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I hate Spain.

SPAIN | Saturday, 5 July 2008 | Views [5784] | Comments [7]

(March 28, 2008)

I spend a lot of time creating my own set of laws about the world. It's in lieu of organised religion. People without organised religion still need organisation to make sense of the world, but for me that organisation tends to come in observable instances that trigger an "oh yeah!"

Like: If you steal an umbrella because it's raining, you will lose your hat.

Actually, like an organised religion it's very hard to remember the various stories until they're needed. I guess you could say that I'm not a particularly devoted member of my organised lack of religion. But anyway.

My point is this.

One key philosophy of mine is the obvious but very true "things never work out like you think they will." Sometimes I add "stop thinking you're so smart" to the end, because that's usually my downfall. I plan things and I put things in motion with the idea that it'll just be a big domino effect all the way to the ultimate "cool life" end. But really, I don't know enough to predict everything. I only see a fraction of the picture at any time.

I still haven't got to the point.

My point is this. I have this philosophy, and I had forgotten it. I'd forgotten commandment number two (after commandment number one, which is "Don't steal umbrellas unless you want to lose your hat").

I had everything worked out. I have a job that lets me work from overseas. I have a working holiday visa that lets me stay in Europe for a year. I have insurance for the next twelve months, or something stupid. And the idea was to see what it's like to live in Europe, perhaps being poetically miserable at some point, because that's "Life Fantasy Number Whatever".

I didn't plan on a number of things.

Firstly, I didn't plan on being so homesick. I am homesick like you wouldn't believe. I wish someone would do some science on homesickness and figure out exactly what it is that makes someone homesick, because then I could counter it. I've been watching Flight of the Conchords. The plotless Footrot Flats movie. Eagle Vs. Shark. I had to phone my insurance company the other day when I thought I might be DYING and the woman's Kiwi accent made me bawl.

The second thing I didn't plan on was the fact that I actually don't like Europe all that much. I didn't really like it the first time I was here. I think I thought that having a little bit more money to throw around would change things, but no. Still don't like it. It's too full of people, too full of restrictions, and too fucking expensive.

To put this in perspective, for the past four days I have been driving a rental car around Spain. I still have another five days left of the car rental, but I'm just trying to get back to Barcelona to return the car as soon as possible. I hate Spain. I think I must be the only person in the world to hate Spain. I mean, it has cute things: cute little villages, cute fortresses on tops of hills, cute mountains, cute ocean... but I'm here alone, I have this car that I can't park anywhere, I have to stay in camping grounds sleeping in my tent for more than you'd ever expect to pay to sleep in a tent... And I still have about another 1000 kilometres to drive to get back.

Two days ago I was speeding south-west from Valencia, trying to get to a national park just inside the border of Andalucia. I had to cross a 250 kilometre stretch of slightly undulating land covered as far as the eye could see with olive trees (not the cheerful sight you might expect) with the horizon dominated by distant mesas, the sky heavy and grey, industrial towns rising out from the ground, wind whipping across and buffeting my stupid little car, and just this big depressing highway stretching out in front of me.

I loved this in Australia, I don't know what's changed, but I spent that 250 kilometres crying and screaming because I didn't want to be there.

I hate Spain.

I hate Spain so much, and it's stressed me out so much, that I've cancelled my flight to Morocco and switched it for a flight back to Brussels. All this time I was crying and screaming down this stupid depressing highway, I was wanting to be back in Brussels. Even if I didn't understand anyone, even if it was cold, even if I constantly felt like a leech for staying for free at someone's house and not even being able to speak to his flatmates. In Brussels I had a mattress on the floor, I had coffee in the morning, I had movies to watch on my laptop before going to bed. I had routine, and I had a boy. Mostly I had a boy.

And I've seen people like me before. Girls lying in their dorm beds in foreign countries crying because they miss their boyfriends, even though they're going to be home in two weeks. It's so stupid, and it's so weak, and it's so stupid. You're here to have your own experiences. He'll still be there when you get back. What the fuck are you crying about?

Now I know. It's the endless stretch of highway topped by the bleak landscape and the howling wind. It's not knowing where you're sleeping tonight except that it'll be alone and in the cold. It's the idea that you really *should* be doing this, even though you really don't want to, and the conflict between these two wants. It's remembering what it's like to be comfortable and lazy with someone's arms around you. My gut is screaming at me, and because it's screaming at me, I scream at the road.

Anyway, so I didn't plan on that happening. That kind of puts a damper on things.

So I changed my flight to Morocco to a flight back to Brussels. After days of screaming and crying that kind of made me feel better. Weak, but better. All I had to do now was get back to Barcelona and then wait for my flight on the 3rd. Maybe I could even change my flight to be sooner. In any case, it would soon be over and I'd be back to coffee and movies.

