I take the bus home from school now, because I like to see the sun. There’s something about the train that just makes things dark and dreary. The bus feels like a roller coaster, and every now and then I get a little rush from the flying and bumping of the highway. I also have some great intellectual thoughts on those rides home…. I don’t really know why.
Two Thursdays ago, I received a phone call asking if I would like to go to Andalucia the very next day for La Féria, as well as Córdoba and Granada. It was an invitation from some very wonderful people I have helping me here in Spain, and it couldn’t have been a better time for me to see the southern part of Spain!
La Féria de Abril is a large celebration, or fair, in Sevilla where the women glide around in beautiful elaborate dresses, made by hand to fit each woman’s body perfectly. Their hair is worn up, clipped with large flowers and broaches. The men wear stunning tuxes, ties, and shiny dress shoes. The fair starts booming at night, and within the fairgrounds, there are rows and rows of tents, mainly owned by rich Spanish families. There are strings of lights, an entrance built probably 50 feet high that looks like a glowing golden arch, and everyone is singing, dancing Flamenco, eating, drinking, and banging on drums. It’s an incredible scene–almost magical–and so welcoming!!!!!!!… My favorite part!!!!!!
We began with a great dinner of tapas and southern seafood (!!!!!), I accidentally ate the bones of a little fish which kind of threw off the appetite.. but either way, it was fantastic. We went to the fair afterwards and I met up with a few friends there from another program. We fit right in with the festivities. Haha I have a friend from New Orleans who is just ridiculous. When he drinks he’s just a spanish chick magnet and it blows the minds of the rest of us… That boy has more numbers in his phone than a spaniard, and probably doesn’t remember any of them. Hahahahhaaha! So we made some friends with Sevillanos, had some amazing talks, danced and danced, sang songs we didn’t know the words to (but acted like we did), and drank a lot of manzanilla, the typical apple alcohol served at the fair.
Sometimes, in life, there are times where we can’t stop but anticipating something that is supposed to happen in our future. Whether it’s a great vacation that following week, a Saturday night we look forward to spending with our friends, an exam we spend hours waiting to get over with, a boy we can’t wait to go on a date with, a semester we hope to finish so that we can enjoy what’s to come after…… And then when those moments come (or don’t come) and pass, we look forward to the next…and the next…and the next.. And sometimes we just don’t realize how much our lives are consumed thinking about our future. One thing I enjoyed about La Féria, and that whole weekend, was that I wanted time to freeze, so that I could enjoy those exact moments forever. i wasn’t worried about what was going to happen next. Those are the times when I know I’m the happiest.
The more I see, the more places I go– the more friends I make, the more connections I have, and the more connected to this earth I feel. If I could, I’d just travel the world for the rest of my life. It’s such a great way to fill your head.
We also went to Córdoba (actually before Sevilla) and saw la mezquita, an old arabic mosque that had been changed into a catholic church after the reconquista… I thought it was an amazing place, but it kind of ticked me off. It was eerie how catholics just thought it was okay to change a sacred mosque into a church. Like it was easy to switch Gods. I don’t know. Something was a little off there… A lot of the Muslim incriptions and beautiful architecture was lost in the change, and that was disheartening.
But Granada, ohhhhh Granada, mind boggling, more than expected. La Alhambra was the most beautiful palace I had ever seen in my entire life. I just hope that anyone that comes to Spain doesn’t miss the opportunity of seeing it. I about died when I saw every inch of that palace covered in Arabic writing and tile laid to a mathematical perfection. How was it even possible? How….how….I don’t think I have any more words. Words can’t even justify it. I’m sorry. The expression on my face would tell you but since you can’t see it, you’ll have to trust me. Honestly, you just have to see it. The capabilities and wonders of man at its best……
I was kind of in my own little world during the trip. When I see beautiful things like these, I go through this weird self-reflection thing where I’m just in shock about my life. hahaha. I’m a mess! During the moments in Sevilla, I thought to myself, what if I just called my parents and told them I decided that I wanted to live here, get a job teaching english, finish school, be content blah blah… Not so sure I would be after a while (I’m a person constantly on the move) but it made me think, wow, I am so blessed that I can decide to live and do whatever I want with my life. Not many people get that opportunity. And many times, it isn’t fair that they don’t. And I don’t know why life is that way. It’s just too hard to explain, but I am very …very lucky.
The questions about life and why it is that way are some of my bus thoughts….With Red Hot Chili Peppers in my Ipod that always dies because I never charge it enough, along with some philosophical pondering, and having my heart leap out of my throat on every bump in the street….