Thursday, May 24, 2007

Damned if you do, damned if you don't

Answers to some the eternal questions we have when we are in the beginning of a relationship:

Q. He called yesterday, when should I call back?
If you call back too soon, you are desperate; if you don't you're not interested enough.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

Q.We had dinner last night, he said he'd call me Monday. It's Tuesday and he hasn't called. What should you do?
If you call him, you are the one who wants him more - ego crap; if you don't and he never lands up calling, you will never know what would have been.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

Q. He makes plans with me all the time, should I always be available?
If you play hard to get, he might say, screw this; if you are always available to go out, do anything as long as you're hanging out, (irrespective of the fact that you really just like him and are generally not fussed) you get walked over.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

Q. You slept with him for the first time, and he didn't call the next day. What do you do?
If you call him, you're the desperate one ('it's-the-guy-who-has-to-call-the-next-day-crap'), if he calls you after three days and then you don't answer, you have begun a stupid ego game; if you do answer, it's like you were waiting by the phone.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

Q. Talking about how you feel. When can you start sharing your feelings without losing too much of your dignity?
If you say what you feel, you put yourself on the line - high chances he will not say what you want him to and you will feel like shit. If you don't, you are accumulating a whole lot of shit inside you that will come out horribly another day.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

Q.I feel uncomfortable in the relationship because I think he may be seeing other people - how soon is too soon to confront him about this without seeming like an inquisitive nag?
If you ask him in under two months, you are in too deep and need to get a life; if you don't, and he is seeing other people, it will continue and when you find out it will be too late.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

Q. Be clear about what you want. How much do you adapt to being who the other person wants you to be?
Don't try to change yourself to suit what the other person wants - and you are selfish and stubborn. Change and give-in - you will be the one hurting later.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

Q. Do you give him the benefit of the doubt?
If you don't give the guy you are dating the benefit of the doubt - what's the point of dating him when you have negative thoughts? If you do, you land-up believing exactly what you want to believe, which is rarely the truth.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

Q.The relationship was great, but you both want different things, so saying adios is the healthy option. Can you still be friends?
If you choose not to change to 'friend mode', other than the sex you didn't value rest of the relationship - how could you not want him in your life anymore? if you decide you can be friends, you are easy with anything - all those other feelings didn't have much meaning.
Answer: It doesn't really matter, you are screwed both ways.

On a positive note:
Lesson Learnt: You might as well do exactly what you want, because the consequences will probably be rather similar.

*Phew* it's almost relieving to realise that all the nonsense pondering we do over stupid stuff like this is really not worth it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Frugal Traveler in Dubai!

The NY Time's Frugal Traveler Matt Gross finally made it to Dubai. And wrote a brilliant piece.

Other than it being an enjoyable read, what I really appreciated about this piece is how he managed to see beneath Dubai's glittery shit, and talk more about the few 'normal' things you can do there.

Those familiar with Dubai will understand why I had the biggest smile when I saw the 'what to see' recommendations included:
-Al Mallah
-Saj Express
-Club Africana at the Rush-Inn Hotel :)

(They are probably some of the best places to go, but you will never hear about them in Dubai's publicity)

Some extracts:

"It's probably very normal for people to wake up in Dubai, realize they have money in their pockets, and set out to spend it. But for the Frugal Traveler, it’s a rare and nerve-wracking moment...

What I wanted from Dubai was not preconceived amusements but the accidental by-products of globalization — like Club Africana, or the happy clash of cultures at a house party. Not only were they cheaper, they felt more truly Dubai than the multimillion-dollar attractions, and I counted myself fortunate my low budget had driven me to seek them out."

Galicia Round-Up

Galicia is beautiful. Small and dainty, very green, very traditional.

I ate octupus, Gallegan soup, 'tit cheese' and Gallegan bread; and octupus, Gallegan soup and tit cheese and Gallegan bread :)

Although the sight of octupus (especially it's tenticles) made me want to throw-up because although it's dead on your plate, it's easy to imagine it alive and breathing heavily through it's ugly pores, I really liked it.

Was in A Coruña for two days, Santiago de Compostela for a day, and Finisterre (the end of the world!) for a day.

Incase you were wondering, there is really nothing 'at the end of the world', except a steel boot and a rather ugly lighthouse; but what the hell - it's the end of the world!

Here are some photos. Stories to follow!

A Coruña - El Costa de Muerte

Old part of A Coruña

Ugliest sculpture I have ever seen

Santiago's Cathedral

View from the 'end of the world'!

Wander the streets. Lose yourself.

That's the subject of my latest post on Written Road. It follows a good write up in the IHT by original founder of Wallpaper* and editor-in-chief of Monocle, Tyler Brûlé.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Off to Galicia!

So tomorrow straight after my DELE exam (thank goodness, it will finally be over!), I will drive up to Galicia (North of Spain) for 4 days! The plan is Acoruna, Finnisterre, and Santiago de Compostela - I can't wait!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Half-robbed (?)

I felt someone approaching me as I began to withdraw money from an ATM.

"Give me money," he said.

He was a skinny, teethless, smelly bugger with alcohol roaring out of his breath.

"Ok, I will," I said, really not knowing how else to respond.

I hadn't completed the transaction, and he wouldn't let me touch the screen. I guess he thought I would cancel the action.

"I am not going to hurt you. JUST GIVE ME MONEY," he shouted.

By the way, it was 11:30am on a beautiful sunny morning.

"OK!" I shouted back, but you have to let me complete the transaction.

And he did. I was afraid he'd snatch my bank card, but he didn't - he snatched the Euro 40 I was withdrawing.

He counted the money, looked at me, and gave me 20 back.


I walked home, shaken but amused and relieved at the same time.

Prostitution on the dance floor?

He was 75, and he asked me to dance.

