Friday, 20 July 2007

la Noche de Sueños Locos


Manuel Street

We had seats reserved on the train from Madrid to Seville for the Wednesday morning. As we were leaving early we decided in our unerring and infinite wisdom to collect the tickets in advance. We had the requested documentation and my credit card. I thought it would be a matter of showing up, queue for a bit, present requested documents and off you pop sort of thing. The chaps from the Spanish rail operators had other ideas. This involved queuing up to get a ticket in order to join another queue so that someone could send you to yet another queue. There was sweating, swearing, and general upset as we traversed our way round the train station trying to guess what way the system worked. Any way an hour later we emerged victorious, clasping two "second class" (as the snooty chap behind the counter had put it) tickets to Seville.

I opted to get the train to Seville rather than plane as I wanted to see the Spanish countryside. And I also enjoy a good train ride through new and exciting surroundings. The sleeper from Bangkok to the south of Thailand was one of the highlights of that trip. So I was all a quiver as we pulled out of the station. LMM as predicted fell asleep within minutes. Love is not getting upset as your girlfriend drools and dribbles on your new t-shirt in her sleep. As we pulled clear of the city the Spanish countryside opened up in front of me, well to the side of me, but you get the point. Dry and barren in places, charred from the relentless heat but with pockets of green grass and crops to offer something to focus on and add to the beautiful vistas. In the distance little houses on little farms popped out to reveal themselves, the perfectly white washed walls contrasting against the natural landscapes. As LMM was asleep I hit play on my iPod and really got into the whole experience, the silky sultry almost lazy Latin sounds of Juana Molina hit the spot just right. Heavenly. Then....

....then the bastardo behind me decided to pull the blind down. Are you trying to ruin my magical moment? Have you any idea how much you are fucking with my "special journey?" I wouldn't have minded but we were about 30 minutes into a 2 and a half hour trip. Nuts. When we arrived in Seville I stood up to get a look at the ruiner. A fucking child! A ten year old brat had sabotaged my fun. It's not the getting there and all that though is it?

Manuel and the magic eye view....
Seville
If Madrid was too fast the Seville was just right. The hotel, Las Casas del Rey de Baeza, was located in the old Jewish Quarter of the city, I wonder if it used to be the old Palestinian Quarter. (It's like reading The Guardian isn't it) The hotel was beautiful, light, airy, calm, peaceful. The staff were so nice I became worried that I had booked us into some sort of happy clappy cult like commune. They were the polar opposite of
the stern and laugh free staff from the Madrid hotel. There was either Ecstasy in the water or these people actually cared about good customer service.

Seville was great. Narrow winding streets opened onto little squares that were bordered on all sides by a chapel, tapas bars, shops selling all sorts of el crapo. Shops selling el crapo are my favourite, they are the same all over the world, you simply take thousands and thousands of years of culture and mythology and music and religion and all the things a people hold dear and you get a company in China to make it into a plastic doll or lighter or ashtray. Genius. Hey I'm not knocking it, I myself came home with plastic castanets, a cigarette lighter with a flamenco dancer on it, a T-Shirt with a bull with very large b
alls, and various other bits of tat that will clutter up a drawer for about 3 years before being chucked. Ah the cycle of life....

Talking about cycles we arranged to hire some bikes for a days cycling but the morning we were due to pick them up we had a huge change of mind and cancelled them before they arrived. This was due to the "la Noche de Sueños Locos" (The Night of Crazy Dreams). This was the most freaked out I have ever been in my life, and I have been married! Earlier that day I was feeling a bit groggy a bit run down. I was standing in the pool shivering with cold and I thought to myself that "This is a bit odd, it's 38oc and I'm shivering cold." Not being one complain (HA!-LMM) I said nothing but thought it wiser to get out of the pool. We were going to the Plaza del Torros that night which had me a bit excited an
d I didn't want mother, sorry I mean Little Miss Manuel, using my impending illness to call it off. I just had to fake it and try and conserve as much energy as possible. A couple of well placed 20 minute hugs could be turned into naps if played out right. I'd be busted if they turned into sex all the same. I would have to fight my normal instincts.

The bull fight came and went, more of that later. It was a great experience, especially as I was seeing everything in slow motion and on 2 screens in my head. It was like watching the Matrix live! We got back to the hotel and I dropped on top of the bed and revealed my illness to LMM who said it was nothing more than tiredness. Tiredness eh, we'll see. Within minutes I had drifted off to sleep. Well I say sleep but it was more like a hellish parallel universe inhabited by repeated words, repeated words, repeated words, visions of men dancing with horses (actually dancing with horses on their hind legs cheek to cheek), a drawer that kept opening and closing, and plates of fish! It was like an episode of Twin Peaks meets Dali! I was in Feversville and I had just been made mayor. At first the only thing that woke me from this nightmare was my new best friend, my big chesty cough. It didn't arrive on it's own it brought Mr Phlegm to play as well. I woke at one point oblivious to the fact that LMM was now not on the bed but instead reading a book on a chair in the furthest corner form the bed. I stumbled of the bed and in a rush to stand up and look normal I stubbed my toe on the wee table. What a picture I must have looked as I bounced round the room trying to grab my toe with sweat lashing off me whilst trying to focus on the wall.

LMM took over when she got back bed. My heart was racing like a humming bird and I was hot, not hot like a matador but hot like someone with the Ebola virus. (How's that for hyperbole?) My breathing had apparently become a concern too. Jesus! I was thinking about final words and how would LMM get my body home and would my sister come out to get my remains. And what was on the hard drive of my computer that might cause embarrassment even after death. And the more I fretted the more my heart would react. Then I started feeling sorry for myself. Well who wouldn't?! I think that's when LMM had had enough. Boyfriend with a fever is one thing, whinging boyfriend with a fever on holiday is something else all together. She put damp towels on my head and forced cool water down me every 20 minutes or so. And after a couple of hours this seemed to take effect. I began breathing normally again and my heart was down to it's usual relaxed humming bird mode. The fever had passed and I drifted off to a happy place where men didn't dance cheek to cheek with horses.


la Noche de Sueños Locos

I had been awake for an hour or so before LMM woke that morning. I just lay there soaked in sweat. The sun filled all the cracks in the window blinds and you could tell already it was going to be another scorchio day. I just lay there contemplating the night before and how happy I was to have LMM to get me through it. I also thought that it was a scene reminiscent of Apocalypse Now. You know the one at the start before Marty Sheen goes up river and he is holed up in his hotel room? (Have I still got a fever?) I couldn't hug LMM enough. I thanked her and told her how much I loved her and that I didn't know how to repay her love for me. She said she knew how and would show me the brochure when we got home....

[seriously there is still more to come such as the bullfight and the meeting with future Manuel]

14 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

finn said...

though they may cause discomfort and fretting at the time, incidents like your Night of the Crazy Locksmiths refresh our perspective and make us realise what's truly important in our lives. thanks to you ima clean up my hard drive RIGHT NOW. or at least FileVault my shit.

savannah said...

wow...damn, sugar, i was starting to feel ill! good idea about the hard drive purge...any idea why you had such a bad 24 hrs?

savannah said...

(sorry, i'm so disconnected...quick break between visits/family activities)

Manuel said...

finn: It's true, I looked sweaty death in face, or something less dramatic, and decided I wanted to live and clean my hard drive! Viva life, viva clean c drives!

Savannah: I reckon it was a combination of a cold and sun stroke. Us Irish aren't used to such temperatures, anything over 19oc and we have to lie down...You have a fun weekend...

knicksgrl0917 said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until september...here is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here

Medbh said...

Good call, Manuel on likening your ill episode to a mix of Lynch and Dali because that's what the nightmare imagery sounds like. Pobrecito!
The sun/heat makes me ill as well.
Glad to hear that LMM took control to see that you pulled through.

Manuel said...

Medbh: Not my first time with sun stroke conditions, and it always ends up with magnificently weird dreams. Same happens with a hangover.I'd be dead now if it wasn't for LMM, well maybe not dead but probably would have hurt my toe even more....I miss Twin Peaks....

Conortje said...

You were really lucky that is only lasted a night. I loved this post by the way, really great :-)

Manuel said...

Conortje: Lucky for sure, LMM was in danger of going home! Thanks by the way

ellie said...

" A couple of well placed 20 minute hugs could be turned into naps if played out right. I'd be busted if they turned into sex all the same."

Thats probably one of the cutest lines I have ever read on here. The romantic in me loves what you and LMM have.
Has she selected from the brochure yet?

Manuel said...

Ellie: I didn't really intend it as a cute line. If anything it was intended to show how I could get some sleep by pretending to be nice. Men eh? bastards... It's her birthday next month and I am in no doubt as to what I have to purchase....

Fat Sparrow said...

"I was in Feversville and I had just been made mayor."

Oh, you men. I had that every night for months.

Excellent narrative, though, carry on!

Manuel said...

FAT SPARROW: I could have died! Honest....

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