Sunday, June 28, 2009

Freedom or Something Like That...

My two best friends told me that this trip to Spain would change my life. That I would experience things that would give me not only a new insight into life, but a sense of freedom that I've never had before. They were right.

We must start with two of roommates, Inas and Simon. They are from Solvania and are boyfriend and girlfriend. Inas is an account and a "big girl" model. Simon is a little skinny dude getting his PHD in mechanical engineering. Inas is definitely the dominate one in the relationship. Yesterday she ordered Simon to "come to her". I left the room for a minute and then returned, there was Inas naked and on top of Simon. I didn't know if I should call for help, but he wasn't crying, so I mumbled something like, "Sorry" and left hoping they wouldn't see that I was embarrassed and a little grossed out.

Today is the Barcelona Gay Pride parade. Last night there was a pre-parade in the neighborhood. It was very festive and I followed the parade for a while taking pictures. There were drum groups dancing, topless lesbians dancing on the back of a truck, and young men in various skirts flitting down the street. Each and everyone of them totally comfortable and at peace with who they are. I had the feeling that I could've taken my clothes off and danced in the street and no one would've said a thing. What was truly amazing and so different from the United States is that the people watching didn't really care who was gay or was a celebration of diversity as I think all things should be - people just accepting each other as they are.

As the evening wore on I walked down to the Barre Gotic and found myself in this local pub where I ordered a sangria. There were various tapas and I asked the man next to me what was what. He's on vacation as well from Galica. Pedro and I talked for the longest time to each other and to a couple next to us eating mini octopus - which they let me taste....little fishy and I couldn't look at the little head has I was biting it off. Of course these people are talking Spanish and I'm only understanding about a fourth of what they are saying.

Pedro and I walked around for hours stopping here and there for drinks at different bars. Finally at about 1:00 in the morning we parted ways. I know I will never see this man again, but what a lovely treat to meet and talk to a person like an old friend even if it is only for a few hours.

My roommates were waiting up for me when I got back from the hostel. I walk into the room to hear Inas yell, "Gracie! We were worried about you! Where were you?" Normally this would irritate me with people I know, but with these people it felt kinda good to know these strangers were thinking of me.

I saw the Mediterrean Sea today. The beaches in Barcelona are PACKED to the point that a woman didn't think anything of putting her big feet up against my head. Being a bit hung over from my bar hopping with Pedro, I lasted about an hour on the beach and took the train over to Sagrada Familia where I snuck in the backway to a small mass service that was going on - I have no idea what the priest was saying as he was speaking Spainish, but the quiet church combined with his deep voice sent chills through me - I'm not Catholic, but God does come in all different ways and he and/or she was at that service today. As Pedro would say, "Very Nice!"

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