

They say the longest any human has ever stayed alive without sleeping was 11 days. Maybe these 15 minutes would keep her alive a bit longer. Maybe she could add a bit extra cheese to his pasta sauce tomorrow. Maybe that will give him nightmares and keep him awake a bit longer. Maybe it will clog his arteries and kill him a bit sooner.

What is hope?

Time to drop the duvet over his side of the bed again. Just 3 more hours until sunrise.

Coffee for one

Aisha was at the airport. She hated crowds. She hated noisy annoying kids. She hated flying. She looked around the airport, wondering for the 137th time as to why she had decided to take a flight in the first place. Why couldn’t she have just trained it! Of course it wasn’t so bad at the airport, if you could just shut everything out. Forget everything. And that was the reason why, she remembered she was flying out. She was ready to forget. She was ready to move on. As she tried to find a seat in the crowded hall, she started thinking about Ashley. Her Ashley. Ash. She smiled.

It had been a day like any other, normal enough. She had woken up to find Ashley still asleep next to her, the duvet completely wrapped around him. Typical. Atleast it was predicted to be a hot sunny day. She had gotten out of bed after about half an hour of tossing and trying to get some of the duvet from under Ashley. Walking into the kitchen, she had switched on the kettle and looked out of the window; it was grey. So much for weather forecasts.

Ashley stirred. She took out the cups and started making his coffee. Ashley loved his coffee. “Posh coffee”, she had called it when Ashley had tried to initiate her to his favourite Italians. She almost added the instant coffee when she heard him yell, “Don’t add that crap in my cup. Make me a proper cup, couldn’t you?”

She didn’t respond. It was too early for a fight.

“I am already late. Why couldn’t you just bloody wake me up sooner?”

She couldn’t find the coffee spoons. Ashley had not done the dishes last night. He had again been late getting back from work. She heard the bathroom door slam as she started cleaning a couple of spoons. Ashley. She had known the moment she had met him that she was hooked. Ms. Aisha. Clean freak. Organised to the point of OCD. She had not even given it a second thought when on their first date, she had woken up to find his clothes on the floor and cigarette butts all over her gleaming bathroom and Persian rugs. Her Ashley. Ash.

“I will be late again tonight”.

She had lost time. She had no idea when she had finished making breakfast; when she had got to the table. Ashley was saying something.

“Hello… Earth calling Aisha. Are you even listening to me?”

She stopped stirring the coffee, put the spoon down, looked at him and nodded. He rarely smiled these days. “Stress at work.”, he always seems to insist.

“I will be late again today.” He repeated. “Don’t wait up. Might even need to stay the night. Big project. And for heaven’s sake, don’t sulk like last time. In case you haven’t noticed, I am not exactly sitting around with children singing nursery rhymes the entire day.”

“I teach high school Chemistry Ash.”

“Yeah well, your shopping trips cost a pretty penny sweetheart. So don’t complain.”

She looked at him, sighed and handed him his coffee. They finished breakfast in silence. He was complaining about the coffee tasting stale, but she was couldn’t concentrate. She would throw the coffee jar after he left. When had it started going so very wrong?

She locked the door after him and sat at the computer. After staring at the screen for about 15 minutes, she started cleaning the kitchen. Good thing about school holidays was that everything got done exactly how she liked it. She cleaned out all her papers, sorted her bills, cleared out the kitchen cabinet making sure to throw out the coffee. The house looked spotless. She went back to sit in front of the computer. At 10:30, she got the call. Ashley had had an accident. He had died on the spot. She had been called to identify the body.

She had not cried at the police station. She had not cried at the morgue. She had not cried throughout the investigation. They said it had been a heart attack. “Heart attack at 30? That’s just plain unfortunate.” The officers had treated her very kindly. “Stress kills!” they had whispered, shaking their heads at each other while looking on at the stoic girlfriend.

