I like to think Spain has polished off my y’all’s and evened my awkward shuffle, and I come across as a less lithe, vaguely Korean Charlize Theron in that Dior commercial… But as it turns out, five weeks into my Spanish adventure, I’m nursing a black and blue knee and bloodied hand. Some things just never change, I suppose. That’s not to say however, that I haven’t adopted some new habits. For starters, I’ve managed to rig myself a romantic new moniker, **Snortz. It’s the edgy, Chueca-approved version of “Snorts,” an endearing nickname for “one who snorts a lot” (and not in the drug sense). While I have no one here to vouch for me, I swear that back in Alabama I never struggled with stifling snorts mid-laugh. I just laughed, cackled, whatever, but no snorting. Oh well, to grow is to change.
But not all of my new habits are as attractive as my newly found affinity for snorting. I’m walking more, which is fantastic. In fact, one of my favorite things about my life here is that Madrid is a pedestrian-friendly city. I can walk from one end of the city to the other, churro in hand, and never need to sit my bum in a car. It’s peaceful. It’s settling. And if my destination happens to fall outside of my walking radius, there’s the metro. It couldn’t be easier to use and it allows for fantastic people watching. I’m a particularly devout fan of the karaoke performers. You’re just standing there, gripping the rail for balance like the clumsy tourist you are, and someone breezes through the doors, speaker and microphone in tow. Sometimes they open with an introduction but I prefer when they just cue the music and allow their unsolicited performance to speak for itself. I’m still waiting for someone to cover some Enrique… a girl can dream.
One social norm I’m still unsure about though is where to look while they’re performing. I typically settle on my feet. Or the whites of my knuckles as they grip for dear life. Either or. Or I put my sunglasses on- which I’ve recently learned are not as opaque as I’d hoped.
Maybe by the end of the year I’ll know where to look.
** Thank you to Em, Harry and Maz for dubbing me Snortz. I might’ve scraped by as normal without y’all.