I miss home today and I’m going to put it down to last night’s storm. There’s something comforting about the rain that always reminds me of home. I am from Manchester after all, and I don’t know of another city that has rain quite like we do. In fact it’s hardly rained here since my first two weeks and, well, I miss it.
“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain”
So, thinking about home, I was reminded of some of the things about living here that drive me crazy. I am going to miss this place when I have to leave in 3 weeks’ time, but there are still things here that frustrate me. These two stories should show you what I mean…
I went out to meet a friend for coffee two days ago and walking down the street there was a man coming straight towards me. Whether he was drunk or just not entirely control of himself I don’t know, but there was an odd sway to his walk and he didn’t seem to be paying attention to where he was headed. It was a fairly busy street (as far as they go in this part of the city anyway), but as he walked past me (and entirely without looking at me) he leaned over and slapped me on the arm. Hard. It’s not as if I’d done anything to offend him, and he wasn’t just trying to get my attention; I stopped and turned round to give him a look of annoyance and ask what the heck he thought he was doing, but he had already staggered away and didn’t look back.
And it’s not as if this is the first time something like this has happened. A couple of weeks back I was coming to the front door of my building at the same time as an old man was headed across the front of it. I should point out that he was still several metres away and walking incredibly slowly. So I walked across his (intended) path and went to unlock the door. Apparently the audacity of me crossing his path aggravated him to the extent that he stopped and came to discuss the situation with me.
“Can I ask you what you think you’re doing, walking across my path like that?” he said to me. I pulled out my headphones and looked at him, a bit puzzled. “In this country,” he continued, “we walk on the right-hand side of the pavement. Where are you from? You have no right to step across my path. Where are you even from?” I ignored him and opened the door, and at this he turned to the gas man coming out of the building and demanded to know where I was from (of course the gas man just ignored him too).
But my point is that sometimes people here seem to have no sense of manners on the street. Maybe that’s just my experience, but it’s happened enough times for me to start thinking it’s no coincidence. I retold that second story to my Moroccan flatmate later that evening and he shrugged like it was nothing new. “He’s probably just a racist, that’s all.” Sigh.
Yes, of course I will miss Granada. But walking down the street is definitely a whole lot less stressful at home. And I never had this kind of trouble in Austria.