The gate had just been announced. Gate number 10. She was finally beginning to feel a bit relaxed. She showed her ticket to the lady at the gate and was ushered to her aisle seat. She buckled on her seat belt, opened her bag, took out a tattered, folded card and read:

My darling Ash,

Can’t believe it’s been 8 whole hours since I have felt your touch on my skin. I simply can’t wait to have you back in my arms tonight. Just make sure you do not run away like last night. I hate not waking up with you. Tell you what, just to sweeten the deal, how about you get to have your coffee in bed? Just say you will stay.

Missing making love to you.

Yours, Silvia

The flight was about to land.

Aisha put the folded card in the waste bag the air-hostess was holding open for her. Darling Ashley. Her Ashley. He really did love his coffee. Smiling, Aisha walked out of the flight.

Scruffy

Kill me. This heat! This ridiculous assignment! Better still, let’s kill the editor. The only thing keeping me from bolting is Scruffy sitting opposite me, looking if possible, even more dejected.

“Absolutely mental mate! Should have just quit the assignment and got out when we still had a prayer.”

Scruffy and I are journalists. And because of some idiot editor’s whims, we are having to spend a glorious sunny Saturday morning at the stupid St. Mary’s asylum trying to get a grasp on the falling standards of NHS since the new political regime change. Painfully dull work. Saanvika Mridula Sengupta – I was supposed to be doing great things! I was supposed to be bloody reporting from the war-zone, not drinking watered down decaff out of a flexible sippy-cup! Scruffy has actually started smoking, after quitting for, what is it, the 7th time this year?

For those people who labour under the delusions that psychiatry wards are full of misadventures and bangs and noises, let me assure you, there is nothing exciting about a bunch of folks walking about aimlessly, bumping into each other and muttering rubbish. The most exciting thing is when some poor bastard gets dragged to his room to be force fed medicines by the overbearing grouchy staff.

Scruffy’s real name has been forgotten over the years of bad fitting clothes and a total lack of shower. But he is a brilliant journalist and my best mate.

Oh great! Old Mrs. Harris has peed her pants again. What amusement! I could cry I am so bored. I compromise by yawning and chewing on the end of my pen.

“I mean, if we are talking about falling standards, how about discussing why newspapers are talking about psychiatry wards when the entire European market is going to pot! You can’t stuff things down peoples’ throats when they don’t want to swallow it.”

“You have been watching the news again.” Scruffs is talking to me. “Haven’t I told you it addles peoples’ brains?” Scruffy has given up all pretence, his sheets lying forgotten, and is just staring around the room. There is a TV droning somewhere. News.

Mr. Chip is talking to himself again. Bless him. I haven’t seen anyone come to visit him. Feel a bit bad for him. This quest to prove oneself to be an island is making complete loners out of people. I am not sure who I am feeling sorry for here. Am I not alone? Oh lord! I am making bad poetry now!

“Dude! You heard about the tourist shuttle through space?” Scruffy’s words draw me out of my head. “You know, the day they make the news official, I am buying my seat”.

“Scruffs, you might find your freelance peanuts to be a bit less than the expected asking rate for the trip!” Dear old Scruffs. Always making plans of getting out. Never been able to explain to him that some things, you just can’t ever get out of. Like this bloody assignment. But I guess when you are stuck in windowless rooms where they are trying to fry the madness out of you… Why the hell is the air-con not switched on? Maybe Scruffs and I should write about that. I could already see the head-line: NHS cuts lead to sun strokes. Sub-heading: Air-con cuts to save hospital budgets. It’s like a conspiracy to make you mad if you aren’t already there. What’s with the buzzing? Oh God! I am allergic to bees. I hope it’s not bees. Scruffy has dozed off. He is wasted in this profession. Brilliant imagination! No idea why he is forever stuck in this dead-end job. Must get out.

“Come along dear.” Uh oh! Nurse, 12 o’clock! Should probably wake Scruffs up, you know, just in case. Not sure about visitor rules around here. Do we qualify as visitors? “Scruffs! Oi!”

“Come along dear. Just leave your toys. Time for your medicine.” Why does she have to speak to people like they are idiots? How utterly condescending! Who is she talking to? Really need to wake Scruffy up.

