After sixteen hours of traveling, one plane, four busses and a train, I finally arrive to Jaen. I had no wifi since I left my house in Sweden so Leor had no clue when I would arrive. I immediately feel the warm air and sun touch my skin as if I had been deprived for months. The streets were more crowded and noisy than I was used to and hardly anyone spoke a lick of english. But everyone I spoke with were extremely nice and helpful despite the language barrier. Finally I found a cafe with wifi and the very friendly barista gave me the internet password. I anxiously text Leor and soon enough we spot each other. I’m wearing my long black coat with black leggings, a sweater, and Dr. Marten’s while he is in shorts and a tank top. People look at me as if I am crazy. We hug and kiss, it felt so nice to be embraced by him once again, I was relieved. We walk back to his apartment as he shows me around his city. It’s about 9:00 pm and there is so much more night life in Jaen compared to Kalmar. It’s a very small city but with lots of people and buildings. Leor lives on the top story of an apartment building on the main street of Jaen. I meet his Italian roommate Marco and his girlfriend whose name I can’t remember, as well as a few of their Italian friends. They are all very nice. I felt bad not being able to communicate in spanish because they all hardly speak english. It was cool listening to Leor and them speak to each other and really makes me want to learn the language. We smoke some weed, and since I hadn’t smoked since december, I got extremely high. The next day we walked around Jaen, went to a park, grocery shopped, and eventually had tapas. I ate traditional Andalucian food such as salmorejo, berenjenas, and tinto de verano. Unfortunately we found out that the berenjenas were not vegan and were cooked with egg which we hadn’t known until after we tried it. But we didn’t make a fuss since these things happen, and it wasn’t intentional. However we were bummed because it was really good, so we were disappointed as any vegan would be. We relax for the rest of the night and cook dinner, around 10:00 pm like a real spaniard, and sleep for our big adventure to Malaga the next day. We take a bla bla car to Malaga and our driver is a nice guy named Jose. There was one other girl who was in the car with us and she was from Philadelphia. She spoked mostly in spanglish so it made Leor feel really good about his spanish speaking skills. I swear he is so proud, but he has every right to be since he has really improved since he came to Spain. The ride took us about two hours and once we arrived we walked far to find the apartment. After about an hour of walking, we finally find it and it’s in the perfect location right near the city center and close to the beach. The apartment was absolutely beautiful and decorated Moroccan style. Bright colors filled the room with candles and incense on a wooden table, surrounded by floor pillows. The bedroom was red with a nice sized bed and a huge glass window. The place was amazing and I wanted to live in it forever. Malaga is a beautiful city, the streets were filled with shops, food, art, and people. Tapas everywhere and people enjoying life. Malaga was much more touristy than Jaen but it still had a rich Spanish culture. We went to the beach and walked all around the city, walked up by a castle and saw the grand view of the city, ate at a few nice restaurants minus this one place that gave us poor quality food and low quantity for a shitty price, but we just bought popcorn and wine after and watched American Horror Story. By the end of the trip I didn’t want to leave Spain and knew that some day I would be back in the beautiful country.
The trip was a great way to slowly end our experience abroad in Europe but also reminded us of how close we are as friends. He means the world to me and I couldn’t ask for a better person to travel the world with as we learn a little bit about life. We have come so far in our friendship and although this year has been very strange and difficult for both of us, we seem to make it out ok and always want the best for one another. There was no guarantee from the beginning that things would end up the way we expected them too, and that’s alright. If it’s anything I’ve learned, it’s the unplanned things in life that make us most happy. The unexpected and spontaneous things is what life is all about. I know it will be hard to let this part of us go, but it wont be lost. I know it hurts, it hurts so much sometimes but we can’t let it hurt us. Pain is temporary and not worth feeling if there is a bigger picture to be seen. This is just the beginning for us. Our lives start now. I will always love you the way I do. You will always make me feel the way I do. And I hope that we continue to make each other feel this way, because you are my person. My friend for life. The love of my life. And I want you, I want us, to plunge boldly into the thickness of life knowing that there is so much to learn, so much to see in this big world, and I’ll be here for you when it seems too big and too scary.
Love you today, love you tomorrow, love you always.