Hasta luego Madrid and Goodbye 2004

The thought of today:

If you realize that everyone is an individual with his own unique part to play, then the power of tolerance is easy to develop

Tues Dec.31

The Usual Depression:

I never know why but I always get depressed on my birthday. Seconds after 12pm Dec. 31 of last year, I had three SMS’s from three different sources. This year; I got nothing 😦 I was PMSing so that added up to my depression, my friend Elegance got robbed a day before in down town Madrid and not to mention The Asian Tsunami tragedy that toped it all up.

My friends went out clubbing and I stayed home feeling miserable. But to my surprise they came back at around one am with a cake, some candles, two angel statues that I was admiring through window shopping the day before, and a bottle of cold champagne

They were back to celebrate my birthday.

The cake they brought was a traditional NYE cake that contains some token, and the Spaniards get this cake usually at this time of the year and each one makes a cut in the cake and whoever gets the token, he keeps it for he is the lucky bastard of the coming year. And since this was my birthday; I got to initiate the cutting. And you guys won’t believe this; I got the token from the first cut; never happened before. It was a small teddy bear more or less like “useless” the teddy bear I’ve had with me in bed for almost 12 years. Everyone cheered for my upcoming year while I stared at the teddy bear thinking how my chances are getting slimmer each year; at least useless is bigger and fluffily cozy in bed.

A Change in Plans:

Two days back, Alberto (our Spanish friend) called and invited us to spend NYE in Astorga in the Leon province at his uncle’s house. And since we came all the way to Madrid to be in Puerta del Sol during the huge festivities, we apologized and decided to stay in Madrid. But the Spaniards advised us against that; they said it will be crowded and cold and we’ll never find a ride back, not only that, they said even if you book ahead in a club you will not be able to get in because of the crowd; so we decided reluctantly to accept Alberto’s invitation in the last minute and boarded the three and a half hour train to Leon.

While in the train, reading The Da Vinci Code, and peering outside once and a while, I kept recalling all the events in my life. Small patches of snow began to appear on the ground, these patches started to get bigger and bigger until they started to hug and line up and become one big mass of snow that took over the ground and the realm of the sky; now everything is purely snow white. Doesn’t that resemble everything in our life? Our relationships? With the right atmosphere everything takes its rightful time to develop. And the stations that we pass, do we ever look back? These stations more or less are the stations in our life, how come we always look back and have this quenching feeling inside, and why do we look back, the train never stops for anyone, and life just goes on.

Alberto greeted us at the destined station and introduced us to his cousin Jose Luis. His cousin is a known Businessman and a politician in town and he was extremely nice to us. After having a light lunch in a restaurant in Leon Center; they took us to few pubs where we had a drink in each. Btw, I learned that a Spanish custom is never to have two drinks at the same place; if you are for having let’s say four drinks, you have to go to four different places. Then they took us to Luis parent’s three story house where we were lodged in our own dedicated quarter. The warm supper was ready down stairs beside a fire place and a Xmass tree. On the table we met Rafael and Conchi; Luis’s siblings. On a nearby couch, Luis’s dad sat with a huge smile on his face. His mother never sat down for once, she was serving us continuously from 10pm until midnight. At the last 12 seconds of the year a bowl of 12 grapes was placed in front of each of us where we gulped one at each count down second watching the TV (Puerta del Sol clock). It was absolutely divine, and again when this ritual ended we headed out partying until the break of the day.

We stayed at our host’s house two days. Luis took us out with his brother and sister and of course dear Alberto for sight seeing, and at night clubbing. The town is like a walk in museum, and along with other famous sites we visited the Camino de Santiago, along the long Santiago pilgrimage walk that starts in France and ends in Leon. The mother made sure that we would never have a meal outside, and never for once she sat with us on the table, she was always serving us. And when we left she loaded us with presents. What a family, I wish I could repay them one day.

And no Jewaira, I did not get the special kiss on my birthday, but mind you I got the kiss of a life time the day I came back, from my beloved useless, he missed me as much as I missed him and we hugged until I felt that our bodies were melted in a divine mingle:)

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om-Luis and abo-Luis with warm kisses