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Isolation

It has almost been a year ever since I packed up all my stuff, left the city not just for the summer and established back home.

And it is killing me.

I had to get back here because I needed to get better and there was no way I could do it on my own. I had tried and tried for the past years but I didn’t manage to get well. So it was a familiar decision that I went back to my parent’s up until I got all up and running.

Leaving the city the way I had to, was a big defeat to me even though when I lived there sometimes I despised it because many bad things had happened to me in there.

But not in a hundred million years I would’ve imagined what was to come.

See, I am pretty realistic, so I figured that once I’d left, my friends there would keep on going with their lives, I would miss them deeply and they’d remember that I existed sometimes. But I didn’t quite expect the outcome.

I left the city alright. And I haven’t been able yet to go back there and visit them because of health issues. A couple of months ago I hit a really low point where I couldn’t walk from my bedroom to the kitchen without feeling I was going to faint. So obviously I still am nowhere near ready to get my car and drive to Barcelona or get on a train on my own.

I was expecting less communication. It is not the same to see someone on a daily basis than just over the phone or whatever. What I didn’t expect at all was the lack of communication that I am having.

This past 11 months I have been through and ordeal and while doctors promised me that I’d be up and running by now, I am certainly not ready for it.

So by Christmas time I decided instead of sending a FB message or other impersonal messages, I’d go old-school and send handwritten postcards to all my friends back in the city. Since I didn’t feel like calling them just to bore them with my bad news I figured they’d like that better.

Breaking the silence with a good wish looked like something I’d appreciate if they did to me. I got nothing in return. I didn’t get not one lousy postcard; nothing. Some, when they saw the postcard after Xmas break sent me a Whatsapp. See, I didn’t get a Merry Xmas on time. But what hurt me the most, is that from whom I was expecting the most to hear from, they didn’t even say to me Happy Holidays and they say they never got the postcard.

Whether all postcards arrived at the destination except for two, I cannot prove a thing. I know I sent them all, so it makes not much sense some got lost. But they could’ve gotten lost. Point is, regardless, I didn’t even get a lousy Whatsapp.

Months have gone by and I haven’t heard a word. And this hurts me so. I am positive that I haven’t done anything wrong to be cut off so abruptly.

Before I left the city, I told them to come over and visit me whenever they wanted and I really meant it. But no one came so far.

It almost looks like I never existed to them, and this makes me really sad, because I honestly care about them. Now I don’t know what to think any longer. I would call, but I don’t want to feel stupid calling on people who maybe they don’t want to hear from me anymore.

Moving on, having landed at my hometown, things are even worse. There are not many people left (my age) here. Most people who haven’t moved to the city or abroad have gotten married and live a complete different lifestyle, changing diapers and not being able or not wanting to hang out. Now, I do not blame this people; because we weren’t that close to begin with.

But then there is this girl who used to be my friend: We were from the same group of friends and we left to University at the same time. Since we studied at different places we didn’t see each other that much. I was living at the Campus and she was living with some other people from my town outside the campus.

She got close with her roommates and completely got away from our group of friends. She recently came back to live at my hometown for good. So when I saw her around I told her we should hang out. We could go have a coffee or something. Her reaction was most unexpected: ‘I don’t think so.’ She said.

‘I don’t think so?’ What did I ever do to her? It was her who stopped talking to me and the other girl and to this day we still don’t know why.

This other girl, my best friend from childhood, got married, had a baby and lives 200 km away so chances of meeting her for a coffee are slim.

Moving back to my hometown: I still don’t understand that childish reaction of this girl. We had always been friends until she decided not to answer calls from us and start meeting other people. ‘Cooler people’- I guess.

So that leaves me with nobody to hang out with in 3D life.

And at the beginning it was something quite bearable, but now it is becoming arduous. How much isolation can an extroverted human being take?

I’ve heard of people living in complete isolation. But that is not me. It reaches to a boiling point. And I am at the boiling point.

I want to have a reason to make myself look pretty, I want to have someone to talk to and share life with. I want to have laughs, share thoughts, go out to have dinner… The usual stuff.

Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so.




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Regional Geographic presents...

So yesterday I decided I was going to make a bit of tourism. Recently I have heard of this beautiful sanctuary called La Balma that is about 2 hours drive from where I live.

That amount of kilometers (4 hours in total because one’s got to get back home) looked reasonable for a Monday after lunch trip.

So we jumped into the car, we pumped some gas because we knew we were going to get in no man’s land got some water and hit the road.

We passed some towns in the way but as we were driving, the roads became narrower; the speed limit lower and there was not one single soul around. We passed through several abandoned small villages, a river that I didn’t even know about and that it carried no water.

GPS verified that we were not lost even it might look like it. So we kept on driving just to finally see a worn out by the sun sign that indicated the monastery was 3 km away. We got there. Somehow it reminded me of Rivendell except for the lack of super tall trees. We parked the car, and walked towards the monastery.

