08 April 2011


This past week has included: witnessing a clump of frogs either feeding from a dead bird or gently humping one another in a pond (it was one of the two, and I'm at a loss for which), visiting a dentist with incredibly long eyelashes (more to come on this), purchasing Harry Potter y el caliz de fuego (varita=wand), buying a hairbrush, eating snails and pig hoof (not at the same time), snipping one of my dreads in honor of Cassie Peabody (if anyone would like me to mail it to them for whatever reason, I'll gladly do so-- I kept it), riding an elevator in a cemetery, and observing wild peacocks roam freely among a garden near the Alhambra.

On Spanish dentistry and my teeth : The dentist's office smelled delicious, and the dentist himself was really young and I couldn't stop staring at his eyelashes. Instead of filling out extensive paperwork about my medical history, he asked me a couple questions and that was sufficient. "Gabrieeela. Soy Rrrricarrrdo. Esta es tu casa..." While he was speaking he of course stood really close to me and touched me a lot, because, well, I'm in Spain, and that's just how everyone behaves here. So freakily-long-eyelashed Ricardo numbed half of my mouth and fixed my tooth. I had to go to class at the University afterward, and also hadn't eaten anything yet-- an awful combination, really--so I went to one of the cafeterias on campus and sat out on the terrace that overlooks the city and mountains and attempted to eat tostada con tomate and drink cafe con leche. What a shit show. I had no control of my chewing, so pieces of toast and tomato kept falling out my mouth and I dribbled coffee all over the place. WHY ISN'T IT OBLIGATORY BY LAW TO HAVE A BIB DISPENSER IN ANY AND ALL CAFETERIAS?

On fear and host families: I forgot my keys when I went out earlier this week, and I realized so around 2:30 a.m. Calling my Señora at this hour of the night was one of the scariest things I've ever done. I expected her to be furious. I expected her to kill me. Literally kill me. Turns out she was in the cemetery. What? Yes, the cemetery. Her cousin's husband died, and it's tradition here that the whole family stays with a body the first night. So she was there, and I waited for her to come home by listening to Celtic music in my friend's car. I apologized profusely when I got in the door at 3:17 a.m., and all she responded with was a comforting smile and, "No pasa nada."
Oh, right. Of course. No pasa nada.
I never know how she'll react to me. Today she came home around 10 pm after a day spent at a funeral, running errands, making lentil soup, and playing cards. The first thing she says to me, after a casual hola, was, "A pimple has emerged on your cheek." Oh. Um. Yes, thank you, I noticed. We chatted a bit about the lentil soup and I reassured her it was delicious, and we chatted some more about my intercambio's upcoming flamenco show, and then she began to chastise me for having American friends here. Then she gave me a ham sandwich that was between 13 and 15 inches in length, and a bowl of strawberries. She has a good heart.

On linguistics: My friend Jose's birthday was last week, and when I asked him if he knew how to say, "Feliz cumple" in English, he scoffed that I even had the nerve to ask, and demonstrated his linguistic skill by announcing, "Of course! Happy...baby." Well....close.

On the elderly: I live two blocks away from where a tour bus stops and dumps off a new group of primarily elderly white people daily. They exit the bus and explore Granada in a large pack. Occasionally I get sucked into this herd on my walk to school. I become enveloped in an array of pastels and hairspray and skin spots and maps and fanny packs and black calf-high socks. This herd moves slowly. It moves blindly. It drives me bonkers. I’m an asshole.

On the man-dog relationships in Homeward Bound: "Shadow was a little...queer...with Peter." -Maura. She's right. And it's mutual. A certain scene in which Peter is absentmindedly sketching Shadow in class comes to mind.

On infants: I've mentioned before that my apartment building is next door to an infant clothing store, but what I have NOT mentioned are the creepy, realistic baby mannequins in a crib in the window. Their skin is discolored and pruney and their eyes aren't open all the way and their toes are curled. Their hair looks oddly damp. Look:
Ugh. Que asco!

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