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Thoughts, Observations, and Prayers of a Stranger in a Strange Land.


Thursday, June 30, 2005
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via spain: 6-12-05
Last night I had the most delicious sangria and tried some of the local rioja wine. The Sangria was perfectly sweet and cooling in the warm summer night. Up Las Ramblas a cool mediterranian summer breeze made its way to to me sitting in a cafe. On Las Ramblas I sat with a chilled drink in hand while the sounds of excitement and smells of spice were a mix all around.
As this breeze found me and together with this sweet spainish beverage I felt my soul sigh.
For a brief moment, here in my life, the world on my sholders fell away and I released all I held on to.
The smile that found me stayed on my face for the night as I sat, sipped, and watched this world around me.
Prime people watching; Dramas playing out, lovers lost in each other, revelry of friends old and new... in this spainish night.
After my sangria mixed with people watching I wandered the quieting streets of the drunk Saturday night. I was drunk not on just the sangria but the mediterraian air, the friendly faces, and Barcelona itself... an intoxicating place.
I turned a corner and then I found myself upon a soccer game in a medieval cobble-stone square. One side you see tables and chairs locked up for the night, a modern building highlighting some local artists and then in another side a church and buildings rich with character older than my country stood, beautifully aged and an amazing testiment to the city's rich history. In one area of this vast square a gaggle of guys from various ages, countries, and of fitness levels were engaged in a friendly game of soccer. Watching for a few minutes and marveling at this... I realised: I've got to join up!
I motioned for me to join and in hand jestures and smiles they greated me and had me join up.
It was brilliant. We played for quite a while.
Heading, faking out, sprinting, sweating, laughing, scoring, cheering, slapping backs and hands in approval and joy of scoring, it was pure enjoyment of the sport and each other.
I don't think we were people who might agree on politics, music, or religion.. but for one hour this night we all we united and bonded by the sport and the pure enjoyment of this soccer game.
After we all nearly collapsing from exhaustion we sat in the square introduced each other, shook hands, laughed a bit and then all parted ways into the night.
I made it back to my flat, undressed and fell onto my bed shaking my head and laughing to myself.
Such a great night... one of many great nights here in Barcelona. I then stood up on my bed looked out at the city alight with the glow of the street lamps, below the people making their way home from their night out; singing arm in arm, laughing, and stumbling. Past the people and the city, towards the sea, I could see sunlight just breaking through the night about to kiss this city.
inhale, exhale
and then flat on my back again... happy.

You're a bit of a loon, you know.
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