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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Hi, I am alive, please pay attention to me

As my friend Matt pointed out, I most definitely accidentally gave up blogging for Lent. It was at subconscious attempt to temper my pride and need for attention. It failed, I am still completely proud and needy. Also I was in Spain for two weeks. (Post forthcoming.)

I smell like a local right now, but I am too lazy to go shower just yet. By “smell like a local” I mean that I smell like that common scent that Emiratis wear. (It’s distinctive because of the oud perhaps. If you’ve ever been to this country, you know what I mean.) It’s because my boyfriend’s first wife (i.e. best friend, but I refer to him as his first wife and myself as the second wife) decided to dab it all over me last night. I don’t mind the smell of it on others, but I loathe wearing perfumes, so it’s irritating me. But alas, lazy…

I can’t decide whether or not to wake up my boyfriend so that he will pay attention to me instead of just lie next to me all cute and sleeping. But his first wife and I were very sleep-depriving to him last night… which sounds misleadingly inappropriate, haha.

I’m going to go make that Spain post for you now. Get excited.

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Pancakes

I am not religious. And living here, I tend to forget about Christianity, since Islam is obviously the more prominent religion. But there are obviously some Christians here too. One of my co-workers said to me yesterday, “I just want to go home and eat pancakes.”

My response was, “What?”

“Lent starts tomorrow!” she said.

“Oh… you mean, like for Fat Tuesday?”

“You don’t eat pancakes?”

“No, not necessarily…”

And the conversation sort of tapered off. She just assumed that I was Christian and would be eating pancakes. Because she’s Irish and that’s what they do and the Irish people here tend to just assume the entire world does everything they do. (I’m not exaggerating. But that is a post for another day perhaps.) But I’m not actually all that religious and never went to church, so Fat Tuesday isn’t really a thing for me. And I would call it Fat Tuesday, never Pancake Day.

Then today another teacher brought up Lent. And to be conversational, I asked, “What’re you giving up?” Because I’m also ethnocentric and assume that is the normal thing to do. You pretend to give something up, like chocolate or gossiping or whatever stupid inconsequential thing you think you could live without, and then you give it up for like… half a day. And then you forget it’s even Lent.

“We’re doing a Bible study.”

And she was all sorts of serious about it. And I realized that I know nothing about anyone I work with. Who knew they were all secretly religious and/or pancake lovers?

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Restless, but also want to hide

I’m feeling restless. But also like I want to curl up into a ball and hide somewhere.

I’ve been watching House, which I think is probably a bad idea. It’s so morbid and pessimistic. I’m sure whatever one is binge-watching will have an effect on one’s mood. Thus my mood has been “we all die in the end…”

I have a cold. Or the flu. I don’t know. I woke up in a cold sweat at 2am this morning. I fell back asleep, but it was rather disgusting having to literally change my shirt because of the sweat.

I’m feeling bored of the day to day mundane tasks I have to do. Feed myself. Go to work. Shower. Do laundry. What’s the point of it all? Not that I have anything better that I would want to do with free time. I’d probably just watch more House and become more apathetic. Also more of a hypochondriac.

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