Wednesday, October 24, 2007

19 October 2007

I hope I am the only one to notice that I had a case of redundancy yesterday?

Swami says that I have to get myself to Benidorm on the coast again. It has a large English community and will be tuned in to the World Cup Rugby game of England and South Africa. It is guaranteed to be a raucous crowd and should be more rowdy than other bar crowds I have seen. If I can get there before dark I should be in good shape. I made it to Alhambra in Granada and have found myself in the Alhambra Palace Hotel. I have yet to see Alhambra, but the view of Granada from my room is extraordinary.

I am very sore today from the ride. Perhaps it is a combination of things, but today is by far the most difficult I have noted. I tried to stop several times to take in the sights. I had breakfast at a local truck stop outside of Seville and apparently didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. I am probably stretching things, but maybe, just maybe my accent is getting better and I am fooling people. Not likely, but I would like to think so. It is nice not using any English when traveling.

I pulled over to take a look at a small castle between Seville and Cordoba, but stayed on the bike without pulling out my camera. It was cool and amazing, but I was very intent on getting to Cordoba to see the Moorish Palace again.

I wish that earlier intensity would have been conveyed into my zest for riding around the city because the two times that I asked for directions I didn’t get the directions I was looking for. One guy directed me to an Alcazar (apparently there is another Moorish walled Palace called an Alcazar) 76 kilometers down the road – I decided that we weren’t communicating very well when each time he said “non intiendo”, I followed with a nod and an “okay” and then, “non intiendo”. We had a nice laugh and I rode off while he sat there and probably said, “Well, he did give it a good try. I should have shown him that map that I have behind me, perhaps I might have helped him out”. Then next event was less stimulating, but equally as frustrating. Perhaps my accent isn't as accomplished as I had thought.

After getting lost on a bunch of one way streets while driving (not at all a new feeling on this trip so far - think Valencia and Seville), I thought if I could just get close and walk I could sort it all out. That didn’t seem to work either. I followed all the signs, didn’t veer off, didn’t miss a sign (I circled Cordoba three times and road through the centro twice) and still couldn’t find any signs after the initial five signs from the interstate that directed me to the sight. I even went to the train station to see if I could work my way there forensically from the last time I was here. Too much of the city has changed and this town has grown just as much as all the rest of the places that I have been back to. This place is not at all recognizable from the small town I recalled in 1995. It isn’t like Seville where I had landmarks in the inner city that are historical and will never go away.

All I wanted to do was get to a street or landmark I remember from 10 years ago to see where I needed to go. I am never in doubt of my memory. It never fails me and I have never recalled something incorrectly, but on occasion I might forget small details over time. Conversations, pictures, events, people (names go – faces and situations remain), places and just about everything else is remembered - painfully in some cases. Unfortunately, while I might recall something, what I recall might take a little jogging. It also has to be something that I felt was worth cataloguing. No telling what that might be…could be a smell, a song at a place, a word, a conversation about a rug holding a better dip or the equally funny Hawley Smoot Tariff. It is funny how the brain works.

What a day it was
Sun shines cloudless skies above
Flies feast on windscreen

Watched game show in bar
Funny, in Spanish still bad
Small bar was good stop

Can not recall thoughts
Wish I had tape recorder
Focused on the road

As much as I think my memory is better than most, there are things that I am frustrated by. Early in the day I had several linear thoughts that I wanted to write down when I stopped for the night. I found that I have to focus too much on the road and all haikus and thoughts that are peripheral to the trip seem to have fled.

I recall the stops, the sights, the trucks that were carrying sand and uncovered. I recall the rock that hit me squarely in the forehead (I am wearing a helmet), I recall the fly that stayed on my windscreen for almost two kilometers and I recall being frustrated at the 1950’s Toyota Land Cruiser that couldn’t get above 40 km per hour and spit out a thick black fog that almost choked me. Had I been a canary I might have died from lack of oxygen/bad air. I recall it all, but I can’t recall the one thing that I was intent to remember after I left the truck stop.

It has been about 10 days since we developed the new art form of the “Sighku” and I have yet to use it other than with Kim and Eric. I might have to dust it off right now…

Bad to dream on bike
Too much to stay focused on
Could be scary, sigh…

1 comment:

MDH said...

Hawley Smoot Tariff. Hawley Smoot Tariff. It just gets funnier every time you say it.

And that rug DID hold a better dip!

love n' misses!!! misha