I miss you

Seeing wonders through miles away
With long paths leading to a center
With you in the heart of it’s core
It’s worth walking the miles yonder

Sameera / the struggle of a single woman “VI"

A continuation
It’s clearing:
In the next few days, Sameera became more of a teenager than a mature woman, Alberto was on her mind constantly and although they had exchanged their telephone numbers, she knew that he’d never call but she had hoped that he would and never stopped checking her phone. Her attitude at work had also changed; she became more distant, you’d see her most of the time behind her PC reading Astrology or listening to the tea boy reading her fortune in the remains of her Turkish coffee cup, at other times she’d be reading reports while her mind was with every word of the romantic songs played on her window media player. For sure; this was not the old Sameera, the self assured woman who always believed in her ability to control every situation. What was she doing, was she looking for some answers in Astrology, coffee cops or even a random song? She had no clue, and since summer was over, her work load lightened a bit and she had some free time in her hands, but she was overdoing it without realizing what she’s getting herself into; people do notice these things, and especially when you are in a high position, this calls for fresh, crisp gossip, but was she aware of that?

At home, the situation was not any better, the cock fight between her parents never stopped, and although she had never interfered before, she had found herself in the middle of a fight astounding everybody with her recent, uncalled for behavior; they found her blabbing sentences like “love should be the answer to all your problems” and “just try to love each other will you?” and Fowziya was another story, she got sick and tiered of Sameera’s constant mention of Alberto, and although Fowziya tried hard to distract her friend’s mind but she found her going back to Alberto and squeezing him in every subject they talked about; every discussion ended with Alberto. And a debate like this was not unusual between them:
Fowziya:” we have this new guy in the office, he’s really cute and nice, he wears the whitest dishdasha, crisp with starch to a point that you could hear its whishing sound from the corridor when he passes, and the smell of Bokhoor that he wears since early morning, oh it’s orgasmic, and we have this married girl in the office who said that she actually would come when she hears the whishing sound of his dishdasha, can you believe that, I mean ok, you could get wet, but to actually come? Weird”
Sameera:” yeh, I can believe that, there are a lot of things that one can’t explain, like that day when Alberto and I had coffee in the Marina Mall, I wanted to eat him alive, and his smell, it was kind of…”
Fowziya; interrupting:” hey, why does it always have to go back to Alberto? I have heard that a million times girl, stop it, the guy is taken, TAKEN”
Sameera:” I know, but you don’t have to shove it in my face every time I talk about him”
Fowziya:” then don’t, you’re overdoing it”
Sameera:” am I really, sorry, but I can’t help it”
Fowziya:” you can and you will”
But that never ended any debate because Sameera always goes back to Alberto, if not with Fowziya, with Tahani.

Tahani was Sameera’s high school Lebanese friend who was born and raised in Kuwait but got married and moved to London where her husband worked and she eventually started her own career there, her marriage did not last for long though, but she never left UK. Both friends had kept in touch with e-mails and occasional phone calls and at times the three girls would meet abroad to spend a vacation. Tahani had different views on life than Fowziya, she did not believe in love and commitment, to her, life was to get the best of what you can, and the fact that Alberto had a girlfriend was not a cause for discarding a good relationship, yet she was aware that what Sameera was experiencing is a one sided issue, and she wasn’t sure of Alberto’s feelings towards her if the guy did not mention anything, yet she encouraged her friend to be blunt and make the first move and call, she was a practical person who did not like to waste time. And although Sameera did get the urge to call him many a times but she did not have the courage to do it and she never did, instead she’d only talk to her mobile and say;” pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaase ring” and it never did.

Waleed; the Kuwaiti owner of the house where Sameera met Alberto for the first time, the same one that Fowziya was trying to hook up Sameera with, this guy got interested in Sameera and had sent her an official invitation to join him and his friends, including Fowziya, for a party in his house one weekend. And since Alberto was a close friend to Waleed, Sameera knew that she would see him there and was exhilarated, Fowziya on the other hand was not too keen about this and tried to convince her friend to stay home and watch some movies, she did not want to see her friend get hurt in a tangled relationship; by attending the party, she would give mixed signals to Waleed, yet, there was no hope with Alberto. But Sameera would not hear of it, and spent the rest of her free time shopping for “The Dress”.