But again, I'd forgotten commandment number 2. "Don't think you're so smart."

I arrived at this camping ground in the dark last night. I paid more than you would ever think to pitch my tent. I saw that they had free wifi in the computer room. (Yes, a campsite with a computer room. They also have a special bathroom for washing your dog.) I made myself set up my tent and pee before running to the internet. My hands were shaking at the prospect of reconnecting with a world that didn't involve highways and wind and screaming.

I got on Skype. I called the boy's cellphone. I told him to get on Skype. We spent about an hour talking about how much I hated Spain, and how I was having the absolute worst trip of my life, no shit. And then he whips out the "Aletta, there's something I want to tell you..." and proceeds to inform me that it's never going to work. That he's from Belgium and I'm from New Zealand and there are "implications" with that. That he's more comfortable with me than anyone else he's ever met, but he doesn't love me. That it's not like New Zealand. That we can't be together.

No shit.

So let me piece this back together for you. I'm now driving 1000 kilometres that I don't want to have to drive, to get back to Barcelona, from where I've booked a flight back to Brussels in order to sooth my frazzled soul. And now I'm heading back to this situation. It's like my "home" in Europe has just been ripped from underneath me. There's nowhere safe, and nowhere where there will be any comfort.

A more dedicated traveller would say "fuck it" and keep moving, but I don't think that's me anymore. If you asked me before I would have said I was here to see the things I missed last time, and because I could. And that's what I believed too. But now it looks like I was really here to see a boy, since I'm obviously not all that interested in Europe after all.

So.

Things haven't really worked out like I'd expected. I shouldn't have thought I was so smart.

(NOTE: Comments disabled owing to an overabundance of morons. Yes, it's nice that you love Spain. Yes, I'm obviously an idiot for "hating" Spain. Whatever. Move along already. YouTube misses you.)

Comments

1

Don't change of place. Change your vision.
There are many things you can not control. What can you do?
We're like ablade of grass at the mercy of wind. Who can tell where is he going to blow. Do some yoga. Breath.Take it easy.According to hindu astrology we may experience influences from different planets, as they are working like teachers, we may pass through different situations to learn something. You should find yourself what you did not learn yet and stand up and fight for yourself. Fight for winning yourself. Look to the mirror of the heart. You'll find something helpful.

And Yes there are situations difficult to tolerate, and I am no exception. myself I'm working on it. it takes time and patience.

Cheer up!

  nimai_pandit Jul 13, 2008 6:57 AM

2

You are not the only one to hate Spain. I have lived here for the last 8 months and I can say, without a doubt, that I am NEVER coming back to this country.

I hate Spain with a passion.

  Jennifer Apr 27, 2009 6:22 AM

3

I'm with you and Jennifer, I hate Spain as well, glad enough you're out. i'm still stuck here due to work.

  KSJ Jun 24, 2009 9:56 PM

4

I love Spain!!!!, you are the weird people that don't appreciate the so much beautiful things it offers, but...it's up to you.

  Proud to be Spanish! Jul 7, 2009 7:40 PM

5

Goodness me, all you commenters: Have you even read the bloody entry? It's not about Spain at all. If I get another "well, I really like Spain... you don't know how to appreciate it... it's because all the women are smokin' hot and you're not..." comment I'm going to scream.

I think you would be better off spending your time over at YouTube. They really appreciate insightful comments there.

  The Author Jul 14, 2009 7:54 PM

6

to Proud to be Spanish!: WHATEVER!!!!
to Author: ???? I'm confused. The title is I hate Spain and it is not about Spain and you wrote about Spain yet you said it's not about it?

  KSJ Jul 19, 2009 9:18 PM

7

If I were to say "I really hate Mondays" does that mean I hate that entire day, or do I simply hate my own personal experience of Mondays?

When I'm hiking, you can frequently hear me say "damn, I hate going up". It doesn't mean that I hate the general direction of up. Many good things are up. The second floor of my house is up. In order to go on long journeys one must often go up in a plane. I don't hate "up" really, I just hate this particular experience of up.

Many children will say that they hate school. They don't really hate the general idea of the learning institution, they hate their own personal experiences of school at this present moment.

In a similar manner, at the time I wrote this entry (more than a year ago now) I hated Spain because of my particular personal experiences in Spain. If I were trying to be literal, a title like "I Hate The Particular Set of Circumstances That Have Confronted Me in Spain" might have been more accurate, but slightly less punchy.

I'm glad that you love your country. The world needs more patriots.

  The Author Jul 19, 2009 11:03 PM

 

 

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