Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve, Last Day of Meaningful Existance

The amount of pictures I've taken has decreased dramatically and it's raining.Both are sure signs that it must be time for a big change.

My stomach has been in a huge knot the past three days and I just don't want to think about what I'm going back to. I have to live with my parents

 and suffer. ew.

 Not only that, I will be immersed in a touristy culture that doesn't have adequate public transportation or any grasp on the meaning of respect. I guess Vegas can be easily confused with Barcelona, but that's why their touristy. They're meant for short term durations, not for living comfortably. Yes, each city has it's fun, shimmery, light-hearted side. But it's shallow. Everything is based on alcohol, spending exuberant amounts of money, and raunchy behavoir. (Don't get me wrong, there is a world of difference between "raunchy" and "sexy". They are not equal, but opposites).

I'm quickly loosing hope on returning to Spain/Switzerland soon. My parents are keen on having me attend University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It's not a bad university by any means, it's just not where I see myself. I never had a dream University that I wanted to attend when I was in high school. I had my hopes high on attending Universite de Lausanne in Switzerland but they don't want my u.s. american credits. I don't think Spain will be as particular.

(That awkward moment you remember your socks and favorite pair of underwear are hanging out the window at a hostel in a different city).

On the smiley side, I found a pair of pants that fit (!) at Zara, on sale. They're in that salmon pink color popular in western europe. I went for a walk around the Zoo and saw some monkeys...I've been drinking coffee like an addict (because the world knows a cup of Starbucks coffee in the US is nothing short of 4.00 USD, nor is it particularly good).

Hostel Showers

What an uncomfortable experience.

It's you, half of your luggage, and the shower. One tiny space. If there's no basket to put your bag of toiletries, it risks being nearly unrecoverable. So there you go, you loose q-tips, cotton pads, band aids...

It gets even more irritating when you have to dry these things off. This is not a matter of being too lazy to do the job. It is a matter of towel size. If you're like me and frequently only traveling with a small face towel to save on space and weight, you are out of luck. It's you or your wet toiletries. It can be nerve-wracking. Most times, hostels don't give you the luxury of a free towel so, like in Hungary and Bulgaria, I used a washcloth in place of a full shower towel.

Then, of course, there's no trashcan in the designated shower area. So the hostel-goer is there with a pile of garbage (q-tips, old socks, empty Bulgarian perfume bottle...) to juggle after the shower.

Shall I continue?

I forgot to bring flip-flops...

ew. But I've gotten used to it. Showering in hostels without flip-flops is looked down upon, though I really don't think a thin piece of plastic between my foot and the floor helps too much. I've simply embraced it. And I scrub extra hard.

My hair dries slowly so the timing of a shower in a hostel is imperative. There usually aren't hair driers so I normally have to shower in the morning and stay in until my hair dries. I don't want to catch a cold.

Speaking of "cold", most hostel showers don't reach 70 degrees F/21 degrees C (think Madeira). Pensions are much better about this but you never know until you get there. Sometimes water temperature is based on the country.

Usually I'm only with a bar of soap and a small travel container of face soap. Shampoo, conditioner, razor, and loofa are not in my vocabulary while traveling.

After the shower, the shower-er struggles to find the right toiletry in the toiletry bag. It's packed to the brim, making things like bobby pins a nearly impossible find.

Getting dressed is another story I just don't want to delve into.

Hostel showers are most certainly uncomfortable, but after two years of this process, the ups and downs that come with it, I believe the hostel showering experience to be nothing short of fulfilling.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quebra Nozes em Lisboa!

Ten stanzas and I pulled out a pices of toilette paper for my eyes. The ballet corps and symphony from Moscow were perfect. I was thoroughly impressed, despite the theather. It didn't feel cozy. Even Broadway felt warmer than this Coloseu in Lisboa.

The salsa bar we ventured to afterwards was far and we had to pay an entrance fee. The music didn't vary from salsa to bachata to merengue or anything. It was just pure salsa for a solid hour. uff. I mean, I like salsa, but I need a bachata-warm up. It only makes sense.

Oh, the days of Malta and Valencia are so far away...

Last stop in Porto

Cemeteries are some of the neatest places. Like doors, they can tell you a lot. Before departing Porto, I made a pit stop at Cemetario Oriente, yet another eerie Portuguese destination.