Waleed’s party was extravagant that night; waiters with uniforms, a band and two DJ’s, a buffet from a renowned hotel spread along one side of his considerably large swimming pool that ended right to the beach and may be more than a hundred guests seated around the pool and in his living room that overlooked the pool with huge, high ceiling glass walls.

For the first time in a long time Sameera felt that she was not in Kuwait rather on some Caribbean island, but Alberto was nowhere to be found, she mingled around in an attempt to fetch him but to no avail until she decided to go sit by the beach with her friend Fowziya. While strolling down to the waters she spotted Alberto sitting with another bunch of guests whom she did not know, how would she approach him now? She did not know anyone of his companions and found it awkward to just budge in, so she decided to go close enough to be at his proximity so that he would make the first move. And although Fowziya knew about her friend’s scheme, she went along with her pretending that nothing was unnatural. And it worked; Alberto saw her and waved, but that was all what he did, nothing more, what was she expecting anyway?

The night got shorter and she had to go back home and Alberto never moved from his seat, and with a disappointed heart she dragged her feet to the bar for the last drink before heading home. And while waiting for the bar tender to fix her drink, she heard this familiar voice like a breeze in her ears whispering” good evening gorgeous”….. it was Alberto.

Her heart skipped a beat while she jerked around to face him.
Alberto:” you look beautiful tonight”
Sameera:” ah…. Well, thank you, so do you”

And a general conversation started between them in an attempt to know each other more, their likes and dislikes, but surprisingly; Alberto never mentioned his Russian fiancé, not even once.

To be continued

Sameera / the struggle of a single woman “V"

A continuation
It’s hazy:

Around noon that day, Sameera got a message from Marwan: “sorry dear, I could not return your call, I received an upsetting oversees call, buzz me when you’re free”. This message somehow disturbed her and comforted her at the same time, she knew that Marwan’s family were facing financial problems at his homeland, and that Marwan was working double shifts to pay off their debts and that caused some sadness in his voice whenever he talked about his family. At the same time she was relieved to know that he was not with another girl as she had thought. At that moment she decided that it was time to pay him a visit, he was going through a bad time and he needed her. And as soon as she wrapped up her work for that day she gave him a call and set a date to meet up in his apartment that night for dinner and movies.

The candle lights that were scattered all over his apartment were the first thing that appealed to her and drifted her into a state of total relaxation as she sat on a sofa beside him, he looked so attractive that night; his blue eyes had taken a shade of gray that glistered like two huge sapphires amidst a lively, vibrant face. And against her expectations; he did not look upset at all, in fact, he looked exhilarated, but she could not decide whether their closeness was the reason behind his happiness, or he was just putting an act in an effort not to ruin their first real evening together.

The evening was a blast for both of them, or at least that’s what she thought. They played the movie and pretended that they were following the actions in the motion picture, while in fact each was busy with teasing the other either by a touch or a double meaning comment in an effort to shorten the distance between them and get over the first few awkward moments of who should make the first move; when each made a gesture, the other responded until they both fell on top of each other and created a scene while the motion picture complimented them with violent music beats and the dinner on their plates stayed untouched.

The visitation continued every night for a week until that Friday night when she found him in one of his swinging moods again; only that night the somber mood stayed longer. Up until that day she was very happy to be with him although at times he repeatedly told her about his family’s problems and that he needed money urgently and did not know how to solve his dilemma. She sympathized with him a lot but there was nothing she could do for him. And although he had never asked her help, but she felt ill at ease with him repeating the story; Part of her was not convinced that he was interested in her, rather in her money when she hardly had any to spare. Another part was telling her that he is just an unfortunate person who had to live a hard life, and he was only releasing his pressures by simply talking them out, may be he does not realize what impression he is creating on her!!!!

But that Friday night the clouds around her eyes began to slowly clear and her logical mind started analyzing after this conversation between them:
Marwan: “angel, you didn’t answer the question I asked the other night”
Sameera: “what did you ask sweetie?”
Marwan:” do you think I should get a loan from the bank?”
Sameera:” well I don’t know honey, can you repay it though? I know that you are already sending more than half of your salary to your family”
Marwan:” I know I can’t repay it and this is the problem, my dad is crippled and I can’t see my mom who had been a housewife all her life working at her age, I’ve got to do something”
Sameera:” ah… I’m sorry babe I don’t know what to say”
Marwan:” there must be a way”

And that was it, now she was sure that Marwan was beating around the bush for one thing and that made her feel miserable. Since she’ve known him, he had always been the type that dressed expensively and spent lavishly on trivial things, now how come he was always complaining and repeatedly involving her in his financial problems?
In her mind she knew that her relationship with Marwan was over; why can’t people be honest and love you for who you are without a hidden agenda?

