I'm A Happy Mess

        The only problem with my beach bed is that the sun wakes me up way too early. No problem: I walk a few blocks to a not-totally-uncomfortable park bench and pass right back out.
        Waking up for real this time, I'm an idiot right off the bat, spending well over an hour looking for the American Consulate. The dumb part: I'm trying to find the American Embassy, with its Madrid address. Yeah... after correcting that little error, I get to the consulate in no time. It's a beautiful building, flowers and a pool inside guarded gates in case ETA, a Basque separatist movement with a fetish for terrorism (from my extremely limited understanding), gets any stupid ideas. After she finishes telling me how stupid it was to run with the bulls and how terrible she felt when the parents of a young guy that died came over, the clerk's friendly and helpful. Other unfortunate tourists there were nice too. I learned that Interlacken in the Alps is the place to go for extreme sports, even featuring some strange activity called "zooging" or something, where you're strapped into a big rubber ball and then rolled down a mountain. A human slug made me want to throw up. About my age, his chin was slowly being covered by a glob of flab hanging off his face, his voice lazily condescending: "it costs 60 dollars for a new one? That's rawwwbery!" He tries to borrow money off some chick he's with, who gives him a dirty look instead. He leaves after an exasperated sigh and a mumbled complaint, and I'm relieved that I don't have to look at the dirtball anymore. One elderly expatriate was a nutty old rich lady straight out of a movie, trying to convince the workers to list her maiden name on the new passport because she'd only been married once, and after all it was over 30 years ago and she has friends that have been married 4 times.
        After the interesting few hours at the consulate, I have a choice to make: tourism or nakedness? I only have time for either Guell Park or another trip to the nude beach before my flight. The park really didn't stand a chance against the novelty of nudity.
        I'm surprised that the airline let me board my flight. I'm really a mess, wearing the same clothes I came to Spain in, hair so filthy that it looks like I have hair spray in and was going for a tawdrily disheveled style; it's heavy with grossness and stays wherever I move it to. Taking off my shirt earlier that day resulted in a big rip in the back, so not only am I dirty to the point of bordering on smelly but my clothes are also in the process of falling off, too. Fellow passengers probably thought I was flying to London on a rumor that beggars could earn more there.
        Back in Camden Town, I shave and shower. Yes, these are worth noting: never before has either activity been half as rewarding for me. It's fair to say I've had a wild little adventure the past few days...

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