Everytime I turned a corner, it seemed to sprawl in a new direction. Mausoleum's were more common than what my eyes were used to. Some had curtains and a layer of glass behind the gate. A few even had wooden doors, eroded by weather, time, burglary. Yes, you could look inside of most of them and see that some things were just not there, not right...

But the ones that hadn't been touched weren't to my liking either. You could look inside, see the tombs, dust, rotting flowers from the 1930's. Most times, there weren't even names listed in the mausoleums, rarely a year noted.

One that had been broken into had the number "1496" on the front but I'm still not sure if that's the year of the tomb or just a marking system. It was in the older section, though I don't think it could have been that old. the door was just the normal steel gate we see in the States, but it was open. No one, not even the groundskeepers, had taken the liberty to close it. There was no missing this. Is there a superstition surrounding Portuguese tombs?? I saw three wooden tombs in each stone niche. Light was shining in from the small stained-glass window on the back wall. The corner of the middle tomb had been hit the worst: it was splitting, I could see the fabric inside. The body was covered, though, thankfully.

I left a little scarred.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I can really feel the repercussions of the recession here.

Doors are usually a good indicator of a culture. This is just my theory, but think about it. A Croatian in Dubrovnik won't line up with a Maltese door in Valletta. Fact.

Doors here in Portugal are usually a deep color. I've seen very nice shades of red, shades of green, even orange on Madeira. The most favorable shade for the Portuguese is an acqua-blue, sometimes with purple or green undertones. You still see that in Porto, but...

Doors are worn in here. They definitely have seen better days. Wood underneath shows through on most of them or they're chipped and color is fading. The lock is loose. Sometimes, the door isn't fully attached to the hinges. Other times, it's not attached to hinges at all.

These types of doors are the biggest problem. Doors not attached to hinges are not easily repaired. Behind these doors is dust. Abandonment. There isn't any other country where I've seen more abandoned buildings, homes, failed businesses. Going to Spain December 2011 took me off guard, but Portugal has been hit harder.

Spain has a plethora of "for sale" and "for rent" signs. You see that in Portugal, but not as much, it seems. I really think people are giving up here. They aren't even trying to sell or rent; they're just leaving. Spain still has hope but Portugal is sinking.

Economists don't look at culture. Who is going to get more Erasmus/foreign exchange students and tourists? Spain.  Who is going to spend more on big parties, alcohol, pigs to roast on a spit with 30 other people? Spain.

Portugal isn't a party culture like Spain. Think: Nochevieja, Feria de Orujo, etc. Party means entrance fee, adult drinks, nice clothes, transportation. This is my theory, please don't mess with it. ;) But going out really isn't cheap, easy, and it is most definitely an unwavering part of Spanish culture. It's probably why there aren't as many abandonded buildings, yet.

Oh, and I've been in Porto since this morning. it was only 13.00 euro for a full-priced ticket on the high speed train. !!!

But I had some older Portuguese lovers following me, whispering at me from a distance...the older men here aren't helping me enjoy my time in Portugal...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in Coimbra II

The random Thanksgiving post was posted last night, written in October I think. (Sorry, just forgot to post and didn't notice it!)

I spent the night of 24th tasting various sorts of Portuguese delacacies. I had bought one at a cafe and the rest came from the hostel's generosity. I still managed to stir-fry some vegetables. (Warning: always look at the bottom of containers that hold things like vinagre and olive oil when in hostels, there could just happen to be little fruit flies floating, like ten of them. Questionable).

The most elaborate Christmas dessert throughout Portugal is Bolo Rei. It's basically a bunt cake with nuts and the kind of dried fruit you never see in North America with cinnamon. Very sweet yet still very delicious. However, I prefer a much more simple dessert. It's about twice the size and shape of a thumb and is made out of sweet potato, sugar, and wheat flour. I'm not quite sure what it's called. Does it matter? It's a thick, filling dessert that you don't need too much of but still satisfies as a dessert (unlike a scone. How boring is a scone??)

After the tasting, I went to a bar with some of the girls in my dorm. I didn't think anything would be open, but I ordered my first Bacardi Pina Colada. It was nothing special. I prefer la Crema de Orujo.

