|The Workaway house. Totally primitive.|
Hello again. So at this point in my journey, I’m basically headed out to the middle of nowhere, to meet this guy who I have never even seen in a picture nor ever learned his name and I’m on the second and last bus of the day so I’m thinking ‘This better work or I’m sleeping outside.’ When I get to the station, I’m not even sure I’m at the right one and I walk around lugging my rolly backpack back and forth several times in front of a group of rocking chair, card-playing locals who are having a good laugh at my expense. Picture this: There is like one building in this place and a gang of children on bicycles are actively surrounding you and jabbering away in Spanish. Yes. That was my situation. I mean, I may have had three years of Spanish, but that was five years ago and I am super rusty. (Haha. Rusty.) But anyway, some of the kids spoke a little English but it didn’t matter because I didn’t know the name of the dude I was meeting. About seven minutes later, this super dusty (not rusty) jalopy pulled up and a dude with crazy hair and dirty clothes stepped out and introduced himself as Arnau, the guy I was going with.
|Arnau's daughter, Clara.|
So I went with him even further away from anything anywhere and eventually got to this place pictured or I hope pictured. It depends on if I remember what I typed. Arnau’s wife, Bibiana, was really nice and their daughter Clara was really cute, but there was work to do even though it was sunset so I didn’t get to talk long. After not working with bees and doing other stupid stuff, I went to bed in my own house/cave place with a nice layer of grime on everything. As I went to sleep, I tried to enjoy the absolute silence, but the sound of my thoughts racing and blood rushing through my veins was too loud, so instead I went to sleep.
The night before, Arnau said to be ready early, so I woke up at 7:30ish and went to their house as he instructed. I didn’t see anyone, so I just assumed they were already out working on the land. Apparently I assumed wrong, because when I went to wash a peach, oh look. There’s Arnau with his man-meat swaying in the breeze, staring at me from his room. Lovely… Fantastic... SOMEONE GET ME OUT OF HERE. But alas, that didn’t happen, though if it did I could have skipped the shittiest part. Haha. Pun. The rest of the day included weeding in the deathly hot sun, working with bees for one full minute blowing smoke, and no breaks whatsoever. Workaway specifically states 4-6 hours work a day. We worked triple that. I did NOT sign up for this. Other horrors included no WiFi, solar power/no electricity at night, and always feeling like I was covered in Plague. And another day has passed.
|I guess the funny looking H is not so H-looking after all...|
The next day, another Workawayer from Germany, Lisa, arrived and I didn’t feel so alone anymore. After another full day of horrible, back-breaking work and medicinal flower picking (don’t ask), I went to take a shower. I learned the hard way that the funny looking H is actually an F meaning Fria in Spanish. So that’s why my shower was cold. C isn’t cold, it’s caliente. Oops. So far the plusses included only getting to babysit inside for a few hours out of the heat and learning to roll candles from the beeswax. The minuses were a long list including shameful sock tan lines, tea made from weeds, an outdoor toilet, and everything else. In the night, Arnau threw ‘parties’ with Lisa and I in his basement. All he did was serve nasty beer and play dub step as loud as his speakers could go. Yes. I know. My circumstances may have seemed dire, but I promise, the worst was yet to come.
On the last day, Arnau had me shoveling donkey shit into horse feed bags at the bottom of his property and carrying the shit up his steep-as-a-mountain hill to his house. I got angry and went on strike for an hour or two and only filled four bags instead of six. Maybe because we didn’t get along or because he is the worst person I have ever met, Arnau told me he would “teach me to not fear shit” by forcing me to SHOVEL HUMAN SHIT FROM THE CESTPOOL OF DEATH HE SHAT IN. We will not discuss the smell, nor the sight of what I went through that day. It was highly traumatizing and I am actually not kidding. I cried. Not in front of the asshole Arnau though. You might be laughing right now, but just stop and put yourself in my situation. At the risk of indecency, I will mention that none of this shit was mine. I held it for three days. THREE DAYS. I have intestines of steel. Ugh Ugh UGHHHHHHH. WORST DAY EVER.
The next day, I left the house of horrors, but not without incident. Arnau was either going to take me to the bus station I came from or his friend, who was a complete stranger to me, was going to drive me to a town 45 minutes away to catch a train. Arnau never heard from his friend and when I told him I was ready to be driven, he said we were too late and if his friend didn’t contact him, I was to hitchhike to that town or just walk. There was NO WAY I was about to stay there with him, but there was also no way I could walk to that town. It was 45 minutes away by car… It didn’t matter because his friend showed up and took me to the station and everything worked out, but I hated every second.