In the next few days Sameera never answered Marwan’s constant calls, she was not trying to be rude, but at the same time she did not want to be taken advantage of, and although she longed at times to be with him, but the thought of him using her just switched that wonderful feeling to a hideous remorse.

Instead, she tried to brush all thoughts of love and relationships from her mind by burying herself in her work, she had resigned to the idea of living a single woman’s life for the rest of her life; marriage or even a relationship were not in her stars, she will never give in to a man, and what’s wrong with being single? In the end she could have her privacy that many couples would dream of. And just like a robot; she programmed her mind to accept her situation and live up her life, until that unexpected night.

About three months later, her friend Fowziya invited her to another friend’s house in an attempt to hook her up with him. And although Foziya knew what was on her friend’s mind, she never quit her trials. So to Fowziya the host was single and available, he had his experiences with other gorgeous women and now he was ready to settle down, he did not care who the person he wanted to marry was as long as all his specifications were met in one; and his expectations were a bit low. He had proposed to Fowziya, but Fowziya did not feel that thing for him, so who is a better candidate than her beloved Sameera? Sameera on the other hand did not have the stomach to go into any relationship after her constant disappointment with men, but nevertheless, she had decided to go just for Fowziya’s sake.

Her lack of interest showed on her casual clothes and make-up free, yellowish face, but the minute she sat down on the living room sofa, her eyes were locked with his, he was not the host that Fowziya was trying to match her up with, he was an Italian guest whom she knew nothing about; a reserved, shy person that said almost nothing all night, but his eyes said a lot.

She practically felt something inside her move, she found that she was involuntarily attracted to this total stranger, and everyone had noticed that the feeling was mutual, Fowziya mentioned that to her later, and she had warned her that this person had a girlfriend he was about to marry, and the fact that he was alone that night was only because his girlfriend was away on a vacation.

Sameera was puzzled; she was not the naïve type and she never believed in love at first sight, but what had happened to her, why can’t she stop thinking about Alberto. It was like he was right in front of her all the time, whispering in her hair, and oh those talking eyes!!!

Two days later, while she was shopping with her little sister in Marina Mall, she ran into him, and they both stood in front of each other speechless, they did not even exchange a simple hello until a good time had passed, then he approached her and asked her to join him for a cop of coffee, to which she readily agreed.

While having coffee, he was the one who was talking and she just enjoyed listening to him, she could have sworn that if it wasn’t for her decent upbringing, she would have seduced him right then and there, what was wrong with her? And why did she feel so strongly about a person that she hardly knew anything about? Was it chemistry that everyone else talked about? Was he a lover in a previous life? Come on, she never believed in that stuff, why him? For sure he was not all that handsome, she had been with much better looking men, and the guy was so decent; he was talking about his girlfriend and his future plans, and she would never in her wildest dreams think of stepping into another woman’s shoes, but nevertheless; she felt his unsaid words, his eyes had said it all; he was into her as much as she was into him, or was she imagining things? And as he was dropping the girlfriend issue in each and every sentence, Sameera felt a surge of envy that she had never experienced before, how could she be jealous of some stranger? What was wrong with her? Or maybe his loyalty to his girlfriend was what grabbed her by the throat, not wonting to believe that such men had actually existed .

They exchanged their telephone numbers and every one went to his daily errands, but Sameera’s life was never the same again.

To be continued

I’ve Been Tagged Again

Sweet Peach had tagged me and I have the responsibility now to respond, so here it goes;

10 years ago:
– I was working and a head of an Engineering department but with time I became a workaholic
– I was in love and very much married
– I spent most of my time helping my kids with their homework
– I was active in charity works, and in health club management.
– I spent my recreation time in sports.
– I was a health freak and did not get close to smokers.

