Jun. 12th, 2007 06:13 pm
amalthya: (caught)
Tuesday, 6:14 pm
June 12th, 2007
Madrid Airport

First off, Happy Birthday to [ profile] bigrob!! If I were even close to the internet, I'd send him an email giving him a big French Hug.

Not every day is a perfect day, and today, despite having felt confident wandering around Madrid yesterday, I got completely lost, and overwhelmed, and I even cried. There's nothing worse in the hot Madrid summer than crying mascara into your eyeball.

And stupidly, it was just because my directions were inscribed with #2 instead of #22. But so many people I asked for directions were mean, and unhelpful, that it was just frustrating and I knew all the while that I was running out of time -- I had to be packed up and ready to go in less than two hours!!

In better news, I am the proud owner of my very own bikini. My very own!! Precious. It feels very exciting. I tried on about 15 bikinis and finally found one that I liked. One other that I liked turned out to be 375€!! I hadn't even realized. How can a bikini be $400? Unless it's like, gold-plated. And it'd have to be 24 karat.

Last night, however terrible today was, was great. I had drinks with Cookie & Vicky. The Spanish are so creative with their drinks -- I had beer mixed with some sort of lemon stuff, and it was all sweet and frothy and not at all heavy like beer usually is. Afterwards, I had a schmoozy dinner and I wore my new festive dress and when everyone went home, I felt that glow of knowing that I'd done a really good job. Knowing when to be quiet, knowing when to speak, knowing what to say and not putting my elbows on the table.

Sure, I may be a jungle monkey, with the dirtiest feet you can imagine, but I grew up in the Haaaahhhvaaahhhd Club. I can play the game.

I have to say too that I wish all the time that my family was more cohesive and got along better. There are so many funny, beautiful things that I wish I could share with all of them together.

And yes, I'm still obsessed with this song that I first heard on the Italian radio.

So much for paying money for airport internet while in Milan. There's no such thing here in the Madrid airport. Ah well, I'll read the awesome book that gave me in Florence.

Jun. 11th, 2007 04:04 am
amalthya: (bad day)
No, your clock isn't fooling you. It's like, 4 am here in Madrid. Perhaps had I not stayed up so late and gone back to sleep after my appointment with the Massage Witch and slept until nearly 2, I'd be sleepy now.

I'm completely frustrated and awake, and thought that I'd at least watch the two episodes of Heroes that I missed.

But of course:

No Heroes from Spain. I hate you, Why are you so hateful? I find myself also irrationally upset and annoyed at my lack-of-email here in Spain. Maybe is telling me things about my life in general, not just about Heroes.


*frustrated sighs*

I'm perhaps going to try and sleep. Tomorrow will be a day that I need to be awake for. I'm also thinking of buying my first bikini at the spanish store tomorrow. I haven't worn a bikini since going to the country club beach with [ profile] gmonger 10 years ago. But hell, I might as well. I bought a couple things at Il Corte Inglés on Saturday -- European clothing seems to fit me well, and part of the anxiety of shopping is removed because hell, I have no idea what any of the sizes mean. I just hold it up and eyeball it.

Laura, go to bed. It's 4:30.

EDIT: Okay, now it's 5. I'm still not sleeping. BUT, there are some photos that [ profile] infd took of me in Italy. I'm especially fond of this one . I smell an icon coming. All of his photos are here.

Also, is LJ not sending comment notifications, or is everyone just tired of hearing about my travels? Maybe it's 5 am, but I'm feeling unloved!


Jun. 11th, 2007 01:08 am
amalthya: (Marbles In Your Nose)
Monday 1:15 am
June 11th, 2007

Spain has been a completely new and strange experience. And yet, of all the places I've traveled thus far, I feel less alien here than I have in any other place. Mostly because I'm here with my family, so I don't feel like I need to do a lot of tourist things.

Which is silly, because [ profile] astralina tells me I MUST go to this ancient restaurant that Ernest Hemmingway ate at. Maybe I'll go tomorrow.

My cousin Cookie took me today to this fabulous lunchtime tapas place, teeming with people and of course, meat.

I don't know what it is about Spain and Italy that is so "UNGH! MEAT!" that France is just lacking in its "Oo la la, Cheese!" But Spain just has the bullfighting, and the ham. You'd think they would have streamlined and started curing bull meat or something, but no.

