The 18:15 to Valencia Nord

In Valencia I witnessed:

A marathon

Human towers

A formation of dancing girls in the park.

Sword fighting enthusiasts with axes and scythes

A gathering of restauranteurs dressed like priests.

A caravan filming a car commercial

A Valencian beauty queen in traditional garb.

A man on the train with a pink mustache, and a weird smile.

A cat stuck in a window box trying to get out.

Spanish flags

Two gargoyles

A paella the size of a tire

Many fountains,

a Chinese New Year,

and James Cameron’s top grossing film,

Avatar.

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The power has gone out in my Spanish apartment

The power has gone out in my Spanish apartment. The lights are off, the cords are not charging anything, the elevator has stalled, and inside the fridge, the strawberries are molding faster by small increments, waiting for small wisps of room-temperature air to seep in.

In the hallways I hear the echoing clangs of dissatisfied Spaniards, opening their doors, stepping into the hallway and finding that there is no one there, who would, perhaps, attend to the problem, and, satisfied in their dissatisfaction, going back inside. I hear them clang again every few minutes. But perhaps they are only looking for neighbors to lament with, as it is our common experience. I admit that I myself voyaged out, barefooted, to stubbornly press the elevator button again and again and see that it did not light up.

Outside it has started raining.

I wonder how many of my neighbors are also awake at almost-midnight, how many besides the dissatisfied Clangers. How many are shocked at the timing of the weather.

When the lights come on, maybe 40 minutes later, it scares me more than the first time.

I tuck myself out of bed and go to check on the ice cream.