There was nobody around. But since we were in the middle of nowhere it didn’t quite bother us. A few minutes later… a closed fence.  I looked up and there was a surveillance camera on top. So I tried to say hello, to see if they’d be kind enough to show us the place since we had taken the longest ride.

Nobody answered and I didn’t dare to climb the fence or anything because I didn’t want to get into trouble for trespassing property, even though it was not private property.  There was this sign that had been torn apart except the French part and it clearly said: Mondays closed. The rest of days open from 15’00 to 17’00. Wow!

I have been to Montserrat monastery before, which is much bigger and it basically is open every day. So what’s up with this one?

I got so frustrated I started to laugh my ass off. To see the faces of people… Having taken that trip to the middle of nowhere, just to arrive to a beautiful emplacement and find a fence that forbids you to get in there.

So we head back to the car and back to civilization. On our way back, I saw a wild Spanish ibex. These animals are pretty hard to spot, so at least it wasn’t a complete waste of a trip. Since we were the only ones around and didn’t bother quite much the animal, I managed to take a photo that considering it was taken with a pretty bad camera it came off really good.

image

Not a National Geographic wide angle Carl Zeiss photo, but a photo indeed.

On our way back home we stopped at Morella (a small medieval village) but this I’ll tell you in the next post. Otherwise it’d be way too long. 




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Shouldn't be taboo

Earlier this morning while I was straightening my hair and what not I was watching Youtube. So far so good. All of the sudden, I came across this video of a girl talking about uncircumcised penises and how disgusting they are.
Years ago, while I was watching Sex on the city, the same topic appeared for the first time in my life. Remember that episode when Miranda is dating a Catholic guy and when they are about to have intercourse she sees ‘the thing’ and freaks out big time? I was quite disturbed that time.
Here in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy (that I am aware of) no little baby boy or adult man gets circumcision done unless they have phimosis, which means the foreskin in not retractable enough causing major problems and infections. My little nephew and all the baby boys that I know, when being born, none have gone under the knife. Pediatritians check that all is good in the area and only proceed to remove the foreskin if it is affecting the proper function of the penis.
So this leads me to think that it is a cultural thing. While I am aware that people who practice Judaism and Islam practice circumcision, I don’t understand why people with none or other religious backgrounds, especially in the US (that I am aware of) freak out so much when they learn about an uncircumcised male. Come to think, this is a very narrow perspective of life.
If males were born with it, then it must have a purpose. While it mightn’t have a crucial purpose (same way if they extirpate your amygdales or your appendix and you have no side effects), I do not understand why this is so gross to even talk about it.
Weren’t guys born with that foreskin? Why are people so grossed out with something that comes with the pack? It is not like they chose to add it later on. It must have a purpose (such as preventing infections). Also, that belief that uncircumcised males are dirty…
Didn’t their dad or mum teach them how to move the skin in order to keep it all clean and fresh? If an uncircumcised guy feels dirty to you, it is because two main reasons:
1. - Your beliefs lead you to this premise.
2. - You have come across a guy who is as dirty as he can be. And I bet if his penis smells or whatever, so will his armpits and whatnot.
Because that, my friends, is a dude who suffers from ‘shower allergy’ syndrome.
So ladies and gentlemen, let’s not go all grossed out when learning about your guy next to you didn’t get surgically removed his foreskin. Probably he didn’t need to.
And remember this, next time you land on Paris (cité de l’amour) or you see a breathtaking handsome Italian guy… think about it.
He’s probably coming with the full package.
And nope, that is not disgusting.


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KGB (July 2010)

