Trip to Spain – Day 1

For days I had been wondering what I would do with my two weeks of time off around Easter. I had scheduled them guided by the holidays throughout the week, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do throughout. Two weeks, after all, were going to be too much idle time for me to know what to do with myself.

On a whim, I checked for cheap plane tickets. What about Madrid? I could go visit my friend then. Oh, would you look at that. I’m going to Madrid for a week.

An unplanned trip, unlike my last one to Malmö. I’d stay at my friend’s house, and he’d show me around. We would talk and hang out after a few years of not being around each other. Sure, we keep in touch through the Internet, but it would be nice to be able to go places together. The only things I knew for certain would be that I would be seeing him, and that we’d go up a mountain by his house.

View from a left window seat of a Ryanair plane taking off. The sun is raising, and just below the wing you can see the horizon with a light reddish tinge.
View from a left window seat of a Ryanair plane taking off. The sun is raising, and just below the wing you can see the horizon with a light reddish tinge.

The flight there was uneventful, which is a great metric for plane rides. As a side note, my plane ride was quicker than him going from his house to mine. Regardless, we met, we hugged and then we set out to walk, my backpack and camera in tow.

It’s odd to meet somebody you’ve kept in contact through the Internet after so long. Sure, we have shared some photos and we know things have changed. But… It never quite sinks in how much that’s been. Some things are easier to ignore when all you have to go on are texts, voice messages and the occasional photo or video call. Having him in person, as a human being I can see and touch… It was great. And odd. And I knew we’d have plenty of time to adjust to each other throughout the week.

The first stop was a coffee shop in Moncloa. We needed to eat breakfast and had some time to kill until I could get the monthly pass for transport. Why the monthly? Well, it turns out that if you qualify, it’s only 26€ for the thing versus however much else I would have spent just on taking the bus from and to his house.

Then, he took me to Puerta del Sol, and nearby streets as a first introduction to the touristic side of the city. I’ll admit I don’t remember much from it. Perhaps it was the sun, perhaps it was being overwhelmed by the trip, or the people. Or maybe it is my preference for spaces inhabited by the people who live in the city, instead of the well-kept, well prepared places that are the common tourist attractions.

Puerta del Sol. A statue of a person in a horse, and to its left a water fountain. People are present throughout the photo, going about their lives. Some rest nearby the statue.
Puerta del Sol. A statue of a person in a horse, and to its left a water fountain. People are present throughout the photo, going about their lives. Some rest nearby the statue.

Vividly, I remember the coffee shop and what we ate. I remember the tunnel we went through, and the stop at the park. I remember the exhibition we watched, the small food market we went past. I remember the coffee we drank later that afternoon, until eventually we went home.

A cup of coffee with cream and wavy line of chocolate.
A cup of coffee with cream and wavy line of chocolate.

From talking to him, I knew his living conditions weren’t exactly cushy. He shared a room with his brother, and the place wasn’t too big. It was cramped. But he’d said it was fine, and I’m not one to not take people for their word. It was a surprise, as it hadn’t sunk in just how small it was. However, a part of me remembered what it was like to live in the old apartment, back across the small Atlantic pond.

Regardless, by the time we got home there wasn’t much time to do anything. We were tired, and for once they had gotten together for dinner as a way to say “welcome”. A nice dinner, eating arepas. Then? Sleep.

A solid start to the week.

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Trip to Spain – Day 1

I am… Part 4

I have always had trouble answering who I am. Never quite sure, a grey mass seemingly full of possibilities. But not knowing who I am is not good enough anymore. As part of the work I’ve been doing with a therapist, I was asked to write about who I am.

Note: Brief mention of desiring to escape, suicidal thoughts

Continue reading “I am… Part 4”
I am… Part 4

I am…

I have always had trouble answering who I am. Never quite sure, a grey mass seemingly full of possibilities. But not knowing who I am is not good enough anymore. As part of the work I’ve been doing with a therapist, I was asked to write about who I am.

I have always had trouble answering who I am. Never quite sure, a grey mass seemingly full of possibilities. But not knowing who I am is not good enough anymore. As part of the work I’ve been doing with a therapist, I was asked to write about who I am.

Continue reading “I am…”

I am…

Moving

My sister bought a house. It’s a forty year commitment to a house, and at least ten years of struggling to save money. I moved in with her, just like we had planned from the beginning. The new space is nice: there is plenty of more space for us to be, and the house is in much better space than where we lived. It is warm inside, despite how early we are in spring. And, to be quite honest, I like having a window and waking up with the sun.

Adapting to the new space was quick. A matter of expanding the space I occupied – now, I do have the space to just be in my room. I thought that, perhaps, all those years living in the old house would have made me somewhat attached to it, but I am honestly merely glad we have finally left. Staying would have meant sinking a lot of money into something that wouldn’t ever be ours. It wasn’t particularly comfortable either. And, honestly, my room felt more like a space to sleep in and where I’d retreat when needed, than a space where I could express myself. Perhaps better described as I space I was constrained to, than one I lived in.

It still feels quite odd, however. It’s been at least a month now, and I can’t find within me anything resembling an emotional response. And that should be okay — it is okay. It never felt mine, so why should I feel sad about leaving it behind? Still, somewhere in the back of my mind, a whisper says I’m strange for not feeling much. A whisper I hope to one day never hear again.

Moving