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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
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spain pain

spain and i do not get along.

a wonderful experience in a small alley restaurant went bad when they ripped me off for $30 – and in momentary confusion, i let it happen. all the little things push the wrong way at that one moment you can stop it… confusion about the currency… not being able to tell the man in his language i gave him 50, not 20… the vague hostility emanating from the proprietor for the foreigner… lady k herself unsure… both of us tired in mind and body, our brains two beats behind reality. only me and, i suspect, the proprietor sure of what happened – and i can’t be sure of him because he was talking to his partners behind the bar while giving change and could easily have made a mistake. but i can be sure of me – i knew in my doubt and confusion what had happened – i should have trusted myself to set it right. instead i kept quiet, thinking it through past the point of correcting it. so i just received a $30 lesson in keeping my realities in line, my eye on the coyote trickster.

this all has to do with flow. i’ve been out of the flow since my sleepless thursday night before leaving on our 13 hour trip to barcelona. i started off out of sorts, got more and more tired, cranky, clumsy – spent more time enduring than doing. since then i’ve gotten tireder crankier clumsier. my crankiness derailed lady k’s flow, got her into reactive rather than proactive mode.

you think greyer thoughts when you’re exhausted. the new and unknown is exciting – but a constant never ending stream of new unknowns costs you physically, mentally, spiritually… and occasionally it gets tiring.

it’s tiring being in one strange country after another, not knowing the language, unable to read the signs, ignorant of the customs, not knowing until you gargle that the mouth wash you bought is really bubble bath (happened to me 1st week in krakow – and believe me, bubble bath tastes BAD, even worse than the buttermilk i’d bought by accident for my cereal… also my 1st week in krakow).

but wondrous serendipitous gifts are also given by the new. tonight we pointed at three unknown things on the menu and ate delightful potato omelets, tomatoes in olive oil, varied breads, and cheeses.

the good part is we’re getting better at getting better. on our walk to the train station today 40 minutes away to inquire how to get to the airport, we passed a subway station 10 minutes down the street. we used our subway skills and sought the metro map, found the airport on it, traced the airport pink-line back to the dark-blue-line back to the light-blue-line where we stood. so now tomorrow we’ll walk our packs 10 minutes, not 40.

even though i saw beauty in port bou, and i did love the gorgeous high mountain plains outside our madrid train – i must repeat: with its short unhappy people, its trains that won’t follow schedules or stop at stops, and my own personal lack of semi-legal spanish hash – spain and i do not get along.

to be fair, this is big city spain. big cities the world over have nasty edges. we´ll give other parts of spain a second chance – just not barcelona or madrid.

on the good foot, the $30 rip-off gave me a better, more interesting blog. of course i can’t go around every day paying $30 for a blog.

. . next day . . .

dramas, fictions, scripts, non-fictions, myths all have story arcs which are resolved by the climax. i wonder which arc i are, and in which climax in lady k it was / will be resolved – my english climax? my amsterdam? my polish, croation, italian, french, spanish? maybe moroccan? or am i in an irresolvable irreconcilable arc? perhaps my story is shallow arc lite, or more arc type.

there’s also my subway sub plot – i’ve ridden subways in washington dc, new york city, london, barcelona, and madrid. the eeriest was washington dc where one escalator around dupont circle carries people down down down forever into the ground as if delivering the eloi to the morlocks. we asked our barcelona hotel clerk how to find the metro station – she said oh no, that’s too far to walk, it’s at least 20 minutes. folks are aghast when they hear we walk for hours. actually, i’m aghast when we walk for hours.

it’s finally the tomorrow for morocco – we leave this evening. the next stage begins. we arced east for 6 months from the u.s. to england netherlands poland croatia where we reversed for 3 months and went west thru italy to france spain morocco.

what now? what next? where two?

all i know is we’re no longer who we were, will likely be forever becoming who we are. rather like life. lady k says it irritates her how all the sad lonely movie stories end when the star finds some one or thing to be with or become or pursue. told her they had to end there because that ending is the beginning of the next story. as the old sadnesses and lackings fall away, new problems require new growth for the new story. that’s why i like the old movie serials – life is one cliffhanger after another, every week’s another problem. only now instead of being in the movies, life’s more like tv, and we’re constantly being bombarded by commercials.

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