To bed around 3:00, up at 10:30. I ate breakfast alone, but no worries, it's Portugal. I of course had a tv nearby. I went through the cycle three times looking for a Christmas morning ballet. (For some reason I have a feeling that's what I used to do in Cheyenne...). Of course, I found E.T. in German streamed from  Austria, BBC and English floods, and an American knock-off company of CNN discusing finance schools in the middle east and how to attract more girls. But no Christmas morning ballet. No Tchaikovsky, no Baryshnikov, no Nureyev (uh, Nureyev. keeper.). So that's what I'm doing at this moment, listening to a 1959 recording of The Nutcracker and deciding if I want to go back to Lisboa early to see the Russians perform it. I can always take day trips around central Portugal. There isn't a place up north I've been dying to see or anything, just Porto. If I do see The Nutcracker, then I'll have four days more to get there.

I've been thinking hard about this the past few days. Not only that, I've been checking the status of seat availability everyday since before I went to Madeira.

Christmas morning breakfast? cereal with honey, passion fruit juice, and a mango.

Everything is closed today, naturally. I should get out anyway. It's a beautiful day (even though it rained last night)!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday

After some good ol' fashioned homework and reading aloud for practice, I went for an evening stroll. I went shopping down a street I've never visited before. I didn't find any outstanding deals on clothes, but I did pick up some chocolate soy milk, cheese from Castilla y Leon (this provence), and a butternut squash.

I enjoyed a 21:00 dinner of eggplant slices topped with Spanish cheese. For desert I just simmered some yellow Spanish peaches with honey. This is me being creative.

I met up with my roommate and her friend at this little hole-in-the-wall bar we found along Gran Via. It was such a gorgeous night I don't think we actually wanted to sit in a bar; we did anyway. The bar, Havana Club, was decorated with old brass and woodwind instruments. It was done tastefully, though. (They had four versions of my beloved mellophone hanging galantly, where I could sip my red Vermouth and gaze on).

I didn't go clubbing, but I checked them out before going home...should have gone out Saturday. gah.

Went to bed and woke up to a barking dog. Oatmeal with honied peaches. Put a concotion of mint leaves and rooibos on my face; I looked like a tree. Anything to clear my face.

Now I have my Sunday to prepare for the week, take a siesta, tarea, and go to a Canadian Thanksgiving made by two Canadians!! I can not wait for tonight. We're having dinner at 20:00 at the apartment that my friend, Alycia, rents. She lives with two other Spaniards and they're coming, too. So it's going to be two Canadians, an American, and two Spaniards at a Canadian Thanksgiving meal in Salamanca, Espana. This is what I live for.

Christmas in Coimbra

You know that locks are on upside down in Portugal? After three hostels, this can't be an accident, but a cultural phenomenon. (What I mean is that when you put a key in the door, the flat side goes down and the ridges go up. This is considered "upside down" in the US right?)

I landed in Lisboa from Funchal, Madeira and stayed the night in the same hostel as before, Traveler's House. This morning, December 24th, I spent two and a half suprisingly smooth hours between a metro and train. And I'm just happy that the ticket for both means of transportation came out to only 20.25 euro. #TravelingInDepressedEconomy

Although it was a pleasant walk to the hostel, I kept on getting lost (lugging around a computer bag and a huge backpack isn't easy, even without the big suitcase which I left at Traveler's House).

Last year for Christmas, I was lucky. I was staying at a friend's house in Valencia. I was traveling from their place the day before, making a quick circle through Andalucia and Murcia, and was invited to Christmas dinner with a dear Murcian family. From 19:00 until 2:00, we feasted. That could have been the most memorable meal of my 20 years.

This year, not so lucky. (A lady in Madeira and her daughter invited me for their Christmas dinner but I unfortunately left too early...). I really shouldn't say that I'm not lucky, though. I'm still here, in this clean hostel, safe, fed. I went to the grocery store today; even though I won't be eating anona for Christmas dinner, I will still have a hearty vegetable stir-fry, topped with an avacado, and a mango with some traditional Coimbran Christmas fruit cake I bought at a pastry shoppe for dessert.

My family was never big on Christmas (or Thanksgiving or Easter or New Years...) but family does give you someone to talk to. I don't feel like I'm missing out on not being with family at all. In fact, the best Christmas season I ever had was last year ! (Dinner with friendly strangers and two exceptional weeks with Valencian friends, salsa dancing like crazy, without my parents).

