In NYC I visited the Metropolitan where I never got further than the Egyptian wing because I met my childhood friend, Tad, or as he told me long ago that he would rather be called Rock Argentine, for lunch that lasted the rest of the sweet afternoon. Of Course we solved the worlds´ problems.
Then in Washington D.C. I visited Macy´s extensive shoe collection. Then Paris and the Louve. Jesus! Just hose me down. I was astounded at the huge statues that I felt surely would speak to me at any moment; one bunch of particularly beguiling men all had curled penises or is it peni.
And then the Guggenheim in Bilbao. What an amazing place that is. It is not boring in the stuffy sense of museos. Gehry (am I right on this?) made a museo that opens up space and forces the stuff in it to say.. hey. look at me!!! Aren´t I pretty! come on. have your picture taken with me. Love it!!
My French was very limited: wee, nohn, parlyvu english?, au revoir, mercibeaucoup, see vu play…you get the picture, and having realized too late that Paris is a lonely place for a grandma-even a bold, gregarious one like myself, traveling alone, I was excited to get to Spain where I know a few more words.
There was no music because it was Monday, so we talked and talked. I let him talk some. I´m glad too, because Graham is not only smart and funny, he is 29. He holds the view of most of the people I´ve met, that Bush really fucked up the state of affairs of the world with his war and that the education system-both his in England and ours-in America, sucks, is boring, and not conducive to learning. We decided that history is not boring, history teachers are boring. Show Mel Gibson movies for God´s sake; Make some animated cartoons, teach geometry on a pool table…
And did I mention that Putin is now my age? To celebrate he had himself videoed doing his black belt karate chops in his bare feet. What a showoff. My feet are prettier.
After Bordeaux I took the train to Spain. I was so excited to be going where I would be able to understand the language and actually voice my needs with several parts of speech. Everything was good until I got to San Sebastian. They do not speak Spanish in the Basque country. It is said to be similar to the Celtic language with a lot of hard consonant sounds. Whatever. Gergurfff is not easy on the hearing aides. But that´s not the point. In San Sebastian I got on the wrong train. I was rescued by a business man who put me in the proper place to catch the correct train but alas I got on the wrong train again. This time the train was going in the general direction of Bilbao, with only one change, so I stayed on it.
These trains in northern Spain are one gauge trains. Remember the little engine that could-well, as this one was chugging up a hill it couldn’t. So it stopped. After a few minutes we all exited the train in the back, jumped onto the tracks, and walked on the tracks several blocks to the town and then to the station where we waited for a bus that drove us to Bilbao. A burly women helped me carry my heavy bag along the tracks. Then, as I said, I stayed in the hotel where the bus let me out. Life is simple really. What traveling does is remind me not to fight it..to flow.
Jump to Barcelona. the first night there I wandered down the street to the Liceu Opera House to get info. 102.euros later I had a ticket and was sitting in the 2nd balcony center. Despair, God, love, abuse.. the whole story sung in arias.. the place is known as the most opulent opera house in all of Spain. It didn´t move me to tears but the singing was good even if it wasn´t Placito Domingo who is my very favorite -ok next to Sean Connery. And then the Museo de Picasso. Who knew he got into potting after all those other periods. You see, age is just a thing that gets you warmed up as you go along.
I ended my stay in Barcelona with a Gaudi tour.. Jesus. I am in love with this man. He used broken concrete and tile pieces as no other has and toppled the right-angle architects on their ears. Sensual, colorful .. like snorkeling thru a building, weightless, surrounded with color.
I´ve been sampling the tapas. Good thing I brought Rolaids. Last night I had pescatitos fritos..little fried fish.. the not-so-little bones got stuck in my throat causing coughs that even vino tinto couldn’t´t wash down. So more bread. Nobody seems to be fat in Europe but I don´t know why. bread bread bread.
Madrid. First day there I chilled by watching a John Wayne movie on tv in the hostel which is quite nice because it was the only English channel I could find. My own three story walk up room with bath and a complicated tv that I haven´t figured out yet.
That night I sat at a cafe and watched the people. So many of them had black suits and red ties. I thought the Mormons were convening. Some of them had what looked like they were carrying their own pool cues but they were probably flutes-maybe very long flutes. I wondered if the Mormons were infl¡trating the pool halls. Anything is possible. When I followed them I found that they were part of a private concert and was summarily stopped at the door. Ha. Private Mormon concert bettya. Walking around I saw the Museo de Jamon or Ham Museum. What a concept. And I went into a place that had cheap sweet clothes from India. If I had ANY room in my suitcase I would at least buy a couple of shirts but …ok maybe. there are English version movies in the center parque near me- o.v. for original version, so I can spend an eve watching am American movie.. Ninos in Pajamas ..reyes.. I´m not sure what it´s about but it sounds right up my alley..
And them there was Madrid. The Prado is lovely. Velasquez, Goya, … you name a Spanish painter and he was there. But stuffy..like most. And on the way from there I was at a news stand fixen to buy an English language paper because I wanted to read about the debate and a man behind me said, Are you really sure you want to read that.´His name is Robert. We soon found ourselves laughing, and dining, and listening to jazz. He is a writer from NYC and has convinced me that a one woman show is possible. See. Anything really is.
OK rough, but minutes are up and here goes!