Friday, December 17, 2004

Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight

I have a confession to make.

I've been contemplating writing this post for a couple of days now. You know, a general goodbye to Spain, ruminating upon all the things I've learned, reminiscing all the fun I've had, reminding Blogger that I still exist.


"This might be the last time you walk down the Gran Via," I said to myself.

Myself shot back. "So what?"

"Might be the last time you ever have morcilla." "So what?"

"Might be the last time you ever see the Palacio Real." "So what?"

If it's to be the end of churros con chocolate, it's also the end of diesel fumes, constant construction, being the target of xenophobia and constant disorganization. It's the end of cheating Spanish schoolmates (not mine, others'), a ridiculously awful educational system, and outdated technology. It's the end of sharing an apartment. It's the end of stepping in dog pee every other night. The End.

This morning, I had an 8am, just like every Friday (oh man, it's the end of that too). I showed up because I had to turn in the (22pageahahahah) paper. I sat and took notes, realizing it was the last day of having Magdalena as a professor (anyone good enough to make me go to a Thursday/Friday 8am EVERY WEEK deserves a Nobel Prize). At 9, I got my stuff together and started getting up, but Conchi stopped me. (Conchi is my friend. She is also a nun. This is very cool.)

"Since it's your last day, we all...well, ok, all of us, not just all the people who showed up for class today - wanted to get you something so you would remember your time here."

Wrapped inside a plastic bag was a book. Not a book - THE book, the only book we were told to buy the entire time we were here and therefore the only book I kept bumming off people because I was too cheap to buy it. Spanish Art for Foreigners. The book.

I got teary.

There are no more "so what"s.


Blogger Dries said...

It's too bad you've been experiencing xenophobia. As a European, I can tell you with full confidence that Europeans usually aren't like that--after all, we've had to deal with differing cultures for many, many centuries. Instead, I think it really has something to do with the way America is perceived in Europe, or at least, contemporary America and the foreign policy its leaders are pursuing. If you open the opinions page of any European newspaper, you'll see the criticism dripping from its pages.
But what I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't take all this personally. The world, Europe included, is in turmoil, its social and cultural boundaries constantly being readjusted. Consider it growing pains as we move toward a brighter tomorrow.

12/17/2004 3:18 PM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

hey chica, can't wait to see you for SUPERAWESOME RA TRAININGYAYAYA in earlyl jan. you can help me hide from scary staff members. sorry i couldn't be there to surprise you in your kitchen with ddr in the next room ;-). much much love, im draggin your butt to madrid so you can show it to me someday :-)

12/18/2004 12:27 AM  
Blogger Rita Xavier said...

The movie you wanted us to see, "Mar Adentro", just came out here with an English title "The Sea Inside", and is showing in Berkeley. I hope to see it.

12/18/2004 12:11 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Hmm, I think "The Sea Within" sounds much more poetic. It's a good movie. Go check it out.

Dries, my seƱora said something about the reason for us getting picked on had to do with the socialists ("damn socialists", more like), but I'm not sure...the school I went to was a rich, private, extremely elitist/pro-Aznar/pro-American school, and we still got stuff like that. I recognize the growing pains, but am starting to wonder if "learn the language, you moron" is just a universal sentiment and an excuse for endless abuse.

Then again, my biological clock says it's 5am, so I could just be an idiot. Who knows.


12/18/2004 10:16 PM  

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