I love parents, we're just not big Christmas people. Such is life. I want to be in Valencia salsa dancing. I am starved for human interaction with people I already know. Traveling alone can be fun, but to a certain extent. There's nothing that keeps me going sometimes. Why do I travel? Well, it doesn't matter because it will almost always be more fun with a friend. I do like my personal space, but it's not like I get that at a hostel...

You know, where there are hispanics and Spanish, there is fun. My mom was right. They have how many form of dance (salsa, merengue, flamenco, sevillanas, bachata, cumbia, tango, reggeaton, mas) in comparison to the rest of Europe/world (club dancing doesn't count, everyone can do that...). People everywhere learn salsa (proof in salsa clubs on Malta), but how many people learn square-dancing or irish step dance in comparison? hmmm???

--interjection: the girl in the bed underneath me has been fixing her hair since I arrived three hours ago

--there's a bridge I can see from my bed that has been sparkling with lights since the sun went down. It reminds me of the Eiffel Tower on a warm summer night!

So there's my reasoning, why hispanics/Spanish have more fun than the rest of the world. Even though their economies and governments never last the test of time, that's okay, they just dance it off. No pasa nada jejeje

Sunday, December 23, 2012

here It comes...

...the nostalgia is setting in.

My dad sent an email saying how close it is for me to come to Las Vegas. My flight to Lisboa departs this evening so I'm packing once again; this means that I only have one more week of, well, what? Of travel, yes, but it's not just the travel, seeing new places. That can get old fast. I think what I'm going to miss is meeting people, the quick encounters. I'll miss the flexibility, the freedom I have. I can decide what to do, where to go, who to be with all on a moment's notice. I can choose solitude or socialibility. There's nothing like it.

So now what am I doing? Well, I most certainly not packing and listening to Flamenco music.

I am not looking forward to Las Vegas. I attend university at the University of Salamanca, I know more about Castilla y Leon than Nevada, I actually know people in Spain (Las Vegas?? I don't know anyone there except my parents and the occassional relative that visits).

Pero no pasa nada. Que sera sera. But no matter. What will be, will be.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Some notes about the Portuguese...

--they serve coffee excessively hot, ye be warned innocent tongues and sensitive teeth

--their coffee is bitter, much more so than its Spanish or Italian counterpart

--Portuguese coffee is also super ridiculously cheap

--I have yet to see a restaurant/cafe without a tv in it

--they don't like Spanish (the language, I have no idea how they feel about the people)

--people are generally poorer here than in Spain/a Portuguese man told me he thinks that Spaniards are generally rich ( I don't know if he has been to Spain...guessing not)

--Portuguese think that the Brasilian accent is easier to acquire as a non-native speaker

--the Portuguese do not enjoy Christmas markets as much as other countries do, but they enjoy the Christmas season more. (ie, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Christmas music playing on stereos on the streets at night and in grocery stores)

--Portuguese food is better than Spanish food (even though I'm killin' for a bocadillo)

--Portuguese grocery stores are awkwardly set up (pans next to the cat food, school supplies next to baby food...), yet they have a better selection of yogurt than Spanish grocery stores

--Portuguese don't stay out quite as late/party as much as the other part of the Iberian Peninsula

More to come...


This 19th of December, I celebrated my birthday on a Portuguese island. Exactly.

I started the day by eating a perfectly ripe anona on the deck of my hostel overlooking a church, banana fields, and the ocean.

Two hours of surfing took up the next part of the day. Athletisicm is not my specialty and even though I was absolutely assulted by the waves, surfing couldn't have been a better option.

After a lunch of more anonas and avocados, I went for a wander, a walk, between small Portuguese villages. There were so many banana fields, avacado trees, anona trees, stunning views, goats that seemed to pop out of nowhere. After dark, I made my way down the mountain.

And I think this was the night I had three anonas for dinner. hehehe I'm really going to miss those things! Only three for a euro, can you believe that?? My mom talks about them like they're so expensive. (But I guess coming from a country where you just climb the treees to get them...)

It was a simple day away from a big city, just what I always wanted.

And happy birthday to Andrea Coelho, whereever she may be!

21 December 2012

I was one of the millions that didn't believe in the end of the world on 21 December 2012. The Mayans just didn't have time to finish writing their calendar or that's my rationale anyway.

