Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hijo de puta

The Stages of Study Abroad Apparently

Stage one: everything is perfect. Tapas taste great, the people are wonderful, the culture is different and amazing. I am never leaving this place.

Stage two: I wanna go home; everything sucks. People say it is a distinct decline where you sleep in too long and miss home so desperately that you would go to Mississippi just to hear something kind of like English. I think it is far more sinister (siniestro). It's just a mild desire to be back in a place where you are comfortable, it is a complete frustration with the isolation. It is the helplessness at being unable to convey your personality and thoughts to those who you most wish to. It is that dirty feeling you get when you smell your clothes and they all smell like stale cigarettes and dog shit.

Stage three: realism: this is a unique place with its own set of problems. Realism and the honeymoon phase, if one is lucky, will blend into each other. Spain is great, the people are just people, and I can immerse myself here. Stage three seems to be the confidence to overcome the isolation. It takes resolve and energy, but this is the stage that I want to be at. I think I can do it most of the time, but then there are others that I can't. Siestas usually help.

Spent the evening in the plaza again. Played middle school games with Jarrod, Verena, Doug, Alex, and Laura. I like those times, just chilling. Walked the Rio de Henares (Henares River) today, it is quite beautiful. Had a quick bout of homesickness. Hung out with Doug. Saw a Real Madrid game in a bar. Want to sketch and observe life. I feel like I need more time alone with my thoughts (is that stage two). Hmmm...no se because I want to be alone in Spanish culture; to watch the Spanish do their thing. Not sure. Maybe it's not important.

By the river is freakishly west coast familiar. Saw ducks.