Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pequeños momentos, grandes recuerdos

All my time in Spain, and I never wrote a single piece. I wanted to absorb all of it before I put my thoughts down on this virtual but permanent paper. I wanted to focus on living in the present and not thinking too much about what it all represents. I kept waiting for something monumental to happen that would be the center point of my piece.

And now that it's been more than a year since I lived there. All the feelings have been felt, and as it happens with hindsight, the good moments feel great and the not so good ones are forgotten. I feel ready to write about it. A little life was lived in learning Spanish so I could communicate with the taxi drivers but mostly so I could sing along to the latest latin pop.

There is a playlist in my head that plays when I think about my time in Madrid. It includes an embarrassing number of Pitbull songs, but also a lot of flashbacks to screaming the lyrics our with 50 other people.  A whole new world was imagined sitting in one beautiful plaza way past my bed time, under the best weather you get at 3am in Madrid. Rooftops full of vino and cervezas, new friends were made who would teach you how to be travel and how they are actually just like you even though it may not seem that way at first.

Some life was lived in trying to use google translate on menu cards and figuring out derecho from izquierda. In trying to figure out what the big deal was about the Alhambra and then realizing it was the sunset you watched with your best friend from one of the many balconies while making up fake history about Spanish royals. It was in fighting with your other best friends in the streets of Barcelona and Paris about what food we should eat next. Some more deeper breaths were taken while buying a Shakespeare book from a library where JK Rowling got inspiration for Salazar Slytherin by being a total nerd and buying a JK Rowling book from 100 year old Shakespeare and Co. And in freaking out after finding cafes and square you had only seen before in Woody Allen movies.

The best life was lived in figuring out the best place to get tacos, and yes it is from Takos on Calle de la Abada in Madrid. In finding the best mercado for weeknights and the best bars for between class beer. It was also lived in mismatched clothes, buckets of popcorn and bottles of vino. It was in strange fruits that appeared in your bed while throwing a house party. In showing up to the wrong bar for your own birthday.

A good life was lived watching flamenco dances and fado singers and realizing the insignificance of over commercialized neon signs. In realizing that it takes very little to be happy, sometimes happiness was a tomato rubbed over a piece of bread and covered in olive oil also known as pan con tomate.

I hope to return one day, to bring my partner and show them around, leave them confused about why I am excited about a grocery store in a random street. It was a tiny year that went by way too fast and left just as many bruises as smiles but it was perfect. The monumental thing that happened in a fleeting year of my life was life itself.

hasta pronto.