Madrid / Musings

Surprises

It’s funny the things you don’t realize you’ve forgotten about a place upon returning to it.  What catches me even more surprise is what actually surprises me, what – in the midst of a mindset that expects to be stretched and grown and challenged in nearly all ways – actually gets at me in the first days of overwhelming transition.  The things that strike me, which are the things I have forgotten about, say something about me.  I’m just not sure what they say…yet.

1.  I realize now here that I forgot what it feels like to go hours upon hours without checking your phone.  Further still, to genuinely not even know where it is.  I had forgotten what it was to not associate dread with a small chirp or chime or buzz.

2.  I forgot just how quiet the first few days are.  The days that lack community; the days that pass with not a sole social companion to check in on; the days that are completely and entirely at my leisure, not because I’m on holiday, but because I am utterly unknown to the world that surrounds me.

3.  I forgot how the older generations of Spaniards stare.  They don’t do it with malice (generally).  It’s just a thing.  Call it a cultural thing – I don’t know.  But they do it, everyday, without fail.  It’s especially bad if you’re in a park or worse still if you’re in one of the few places in the city center with a collection of park benches.  Strolling though they may be, I have often wondered if their strolling is a result of an unwelcome inhabitant of “their” bench.  I could ask… or I could just be a passerby who hopes I don’t cause too grave an inconvenience.

Of course the list goes on and on, but these are the forgettings that have most strongly captured my thoughts.  I hope to decipher an implication sooner than later, and vainly a positive one at that.

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