Respecting him as if he was my grandfather, and finding him harmless, I agreed. Ok, I exaggerate - I suppose he was 60, at least.

The dance was tolerable. He had a funny style; I had to bite my lip so as to not burst out laughing. But it was fine.

A few minutes later, he asked me if he could buy me a drink, to which I politely declined.

Then he asked if he could talk to me.

"Where are you from?" he asked me.

"India," I say.

"Wow. I have never met anyone from India. I've always wanted to go there."

"Ok" I say.

He continues: "You dance very well, where did you learn?"

"In India," I say - by now hoping my one word answers would give him the hint that I really have no interest talking to him.

As if he got the hint, he got straight to the point. "I need a dance partner for the rest of the year, and was wondering if you would consider?"

Me: (blank look)

"You would come with me to all my classes and whenever I go out dancing socially," he adds.

"Actually I don't really have time to dance much," I say, "besides I travel alot, so wouldn't be able to commit to anything."

"Well, I'd pay you," he says.

Me: (WHAT?)

"No, I'm sorry I cannot do it," was all I could muster after that, and I walked away with disgust. He even had the nerve to ask me for another dance after that. As if it was perfectly normal for us to have that conversation.

I left that night in thought. Was I just subjected to a polite form of prostitution? Or am I making a mountain of a mole hill?

There are a few things in Spain that make me question my morals. Simply because of the normalcy people treat them with here. I'm not clear on whether it's Spain or Europe, but since I am here - let's just stick to Spain for the moment.

Openly having more than one amante (lover) is another - fidelity isn't too common here. Being with one person is what is questionable, and almost unheard of. Also having a good job where you earn more than 1000 Euros is uncommon, and it really isn't uncommon living all your life washing dishes, or herding sheep. And, remember I'm in Madrid.

Perhaps I'm just in the wrong - or let's say 'different'- circles. Or perhaps I take things too seriously - be it life, making a living or men. See what I mean?

I suppose everything is relative.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Logic please?

A fleeting thought I have absolutley every time I use the metro (which would be twice a day, atleast) is: why the hell doesn't any metro station in Madrid have a bathroom?!

Running from one side of Madrid to the other all day, it almost makes me mad when I can't run to the bathroom for a wee in between. I have to find a coffee shop - where until recently I felt bad not having a coffee and just using the bathroom - but now I don't give a shit. I was spending too much money on coffee that I didn't even want to drink.

In a capital city with a population of about 4 million people, atleast half of whom take the metro twice a day if not more, why wouldn't you build toilets?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Spaniards Talk!

I don't know if it's just me and the people I attract, but I have not used the ''time-out" hand gesture in my life, as much as I have used it in Spain.

Spaniards talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. And talk. And talk.

So you cannot wait until they stop to change subject so that you can interject because you need to say that 'I have left the keys on the television', because they won't stop, and you will be standing around till the cows come home.

OK, perhaps to be fair, I should extend the borders of the set here to all Spanish speaking people, rather than restrict to to only Spaniards. They all talk. And talk. And talk.

I used to think I was a talkative pain-in-the-ass; but here, I suffer a serious complex.
It has done great to my foreign language listening skills though - so I'm really not complaining.

They talk loud, over each other, and don't stop. At all. Perhaps that's why they have to talk over each other, because there is really no way of getting a word in edgeways otherwise.

Be it 8am while making coffee at home when I haven't even got both my eyes open, or be it 5am in the morning when we are coming home from a long night out where we have really done nothing much but talk, there is still something someone has to elaborate on.

Other than the neverending list of topics such as: life, family, men, beer, annoying people, work, the weather, hair salons, holiday plans for next year, uncles, food, rabbits, fetishes, the tourists, the English language, the Pope, MySpace, yoga, Zapatero, ETA, Greenpeace, tortilla de patatas and David Bisbal; most of the conversations revolve around who-did-what-how-where-when-why, which will be followed by a
what-he-should-have-done-instead-how-where-when and why.

Let's not even start about when they get on the phone. Minimum 15 minutes. Even if it's someone they've just spent the day with.

The good thing is that I have learnt to tune out. I can look like I am listening and taking every word in, but really I am thinking about what I'm going to teach in my next English class or what I am going to wear for my date next week. I'm really proud of this skill I have acquired.

It's a cultural thing, I think. Comes as part of the social-openess and extrovertness of hispanics. I think that's what it is. I am glad I have learnt to tune out though.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


*sueño con un mundo diferente
sueño un mundo lleno de color
sueño con un mundo sin fronteras
donde el odio se muera de amor

donde no importe le ideología
donde no importe le religión
que cada una sueñe lo que quiera
y que lo sueñe con ilusión

sueña tu también
el mundo al reves
si pudiera ser

sueño las noticias de mentira
sueño que no hay hambre ni dolor
que no hay guerra que en verdad exista
sueña sueños de ciencia ficción

sueño que la planeta esta contento
verdes bosques crecen bajo el sol
sueño que los ríos fluyen limpios
y que sobra yuca, pan y arroz

sueña tu también
el mundo al reves
si pudiera ser

lo cierto es que sueño muchas cosas
sueño todas estas, y otras mas
sueño que no hay sueños imposibles
que nunca se pueden alcanzar

sueño con un justa justicia
que ya cada uno pongan en su lugar
sueño que a todos los dictadores
los ataca un virus de bondad

sueña tu también
el mundo al reves
si pudiera ser

- por grupo - jakaranda
cantante - maida larrain
letras y musica - miguel ruiz de elvira

*es mi canción del año. muy simple, pero muy bonito y profundo en el mismo tiempo. desafortunadamente no existe un link de este canción para que escucháis. me ha impactado mucho. estoy en un tiempo demasiado profunda verdad!?
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