Awake! Perfect! Will be ready and off to enjoy lovely Spain and amazing Seville in no time.
Keys… check! Purse… check!! Map… check!!! I look fabulous… check check check!!!
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.
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.
Shit! Shit!! Shit!!! Lost again!
Time to suck it up and ask for Spanish help. Oooo… lovely old grandma shaped lady with an umbrella…
(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!
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!”.
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!