I knew something positive would come of this achy hip business and although this was only the second of my Anglo Fridays I think I’m going to make them a habit.
Throughout these 11 years of living in Spain I've been diligent about integrating: learning both official languages, following local politics; I’ve pretty been strict about not living an ex-pat lifestyle. For years I hardly even had any English-speaking friends. By leaving America, I had said good-bye to all that. And even now, I live my day-to-day life as a foreigner but amongst the Catalans. I am perhaps an interloper, but an integrated one.
But, sometimes, it’s nice to come down off my high horse and surround myself with English speakers and American food. Sometimes, after a week of working for a nationalist government, when it’s not even your nation, you need to speak your own language and talk about your own cultural icons. Just for a few hours you need, well, a womb-like sensation of comfort and love. Yeah, I know that sounds dramatic, but living in a foreign country can be alienating, no matter how nice the weather is.
So, starting last week Friday lunch hour is my little break from the clipped rhythm of Catalan. At 2:15 I leave work and take the metro up to Gràcia, to Studio Australia, which I have renamed near wild heaven. After two classes with Natalia, I’m not sure that I can actuallyfeel my pelvic floor, but I do know that I’m thinking about my body differently, and noticing micro-tilts as I run, and that I trust her in a way that I haven’t trusted anyone new in quite a while. Maybe, it’s the Australian accent, which I interpret as familarly Irish but healthier.
Today I left the Studio at 3:30, feeling flexible, but hungry and as I rushed down to the metro station what did I see but, lo and behold, a bagel shop! I don’t think I’ve had a bagel in about two years. So I got a carrot juice and poppy-seed bagel with real cream cheese and still got back to work on time.