5 years ago:
– I was working and a head of another department, but very disappointed with work bureaucracy and my production declined.
– I was disappointed in my marriage and separated although we lived under the same roof (worst time of my life)
– I still spent a good time helping my kids with their homework
– I became one of the women activists, and although I tried to stay behind the scenes (never liked publicity) but was not always successful.
– I was booming in Thai boxing and my passion for yoga escalated and started to give classes in renowned health clubs.
– I was on the Macrobiotic diet and the whole family followed suit, it lasted three years, and I was the healthiest, most physically fit than any other time in my life although emotionally I was not and then I stopped the diet and started smoking heavily 😦
– I joined Poetry.com and started publishing my poems online and for the first time going public.
1 year ago:
– I signed my retirement to be active around Christmas and flew to Spain
– I was single and for the first time loving it
– My kids started taking the responsibility of their own homework.
– I became politically disappointed and left that field.
– I stopped Thai boxing and started my freelancing in yoga.
– I started gaining weight, not a fat person, but not as fit as I used to be.
– I started my blog and met wonderful cyber friends; online that is.

Although I am a planner by nature, at times I prefer leaving things unplanned (more excitement)

5 snacks I enjoy:
Not in order of preference;
– Cheese
– Chips (only salted ones)
– Nuts (I’m nuts about nuts, but can’t always have them; very fattening)
– Veggies
– Did i mention cheese?

5 bands/artists that I know the lyrics to most of their songs:
Although I’m much more into chill out music now but these are the artists that I used to know most of their lyrics, but for lyrics I don’t usually go by the artist, rather by the song itself, nevertheless here is a list but they’re not in order of preference;
– Bee Gees
– Fleetwood Mac
– Sher
– Sean Paul.
– Light house family

5 things I’d do with $100,000,000:
Being a shopaholic woman, I know I can easily spend that on one day LOL.
Ok, let me think, hmmmmm, live in Spain, open a yoga center, help my kids and the rest could go to charity if I had anything left that is 🙂

5 locations I’d like to run away to:
– Ibiza
– Ibiza
– Ibiza
– Ibiza
-Ibiza, no doubt

5 bad habits I have:
– Spending
– Being an extremist
– Spacing out in a middle of a conversation
– Smoking
– Stubbornness at times

5 things I like doing:
Not in order of preference;
– Yoga
– Writing poetry
– Traveling
– spending quality time with family and friends
– Sex ; ok I’m being honest

5 thing I will never wear:
Can’t think of anything, I love experimenting with clothes, LOL

5 TV shows I like:
– Sex and the city
– Nip Tuck
– Friends
– Elsan3oosi show

5 movies I like:
– Dangerous Beauty
– Piano
– Beautiful Mind
– Fatal Attraction
– The Gods Must Be Crazy

5 people I’d like to meet
My first love, just for the sake of curiosity
Can’t think of any other

5 biggest joys at the moment:
Being back with family and friends exceeds any other thing I can think of.

5 favorite toys:
I only have one toy and that’s a top secret, now don’t let your twisted minds wander you maniacs you; think innocent 😉

Satisfied now Peach?

Ok, I won’t burden others by tagging them, but you are welcome to consider that you are if you feel like it; so hop in and be my guest 🙂

Summit of the Eyes

They finally faced each other
In a destined get together;
And the two pairs of eyes conversed

Eyes talk, you know

But oddly though;
They exchanged compassion
Not hate

Swapped ample pity
Not envy

Fate planned their eerie meeting
As it did their mutual longing
For him

Although I dreaded such encounter
Planned against it
But damn the stars when they intervene

Yes I saw her

Those were the eyes he kissed
And these were the lips he devoured
And that graceful body is where he resided in
Every part of her reeked with his scent

Yes, she was the one who ailed my being
The one who looted my paradise
And estranged my soul on a foreign shore;

And sore

But when the summit was over and done
I heard her pain amidst silent tones
And wondered if it wasn’t the other way around

More Pics

For the stories behind these pics, please refer to my privious posts

Rafting in Venta Del Moro; notice how narrow the tunnels are, this is our boat and we were bending down as the water drifted us under

Hey, beware, nothing escapes my camera 😉

Getting ready for rafting in Venta Del Moro

Peniscola, the dream land; a picture from the top of the castle

A free, open air concert in Moncofa

Let the Pictures Talk

As I have promised my blog buddies; I hereunder post the pictures I promised, not much comments would be added, and if you are interested to know the story behind these pictures, please refer to my diaries in Spain in the previous few entries starting from mid July, cyber kisses to all

