Qué mala suerte.

Oh no… ever feel like this?


I’m back in Ávila, not Barcelona. I guess it’ll have to wait until the next Europe trip.

Qué locura…

As you know, I spent the day by myself in Madrid on Friday. I went and saw the Thyssen Museum, which was awesome. My favorite were the Rodin sculptures, and the Picasso stuff, and Dalí’s Gradiva encuentra las ruinas de Antropomorphos .

I’m so disappointed I won’t see the Picasso and Dalí museums in Barcelona.

Anyway… after the museum I took a nap on a bench, and ate some food. Sleep deprivation was making me feel delusional; I had the sensation that I was floating through the streets. Then I almost got run over by a taxi, which reconnected me with my body. I met a fellow extranjero in the park… Sun, a South African who moved to Madrid to work two years ago. We had some really good conversations, and drank some wine from a box (bought from the Chino store, of course. What am I going to do back in the US, without the Chino stores?) I was proud of myself, because he had to ask me to slow down my Spanish… just like I have to do with native speakers. (Or maybe I just was mangling the language too much to understand.) When I told him I was leaving that night for Barcelona, he asked me to marry him because “no hay chicas con ojos azules en España.” I said thank you but I’m sorry, and wandered on my way.


I thought I had the metro pretty much figured out, but then when it was time to return to Chamartin to catch the 10pm train, I got on the metro going the opposite direction. By the time I realized my mistake and got on the right metro, and ran up several escalators like a crazyperson, I missed the train. Anna hadn’t gotten on the train, either, because it turns out her money didn’t come through after all. The employees at the train station were very kind to us (how many times do they have to deal with sleep deprived, crying, homeless extranjeros every day?) and told us we could catch the next train in the morning. However, there were only first class tickets left, for over 100 euros, and if I spent that money AND whatever it would cost for the hostel in Barcelona, then I’d be homeless AGAIN in Ypsilanti because I wouldn’t have money for rent.

To make a long story short, after much deliberation and a little bit of freaking out, we gave up on Barcelona, bought tickets back to Ávila for the next morning, and resigned ourselves to another night on the streets of Madrid.

We ended up in a wide and unpaved alley next to the Botanical gardens, and found a big clean piece of cardboard to sleep on. The night before I didn’t sleep very well, because I was afraid someone was going to come send us on our way or rob us or something, so I woke up every time I heard a leave skittering along the pavement. But this time I was so exhausted that it didn’t even matter. Two guys came into the alley, saw us sleeping there, and got some old coats out of a cupboard or door on the wall. They covered us up with the coats and a big piece of bubble wrap, and then went to the other corner to sleep themselves. Somehow, in my state of exhaustion, this didn’t seem very weird at the time. We woke up at 6am, covered in old coats and bubble wrap, with two strange men snoring in the other corner. It was so, so bizarre. They didn’t seem like homeless people. More like random guardian angels bearing bubble wrap… or perhaps penniless travelers like ourselves.

This is where we slept Thursday night… I don’t have any pictures of the alley and the bubble wrap and the strange men, because I was too exhausted.

Regardless, we woke up and got back on the metro, which was full of people going to work or coming back from the bars, and caught our 8:30am train back to Ávila. It has never felt so good to get back to a bed, and a shower, and food. I crashed for 8 hours straight.

I’m so sad about Barcelona. I’m still sore all over, and I’m congested (“constipada” in Spanish… ha ha) and sniffly. I’ve never had a more exhausting trip that never happened.

I think this picture sums it up pretty well. Check out those dark circles under my eyes. Oh man.

One more week.


2 Responses to Qué mala suerte.

  1. claire says:

    well at least you have an interesting tale to tell! glad you made it back to avila safely.

  2. Pingback: Esperanza « Vino y Queso

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