Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I think I am an adult now.

I was just talking with my friend, Karen, about how we should plan a trip to Europe. The last time I was there was in 2005 when I studied abroad in Brussels. Two thoughts come to mind about those 6 months. The first is that I'm both proud and also surprised by how dumb I was. I went on a two week trip through Spain and Portugal by myself. (Youth and naïveté are quite amazing.) My understanding of Spanish: passable; my understanding of Catalán: nil. Thus being mostly in Sevilla, lots of pointing, nodding and smiling.

Portugal was even better. After a 6 hour busride, we arrived at 11PM in Lagos, Portugal. I headed towards the nearest lights I could see, which happened to be a gas station. (I'm pretty sure this is how murder scenes begin.)

Me: Bonsoir, je cherche pour Casa Amarela dans la Rua Infante de Sagres.
Attendant: blank stare
Me: Oh right, I'm in Portugal. Lo siento, buscando para Casa Amarela? La Rua Infante de Sagres.
Attendant: furrowed brows
Me: F*ck. Er. I'm looking for Casa Amarela. It's right here on the map..
Attendant: Yeah, go down this street. It's a five minute walk.

I clearly did not speak a lick of Portuguese, I did not have any cash (ATM card was stolen a few days before my trip), and I was sent walking down a dark street by a gas station clerk, who very well could have sent me down an alley to be robbed. Smart, Nora.

The other thing that comes to mind is that within a month of Belgian fries, cheese, chocolates, and waffles, I tore my jeans. The insides of my thighs resented the constraint of denim, and self-destructed. Do you know how horrible jeans shopping in Europe is? 97% of the jeans didn't come up past my hips, and the 3% that did dragged on the ground. I probably had 6 inches of material dragging behind me. I tried to pass it off as the "rolled cuff" look.

Anyway, I think I am an adult now. However, I just ate a large bag of "chips" for lunch. I say "chips" because the bag says "we don't fry it... we don't bake it... we start with some wholesome potatoes, add a little heat and pressure, and pop! it's a chip." Specious.