Wine tasting of The Bodegas Carmelitano in banicassem, Spain

The natural swimming pools of Montanejos

The prince that built the natural swimming pools
for his mistresses in Montanajos (notice the name: El7amamat El3arabiyah)

Khaleejees have reached Ain

The beautiful white and blue/green houses of Ain, Spain

The Amarican style of celebrating in Ibiza

Sunset on Ibiza’s Cafe Del Mar

The honeymooners in Cafe Del Mar, Ibiza

Boarding the ferry to Ibiza

Beauty queens of the Moncofa’s Maria Magdalena’s festivities

Too tiered with night life? Have a nap at the bar

Half of my tattoo, thanks for editing sweetheart 🙂

Ramonnnnnn; my gorgeous Valencian friend

Now if you are interested to see more photos you can click this

Home Sweet Home

The best thing in a vacation is when you get back home, zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

A friendship day

Tuesday Aug. 16th, 2005
On this day we were supposed to go shopping, Buddha del Sol and then meet our friends for the last supper. But as usual our day started lazily and by the time we left the apartment it was late already, and since we did not know how to get to Buddha del Sol and as our friends have mentioned that it would take time to find it since it’s on the southern outskirts of Valencia, amid the fields of El Saler area, we decided to head towards Buddha del Sol directly and postpone shopping for another time.

Surprisingly we did not get lost except for a short distance in the fields and that was when we got very close to the location. The place opens for the sunset at eight PM and we were about ten minutes early, no one was in the vicinity except for two dogs which guarded the place; one huge black dog and another smaller champagne color. The minute we parked the car the black one stood on alert and the other started barking, I found myself uttering; I’m not getting out of the car, and Elegance echoed; neither am I, and out we drove towards the huge lake of Albufera taking pictures of the rice paddies and the boats, then back to Buddha del Sol where the dogs were gone.

The place was a joke; it was supposed to be a combination of Buddha Bar of Paris and Café del Mar of Ibiza, but it was none of the above. It looked like an old children’s park that was renovated to give the tranquil atmosphere for watching the sunset in the fields, then at night it would transform into a restaurant and a night club. The decoration was lousy; a mixture of oriental ala Middle Eastern with a children’s pool that did not belong and deprived the place from its specific character, and all you see of Buddha was his head. A water slide that did not go with the place at all was still there, all beds and hanging sheets (the one thousand night and one style) were old and dirty although the place was brand new, and although this place advertised for its cocktail varieties, it did not have any except for the light San Francisco that we ended up drinking, and the chill out music that was supposed to go on mellower as the sun goes down was hip hop and started mellowing after dark. And atop all that; the day was cloudy and the sun was shyly peeking through the clouds as if it was giving us an unwelcome gesture, but the lazy atmosphere in the fields was quite nice, and we had come all the way to this place, so we had better enjoy it. And we did; the minute we finished our first drink, we did not even wait for the waiter to bring our bill, we went to the cashier, paid him with the tip and hurriedly fled out to join our friends for dinner. Our friends told us that the restaurant in Buddha del Sol was supposed to be good and the night club is awesome, but who would in his right mind drive all the way into a no man land for that?… forget it

Now the dinner was another story; we were introduced to other people on a large table and the new guys we met were hilarious, we did not stop laughing all night; some would speak Spanish, some English and others Arabic and we all understood each other, we took some caricature style pictures making faces to the camera, they all kept making fun of me and my camera saying that I must be half Japanese. And when the dinner ended some of us cramped up in two cars to go to other places for a drink and some left for home after bedding us the last farewell.

The car ahead of us was driven by Ramon, yes Ramon I told you I’ll mention your name on my blog and wait till you see your picture posted 😉

Ramon is out of this world crazy character with his long hair gelled to the back, who looked like a typical Spanish Flamenco dancer, he was our guide who gave us a spin with his driving, he’d circle each roundabout two, three times causing others to cuss and shout at him, and since it was a Tuesday night, no place was open, so we ended up in Manel’s restaurant who was also with us in Ramon’s car and his restaurant was closed that day but he opened it up especially for us, we spent the rest of the night joking, belly dancing and taking shots of rum liquors of different brands and ages, and ahhhhhh… you should’ve seen Ramon belly dancing… LOL, too bad my battery died and I could not take more pictures, but Elegance took some shots with her mobile camera. The night ended with the dessert we brought from the winery we visited in Benicassim few days back; an awful tasting cherry marinated in alcohol, yuk.

