Thursday, June 23, 2011

After ten months in Spain I have only one week until it's time to leave. Madrid is drawing to a close.

Part of the reason I like to travel and live in different countries is because I like to travel and live in different countries, but part of it is because I don't like to stick around in any one place too long. I get to know a place, and then I get to be restless in a place, and then I look for a new one. I've been fortunate enough to have had the opportunities to hop around as I wish, but I've always been a little bit envious of the idea that one could just plop down in a place and be content. It would make my travel budget so much more achievable.

Well, the thing is I am pretty happy with Madrid. It's felt like home since the moment I landed here - or maybe six hours later when I was finally rescued from the streets and allowed into my apartment. From that moment on, though, it's been pretty great. Not always perfect, no. There were moments when I wanted just to conveniently sleep (or wine) away the never-ending schedule, and hey, I mean, at some point I wrote a 60+ page thesis. But at least I wasn't back in London or something, right? And I met a lot of really good people and learned a lot throughout this past year.

One of the strange things I find when I live in different places, is that I really focus intently on wherever I am or whatever I'm currently doing. It's good, it's normal I think for anyone, but it means that when you leave a place it very quickly starts to feel not real. The differences between my life in Madrid are so distinct compared to Boston or Quito or London or New Brighton - and I'm sure they will be from Cozumel as well, that once you leave those places, it's difficult to imagine them existing in your current reality.

I love Madrid, but I wonder what I'll think of it six months or one year from now. I imagine that even though right now it's home and it it fits so well, before long I'll be asking myself, did that really happen? In my existential crisis it will be difficult to imagine that Madrid can exist in the same world as Cozumel (or Boston, or Quito, etc.).

Well anyway, I think I might like to come back to Europe next year, but like, pretend Europe. I really enjoyed being in Turkey and I realized that I've kind of been sticking myself in the Hispanic world and maybe it would be good to get out and stretch for a little bit. One of the reasons I disliked London was the language - English is boring. But compared to something like Turkish, for example, Spanish is sort of becoming that way too. I miss learning an unknown language, so maybe after Mexico I'll have to get that show back on the road.

Tomorrow I go to Tunisia. I'm staying with a guy from France who's been living in Tunis for the last few years. I promised him duty-free liquor and after telling him I was a vegetarian he promised me double chocolate ice cream chicken flavour or Nemo?? - I'm not too sure what he meant by that bit. We're going to go to some electro-Fest in Carthage, which means that damn it, I'm wearing shorts even if it is a conservative Muslim country. I can't be another glistening hot-mess like I was in Istanbul.

Moral of the story: do you realize that Sunday's forecast predicts 105 degrees in Madrid? And I will be several degrees latitude farther south in Africa.

Aman Tanrim.

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