Weird stereotypes I heard yesterday

Yesterday at dinner, one of my friends said that we shouldn’t get Chilean wine because it is dirtier than other wines. She seemed to think that Chileans don’t properly age the wine, in order to make more money, which makes it dirtier. (It was a stereotype learnt from her asshole of an ex, who is Australian; we promptly questioned his motives and mocked Australian wine.)

Then, at the bar, some Canadian dude wanted to guess where in America I was from. And he correctly guessed Chicagoland, so I asked what gave it away. He said that I had an air of nonchalance and confidence. Like I was just going to sit back and wait and everything would just fall into place for me, no big deal. He also told me that I clearly have never experienced anything rough or dirty in my life. He used a metaphor of me being under a small roof and being able to see the rain around me, but it never actually touching me. I was amused by his complete inability to see how rude and presumptuous he was being, and continued chain smoking and smiling condescendingly at him.

When he wandered off, I texted my friend the first part, about how I seemed super self-assured everything would fall into place. Which I took to be an entitled, spoiled quality (and I think that’s how he meant it). I wanted to know her opinion of that Illinois stereotype, since she’s Californian, but she responded by saying “That’s true of all travelers.” And I just stared at her text wondering how she could be so bad at reading. Because he in no way said I was a traveler, and he’s lived in more countries than I have, so no.

And also, seriously no. I have zero desires to travel. I hate travel. I honestly only travel because it’s a necessity at this point. This summer I’m going to at least five different cities because that’s where all my friends have spread to. And during breaks, if I don’t travel with friends, I’d be stuck in my apartment alone by myself. I travel because it’s becoming the only way I can socialize with people from my past, not at all because I am a “traveler.”

(Of course, one could argue that the lady doth protest too much.)

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How does it not matter?

My boyfriend and I are not as codependent as normal couples, so often on weekends we go out separately. He hangs out with huge groups of friends in random places; I go to bars and clubs with my girls. We’re both laid-back, so we don’t really think too much about how insanely trusting that is of us. Or perhaps we do think about it and it makes it that much sweeter when we meet up at 6am (because our partying always lasts that long. We’re not very good at going to bed before the sun comes up on weekends.)

Last night, while I was out with my girls, I got hit on like whoa. I adore the attention, but because I don’t want to lead anyone on, shortly into the conversation I inform the men that I have a boyfriend. And last night was a deluge of douchebags who could not have cared less about my taken status. One guy actually said, “I have a girlfriend, it’s cool.” As if two wrongs totally made a right.

We then talked at length about how he’s an asshole and has some issues he needs to work out. I drunkenly ended up giving him my number so that we could have counseling sessions. (Drunk me thinks she is a psychologist who can fix anyone’s problems.) Maybe half an hour later, as my friend and I were outside talking to new men who didn’t care that I had a boyfriend, the one with the girlfriend called me. And I answered the phone with, “Who is this? I don’t know who this is. I don’t know you.” And then I hung up. Because in the thirty minutes, I’d literally forgotten who he was.

Another guy wrote his number on a napkin and gave it to me. Which was nostalgically cute. He was also totally rocking this ridiculous porn star mustache. He was actually super sweet and once I told him that I had a boyfriend, he did stop hitting on me, which was refreshing. Except that he insisted I should keep his number. In case, I ever became single.

Tonight I think I’ll go out with my boyfriend. It’s a lot easier to brush off men when there is living proof of my boyfriend standing right next to me.

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Only a tenth of a million left

This week I finally paid off my credit card debt in America. Way back when I was unemployed due to America’s disregard for education (i.e. the hiring freeze for all NYC schools), I racked up a ton of credit card debt. I didn’t necessarily prioritize paying it off obviously (see travels, etc.), but getting rid of it is very refreshing.

Now I just have the tenth of a million in student loans. Just kidding. I wish it was a tenth of a million. It’s more now because of all the interest. Have I mentioned America’s disregard for education?