At five AM, when we started driving back to where our cars were parked, Ramon; our guide started his game again, taking us in circles, back to where we started, and out of the car he jumped, welcoming us to Manel’s restaurant again, and that was when we realized what he was doing, this time we did not shout at him, we only cracked up laughing.

This is really what I like about Spain; it’s people. They’re all easy going, fun type, and life loving people, and moreover; they’re CRAZZZZZZY. Two of the ones who were with us had jobs to attend at seven o’clock in the morning, but they did not care although they all held important and sensitive positions, they’d still make it on time the next morning, believe you me, and I don’t know how they do it, and this night was not an exception for some of them, I mean they did not do that only for us; some Spaniards take that as a ritual, having fun all night, then a couple of hours sleep, work, siesta, work and back to night life. Ohhhh.. That must be trying.

Hey guys, life is too short, so you might enjoy it while you can, I know I’m going to miss my Valencian friends, and yes Ramon I will miss you too :p

If one day I decided to leave my country for good, I know I will end up in Spain coz I’m sure that I’d never get bored with such a marvelous company, and as I have always believed; my place is where my friends are, too bad I’m too attached to my friends and family back home, I miss them terribly

Adios Moncofa
Wednesday Aug. 17th, 2005
What a day, we had lots to do, yet wanted to spend a lovely day in this beautiful village, instead we ended up shopping most of the day in Valencia, neither me nor Elegance like shopping and that’s why we procrastinated all this time. Today we were in a race to finish our shopping as quickly as possible so we could come back to the village and enjoy strolling along its beautiful beaches, and may be get lucky enough to sit by one of its beach bars and have a drink before packing and cleaning the apartment.

The shopping which we had planned to be of two hours duration at its max, took us four hours and a half, the Valencians love to take their time when they do a job, the job that takes half an hour to finish would take double that time with the Valencians. So it was a real miracle that we finished our shopping list in such comparatively short duration, we were practically running up and down the streets, but that, off course, deprived us of the time we needed to spend in the village.

So we only had a short time to say goodbye to Moncofa; we walked a short distance along the strip then sat on the cool sands of the beach and watched the almost full moon that would shy out at times veiling its heavenly face behind the clouds.

Tomorrow we are heading back to Madrid…….

As the Time Goes by

Saturday, Aug.14th, 2005
A lazy day that ended unexpectedly
Not an active day, it started very casually, all we had in mind is to load the refrigerator before the coming long weekend; Sunday when all supermarkets are closed and same is true for Monday which is a Spanish holiday called “La Paloma”.
And as we were discussing what to do for our night program with our Valencian friends, nothing seemed interesting enough, but as we were talking about it we remembered a guy whom we met at the ferry going to Ibiza and he told us about the beach nightclubs located between Castellon and Benicassim, so we thought we’d try them out for a change.

The trip took us about twenty minutes and after getting lost on the way, we ended up in a beach bar near the tower of Saint Vicent, had a drink, then continued looking for the night clubs until we found them, and they were as awesome as the guy described them, we decided to stay one hour, at the most, in the clubs then go back home, but to our surprise we stayed there until six AM, if we had stayed longer till the sunrise we would have witnessed the morning party when people take off their clothes and dip in the waters, but we were too exhausted to do that, besides, we had driving back which we were worried about.

Sunday, Aug. 15th, 2005
Peniscola; a Spanish paradise indeed
We were supposed to wake up early and check Peniscola, a place which I have heard about a lot in the past and never got to visit. The thing is that everyone who advised us to visit had never mentioned what’s so special about this place; They’d all say go and see it for yourselves. So for us it was a discovery day, and we were planning to go and spend part of the day and leave the rest unplanned and come what may.
From the minute I entered the town, having a critic’s eye off course, I fell in love with it. Nature is all around, you see mountains, beaches and greeneries wherever you go in Europe, but the thing about Spain is that no place is like the other, the towns and villages could be fifteen minutes far from each other and may have the same nature yet they have a completely different atmosphere and landscape which marks as a landmark of that specific place, and that is truly amazing.