After all that I had endured from surfing the day before, I went to bed early. There's nothing worse than being cut up and sick on vacation. It didn't help, though. At 4:30, three consecutive sounds resembling a bomb struck. The clock from the church rang afterward. Seriously, could this be the end of the world? Or maybe a terrorist group was raiding the island? I just couldn't believe the latter. The only sensible option to me at 4:37 in the morning was that a meteor had hit. I sat up in bed, lights on, nose running. I got out of bed, hesitantly, only to get a glass of water. Walking through the hallway, I noticed the light was flickering; it hadn't done that before. The door at the end of the hallway was also cracked open; hadn't I closed that the night before? I closed it, got my water, went to bed. Not that I could sleep well. I couldn't imagine what was happening or rather, what had just happened. I swore I heard faint screams, voices of young girls, from nearby mountains. All of this plus some slowly spun in my mind as I tried to convince myself that death by meteor would be easiest to handle while sleeping.

Two hours later I was terrified to hear the explosions again. Would this be the interval to expect until we were all dead?? At this point, I absolutely knew it wasn't a foreign raid and if I wasn't dead yet, I might be alive for awhile. Scared still, I stayed in bed until 7:15. Then for some reason, I jumped out of bed and ran to the porch; the door was cracked open again. I was sure I had closed it all the way. No matter, I heard loud chattering from the church. It seemed like the whole village was there. It was getting serious now. I ran back to my room. I stuffed my boots with my passport, airline ticket, and 30 euros. In case I would live through this, I of course put my pink point-and-shoot camera in my jacket pocket.

Walking outside, I hadn't noticed any structural damage, no bodies, no fire. I got to the church and only one person was seated in the pews. Everyone else seemed to be enjoying their last cappuccino in the cafe next door. Well, Portugal is one of the more religious European countries. Maybe they weren't worried about how they were going to die because they had so much faith. Possibly?...

I found a girl who spoke minimal English. She didn't tell me what the sounds were; she told me that if I wanted to know what they were, I needed to walk toward the sound. She gave me directions.

She didn't understand that I didn't want to walk toward something that, to me, could have been a bomb.

Alright, well, what will be will be, I thought. Might as well walk toward the sound that had given me so much grief.

I turned the corner and went into the first cafe. There, behind the bar, were two men and an elderly lady laughing away.

"Espanol? English? Do you speak English?" I think I asked too fast for them. Either way, they only spoke Portuguese. So I did this thing in Spanish. I was flustered and this guy was having a hard time keeping up. From all my eccentric hand motions, though, he got the point. "bomba...explosion a las cuatro y media....q paso????"

This was the moment I learned that the locals all around Madeira have their own Christmas traditions, this being one of them. Everyday since the 20th until Christmas, the "bombs", "explosions" would be set off. They were set off yesterday morning but I guess I just didn't hear them. One of the men took me into a small shack next to the cafe. The shack was filled with crates of fruit, a refrigerator, and the culprit. In the corner, the man pointed out a light brown stick, taller than me and thinner than a lamppost. I couldn't believe this little thing had produced so much sound. My blood pressure is still up.

I went home and ate an avacado, can't sleep. As for the screams, I'm almost positive they were just seagulls.

No more of this end of the world nonsense. Too much stress.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Goulash and Studel, I must be in Hungary


Christmas markets, pumpkin strudel, embroidery, cafe's, street musicians, embroidery, the Opera House, purchase of a handmade journal (dark green case, images of people sledding painted in gold. It's so eastern, so perfect.)

Another solo trip, but I managed well. Hungarians are seriously some of the friendliest people I've met. As a modern day Lewis and Clark, I highly recommend Hungary for this purpose.

Sunset around 16:00 but that definitely didn't stop me from my explorations. I found a very chic cafe near my hostel. It definitely had a trukish feeling to it. Chalk drawings on the walls, cushions on the floor and mini tables, low lighting...I ordered a Melange. Latte Machiato with condensed foam to die for and a thick layer of honey on the bottom. For 500 Forints, or 3 euros, I'd say I should have gotten two.


