Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stephanie's Europe Journal Day 8

Day 8

***WARNING: This post has a ridiculous amount of foul language due to one of the conversation topics. Proceed with curiosity and caution.***


"We're on the way to pick up trash, then to France. The mountains are beautiful and there are huge fields of sunflowers.


Well, we didn't pick up trash. We sanded some shutters and walked around a wildlife reserve. It really was not interesting to me at all, but one thing was cool: there are these birds that pass through the reserve while migrating every spring, and the wind from over the mountain is so strong for 15 days that the birds have to wait on the reserve til it's over.

We're about to cross over into France...well, soon XD

The thought of being in France makes me miss Alexei {the French boy} even more :( I really didn't think I was gonna care about him at all, but I do!! I really miss him in an intense, heartbreaking way! I thought Alicia would really miss him, but not me. Well, I do. Random things remind me of him and I just want to run back to Valencia ASAP. And I still have to tell you about our last night when we talked to him a lot. But later. Later.

So, we're listening to French music now. The first few songs I HATED, but this one and the one before are okay. I kinda like it. It's gonna be so weird not being in Spain... I was really starting to feel happy and comfortable there. And not being able to understand anyone will be really strange. SPanish caught on with me really fast, but I have so much trouble with French. Even with Alexei teaching me, all I remember is "cold," because he had me say it SO many times, making me say it just right. I also remember 3 other words, but I'll get to those later.

Sabine said we're really close to the border! Aah, I don't wanna leave Spain! My stomach is doing flip-flops... I wish we had Alexei :(

FRANCE! :) So fair it looks just like Spain except confusing because of the signs D: Now I know how all the non-Spanish-speaking people have felt all week.

I'm really afraid I'm gonna run out of room in you {my journal}. That's why I'm using paragraph marks instead of wasting line space. {I'm not doing that with Blogger XD}

So, France looks like Spain so far XD I'm really not sure what I was expecting. For it to be immediately clean and chic and proper and polished...unrealistic of me I realize now XD

I'm staaarving... It's 1:05 and we have an hour of driving left--at least.

The glares on the bus windows keep confusing me. I think something is on the left, but it's on the right...sometimes I can't even see out my side of the window.

I just at a totally pulverized Rice Krispy. And we're all singing "Burnin' Up." Lols XD

We're, like, going up a mountain... The roads and view are the prettiest yet! But the bus takes up like 75% of the road width XD

I miss Cassidy.


Okay, it's 5:07. We ate a picnic-ish lunch of a rock-hard sub with tomato, lettuce, mayo and eggs. It was pretty good. Then we kind of attempted to go to the bathroom, but we did not. The bathroom was a small house. You walk in and the first word that comes to mind is "grime." Tile with grime, sink with grime, mirror with grime. It looked abandoned and filthy. So we peeked into stall #1. There was a toilet. It was probably dirty but I didn't notice because of the black liquid in the bowl. Never flushed. Ever. Blackness different from anything else. Stall #2 was tile. Just tile. And a hole. And grime. People miss. Especially with it being unisex btw. So, needless to say, we didn't go.

After that we literally hiked up a mountain! At first it was awful: hot, trudging, sticky and wavery. I was a little afraid I'd be the one to stop us. But nope. After a few minutes of trudging on red gravel, it changed to rocks! Smooth, gray boulders that you had to find foot and hand holes in :) Daddy would've loved it.

The hike ended ina cave where they're digging up "cavemen from 600 million years ago!" The whole thing was bull, but a couple of things were cool again. Girls could give birth at 8 YEARS OLD she said, and 45 was OLD for them. And yet in the middle of all that crud, I noticed trees growing straight from the cave sides. And for some reason that felt like God. Like he can make beautiful things grow from rocks. Good from difficult :)

The view from the cave balcony was breathtaking. The mountains today in general were breathtaking.

THey looked so big, so mighty, but still and graceful and calm. I feel tiny next to them. They're beautiful and so flat-looking, although you can see every crevice. It's like at any minute someone could pull on the backdrop and make it come swirling down as a sheet. I know all these descriptions sound contradictory, but they're all true. You just have to see them. I'll never say the mountains in Narnia look fake ever again.

After the hike, we threw spears, which was kinda cool, and listened to a lady talk about Evolution and show us skulls. Then we got to go swimming! Right next to where we ate, at the base of the quiet mountain, was a long lake with gorgeous green-clear water and more climbable boulders in difficult and beautiful shapes. I put on my suit but I only went in up to my above-knees because it was COLD, and I felt like climbing the rocks and exploring anyway. It was really cool :D Then it was time to go.

On the way back to the bus, Michael asked me what I thought of the skull lady. I was like, "What, the monkey skulls?" and he made this taken aback face and was like, "Those were human skulls." I said, "Yeah, some were monkeys and some were humans." He looked at me funny and that was the end of our conversation. I think we are two totally different belief pages.

So, the bus ride was too short. I was exhausted for some reason. Anyway, we got to the hotel, and the Barbies {a clique of unbelievably shallow and slutty girls and guys} immediately started flirting with some older guy in the pool. Whatever. I got roommated with Kaitlin {one of the Barbies}, who's actually really sweet. [Side note: The skull Lady talked about digging up rhinocerous skulls. rie-noe-SAHR-us. Leron was like, "Oh, rie-NOHS-ah-rus?" And she was like, "No. rie-noe-SAHR-us."]

