04 November 2011

I live in Spain, in case none of us were aware.

This morning, we started the day out with the middle school prayer breakfast, a healthy meal of churros y chocolate. Sitting at my table was the boy who spent all yesterday in drooling reverie over the wedding in his book, and today was no different. "I had a dream about my book last night! It was so nice! They got married!"

I had a dream the other night, too, in which visitors from the States came and complained about Spanish dinner times. I think this was prompted by Caitlin's and my attempt at ordering Chinese a few days ago. We were calling both phone numbers listed, wondering if the restaurant was closed for All Saint's Day...and that's when we realized it was only 7:30. In my dream, the visitors balked at the thought of waiting for supper until 8:30. "We could get on a plane and fly to the UK in the time it'll take us to eat!" they cried.

And I tore into them, screaming and crying, "This is Spain! You have to love Spain for what it is, and here we don't eat until 8:30! The restaurant doesn't open early. You need to stop! You need to just be patient and stop expecting everything to be American because you are in Spain."

It's possible that I am now releasing pent-up stress in my sleep.

However, I do wonder what it will be like when I go back to the States in a thousand years. Am I going to know what to do with all the space on those giant sidewalks? Will my heart sink at the lack of old people sitting on their plastic chairs in the median at night, just chatting away? Will I miss the men carrying man-purses and the leash-less dogs and finding plazas on every block? Am I going to be devastated that most restaurants don't have outdoor seating? Woof. I sometimes think that in 2013, I'll step off the plane and feel like Lucy tumbling out of the wardrobe. I will step back into the exact time and place I left, knowing that behind me is some other world, rich and deep and blazing with color, and I will be unable to pull others through rows of fur coats to find it again.

No matter how stressful my school days get, I do love being in Spain. Sometimes, as I walk to my friendly neighborhood ATM, I look up at the stork's nest perched atop the bell tower that towers over Camarma's town center, and I think, "Oh my goodness, I live in Spain. I LIVE IN SPAIN." I don't know if things like this ever hit you full-on, or if they only sink in slowly, little by little, small slaps that remind you of who you are and where you are and what on earth you're doing.

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