Thursday, April 2, 2009

To work or not to work? Spain's eternal question

First, and foremost... I realized that my dear old blog is public. I did this because I don't necessarily mind if random people read it, and because making it private is a big fat hassle. However, let me set some ground rules for you people who browse the endless blogs of Google during your lunch breaks for god knows what reason -- please refrain from commenting on my blog. It gives me the heebie jeebies. Only people I know personally have that esteemed privilege. Gracias!

On a much lighter note, I just found a two page journal entry I wrote about a month ago in one of my notebooks for my travel writing class. It was a little surprise for me, which I enjoyed, so I'll just type it out...

"It's hard for me to grasp, but people here genuinely prefer to roam around the city with their loved-one on their arm or walk their eerily human-like, overobediant dog down the street than get back to work. I'm drinking a coffee in the middle of the day on the outside patio of a coffee shop, wondering how all these singular patrons doing their crossword puzzles have the time for this? Did abruptly leave work at the sheer sight of their next assignment? Are they just plain bored? And what about the people surrounding me as I head down the street for class? I constantly see busy (yet mostly unhurried) feet dominating the pavement at all hours of the day. I like to imagine that they never stop circling the city. They simply walk through streets all day, and maybe stop to have a leisurely cup of coffee once in a while. They could not possibly have time to work with all this walking. And why are their dogs so obediant?!? Or, more importantly, HOW? To this day, I have already seen two dogs watch the light turn green, look both ways, and then proceed to cross the street. I think I've only witnessed one or two dogs that were actually on leashes the whole time I've been in Spain. These dogs must be geniuses, or Spaniards are magicians. Those are my only two explanations.

Now, on the subject of PDA (which I have been trying to get around to) -- I hated it at first. I hated the fact that every spaniard was ready and willing to indirectly reiterate my solo status. I never thought about my singleness as much as I did when I arrived here. But now that I feel more a part of the community, I've come to appreciate it (sometimes!). When I see a new or old couple walking hand-in-hand or with their arms around each other, it gives me hope and makes me smile. The older they are, the cuter they are! Although this regular PDA is a little jarring, I've never seen so many working, loving relationships in public. Back in the U.S., you might see a couple trying to get control of their crazed children, or an old couple complaining about the food they received at a nice restaurant. Here, however, you are frequently a witness to a pair of lovebirds at a crosswalk, sneaking a kiss and hug before the light turns green. In fact, I just saw it right now. Although my nausea sparks up at the sight (and sound, eewww) of heavily-breathing, making-out teenagers in Starbucks, I will choose to regard this cultural difference as mainly pretty great."