Tuesday, September 9, 2008

on the plane

Sitting on the plane…

They keep coming over the intercom and saying all of the usual crap that they always say. We have made it to customs declaration forms. To me this is the most unpleasant part of traveling… the sales pitches, the advertisements, and the red tape. It’s kind of like commercials on T.V. and having to pay the cable bill. There’s nothing enjoyable about those parts. Except maybe being amuse by a commercial now and then.

I really didn’t come home with much in the way of souvenirs. I guess I’m not a souvenir type of person… that is until I have the money to buy and ship a set of those five-hundred-year-old doors or something like that. Then I will be a souvenir person. I like the sights and the smells and the memories. I tried to look for some seeds on the jasmine and the night queen that blooms every night, but no luck. Either I don’t know what their seeds look like or I couldn’t find them.

I did grab a few seeds for mom off of some flowers that I thought she would like. I rode my bike out to this old farmhouse where they had a few things like that. Actually in the process I broke my bike again. After about a 20 kilometer ride the handle bars were feeling a little shaky again… then when I tried to ride to town fully loaded (45 pounds on my back and about 20 on the front) I broke them off again, all but the bolt. So, frustrated, I walked up to a kid on the street and said “Hey, you want a bike?” He shrugged. I put the kickstand down and said “Well, it’s yours.” And walked away. Maybe he’ll use it, and maybe he’ll sell it for ten bucks. Either way, I don’t really mind.

I walked the 3 miles into Burriana to the café and gave Jorge his keys. He wasn’t planning on picking me up til’ something like 1 am, and I was not ready to wait that long. He felt bad for me I guess because he packed me a lunch and called his mom to take me the last 2 miles to the train station.

I arrived in Valencia sometime around 8. I walked to a hostel that I had seen before called “Indigo” and got their last bed. I should have just asked if I could pay five bucks to put my stuff in their luggage room because I didn’t really sleep. I was sharing a room with two French girls who spoke little English and less Spanish, Sandra and Claudette, and they were in and out all night til’ about 3. Not that I was sleeping anyway, I was reading some British crime novel that I found laying around. I ended up dozing somewhere for about 10 minutes I guess, but I was to keyed up to be out of there.

I went down to the front desk about 440 and asked him to call me a cab. The cab driver took his sweet time getting there so I stood and talked to the desk guy for about 20 minutes. Finally about ten after five I left the hostel. The cab driver, like all Spaniards, drove like a bat out of hell. I guess he knew he was dilly-dallying and wanted to make up for it. After I arried to the airport I realized that there really was no hurry. The place was deserted and it is very small. I walked right in, checked in, went through security and was waiting on my flight to board in about 15 minutes flat.

I forced myself to stay awake in Valencia, but not so in Madrid. I arrived at 7:25, a full half hour early, and went and found a spot that was out of the way with no speaker overhead and became dead to the world until my alarm went off at 11:30. I wandered a very log distance down to my gate just in time to board… and here I am with Spanish version of a young Elizabeth Taylor to my right and some Americans to my left. Listening to their babble, I can already tell that I am going to miss Spain…

Written around 2pm Spain time Tuesday.

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