A familiar tension has taken a hold of me. I walked tonight to go to Friend’s Doner-Kebab, because it’s the best in town and because the 25-minute walk to it was needed to clear my head and my nerves. I reflected on the paseo. I haven’t felt a feeling like this since the fall of 2005 – when I found the answer to my terrible loneliness and boredom in WREK and AIESEC. Now, with just over a month left and a final on the way, I feel that loneliness once again.
It’s not homesickness, although I sincerely can’t wait to see my friends and family again. Rather I feel like the Americans here have disowned or abandoned me, be it deliberately or through the crime of accident. Since Friday I’ve had almost no real social interaction, and that gets to me, especially when I’ve now got to study for this final. I specifically asked one person on Sunday afternoon: “If you do anything tonight, please call me because I’m really bored.” The response was “Will do.” They went out and did not contact me. Maybe it’s just because I’m from the South and am around people who are “sincere” at best and “polite” at worst, but that just ain’t right.
As I was walking, I recalled the challenge of ITC: Be authentic. Focusing on that phrase – much like someone from back home might have told me to repeat the name of Jesus over and over – washed and renewed me. I thought: If they happened to ask me what I thought, at least I’d tell them exactly how I felt. Bullshit gets too heavy to carry.
Luckily, I’ve got an itinerary that’s in my favor. My only exam is on June 5, and Chris Foulon from the US/Belgium, whom I met at ITC, will arrive in Valencia on his Eurotrip on the 7th. We’ll experience Valencia and Madrid together, and then it’s only a coupla days before I go to Germany, immediately after which is San Sebastián, immediately after which I look forward to a visit from Johanna and Claire for a festival in Valencia, and then only a week remains left of the Dream – at least, this chapter of it.