Somehow I am in Spain. I don’t quite know how I got here. In between spells of fitful sleep and bizarre dreams, I have found myself in the middle of boiling hot Madrid, about to start a 10 day walking holiday with 4 Japanese friends.
I nearly didn’t arrive at all. Never underestimate the capacity of the British rail network to go wrong. Just because a train leaves Brighton on time – at 5am, it doesn’t mean it won’t stop twenty minutes later because the tunnel up ahead has flooded. Fortunately, a kindly commuter took pity on me and two other stranded passengers and gave us a lift to Gatwick just in time for the flight.
Over the next week I will miss Brighton and all the familiar comforts of home. But I am excited by this new adventure. The biggest challenge will be the language.
When I first went to Spain after 2 years of living in Japan, I spent a month starting sentences with すみません。I have already spoken Japanese a couple of times to waiters and to the teacher who gave me a couple of online lessons.
Perhaps I should just embrace the confusion. Let the listener deal with what I throw at them. Surely they can work out just by looking at me that I would like an empanada (a Spanish pasty) and a cold beer. Words are just decoration.