Luckily money is a figment of society’s imagination. And my student loans don’t need to be touched until I move back to America, which, let’s face it, might never happen.

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And I saw people partying

Being ridiculous at Monserrat, outside Barcelona

Being ridiculous at Monserrat, outside Barcelona

Spain was great. But also exhausting because went to so many different cities. Started in Madrid, then flew to Barcelona. Took a day trip to Montserrat. Took a train to Valencia. Drove through Granada to Sevilla. Then took another train back to Madrid…

Overall, people in Spain were very pushy. In a slightly rude way. The cities were very crowded and people just didn’t bother to get out of anyone’s way, even slightly. They also just assumed everyone spoke Spanish. But then when I would attempt to respond in my admittedly-slow Spanish, they’d get impatient and switch to English. It didn’t help that their Spanish is totally different from the Mexican/American version I learned. Or it was Catalan, which is incomprehensible to me.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, under construction forever

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, under construction forever

But I did enjoy walking around the cities and stopping to eat at little restaurants. And I liked that everyone drank alcoholic beverages at all hours of the day, with no second thoughts. And really, why not have a beer at noon? The food was all very good, although I was mildly surprised how similar it all was. Or perhaps it was just because I know which Spanish foods I like, so I kept ordering them… Spanish omelette, olives, octopus and paella made up the bulk of my diet there. I did also try sea urchin, which tasted like ocean. And we had vermouth, which I had never actually had. I did not have any gin and tonic drinks, although it seemed to be very trendy.

Semana Santa in Sevilla

Semana Santa in Sevilla

The most culturally interesting things were probably the Sagrada Familia and Semana Santa. The Sagrada Familia was interesting, but the inside was less impressive than the Grand Mosque here in Abu Dhabi. And really, how many years of construction does it take? Living in a country where everything’s been built so quickly, it boggles my mind. Semana Santa was more interesting. I mean, a whole parade of people wearing outfits that inspired the KKK costume was endless entertainment. The floats were gorgeous too. And I liked that everyone on the sidewalks was just chilling with their beers to watch a religious procession.

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The worst part is always Israel

Yesterday I Tweeted “the worst part about dating a palestinian is israel.” I meant it facetiously, but not at all as a joke. Because my boyfriend’s identity is largely shaped by being Palestinian, a country which is defined by its constant struggle with Israel. While I have zero patriotism and probably bash America more than speak its praises, he genuinely loves Palestine to death. And I mean that so close to literally it’s scary.

Death should not have to be part of the equation when it comes to love. Moving back to Palestine would most probably lead to his death. Despite that, he wants to move back. Badly. (Thankfully, his family won’t let him.)

We had a conversation about the general conflict once, but I am so fatalistic that it’s best if we don’t touch the subject. That one conversation ended with him saying that Palestine would become a country some day. I had scoffed and advised, “Don’t hold your breath.” Thankfully, he didn’t know that colloquialism and was too distracted by my explanation of it to be too offended.

Another time we were talking about our imaginary future children. And he was like, “Would you let me take them to Palestine?” And he meant for a visit, so I said, “Yeah, of course.” And he was genuinely surprised. Because what idiot lets her husband take her kids to his home country…

Sometimes (often) he watches videos of Palestine. Once it was someone interviewing people in his hometown after the 2014 war. And I joked, “Do you know him?” about the first guy who was interviewed. He responded, in full seriousness, “No.” But then after some footage of busted houses, he was like, “Our house is down that street.” And then when they interviewed a third person, he said, “I know her.” And suddenly war zone interviews can’t be viewed with detachment anymore. Suddenly all of my desensitization training disappears.

Another time he was scrolling through pictures on his phone. And it got to a series of images his family had sent him during the last war. And I couldn’t even look at them. Because what the fuck, Israel. What the fuck…

(Sorry I haven’t posted much lately. I’ve become that girl who can’t pay attention to anything that isn’t related to her boyfriend.)

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