Ana Furdo baths and saunas, gold domes, cherry and cottage cheese strudel, night in Communist-era building for 7 usd...omg. Christmas market in front of a Basilica where I bought two teacups with two matching saucers. Preciosas.


embroidery shop, pottery shop (with demonstration just for me!), private tour of the Communist museum on a day when the museum was closed (just for me!), tour of typical Hungarian village in Hungarian (we made it work...), cabbage strudel. I mistook a block of chees for a croissant. Yeah. The cheese was in the shape of a croissant and was being sold at a specialty cheese stand, so I figured it was a croissant filled with specialty Hungarian cows-milk cheese. nope. It reminded me of sharp tasting string cheese. Also went to a blues performance at the Serbian Orthodox church. My favorite stop in Hungary, hands down. Found travel buddies who didn't really speak English, but they wanted to help me out! Oh, Hungarian hospitality. And a free train ticket because the lady at the counter was feeling . =)

First snow since I left cheyenne! I was not happy...


Free entrance into the rehearsal of Madam Butterfly, Langos (basically hungarian pizza), Hungarian surrealism and history, those beautiful gold domes, antique shops, hot bowl of cabbage with paprika and chicken on a chilly december day....


Performance of the Wizard of Oz (hungarian style, no ruby slippers, toto talked, the wicked witch of the west wasn't green...), spicy goulash, chestnut puree (my new favorite desert), purchase of embroidery and handmade shirt, walk through the castle, creepiest wax museum of my life, Minaret, beautiful Hungarian musical with zombies on tv (wish I found the name!!)

Back to Budapest

I missed my flight. Long story, don't want to remember. But there wasn't anything  to Madrid until the next night. So, for a ridiculous price, I took a one way plane to Barcelona instead with Lufthansa. I felt so out of place. All those people in suits, stylish glasses, expensive haircuts and then there was me. Backpack, hair in a bun. And I did not smell nice after all that traveling. Lufthansa offered food and drinks and believe me, I feasted.

Arrived in Barcelona at midnight, went into the city to try to catch a night bus or train to Madrid, went back to the airport because the train/bus attempt failed, hung out with a Bulgarian for a few hours, couldn't buy a ticket for a flight because I had ran out of money on the card, couldn't eat for hours, cried a lot, talked to my bank for an hour when the money wouldn't work (gahh), flew to Valladolid at 18:00, tried hitch-hiking into town, lacked one euro for the bus into town and almost had a breakdown (but a man on the bus paid for me , haleluja), caught the last bus into Salamanca. Arrival time: 12:15. That, my friends, is over 40 hours of unnecessary travel.

Besides this little mess, it was a stellar solo trip.

Swiss Map

 Last night was Nochevieja in Salamanca. It's just a huge party for university students before everyone leaves for Christmas break. It wasn't well known outside of Salamanca until recently. Now, people fly from internationally and even take those oversized charter buses for this. What started out as a small get together has turned into upwards of 50,000 people in the Plaza Mayor.

Naturally, no classes the next day.

Before going to the Plaza Mayor, my dear roommate and I had some friends over. We ate pasta with Canada's best home-made tomato sauce. We cracked open a few bottles of wine. I pulled out my Swiss map, logically.

There was a Canadian girl whose parents are from, get this, Lugano and Luzern. (She even has family in Chiaso...). We professed our enduring love for all things Swiss.

Well, silly me. I took my Swiss map out of my wallet and didn't put it back. What was I thinking? This map is the original map. The original map I picked up one day at the train station in Lugano that would never be offered again. (Believe me, I've searched hard for another). My Swiss map, as ridiculous as this sounds, has been there for me. On every travel adventure since it came into my possesion, it's been with me. Through thick and thin, this Swiss map has kept me company. I would circle all the Swiss stops I've made, write notes and observations on the back...I would pull it out every once in a while and think about where I would want to go next, what I had experienced within the circled city names, sometimes just zone out.

You know how toddlers always carry around a blanket? Yeah, well I carry around a Swiss map. When I was scared, alone, at the train station in Plovdiv, Bulgaria at one in the morning, what comforted me? My Swiss map. When I missed my flight from Budapest to Madrid and I was at various airports for more than 40 hours, nothing could have been more soothing than looking at my Swiss map.

And I didn't put it back into my wallet, my map with holes in the creases. Wine spilled on it. Vino tinto. And it's not to be salvaged.

I'm a little worried to travel without it. You know I travel alone a lot; it's nice to have something familiar to hang on to.

I shouldn't be this attached to an inanimate object.