Keep on Walking!

Have I told you about the time I went to Spain? About how I stood at the edge of the cliff at Formentor and stared in wonder at the magnificence of the ocean?

The aquamarine of the Mediterranean Sea is something that cannot be explained, it’s brilliance cannot be captured by the photos (though God knows I tried!)

It is breathtakingly beautiful, and a bit frightening. Frightening because it’s so massive  and overwhelming that you feel dwarfed and insignificant standing there, at the edge of the cliff, with the wind whipping around you, threatening to throw you off. You’re suddenly stripped of the facade which has been carefully constructed throughout your life to give you the impression of control.  You realize how small you really are in the universe that is all-powerful, all encompassing… beautiful and terrible at the same time.

I stood there for a long time, not quite knowing how to express what I was feeling, not even quite sure of what exactly it was that I felt. Somehow it was vaguely comforting to know that I was only as important as a grain of sand might be to the beach. I was meant to be what I am, and that’s okay! I almost felt tempted to jump off into the ocean, not because I was suicidal, but cos it was so beautiful and somehow I felt like I wanted to be a part of it.

Well, of course I didn’t jump, or else I wouldn’t be here, writing about it.

And talking practically, I think when I die, I’ll have my ashes thrown into that ocean! My sister can make a trip of it- go to Mallorca, drink some sangria, throw my ashes into the sea… you know! :P  (That’s how *i* talk practically!)

While in Mallorca, I carried my Lonely Planet around the whole time, checking the phrases at the end of the book and trying to recall whatever was taught to me in my Spanish language class! The trouble of course, is that in class you’re taught by someone who speaks slowly and enunciates with a lot of gesticulation, while in real life, you’re hit in the face with  volley of vowels that you can’t make any sense of and you’re left frantically turning the pages of your phrasebook to where you last saw ” please could you repeat that SLOWLY?”, all while your friend is standing next to you skeptically, muttering about you wasting money on lessons that clearly hadn’t come to any use!

It was fun though, trying to speak a different language, embracing a new culture, living like the locals, eating their food, drinking their cava (oh! How I miss cava!).

I loved their joie de vivre, and for the longest time I thought I’d like to go live there! In fact, I still believe I’d like to die there. I feel it’d be a magnificent way to end it!  But there’s so much more of the world to see before that! So for now… just keep on going I guess!


13 thoughts on “Keep on Walking!

  1. mschristiner says:

    I was very similar when I went to Argentina. I took Spanish classes and thought I was pretty good until I landed in Buenos Aires. They speak very eloquently and quick! So like you, I was always looking at my phrase book.

    That cliff in Spain looks beautiful by the way.

    • Sanjana says:

      I know! They speak really fast don’t they?! Or maybe we just feel that cos it’s a foreign language!

      And yes, Formentor is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to!

  2. Orel Engel says:

    The cliff looks marvelous. I’ve been to Spain 2 weeks ago. I liked it a lot as well. I found they were pretty comprehensive with people who weren’t fluent in Spanish. People whom I talked to were trying to speak slowly bu I agree that when they were talking to eachother that sounded insanely fast. My friend from Mexico told me she doesn’t even understand them!! But then I think it’s as always when you don’t really speak the language, you feel like they speak it very fast.

    • Sanjana says:

      Oh nice! Did you go to mainland Spain? Since I only visited the Balearic islands, I wanna go there again and visit the mainland this time round!
      It’s true what you say about foreign languages sounding fast to our unaccustomed ears! :) I’m surprised your Mexican friend didn’t understand anything though, the languages are supposed to be similar!

  3. Orel Engel says:

    I know!! But I think there’s a big difference between the two accents and she was probably not accustomed to the Spanish one at all. It’s probably not as strong as the difference between French and Quebec French but maybe strong enough so she would be struggling following a conversation at first.
    I was in Alicante and Valencia. Hopefully, I’ll visit more. I live in Nantes, France, which isnt that far from Spain.

    • Sanjana says:

      I had no idea that Canadian french and French french was different! :)

      And nice… you live in a beautiful country, with easy access to other places. Good for you! :)

      • Orel Engel says:

        Yes Canadian french is very different. It’s like a same language that had evolved in two different ways for two or three centuries. When I was in Quebec I found it a very strange experience, because you can understand them, they understand you, but it’s so different at the same time! It’s like you both speak two different languages but you understand eachother. That’s how I felt it. But of course it’s written the same and all tho.

          • The Wild Child says:

            That IS strange! Or is it like Hindi-Punjabi? (The mind boggles at how the two are DIFFERENT languages….with diferent SCRIPTS and all!)

            Those are some spectacular pics. I wanna go toooooooooo!! I know I say that for every travel-related post of yours. You should work for the travel network or something…’ve totally got what it takes to make people want to try new things.

            In Mexico, for the first couple of days I just relied on the stbx’s Italian – apparently it’s similar enough to Spanish to make do – and wild gestures to communicate. Actually it’s similar enough to English, once you get a hang of the accent. I had people walk up to me all the time, rattling away in fluent Spanish, because apparently I look like one of them. But by day 3, I could totally make out what they were saying (even though I couldn’t answer)! I’m sure it’s very different from the Spanish in Spain, though.

            • Sanjana says:

              oh yeahhh! You DO look spanish!
              but then a lot of Indians tend to look spanish, and vice versa!
              I remember my Spanish teacher telling us that the shopkeepers in Meena Bazaar (Indian bazar in dxb) got pissed off when she tried explaining to them that she’s not Indian and doesn’t speak hindi!

              She wrote down ” main India se naji (nahi) ju” for future reference even! :P

              Yes, Italian and Spanish is very similar, but it’s pretty amazing that you could understand Spanish within 3 days! I remember when I was in Spain, i couldn’t figure out a worrrrd! Even the words that I knew! Not unless they were speaking slowly (which a lot of them obligingly did, nice folks that they are!)

              • Orel Engel says:

                Ahah I’d be pissed off too! I mean I don’t know, usually people don’t think I’m a local.

                I speak Italian too and it sure helps to understand what someone says in Spanish. It helps being understood as well and it’s very weird to realize there’s not a strong barrier between the two languages.But in 3 days? That sounds amazingly quick :D

                For French and CA French it is the same language with the same writing but after a few centuries our vocabulary evolved in two different ways and they use expressions we don’t have in France as well as we use words and expressions that don’t exist in Canada. They’re not two different languages but more like two different dialects.

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