Fine, so I haven't been consistently writing. Like all things, I get to it. Mostly, I've been out of town, and amply unemployed.
I was in Spain for a week with my special lady friend. Spain's meticulously managed train/bus system aught be the envy of our blighted society. We were able to cheaply (cheap is relative as long as these $s remain the laughing stock of the boys down at the currency markets), I say, cheaply travel overnight and over-road from the euro-trash-mall-Barcelona to the osage-beach-of-spain-Tarifa. It was there that we hopped a 30 minute ferry ride to Tangiers, Morocco, Africa. 40 minutes after landing, an old man shouted at me from his curb-side shop:
Figure 1: Midwest boy in foreign place
"Ey! You titty boy? You Titty boy?", gesturing in my direction.
I shake my head and smile, too self conscious of how American I look (fig. 1).
"Ohhhh, PUNK eh" He gestures at me to his friend across they street, they share a warm laugh.
Where ever there's a fag joke to be made, there I am.
Morocco is the first muslim country I've ever visited. It's still very European, I mean, you can see Europe across the strait, but there are a lot of good cues to reassure you that this culture is not yours, and you're the tourist. The call to evening prayers are beautiful. Teenage boys and girls run the streets together. 20-something couples hold hands and giggle. Women wear head scarves when they feel like it. I told my step-father this and he refuses to believe it.
Figure 2: This guy
The next day we hopped a 5 hour bus to Seville to visit John "Jerk" Navarre, who seems to be holding up beautifully but is ripe for his return (fig. 2). He says "Spain is full of babes and farts." I've parroted that to every "so how was Spain?". The man is a gracious host and one of the best conversationalists I've ever met. He was able to answer my questions about the Basque and Seville and keep me from a sound trouncing by a cabbie.
But when it came time, the Spaniards wouldn't let me leave. My passport stitching came apart and all I had to show for citizenship was a ratty sleeve and wad of dogeared pages. But the pressure of my mopey face and my lady's frustration thawed their bureaucratic hearts, so now I'm back. And if you should care: