Get Lucky

12 May 2006

The Cheat got lucky last night. Come read about getting lucky living in Spain.

You know how it goes, it’s always the same story.  The day is sunny, you’re thinking to yourself how great it is to be swinging down the calle, hearing the bleat of the horns and whine of the scooters, and then the waiter brings you a café con leche so hot it burns your lip.  The croissant is glued to the napkin the locals insist on placing on the plate (just what the hell is it supposed to be doing there?  You sure as hell can’t wipe your mouth with it now that it’s sticky with all the sugar glaze they dump on pastry here), and finally some old guy wearing an open shirt who smells like last week sits way to close at the next table.  Maybe an old lady with a yappy little dog decides to sit there too, the little joker barking asthmatically at every living thing that comes near it.

But you don’t care, because you got lucky last night.  Oh yeah, that’s right.  You went out into the Spanish night and Spain came through, delivering a night of hedonistic debauchery as only it can, that resulted in some heavy breathing and this morning walk to a bar in a neighbourhood that isn’t yours.  Its all good, and you are thanking your lucky stars that you didn’t stay at home for another episode of Night Court reruns in Catalan and a frozen pizza. 

Now I know, this happens every night in every city on the planet, so what makes it special enough to write about here?  Clarity buddy, its all about vision.  To quote Marcel Proust, “The journey of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  That’s why we upped and came here, to be Happy Expat, to see new things and new landscapes and discover all that lifestyle.  But you know it starts to get pretty meaningless after a while because as I’ve often said here, we get caught up in the day to day and all of a sudden its one big blur.  What with all the drinking and fiestas and its difficult for it not to become one big blur.  Hell, just last Friday I went out with an older, respectable client who was in town and we ended up having altogether too many cocktails in an establishment of ill repute.  I swear it all started innocently enough…

So bad behaviour aside, there remains the vexing problem of pattern and falling into a rut.  And believe me, drinking and partying all the time is a rut and a pattern I have seen too many Expats fall into.  It becomes itself a kind of raison-d’étre, the universal answer to the question of why you came to live in Spain.  I have on occasion, fallen into this rut, and discovered to my utter shame that I have some of the deepest and most appreciative moments as a Happy Expat when stumbling home from some dinner or into bed with a new friend.  More often than not, the Revelation comes the next morning (or early afternoon) when I’m stumbling into a café for breakfast reliving the events of the past 12 hours, thinking for the millionth time “I’m so glad I’m here, right now”. 

We came in search of a life less ordinary, and Ye Gods we found it, so don’t go squandering your hard fought opportunity by settling down too much and recreating your responsible life from back home.  This is neither the time nor the place.  Be a good guest always, but be inspired.  And let the Spaniards help do the inspiring. 

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