That was bad right? Okay. No. It’s not over. I arrived in Barcelona late in the afternoon and met my CouchSurfing host, Juan. He seemed pretty nice and relatively normal at first. We went to a bar and ate some sandwiches and split a bottle of wine first so I didn’t get a chance to drop off my bags. After we finished at the bar, I thought that’s where we were headed, but apparently he had other ideas and took me to another bar and bought two rounds of shots. At this point, I am tired of lugging my stuff around and feeling kinda tipsy. All I really want is to go back to his place and go straight to sleep since it is now near or past midnight and all I had done that day was Arnau’s chores and hours of train rides. He still didn’t take me back, but instead to another bar for mojitos. Once we finished the mojitos, he made no move to leave. He grabbed my head and started making out with me. I told him no, that’s not okay, but he continued raping my mouth. Ugh. I feel dirty typing this. He mentioned something about how he wasn’t sick so I shouldn’t worry and at this point, my Ravenclaw-ready mind got to work.
I pulled out my iPhone and showed him a video I took in Dachau of my tonsils infested with tonsillitis and moldy looking white patches on my throat. This was intended for my doctor, but this was a perfect use as well. Man repellant. I told him it was a disease that ran through my lymphatic systems and could be transferred through bodily fluids. Ha. Perfect. I had his full attention. This is how our conversation went.
Him: So… Can I get this from kissing you…?
Me: No I don’t think so. (pause) But actually, I got it from my ex-boyfriend and all we did was kiss so maybe…
Him: So. If I go to the pharmacy tomorrow, what should I get?
Me: Nothing. Once you have it, you have it for life.
Him: (pause) But if I go to the pharmacy, what would help?
Me: Nothing. Sorry.
Him: (longer pause) Okay. But if I go to the pharmacy, what do I tell them the disease is called?
Me: (I think: He’s Spanish. He doesn’t know diseases in English, so I say) Tonsillitis.
Him: That sounds bad. (He puts a pillow between us on the couch and laughs nervously. Here’s the kicker. He asks) So… does your vagina still work? I mean does… does stuff come out? Or like. Does it smell funny?
Me: Only sometimes (YOU PRICK)
|Harry Potter saved my life. Hehehe.|
So that’s the conversation. None of this is elaborated on or made up. While we were walking back to his place to go to sleep, he kept calling me AIDS girl. WOAH WOAH WOAH. Before you go all crazy at me for staying with him, remember that it is like one in the morning in Barcelona. The streets aren’t well lit and I had all of my belongings with me. If I left him, I would have had to wander alone in the dark looking for a hotel or hostel. It was better to take my chances with a dude who thought I was contagious than muggers who only saw a vulnerable young girl with her life on her back. See why I made the choice I did? I was between a rock and a hard place and I chose the one as stupid as a rock.
Back at his apartment, I asked if I could use his WiFi (to email friends to alert them of the situation and where I was just in case) and he said sure, but I’d like a massage first. He then took off his shirt, lay on his bed , and pointed to a bottle of lotion. With gritted teeth and bared nails, I gave him the damned massage and then accessed the WiFi. After messaging like seven people of the situation, I went to sleep on his stupid couch fully clothed. I barely slept and the next morning I woke up early and tried to sneak out. He caught me but basically shoved me out his door anyway. I promptly went to Subway (free WiFi) and Skyped Pancho, Brendan, and Kacy, telling them about the Workaway and the CouchSurfer. After contacting a couple friends in Barcelona to stay with and orienting my mood once again to positivity, I headed out to La Rambla to do some window shopping. Kinda. There weren’t windows since they were all in tents. I saw a cute pocket watch for 12 euros and slipped my phone into my backpack so I could pay for the watch. That must have been when the pickpocketer struck. Seconds later, my iPhone 5 was gone and the pocketwatch became my only source of time. So ironic, I guess. I went to the police, but there was no point since the people in front and behind of me in line were all victims of theft as well.
I went back to Subway, Skyped Brendan again and felt a little better. Finally, I left Subway and met Antonio and Euodia (friends from the pyramid on the beach last time in Barcelona) and through iCloud I was able to retrieve all of my photos and contacts. After the worst week of my life and nearly giving up on travelling, I once again saw the silver lining. And then I went to the beach.
If you read all of that, just know that I am okay now and this was all three weeks ago. Aunt Sami and Mom, don’t cry! I’m a Ravenclaw for a reason. Quick thinkers and ready minds are what we’re known for. More soon! Until next time! x