I was really getting frustrated because we were lost in Granada.  Rain was pouring on the car, and we’d been stuck in dangerous Spanish traffic.  Thrive or Ston would say “Go right”, and I’d turn right then hear:  “We were supposed to go straight.  Take your next left.”  The next left would invariably be a kilometer down the road, at  which point we’d have to turn around and backtrack on our way to Alhambra, which is Spain’s version of Versailles.  Our car could barely fit on many of the roads.  At one point, each of my mirrors were one centimeter away from the stone walls of surrounding building, and the road was cobblestone.  We started fighting about petty things.  I told Thrive that he snores, and I called Ston an idiot because he didn’t believe my theories about Mars.

I believe that humans have been terraforming Mars for about ten years.  It’s a fifty to one hundred year process to turn Mars into a planet that produces it’s own oxygen in quantities large enough to support human life.  Most third graders have watched a video on how it could be done, but I bet you that it is being done now.  It is in the government’s best interest to keep it a secret (to avoid war/protesting/loss of control of the planet’s resources), so they release videos of our “studies” on Mars.  Have you seen the videos of our exploration of Mars?  They are ridiculous.  It’s like a little Wall-E robot getting a cup of dirt.  Sure, we are going all the way to Mars to get a cup of dirt.  Come on.  Those videos are clearly shot and spoon fed to the idiotic masses so they can say “Wow, look at that Mars rover.”  Yeah, the billions of unallocated dollars in NASA are going to build “Mars Land Rovers”… sure.  Duh!  They’re building big industrial plants that are converting Mars’ atmosphere into gas.  The process has begun, and I’ll be able to breathe on Mars in my lifetime.  In fact, I’d like to be part of the first crew to colonize it.  Seriously.  What is more fulfilling than a day of hard work in the fields?  Easy.  A day of hard work in the fields of Mars.

Anyway, we’re all lost and angry and starving, and we can’t see through the rain, so we park in a spot that is 11 minutes from being a legal parking spot.  We find shelter as quickly as we can but get soaked in the twenty meter run to the nearest store.  We dry off in the empty restaurant, shivering, and a waiter tells us that a buffet is starting in ten minutes.  About twenty five Spanish people filter in over the course of the next ten minutes, and portions of food start coming out.  We realize, this is the most excellent buffet we’ve seen in all of Spain.  Chicken Cordon Blue, Kebabs, breakfast foods, sandwiches, Fruits, Vegetables, Seafood, all kinds of desserts, and of course, plenty, “I love whatever this is” food (usually those kinds of food end up being cow ass or human brain or something gross)   Anyway, it cost only ten Euro, and the food was amazing.  We just stuffed our faces and looked at each other like “How the hell did we find a place this awesome?”  When we finally found the strength to lift our bodies from our chairs, we saw that the storm had stopped, and we hopped into the car, which was parked right in front of a sign pointing us toward Alhambra!  The castle was just a couple kilometers up the road.  Our luck had changed, and we spent the day in the sun, with nothing more than an occasional misty rain, walking through castles, gardens, and hedge mazes.
Afterwards, we went to our hostal where we passed out until nine, then went on a tapas tour of the city.  Granada is one of the few places in Spain that still serves tapas in traditional style, with a drink.  The idea is to eat a little something each time you drink, so as not to get totally hammered.  It works.  Five tapas in, and I was just feeling like best friends with everybody around.  Warm fuzzy feelings.  We ended up in a Flamenco bar that Granada’s gypsy performers frequent in their off time.  Downstairs there was a basement that looked like a cave because its floors were covered in puddles. We all sang and cheered whenever glass was broken, and when the gypsies would get sad, they would dance.  I impressed myself with Spanish, which is very rare, when I started hitting on this pretty gypsy girl who spoke no English and made her laugh.
Feeling great, we all bounced to a bar where I had the best Mojito I have ever had, and we spent the rest of the night salsa dancing.  At 3:30 we rolled back to the hostal, singing American classic hits as we marched down the street.
Granada is the shit, and I am certainly going back.

Here’s a Granada Haiku.

Big voices, stomps, and
Cracking claps pull colors from
Old stones and silence.


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