“Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse. Streams of tendency and eons they worship. God: noise in the street: very peripatetic. Space: what you damn well have to see…hold on to the now, the here through which all future plunges.” James Joyce, Ulysses
Happy belated Thanksgiving! Seeing as how the French do not observe the holiday, I treated myself to some celebratory kebab. Mmmm. So here I am in Paris where is currently snowing outdoors. Today I purchased a pair of boots made for walkin (had to) in keeping with my new tradition of buying one new item a week to slowly replace my “wardrobe” otherwise incondusive to the cold weather. Next up: stockings. Stay tuned, very exciting stuff. Since the last post I left Cordoba for Lisbon. A nice city not counting the rainy weather. I like the Portuguese people on a whole. Know why? Because the Portuguese do not muck around. Know how I can tell? First, a secret…or a warning if this concerns you: one of my biggest pet peeves is when people get onto those conveyor belt things in airports or subway stations or other areas of vast expanse wherein people must get from one side to the other and just stand there. I would like to take a minute to clarify and vent that these apparatuses are not there for lazy slobs who want to take a break from 30 meters of grueling walking. If this were the case, they would move faster. This amenity turned aggravation is for people trying to get to their destination on the other side of said vast expanse a little faster than simply walking could provide. They are there to enhance the flow of traffic in notably high traffic areas, but almost anywhere you go, people get on there, side by side with their rolling suitcases (I know they must be so heavy to pull) and stand impervious to subtle urgings such as violent coughing and intrusive physical proximity. Anyway, the point is, Lisbon is the first city I have encountered where people use the things properly and those who do not comply are subject to nasty looks and occasional fruitings. And that (if I spoke Portuguese) is why I would live in Lisbon. I also took a trip out to a picturesque little city called Sintra, town of castles and mountains and in my experience, fog. Though forewarned to take the tram up to the Moorish castle there, I stubbornly walk over an hour uphill and, reaching the top, cannot find it, ginormous castle though it may be. Shouldn’t be too surprising, coming from someone who went to Munich and failed to locate Oktoberfest (No, I am not kidding). I truly didn’t mind though. There was no one else around and the whole walk was a nice hike through heavily wooded areas culminating in my reversion to skipping and singing to my mp3 player like no one was looking (because they were not so far as I know) for the first time in months. So that was good. Then, I made a mad dash to Paris for the few days remaining before I had to be in Madrid. Unbeknownst to me, Portugal is a remarkably difficult country to exit by train. There are only 2 ways out and very few international trains run daily. Also unknown is the weekend’s French rail strike, making getting out of Spain near impossible. I meet a fellow stuck traveler and we finally devise a means to get first to the french/spanish border and then work our way to Paris from there. So I set off with a nice Canadian lad into the unknown. We do actually manage to make it into Bordeaux the next day, but must stay the night to catch a morning train to Paris (not that Bordeaux is in any way inferior). As far as traveling companions go we generally saw eye to eye on budget issues and itineraries as far as what we wanted to see, so all was well. Also, he was just a nice and interesting person in general, so it was not torturous…for me. Yesterday, I left to call the family for the holiday and then I went to where we were supposed to meet, he wasn’t there. Eventually I go back to the room and find he is not there either. Also, his bag is gone. At first I am concerned that he robbed me or stiffed me because the accommodations were on my card. But then I find he has left his share with my things and taken nothing. So then confusion sets in, followed shortly by indigence and then engulfed by rejection where I currently reside. I mean, he could have at least robbed me or something, then at least it wouldn’t seem so personal. But nooo, he had to be an upstanding citizen about it. So, yes. Today I am a little testy. If you haven’t written in a while and are suddenly filled with the inclination to shower me with compliments about how strange and offensive I am not, now would be the time. In other, brighter news, company’s comin! Yes ladies and gents, Mr. Martin Walker, son of renowned Narwhalogist Dr. Graham Walker, is due to join me tomorrow in Madrid for a vacation from his much loathed job as an engineer. On a similar but obscure note, I ran into my friend Alie from the Morocco trip a few days ago on the streets of Paris. Rather strange, no? She got my attention right away, it’s not like when I hear someone yell Blair! it is ever directed at someone else. Not much else for now, tonight I board a train back to Spain where Marty and I may raise our glasses high to the self-serving halfwits who strive daily to instill a solid abandonment complex in otherwise confident people. Cheers.