Then we went to dinner in the hotel. Our first legit French meal. It was not good. Salad with vomitrocious dressing, and this really good actually cressant thing with cheese inside. For the main corse, pasta with no sauce and a nasty hamburger. Mine was undercooked -_- Dessert was okay. I mean, it was good, but I didn't feel like eating at all. Someone said it was like a Zebra cake.

So, the hotel rooms are no better here. There was pee in the tiolet when we arrived. Like, WTF? If they don't even flush, what DO they do?!

I feel like God is working in my finally :) I talked to him this morning and thanked him for things specifically. I also asked him to please give me an opportunity to share him, and to please help me recognize it. Not 30 minutes later, Alicia and I were talking "religion," which she normally hates. For some reason she opened up and I think I may have helped her sort some things out.

I also saw God in the mountains. Seeing them in all their quiet glory gave a totally new meaning to the verse about faith moving mountains. Like, wow :) God is so cool! I cannot IMAGINE anything moving those massive blocks of stone. How great is our God??

Random thing: yesterday it rained. And thanks to Momma and Mrs. Martha, I had the perfect jacket! :D

So, you know how I missed my family one day, then Cass and Daniel and Sam? Well, today I missed people a little farther our, like Kirsten and Jesse and...someone else. Daddy. Kirsten during the skull talk, Jesse during the lake exploration and Daddy during the rock-climbing.

To be honest, so far I don't like Franc,e BUT I know we haven't been here long. Apparently we're only staying like 4 days or something. Hm. Okay by me so far. I really kinda just wanna go back to Spain. And get Alexei XD

Okay, now that I'm not on a bus, I can talk about him. So, night #2 we went into his room and played more cards and got comfortable with each other. We teased and he even winked at me once when we were messing with Alicia because I had winked at him and he was halfway mocking me XD But after a while, we started taking pictures. He HATES having his picture taken btw, so they're all either blurry or he's making a horrible face XD After we finished pictures, we all sat on his bed, leaning against the wall with our feet stretched out, laughing.

Somehow we started talking, just about everything... Facebook and Spain and family and travel and languages... We started trading languages, and since Alicia and Alexei speak Russian, they went with that. Alicia goes "I know hot to say horse! 'Lo shatz.'" Alexei kind of laughed and covered his face a little.

"What?" we said. He shook his head.

"In French iss mean...iss mean your..." He pointed at us...and down.

"Boobs?" Alicia said.

"No," I said, blushing. I got it. Alexei grinned.

"Yes, down."

"Oh." Alicia got it too XD "Iss also mean cat in French."

alicia and I cracked up.

"In English too," we told him. And the next thing I know, we're trading cuss words. It was actually one of the funniest, funnest, easiest, least awkward conversations I've ever had. He was so funny!! He taught us shit, fuck, dick, pussy...yeah. And we helped him with his English ones where he needed it, but he mostly did not XD At first it also started when we accidentally said fuck in French. Then we asked him to teach us, so he did. We repeated it over and over, trying to get it right to write down. He just laughed hard and we were like, "What?"

He said through his snickers, "You ahr saying 'fuck, fuck, fuck.'" XD We asked him if he even knew what it meant and he was like, "Yah *makes 'getting it' action*" And we diiiied laughing XD "Yep, he gets it." FUnnest hour of my life :) Alexei is the most adorable guy I've ever ever met.

So yeah. I have more to say, but I'm like really stressed out right now because the leaders are gonna read over our journals. It's for a school credit, and I don't need it! I HATE people reading my stuff, no matter what it is.

So. Urgh. I just have two more things to say: 1) Karson reminds me of Bekah VE. ANd Lydia reminds me of Cecily. And: [Alicia and I are hanging out the window waving at French boys] While at the lake, I saw some guy bawling. His gf was holding him and he was absolutely wailing wit ha despair so deep it went straight through me. WTH? At first I thought he was being a wuss and had stubbed his toe or something, but then Lydia said, "His mom died." She'd overheard the phone call.

I've never felt the way I did before. A feeling so painful, so tangible, so heartbroken. It was physical. I gasped without meaning to and my eyes flew wide and my hand flew to my mouth. His mom died. He got down on his knees and held his head and cried. I felt stricken. He was showing despair in a realer way than I'd ever been exposed to. Wracking. I felt the emptiness. I couldn't imagine what it would feel like to lose your mom. I suddenly feared for mine. A world without my momma in it is an empty, alien place. I never want to know it.

Wake up called at 6:30 again tomorrow :-\ So I'll ttyl!"



  1. It's hilarious where our minds go when we're learning another language :p

    That's so sad about the guy on the beach.

  2. Love the playing with Language translations.

    I have never known so much pain and the expression that one's soul can actually weep, when my Dad passed. I can only imagine the guy's anguish over losing his Mom.

  3. Jay: Yeah XD And yes. It still hits me sometimes.

    Psycho: Haha, thanks. It was fun.

    It's...just hard to put into words what that must feel like. I'm sorry about your Dad. I can't imagine losing one of my parents.