Anyway, we went to this tapas place for lunch, and of course I tried the ham for Cookie and also some calamari, but the texture was less rubbery but still yucky. But what I did love madly was the cheese (of course) and these green jalapeño-looking peppers. Some of them, though, were SPICY! As MattZ said, it was like the Spicy Lottery.

It actually reminded me too of eating Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans with [ profile] lauren_lief. But all of the peppers were delicious, and you'd eat one, and look for the next one to eat, thinking "Which one looks the least spicy!?" So much fun! Food enrichment, even!

We also had tinto de something-or-other, which is lighter, summer red wine that's mixed with something. It was a great time, and I felt much like a local.

My aunt has also been having me see what I can only describe as a Chilean Massage Witch. She basically throttles you in an attempt to get your body mass somehow rearranged/broken up. It was certainly the strangest massage I've ever gotten, but it left me with this wonderful feeling and I wonder whether there's anything like it or comparable in New York. But really, how would I even find such a thing? Look in the phonebook under C, for Chilean? M, for Massage? ... W, for Witch? She makes these special creams too and rubs them into you, and really, I just feel like walking velvet.

I have to say, living here feels very natural and nice. I wonder what it'd be like to live in a city like this, and have maybe a moped, or a smartcar. Tool around and eat cheese and speak in tongues.

Though I'll say after the last month that I'm a big languaged-out! I think I mentioned that. So much French, Italian, Spanish coursing through me. I usually pick up snatches and put them together in something I can understand and learn more as I spend more time in a place, but wooooo. I dunno anymore.

Okay, my battery is almost dead. I'm also officially worn out from listening to this song on repeat, since Charles K emailed it to me tonight. We heard it on the radio in Italy multiple times, and it's just so catchy!

7 minutes left on the battery. Do I stick around and go get the cord? Ahhhhh


Jun. 10th, 2007 01:38 pm
amalthya: (forsaken me)
Sunday 1:38 pm
June 10, 2007

My absolute inability to access the internet here in Madrid is infuriating to me, because I should be able to figure it out, even without the WEP-cracking tools. But I can't find out where these two wifi networks are originating from, despite dragging my laptop all over the house. They only seem to be visible from my room. And I wonder if they'd be easier to see from the upstairs terrace, but... *hangs head in shame* ... I can't figure out how to open the terrace door.

But yes, I got into Madrid safe and sound. There's a quality about flying into a new city at night that makes you wonder whether you'd know if you were going over water or land. Spain was full of inky blackness, scattered with bright flurries of light in tight concentrations. The only giveaway that you're not over water is the tiny headlights beams penetrating the darkness, barely visible. Secondly, you're flying over Spain. It's not really famous for its bodies of water.

The light, though, is that old yellow/orange light, and it flickers in an intensity of a sun-bounced sea but gives off this warm, luminescent glow.

I found myself twittering with excitement, unable to sleep on my leg from Milan to Madrid. Florence to Milan I don't even remember, except for waking once to wonder why my neck was sore and stiff.

I haven't seen this gaggle of my family in quite some time, and I was riddled with that excitement that you control only by jittering and flexing your butt. Why is it that at those moments the universe seems to spin as slowly as possible? Once we finally landed, 20 minutes past scheduled arrival time, the taxing to the gate took FOREVER. Once they loaded us off the plane (slowly) they piled us onto a bus. Which sat there, waiting. Why do people always put their suitcases as far from them as possible? And in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic?

Once the bus arrived at the terminal, it was our turn to wait for luggage. The guest area was outside of the luggage area. So I stood, alone, waiting for my luggage forever.

Scheduled Arrival Time: 10:55
Actual Arrival Time: 11:20
Arrival Time at the Terminal: 11:50
Arrival Time of Luggage on the Conveyor Belt: 12:15

...Alitalia, I hate you. And your greasy vegetable sandwiches.

But there was my family, picking me up at the airport. And I was happy. It's been a bit madcap.

I spend my days and nights very differently, thanks to my cousin Cookie. And you know that I pride myself in managing to find a path in almost any social situation. But the language barrier? HARD. Last night I felt like an awkward teenager. It was still fun, but everything felt so unfamiliar that it was hard to get into the groove. It wasn't until about 4 am that I started feeling comfortable and dancing wildly to the music. I taught my cousin how to shimmy her boobs too.

I'll write more later, but I'm due at a lunch with Cookie and Vicky (who send a big hello to [ profile] glib_dichotomy). If I can stay awake for 20 more minutes!

Also, a complete non sequitur, but it makes me laugh that the noreply email address for easyjet is


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