But, we did not get to go there as early as we had planned since we spent the night before out and hardly had anytime to sleep, Elegance was completely drained, but I was more energetic, I woke up, made a beans and oil dish (fasoliya bilzait; the Lebanese style) just in case we needed that, prepared all my things and was ready to go. When Elegance started to feel fresh again; I started feeling drained out of energy and slammed on the sofa, hesitating to go or not. So it was not until three pm when we lazily hit the road to Peniscola (which I like to call Pepsi Cola, btw), but I’m really glad we did.

The place was a pure paradise on earth; I have been to many places in Spain and Europe as a matter of fact, but like this place!!!! I have never seen.
It’s a mountain peninsula with steep cliffs on one part that feels like the mountain is cut into the sea, and flat with powdery sand beaches on another part, it is renowned for its castle which was built by the Arabs, and visiting the castle is another experience. All around the curvy rounds that leads to the top of the castle is restaurants; café’s and gift shops with their special artisan pottery that speaks of a real talent. And as you go up these roads you can see different parts of the city that feels like earth surrounding water in the most beautiful landscape articulated by nature and man. Well, I can’t say more about it, you have to see it for yourselves.

We spent the rest of the day there and we did not get back home until midnight.

Monday Aug. 15th, 2005
The sports day
After spending a magical day in Peniscola, we had a very good night sleep and woke up fresh and dandy, and got ready for drafting which we had planned with our Valencian friends. It took us about an hour and a half from Valencia to reach Venta del Moro where we purchased the tickets and another 40 minutes drive to River Tamayo where the rafting was supposed to take place, and since we had three hours till our activity starts, we pick-nicked in a shady area (kashta), sunbathed and dipped into the freezing cold river.

There were two tunnels through which water drifts from one side of the river to another, so we challenged each other to go by the small tunnel with less drifting water and swim against the current to the side, so some of us held hands and helped each other to where the drifting was at it’s max and then each was on his own, some others would wait at the tongue of the river to pull out the ones who could not make it. The game was really exhilarating, and we all took turns.

Then we got confident enough to try and do the same only this time we would go on the other side of the tunnel and drift through the small tunnel, then out and swim against the current where some of us stood to shoot pictures and pull us out.
Well for me it was a bad experience, because the minute I dipped into water, my foot got stuck between the rocks and as I tried to free it I lost balance, one of the guys asked me to swim to the side before the current takes me, and when I did, I found myself drifting towards a broken tree with sharp edges coming out of the water between the two tunnels, the current was so strong that I could not avoid the crash, but fortunately the guy swam close to me where there was less current and pulled me away just before the collision. And with the pull we both ended up drifting in the big tunnel which we were not supposed to go near since the current was enormous there and no one was waiting at the top to pull us out, every one with their cameras were at the end of the small tunnel. I swear to God I almost drowned in there, but luckily I swam against the current and made it through and Elegance managed to take tiny photos of only my hat above the water.

The rafting though was another experience; some of us including me have never tried it before so we took the beginner’s trip. Our group consisted of three boats journeying through the drifts together, and each boat had it’s guide. The Spanish people are really crazy, it was not only rafting that we did; the guides would pretentiously collide us with rocks asking us to raw quickly with the current where we ended up hitting what ever object was on our way, at the beginning we did not know what we were doing, but after few collisions and us flying into air and into the waters, we realized that the guy was doing this on purpose. We started hitting him with our oars, throwing him into the water; the collision was not only with rocks, we did that with other boats as well.
In one incident the guide of another boat pulled Elegance to his boat then threw her into the water she held on to the side of the boat and drifted with it far from our boat. Our guide started cussing him and telling us that he is the rescuer who is going to save our queen. He swam to the other boat that was close to the boat that Elegance was holding to and held her life jacket trying to pull her up, the other guide would not hear of it, so he pulled her legs towards him, the scene was so funny, Elegance looked like a sardine in and out of the water between the two boats and her face exploded with anger, I wished I had a camera with me, but with this tripping of the boats in most of our journey, I don’t think my camera would have survived.

As we were putting our gears on, a guy took off his clothes completely and was naked to the public, and would you think that would escape my camera? 😉

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