Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Letter from Overseas Pt. 2

(Madrid, Spain - June 3, 2009)
It appears I have yet to grow accustomed to the 6-hour time change in Europe.  I've been going to bed much later and sleeping a lot during the day. Some nights ago during a late night drinking session, someone spilt some spanish beer on the floor of the living room. Apparently it wasn't deemed necessary to clean up, so I didn't give it much importance. However, some minutes later one of the other guys walked in the room with his rubber sole sneakers and promptly slipped on the beer and fell. He fell hard, but he did so with such grace that it seemed almost like ballet.  Perhaps the late hour made me romanticize the incident more than it merited.  

I've slept five nights in Spain so far, and I've had the weirdest dreams that are unusually easy to recall in the morning.  I usually forget my dreams a brief time after waking up, so this is very odd.  These have been overwhelmingly surreal dreams that I cannot explain.  Perhaps later I'll write more about this.

I've recently learned that Madrid sits at about 2000 feet above sea level. Perhaps that is what's had a very dire effect on my lips, which have begun to peel and turn red and also ache like a motherfucker whenever they come into contact with salt.  The only appropriate thing to do, I thought was to buy some Chap Stick.  I couldn't find any known brands that I'd usually buy at a Walgreens back home, so I bought some generic thing I found at the market and splattered that over my lips repeatedly before going out to have some drinks.  What I didn't realize is that the fruity-tasting "chap stick" I had bought was painting my lips red.  It wasn't until some hours later that my brother had the good sense to ask why my lips were more red than usual.  I tested the stick by rubbing it on some white paper and the results were indeed surprising.  So yeah, I looked like a bitch for a couple of hours without knowing it. 

Yesterday I accompanied some people to the local campus. Afterwards, we went to have some lunch at a nearby place.  I saw some small boy about age 5 looking at his mother in an uneasy manner a few feet from me.  What happened next is something I was not expecting. He lowered his pants down to his ankles, raised his shirt a bit and proceeded to piss in the dirt at the bottom of a tree on the sidewalk -  a space that is usually used by dogs for the same purposes.  To say I was dumbfounded, would be an understatement. Apparently his mother condoned this outrageous behavior. 

And now, here's a few fun facts I've come to realize lately:
1. There is no Diet Coke here, but they do have Coca Cola Light
2. There are couples kissing and making out in every corner, with complete disregard to whoever might be watching.
3. Inevitably, the subject at a bar conversation between inebriated males always turns to sex.

Not necessarily enlightening stuff, but interesting nonetheless. 

I haven't been here long, but I must admit that I feel my perspective on certain things is changing with every passing day.  I'm sure such a change is inevitable when traveling so far away from your home, which in my case is an island in the middle of the Caribbean.  I'm loving every minute of it and I'm looking forward to Paris and London.  Until then, I remain,

Yours truly,

-Noel

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