First of all, I would like to make clear that this is a true fact, that happened to me in August 19th 2005. I remember the exact day because of the pictures I took they had the date on them.
So there I was, touring Russia with the symphonical orchestra were I play. It was our second day in Moscow and we got up early to go and visit the Red Square. In the mornings, I don’t know if every day of the week tough, they close for a few hours the Red Square and if you wait in the line that’s in front of the Square you get to go and visit Lenin’s tomb, which is placed inside a building on the right side of the square. There are certain rules to go and visit Lenin’s corpse. Once you are inside the pantheon you are not allowed to talk, eat, drink, remain standing (you have to pass by without stopping) your hands have to stay out of the pockets and of course you cannot enter any kind of bag or backpack. For this purpose they have a lockers office at the beginning of the square. You go there, pay a symbolic prize and they give you a ticket. Once you’ve done visiting Lenin you cross the Square from the outside and go and get back your belongings.
So there we were. We were the last group of the morning who got to enter. When we got out they were already closing. My friends had been more intelligent and kept their stuff at the bus, so I was the only one who had to walk all the way back to get my backpack. They were all thirsty because of the heavy sun we had been enduring the entire morning at the queue and so they decided to get going to a bar to get some sodas. I started to walk fast as I saw how the policemen where removing the fences that kept the square secure. Once I got to the other side I found myself with the locker’s place closed. I was in panic. Me, in the middle of a city where I could not communicate and vice versa. So I decided to go and knock at the door. As soon as my hand touched the door I had a policeman’s hand on my shoulder. He started yelling at me (who knows what) and pushing me away from the place. The policeman was not letting me enter and seemed no eager to pay attention to my misfortunes. From what I could understand he was making me signs as if to say: ‘Come back tomorrow’. Of course I couldn’t come back tomorrow because first of all we were leaving the city at night and going to Niznyi-Novgorod (another city). I needed my passport, my money and my belongings. Stubborn as I am, I decided I was not going to let that policeman win the battle so I started insisting, making gestures. A few minutes later a  middle-aged man appeared on the scene. He looked at me and demanded what was wrong in a very “Rusky” English. I explained to him what had occurred and he started talking gently with the policeman. They started to argue with each other and two more policemen appeared on the scene. They told him something. Next thing he does, put his hand in his pocket, takes out a wallet, opens it and he shows a KGB badge, with his picture next to it with the same number written on the badge. Allow me to say, that I don’t know who was more shocked: wether me or those policemen. All of the sudden they led him inside and he came of with my backpack and kindly handed it to me. I thanked him (balsoy spasiva, I knew that word) and we both left in separate ways. Me back to my friends and him… I don’t know. 
Needless to say that I felt like in some James Bond’s film, the only place where I had seen the KGB ever, ever, ever. 
And that led me to think: You better be careful, every step you take, specially in Russia, because who knows who might be watching you?

Kaoru (June 2010)

This evening, as every breathing human being of this city was sitting in front of their T.V. sets’ watching the semifinal match between Spain and Germany I was running like crazy around the house. This little lady (Kaoru) from the picture above, decided not only that she was having a boring evening but also to spice up mine.
So I had dinner, and as I was enjoying a delicious ice cream on the terrace, she jumped from the skylight to the ground without calculating the laws of physics and gravity.
As a result from that terrible landing, her little left front leg started bleeding. Her nail was torn appart by the base. So with Kaoru in one hand and the other free I ran to the cabinet and took some ointment to cure her. We’ve both ended all covered with blood.
So after the incident I’ve washed her and taken myself a shower.
In the meantime, lots of people celebrating on the streets. So that’s how I’ve found out that Spain is classified for the finals. I’m not a particularly big soccer fan. But the occasion would’ve been worth sitting and watching the match if we had not had a “home-blood-crisis”.
Anyway, today no celebrating and beer for me. I’m gonna stay home keeping an extra eye on Kaoru, just in case we have to run to the vet.
So this is how I’ve lived this historical match.

All we ever do (June 2010)

4:15 a.m.
My dearest friend Jaqueline just left. She left to go back to her own country: Brazil.
She’s been in here ever since September, to study at the University. We met in November, when she came to live with us.
From the very first moment we understood each other very well. In time, a strong friendship grew.
And now that she’s gone I have no words to describe the big hollow that’s been left in my heart. It’s hardly been an hour and I already miss her so much…
I guess that the fact that there’s an ocean between us really bothers me. It’s not like she’s moving next town where I can go reach her to chat and have some good times and to rely my worries when the sad moments occur.
It’s been a year of farewells.
Farewell to the man who made me shine and feel special, farewell to people who passed on, farewell to the Campus Dorm where I’ve lived for several years. Farewell to lots of friends who finish their studies and get back to their hometowns to live and work, farewell to my infancy’s best friend who married and moved away. Farewell of people who in the end they want you no-more, because they just wanted favors during the Uni era and made you believe that they cared for you. Farewell to the cat “Negreta” who always was visiting on my window and cheering me up when there were sad moments. Farewell to Jaqueline.
In the end, we better think that everything was worth it. And hope that the changes about to come are for good reasons. I wish them all (people, places and cat) the best in their lives. And hope we keep in touch.
And though I know it’s not possible, I would like to let them know that, if I could, I would take them all with me wherever and whenever: forever. I know that’s selfish, but… I just don’t wanna be torn appart from them!
Because in the end, all we ever do is say goodbye.

Dear future (June 2010)

Lately, we haven’t talked that much. I suppose I got used to leave everything to your better judgement and stopped worrying about myself.
But in the past few days I started to think a lot about you. There are many things that I would like to change and I know you could do this for me. In order to make things clear I made you the following list:
- I would like to find real peace of mind (no more anxiety or sadness and achieve true happiness).
- I would really love that you bring me back my good health and strength.
- Could you help me find a good place to live as well?
- Bring to me the love of my life and make him stay.
- Make my beloved ones be A o.k.
- Give me some time and money to finally get the holidays I’ve been longing for.
And last but not least:
- Encourage me to finish my studies with good degrees.
For now, this is all I am asking you for.
I wish you have a good beggining of summer as well, and hope we keep in touch.
Your best friend from the past,
Elena