Hello from Fort Worth! Like I said in the last post--I'm back! This last week has been a bit much for the ole noggin to process. I started the week in Seville, bid my sabbatical goodbye in Barcelona and then airport hopped my way home to Texas. Some observations from the week:
- My accent is back! After countless people telling me that "Your English is really good!" (Um? I'm a native speaker!) and a Canadian telling me she thought I was Norwegian, I was worried that I had done irreparable damage to my American accent (with even less hope for my Southern accent). I heard myself ask for a kn-ah-f (knife) last night, and thought, everything is going to be ok.
- You know what is the best for this summer heat? Melon (cantaloupe) flavored agua frescas. Go to your nearest mexican restaurant and ask if they have them.
- Everyone's kids got huge while I was gone!
- Apparently there are a lot of people reading the blog that I didn't know about. Some random people. But I love it! Don't feel shy people--feel free to leave comments, etc. even if I don't know you!
- (Hi Pete! Hi Pete's dad!)
- In my mind summer food comes off the grill. This week I had bbq Spanish style (sardines), TexMex style (fajitas), Texas style (brisket), and Danny style (smoked chicken and ribs).
- Opening a closet full of clothes after living out of a backpack for so long is a bit like Christmas. After being home for a few days though...I find myself reaching back into my pile of trip clothes (which is surprising). Slipping my Chacos back on after a few days felt oh-so-good.
- Reentry is hard on the system. America, as much as I love it, is stressful.
- I specifically chose some of the regions I traveled in because I could travel through them on public transportation--buses, trains and boats. And then there was the portion of my trip where I hiked 500 miles. After all that, I forgot how much I love driving!
- After 8 months, I also forgot how much I do not like carrying a cell phone. If you call/text and I don't answer it's probably because the ringer is off and I forget that I have one. Eventually I'll get back to you.
- I've been home 5 days. That's the max I've been in one place since January. I'm ready to head out...
- I'm going to Abilene tomorrow. I'm excited to see good friends, old roommates and some of my favorite people. I'm excited to eat La Popular burritos. I'm excited to see some horizon. But also, I'm just excited to be going somewhere.
- You have some good reentry tips? Send them my way!
- I started looking at job postings this week. Anyone out there want to hire me? I swear I've got lots of marketable skills, like...talking to random strangers who end up being excons, walking long distances, wearing scarves...
- Oh, I'm also really good at eating flan. My next project is to dominate flan making.
OK, that's about it. It's been great seeing so many of you this week! Pictures below:
Melon agua fresca--go get yourself one!
Picasso isn't Spain's only artist: Maica went all out on my last lunch in Seville
Although I have learned to love to eat it, I don't think I will ever get over the fact that Spanish ham comes with the hoof still attached
Maica and I performed a rescue operation on an abandoned ficus one afternoon. It was not too unlike problem-solving-taping up my ankle on the Camino:
Sardines grilled up by Juanma. I used to be scared of these, but after they patiently explained to me how to eat them I found them to be pretty tasty!
My last meal in Barcelona: A goodbye Spain supper of calamaris and tinto de verano...
And of course flan
The Swiss Alps