Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Day I Wore My Workout Clothes in Public..[[& other things]]

For the most part, I tend to stumble across other auxiliar's blogs who have starting lines like "I'm sorry I haven't posted anything for the last 3 weeks, here's a 5 page run-down of what's been happening lately." And we all know how much fun those are to read.
So for this reason, I am not at all sorry that I blog incessantly. I accept it, embrace it, and cross my fingers that you embrace it too.

Anyway. On to the reason I actually decided to blog in the first place. 

Today I had one of those moments that remind me WHY I LOVE TO TRAVEL. Because this morning, after I sprinted from Gibraltar center to La Línea bus station in record time only to find out that the next bus didn't leave for half an hour, consequently meaning that I missed my train in Algeciras by 5 minutes to go on a hike with a group of auxiliars, I was having a hard time remembering why I had moved halfway around the world where I, A) knew absolutely no one and B) was now going to be sitting around my apartment all day feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have any friends.

(And let me just say, that in Spain, wearing workout clothes and tennis shoes in public warrants you a lot of stares. And cat calls. So then wearing workout clothes and racing through the city center with a purse in one hand and a cell phone in the other, warrants you about 5 times the number of stares. Okay, I understand the second part, but what is so strange about wearing nike shorts and tennis shoes??? Spanish girls wear a lot less clothing than that.)

Thankfully Eli called and knocked me out of my stupor, and we walked through downtown taking pictures. We were headed in the direction of ice cream (which I still consider a major food group) we passed a Moroccan-looking guy who called out "Americanas eh?" Yes, very clever, I thought, you can spot us a mile away because we clearly do not fit in here. Way to point it out.

We mumbled something in his general direction and kept walking. Then he said "do you work here?" Now I was intrigued, because la gente in Algeciras usually absolutely never strike up a conversation with strangers on the street. So we turned around.

Within the next 20 minutes we learned that he is Mexican, speaks nearly perfect English, is in Algeciras looking for a job, lived in Morocco for the last 6 months, yada yada yada. I could keep going, but the important part of this story is that he was Mexican. Remember this.

Eli and Aram connected instantly, since Aram is from Mexico and Eli is in love with everything Mexican after having studied there for a year and a half. Anyway, 20 minutes later, we invite him to come get helado with us. And then we sat and talked for the next hour and a half. And he single handedly convinced me that I need to visit Mexico asap. He was so friendly! A Spaniard will rarely call out to you on the street just to say hi, unless he is calling out "ehh guapa, venga aqui!" or something equally uninviting. I want to experience this strange Mexican culture where people are inviting and friendly, even though you might be a total stranger.

(Side note: I'm well aware that not of all of Spain is like this. The people of Algeciras are, after all, nicknamed Los Especiales. And Algeciras is not known to be an especially inviting or enjoyable city.)

It was just so refreshing to meet a stranger on the street, have a great conversation, and then walk away knowing you might not see him again, but that you just had a fantastic time, regardless. THIS IS WHY I TRAVEL. This is why I put myself out there, in the hopes that I can make friends from around the world and broaden my horizons and perspectives. I just need to keep this in the back of my head on all those days where I'm holed up in my apartment feeling sorry for myself.


  1. I'm loving the blog! And seriously, every time I went to the gym in Granada all I heard from the construction workers was, oye mami ven aqui chchchch

  2. The introduction to this blog literally made me laugh out loud. I'm guilty of doing so from time to time, but also can get a bit annoying :P

    Thanks for writing this entry!! I kinda ended up holed up today, and it's nice to get a reminder of why we travel :)


  3. @Allison, that is the one thing I didn't miss when we moved back. And I can't believe how annoying it is now that I'm back here, I mean, if Spaniards can wear all those hideous outfits that they think look attractive, then it shouldn't be a problem for me to wear whatever I want too. Right?

    @Cat, Haha yess that's awesome :) And I'm glad I could help!