DAY ONE

I got off the plane at midnight and told the customs dude that I’d be in Spain for two weeks, but that was a lie.  I’d be there for ten days, two weeks just sounded more official and I was terrified that he was gonna ask me if I’d ever been arrested or what not… Cause then I’d have to lie.

Am I allowed to enter a country if I’d been arrested?

I mean it was so long ago.  I’m not even sure if that’s still on my record, or if I even have a record…  Yeah, I’m pretty sure I paid all those cops off…

Anyway, it was my first night in Europe.

I found the metro and stuck my credit card in the metro-ticket thingy to buy ten rides.

It asked me to put my pin number in.

Pin number?

It’s a fuckin credit card.

THERE IS NO PIN! 

Fuck, a line was building up behind me.  I looked like a goddam tourist so I stepped off the line.  If I pay in cash then I won’t have to put in a pin number… Which I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist.  Fucking goddam Spanish machine.

Anyway, I took out my debit card, which I knew the fucking pin number for, and paid the five-euro-surcharge at the ATM and went back to metro card machine and stuck in a twenty-euro bill.

I got a million coins back in change but at least I didn’t look like a goddam tourist again, though now I was jingling as I walked through the turnstile.

I got on some train then transferred to another then transferred to another and got off at the Tirso De Molina stop.  I studied the map on the plane and how to get to my hostel so I wouldn’t look like a lost American on some silly European vacation.

But I walked above ground and had no fucking clue where I was.  The streets were made of crooked cobblestone and narrow alleyways, which met on every corner.

Where the FUCK are the street signs?!

Do I look lost?

I’m not lost, I’m never lost.  I’m resourceful as fuck, remember that.  Man, I’m already talkin to myself… It’s just late and I’m jetlagged.  But still I couldn’t find any of the goddam street signs.

I look so dumb in the middle of this damn triangle… I was in some triangle-shaped plaza… I look so dumb here with my damn backpack and rolly suitcase—it was my first time ever traveling with more than a backpack.

I brought it cause I had been traveling for a couple weeks and probably was gonna be away from home for a month, wherever home might be.  I had just flown in from Los Angeles, the city I lived in for six years, the city that I was sure would lead me to the meaning of life…

But unless the meaning of life is pumped full of collagen and draped with fake eyelashes and surfer tans, I was still on the lookout.

Anyway, there was nothing in LA other than beautiful fake tits and posh Instagram celebrities, so I left with my ex-girlfriend a couple years ago, well, girlfriend at the time, and took this road trip to Philly, where we were gonna move.  Actually, I ended up deciding a road trip wasn’t good enough, so I applied to break the Guinness world record for longest journey by car in a single country.

So now I’m tied to my ex for the rest of my goddam life cause we got this damn record for the longest road trip together and we’re all over fuckin Google…  Pictures of us, everywhere…But whatever, that’s a whole other story.  Point is, the plan to move to Philly with my ex was foiled when we broke the façade that we were actually happy with each other… I got about as much emotion from her as I do from the barista at Starbucks I frequent in Long Island, so I been staying with my family for the last eleven months to spend some time with my grandma.

She’s not dyin or anything, I mean, she’s old, but still wears a lotta jewelry and bracelets and shit, so she’s still got her brain in order.  We play bingo every Thursday, but then the Thursday night bingo lady got canned so bingo night got switched to Wednesday.  So we play bingo on Wednesdays now.

But anyway, the reason I flew back to phony-as-shit LA for a couple weeks was to see if possibly I truly loved that city and had blown all the plastic surgery outa proportion in my head.  But I quickly remembered how full of shit everyone was when that chick with pink hair asked me to hang out then gave me a thirty minute time-window that she was ‘available’.

That’s why I came to Madrid.

I don’t really know why I’m here.  I don’t have any plans really, other than a few high hopes that I might walk into my hostel room and find twelve Swedish girls in thongs changing for sleep and giggling while slightly intoxicated.

That’d be awesome.

Where the fuck is that goddam street?  I still had no idea where I was.  Finally l asked the busboy

“How do I get to Calle Relatores?”

“Que?”

Uhhh… I was scared to use my Spanish… Maybe cause it mighta been a bit rusty. It had been awhile since I was in Argentina—I went there once and almost moved there.  But anyway, the busboy stared at me waiting for me to say somethin he might understand, and so I spoke my first few words of necessary Spanish.

“Tengo que ir aca.”  And I pointed to a screenshot of the map I took on my phone.  He kept trying to click the ‘Get Directions’ button, and I kept tryin to tell him that it was only a photo of Google maps cause I didn’t have internet.

“Ahh, no tienes Internet?”

“No” you prick “Es un foto.”

Anyway, he blabbered some quick Spanish to me that I could barely understand and gave me directions on where to go.

I said “gracias” even though I wasn’t sure if I understood him correctly. “Buenas noches” I added, just to be polite, and also cause I knew I couldn’t fuck up sayin goodnight.

What a dumb fuckin tourist I look like with this stupid rolly suitcase.  I hope life makes sense somewhere along this trip.  Anyway, I went in the direction I think the dude told me to go in to find the damn street.

On my way there some dude tried slangin me drugs—But I explained to the dude in detail that in less than a month, I would have six years sober… Ever want a drug dealer to leave you alone in Spain?  Give a detailed account of your sobriety… If you’re sober, I guess.  Well, anyhow, that sure shut him the fuck up…

“Yo tengo seis anos sobrio en un mes.”  I told him.

“Ahh… Si?”

“Que?”

Never mind, and I walked away.

I found the road, it was a narrow road, and down that narrow road were casual cigarette smokers and a million more nighttime cafes just then closing down.

It was 2AM.

A chalky sign with red painted letters that said ‘Way Hostel’ met my gaze less than halfway up the street.  And so I walked toward the hostel in Madrid and started what would become a crazy ass fucking 10 days traveling in Spain.

If you’ve ever wanted to hop on a one-way flight somewhere foreign to see where life will bring you, you’ll enjoy this tale.

Welcome to 10 Days in Spain…

Check back in a few weeks for part 2 maybe.