I´m waiting out a meeting here so I can head home with my co-workers. Again, I´m in lovely Mallorca, seeing beautiful skylines from our wonderful office. Yipee. My co-worker is stuck in an interminable meeting (thank god I´m not in it), and it´s considered kinda rude here to head home without the whole team. Meetings are really a big deal here, as much as we talk about doing work back in the good ole US, we do about twice as much here. We had a three hour monstrosity of a meeting this afternoon, right after lunch. It was grueling. Everyone in the meeting, including the guy who called it, was complaining, as if meetings were just part of life, something to put up with. And they´re all in Castilian Spanish (if they´re not in Catalan: eek), which lets me really feel like a martyr.
For instance, in the meeting, I was thinking to myself, it´s important never to lose one´s Sense of Wonder. Right then my Spanish was failing, and I found myself thinking, "I Wonder what the hell is going on?" and "I can´t seem to make any Sense of this". Spain builds character.
Fortunately, next week there´s a holiday of some kind. Spain´s great about this, there´s a holiday every other week, almost always of a religious nature. I started wondering why churches don´t have a holiday called "Really Good Day". It would be a day to commemorate the one day in the Supreme Being´s life when everything went just right. Like the day He got up and the sun was shining, and His car started on the first try, and maybe a girl smiled at Him. Nothing special, just better than commemorating the day He died in fearful agony. That should be "Really Bad Day".
Another great holiday would be the day He figured it out. That would be the day the Supreme Deity figured out the He (or She) was the Supreme Deity and not just Some Joe. Like He (or She) is sitting around, thinking, "y´know, water´s great, I really like water, but it sure would be great to have some wine right now," and POOF! his water turns into wine. He says, woah, and then goes on to raise people from the dead and walk on water and stuff. Kind of like "Anything Can Happen Day" on the Mickey Mouse Club Show.
I went walking on Las Ramblas this weekend, on Saturday, and ran into my friend Hector (Barcelona´s small enough to do stuff like that), who had just bought a new guitar. We ended up having an impromptu jam session on Las Ramblas with two guys from Holland, Tom (probably not his real name) who played washboard, and Juurgens (definitely not his real name, but I really didn´t get it), who played piano. The only song that came to mind was Johnathan Edwards´ "Don´t Cry Blue", and I got to relish the assuredly false impression that I was the first guy ever to play Country music on Las Ramblas. You can do stuff like that here and almost no one ever calls you on it.
One of my favorite songs ever is Joni Mitchell´s "In France They Kiss on Main Street". I´m gonna write a song called, "In Spain They Do Just About Everything on Main Street". This behavior used to surprise me some (since my Mom and Dad get to read these emails, I´m not going to explain much more), but now I just kind of smile and realize that underpopulation will never ever be a problem here.
I´m really homesick today. I miss Taco Bell and that little dog (they don´t eat tacos here, contrary to popular belief). I would miss "Allie McBeal", but we get that here, dubbed in Spanish. Which is real odd. I really miss Pennsylvania Avenue, which is the Passeig de Gracia of Washington D.C. I miss you guys. Ugh, the radio is playing "American Pie". I don´t miss that. I started to try to explain the significance of the song to my co-worker (y´know, Buddy Holly, Mick Jagger, etc) and then realized that there really was no point in it.
Yippee, the meeting is over, paella time. Talk to you all soon. Love, -Tim
Wednesday, June 16, 1999