Saturday, March 24, 2007
So Much For Spain, I'm Off To India!

How is it that no matter where I am in the world, I always manage to feel rushed? (Like now for example, it's past 5:30am and I have to be up and going at 7am. Ungh.) Believe me, there's little worse than to feel rushed in Spain - walking fast, eating fast, eating while you walk - all of this earns me sideways glances from nearly everyone I pass. You should see the looks I get when I run after the bus in the mornings when I'm late.

So it should come as no surprise that I leave my house in less than three hours to board a bus bound for the airport (because in about thirty six hours I will find myself in India!) and I'm sitting here, at the computer, trying to tie up the loose ends I so desperately want to leave behind. My last week here has been one of the craziest (see: Las Fallas in Valencia), and my last day (today? yesterday? what time is it?) was one of the best. I wrote an exam, a test, learned to conjugate more irregular Spanish verbs than I thought possible, ate sugar for lunch, took a bus to Elda, met some rad people, drove to Crevillente and WENT TO ARABIA, listened to Spanish rock from the 80s, and then had dinner with my yummy flatmate and her new Spanish novio. I was home by 11pm, finished showering and talking to the parentals by 12am, done packing by 2am, caught up with My Loved Ones and sent Hi & Bye emails at 4:30am, finished clearing my memory card and USB stick by 5am and here I am about to stop blogging at 5:30am so that I can get an hour and a half of sleep before waking to leave the country, yet again.

Oh right, by "WENT TO ARABIA", I meant that I went to my new favourite place to be in the whole world. A teteria that puts the ones I saw in Granada to shame. One that had the hugest casa I've ever seen built in the middle of lemon and orange tree groves (groves! so many! groves!) in the middle of a desert. The hallways kept winding, the staircases kept going, the terrace grew more and more, doors kept opening, carpeted nooks led to curtained crannies led to leather beanbag cushions and fur lined ceilings. The draperies were rich and the whole place tingled with sheesha and light frangrant flowers. There was a Secret Garden jardin that was reminiscent of a rainforest in the desert with Arabian fountains that was all lit up by candles and hanging lamps. There were birds flying in and out of windows, cats prancing around and! pea! cocks! flaunting their stuff.

PEA.COCKS. People, there were peacocks just waltzing around the grounds of this teteria. PEACOCKS! When was the last time you saw one roaming free, outside of a zoo? Anyway, it's my new favourite place and did I mention the delish tea and Arabian sweets?

As much as I've done (and I KNOW that you're missing so many of the little details - can someone give me three days to just sit and write everything down please?), sometimes I feel like I've hardly lived here yet and already I'm on my way out. It's crazy, I know. The thing I liked so much about the teteria tonight was that I felt I was transported to a whole other world. Something I'm sure I'll feel again in just a day. India, here I come.

This is part of an email I got from my dear friend Nikhil (which includes a letter written by one of his friends), both of whom I'll be spending my month with:

Now, here is a letter written by my friend, who will be travelling with us. If the tone surprises you, it's because you've never had a real Indian person write you a letter before. Here goes:

Hi Friend,

I am very happy that you are (finally) coming to India. You don't know me, but I know you. I know what's leading you towards this great country. Maybe you will get everything for your life here. I am also very hopeful.

Nikhil has told me about you, but that's not how I know you. I had this conviction that you will come because I have full faith in my prayer.

When you meet me, you will also feel the same way that this is not our first meeting. We know each other for ages.

Anyways, don't get scared. We are eagerly waiting for your landing here. You are most welcome. We will together go places and have fun.

Be happy. Take care.

Your loving friend,

Me again. He's not trying to be romantic or anything; this is how people write here. I was very startled when I received my first letter from a girl in Nepal. Anyways, this is just one of the things that will be new to you here! I won't spoil the surprises, though. You'll just have to come and see for yourself.


Surprises. Gotta love 'em.

I don't have much else to say, other than: I'm leaving all loose ends in Spain (as much as I can... see: Why did I decide to volunteer and organize that class trip again?) and going there fresh and ready for a good time. I'm prepared to have an extremely fun, insightful, and enriching month. Nikhil says that he's going to show me the India which he himself had to wait such a long time to be able to see. I feel so lucky. It's going to be good. I'll see him Sunday night and You, dear Internet Peeps, in a month.

No, I'm not taking my lappy and yes, I'll probably have internet access. Once a week.