I woke up yesterday exhausted with a pounding headache. Sore red eyes. Scratchy voice. Dry mouth. Unexplainable bruises.
If all those things leading to that create a good night, than I suppose the physical evidence does indeed indicate that I had a good time the night before.
All the events Im about to elaborate on all occurred in Malaga. I don’t visit Malaga much, or at least I hadn’t been, although its only like 3 Euros and a 1 hour each one way trip. But since last week was Thanksgiving I reunited with other U.S.’ers to celebrate. I was able to meet a lot of really nice people by going and it was fun to go grocery shopping and cook together. I made REAL mash potatoes. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Its not hard and tastes better of course. I also made some jazzy carrots and corn. There was so much food on the table when all 11 of us sat around the little makeshift table. There was a good selection of things, all the standards and a few other dishes. Most everybody was a little self-conscious of their food, ” well this is my first time making this”…”or it might not be as good as my mom’s”…. but honestly everything was perfect. There was also a few things that might not be included in a traditional Thanksgiving that showed up at our shindig such as a rather large amount of various types of drink, and smoke ( but then again maybe you have a cool family). But naturally I don’t know any of the details concerning those things. I only know from experience that its pretty much how familiar traditions are spent in other countries, not every things going to be the same,…nor would you really want it to be, because it can’t be. Sometimes you have to ‘improvise’ and thats fun too. It certainly worked this year. Halloween and Thanksgiving were both great. (but I don’t want to jinx x-mas!)
We celebrated on Saturday actually. Just worked out better that way. However, the next day my body hated me, and I tried to please it by walking to the Contemporary Art Musuem which is on the way to the bus station. They had a beautiful display of images captured from Mars. I tell you, it sounds stupid but they all looked like they were from another planet!
Mars looks like what one would maybe think Mars should look like, is what Im saying.
Pictures of deserts with sand painted beautiful hues of intense reds and fiery oranges, or land spotted with jagged craters colored in dreamy pastels, and other sorts of things that look imaginary.
The images were of a superior quality and blown up very large, and standing in front of one of them makes you feel small and in awe, but still only a fraction of what Im sure it would be if you were really there observing it for yourself. I think one of the factors in the images is that they captured the sense of expansiveness. I didn’t see one Mc D’s or Starbucks in any of the pictures. No trash blowing in the wind. No highways or concrete dead ends. Just a wild expanse of color and texture.
On another note I did also visit the gift shop. Museums always have the best gift shops. I bought a book that I had seen there over a month ago, the first time I went. I hadn’t bought it,…but instead decided to think about it for awhile, and when I still think about something for long enough I figure that means I should get it. I do that a lot…it helps me distinguish between wants and REALLY REALLY wants. This book fell into the second category. The book is actually a collection of photographs done by a famous Spanish photographer. Leopoldo Pomes. The book includes various stages and focuses he had throughout his career. I especially care for his portraits of women.
So I took my precious book home,…with the intention of course of mutilating it. I meant to,…and have now cut out some the photos I most like and put them on the walls. I think thats the most efficient use of photographs. Looking at them. Everyday, every time you pass them, not just when you decided to pick up a book. It wasn’t till I started to do this did I stumble across a portrait Pomes had taken of the Argentine author Julio Cortázar. I had seen this photograph before, but hadn’t put the two together. Its sort of funny because it happens to be that awhile ago someone had sent me one of Cortázar’s stories to me, Rayuela ( Hopscotch) in Spanish of course. I read a little bit of it right away and had to shamefully admit to myself I didn’t understand as much of it as I ought to.
Although that wasn’t really anything new I didn’t already know though.
My Spanish sucks.
Of course everybody tells me its wonderful, and I speak it so well. First and foremost, those are lies. Second, people who say that either speak less Spanish than I do,…or are natives who don’t know Ive studied it for over 7 years at both the high school and University level and have traveled to a hand-full of Spanish speaking countries. I mean its nothing to get myself all worked up over, all of that aquiered knowledge is in my brain somewhere, I just have to dust it off a bit. Rayuela is my motivation to improve my Spanish and stop being so lazy about it. Besides its always been my goal to read 100 years of Solitude in Spanish. So this is prep.
Switching to English authors for a sec, Mark Twain, whom I adore is quoted as saying, ” Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own.”
This actually relates to Rayuela, which makes it even more interesting and motivating to read. Cortázar’s counter novel lets readers either read from chapter 1 forward then reading optional chapters that add additional info of sorts, or he gives the reader the possibility to “hopscotch” throughout the book directed by a guide in the Table of Contents. A reader could just do what ever and read it however too. So I basically have a fun and educational way to improve my Spanish…and now also the portrait of Cortázar in my hall which guilts me if I don’t read his story.
And now that Im back in Torrox, away from the lights, life, drink and the smoke….I really don’t have any excuses. Not like I’d need them in this case though.