With less than three days before I leave the panic mode has officially started to set in. I got a list of vocabulary and grammar to review before leaving and suddenly realized how difficult this was going to be. To give you an idea of how ridiculous the Spanish language is here are some words that I will likely confuse:
You see what I have to deal with? I’m going to end up asking for cockroaches and chalk to put on the table and when questioned explain that I’m pregnant. Also there’s an entire grammar form I theoretically learned but never had to use because it’s specific to Spain and none of my teachers have been Spanish. But really, I’m fine. Excited even. Theoretically.
So the basic information is as follows: I leave on 31 December and fly to Barcelona via Heathrow. I’m not a big fan of New Years so the thought of spending it with the lovely flight attendants of British Air isn’t really all that upsetting. If I’m lucky I might even get some campaign out of it. Then I’m hopefully finding my way to a nice hostel (presumably after getting lost several times) and spend the first two days on my own. I’m meeting up with the rest of the kids from the program on Saturday and spending the first week getting to know the city. Then I move in with my 67-year-old host-mom and get started on classes. In Spanish. All of them.
Remembering where I was this time last year, I want to end this with a note of thanks. Though it isn’t the Jewish New Year, it is certainly a beginning of sorts. I’m demanding a better year than the previous one, which doesn’t seem to be asking for too much, but I’m also very grateful for what I have had. I could not have asked for a better community, better friends, or a more supportive network. May each of you have a wonderful, happy, healthy, and bright New Year.
On that note, I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite poems that is how I hope my travels will be:
Where the Sidewalk Ends
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
by shel silverstein