“Mate, wake up. The orderlies are coming over. Damn it!” Is it illegal for people to sleep in this ruddy place? “Seriously Scruffs, stop snoring and get up.” What’s going on? Why are they coming towards our table?

“It’s alright dear. There is really no need to cause all this commotion everyday; now is there? Oh just strap her. Jeez! Every single day! Get that dirty old teddy as well or she’ll make a racket. And throw that filthy scrap of paper. That disgusting chewed up straw too. Saanvi dear, just relax. Just open your mouth like a good girl and swallow your medicines.”

The Cat, the Weasel and the Wolf

Once upon a time, there lived a cat on the edge of the woods, round the corner of the massive Dead-tree. She would forage for mice, run around dumpsters with her other cat-friends and take long strolls around sun-rise before hitting her cat-litter bed. Cat was always careful to not step inside the woods. She had been inside the woods but just once ever. No one knows what happened to her in there. She never talks about it.

One fine day, while she was foraging for mice as usual, she fell down a long, dirty, prickly hole (which was actually just the hollow trunk of massive Dead-tree) and landed with a mighty thud, right in the middle of the woods. “Ouch!” groaned Cat. She was bruised. She was scratched. She was in pain. She slowly dusted herself and looked around. She realised, she had entered the darkest part of the woods. “Dehart”, they called it, always in whispers. Cat was brave, but somehow, actually standing in Dehart, she felt, from this side, it really did look rather eerie and dark.

“Hello!”, called out Cat, hoping desperately that no one answers her back. No one finds her there. And eats her up.

“Uh… Hi!”, came a voice from somewhere.

Cat turned, completely startled.

“Hi!”, said the voice again. “Are you lost?”. Cat looked carefully and found that the one that was talking to her was a tiny little squirrel-like being, all furry and red. “Hi! I am Weasel.”

“Oh hello there!” exhaled Cat with relief. “You spooked me. He he! I am Cat. Hi!”.

“You look rather worse for wear. What have you been up to?” queried Weasel.

“Tch! Oh dear! You see, I was trying to find a couple of nice fat mice for my lunch, as I always do, and suddenly, out of nowhere… well… there was this Dead, disgusting (if I might add) Tree; and I fell right through it!”. Cat looked miserable and hurt.

Weasel looked on kindly at Cat and said, “Come with me. I know just the thing. You can stay with me for the night and tomorrow, after day break, I shall show you the way out of the woods. It’s never safe to be in Dehart for too long.

Cat was very happy to have found the nice Weasel and set out with him. They kept walking for a long time (hours, felt Cat). To while the time, Cat kept talking to Weasel, her new friend, “I have no idea how I did that? I feel so foolish actually. I have been stuck in trees before you see. I know I am very careful. Oh! I have been stuck in maggot-trees, flea-trees. And once, a crow-tree. Yikes!” Cat shuddered for a moment. And then carried on, “But I have never been inside a Dead-tree of course. I wonder if the woods council is doing anything about trees that do not serve the purpose of making the woods look nice. I mean imagine… Maggots! And Fleas! And who are you kidding with, with a cawing Crow? Give me a break!”.

Weasel kept turning now this way, now another and kept walking. Cat had this strange feeling that she was passing the same group of trees that she had already walked past, over and over. “Is this the right way Weasel?”, she almost asked when realization dawned; she was back, in Dehart.

Suddenly, she heard a growling behind her. Cat turned to see a big hairy Wolf, eyeing her with hungry jaws wide open, drool dripping slowly down the lolling tongue.

Weasel squeaked, “Erm… I just thought, you might, want to have this one, for dinner.”, pointing at Cat, “And erm… could you, your Wolf-ness, please, erm… now allow me the pass to the Water-Pond for the next month?” Wolf gave a tiny nod to Weasel, picked Cat up in his right paw and smashed her against a boulder. Cat felt her bones shatter. She screamed, “Why? I thought you were my friend. How could you ever do this to me?” And as Cat felt Wolf’s teeth entering her still pulsing neck, she heard, “Well you see Cat, I eat Fleas. I like Maggots. And I live in the Dead-tree.”