I am currently sat on a sofa in the common room of a hostel in Barcelona. There is a guy sleeping on another sofa, with some black and white movie about an alien on the tv, shoes and coke cans on the floor.
I’m bored, lonely and have no desire to leave this sofa for a while, why? Because I am suffering from lone traveller blues.
This past week I have been in Madrid. Until Wednesday, Anna and I made meals together, chatted about Chile, went walking around Madrid and we befriended a Chilean guy who was also staying in the hostel. Chileans don’t normally travel too much, so to find one in Madrid saying sipo weon was a very pleasant surprise for both of us.
My travelling plans weren’t organised as I didn’t expect Anna to leave Madrid so soon. I had another friend who wanted to come to Madrid, but in the end couldn’t. I decided that instead of going back to Valencia to stay in the kids grandad’s flat, I would stay some more days in Madrid with the Chilean. He was sweet, funny and I felt I could talk freely with him about Chile, all the things I missed, the places I went and it was a great opportunity to refresh my chilenismos, cachai? He suggested that for Anna’s leaving party we should go to a big supermarket to find pisco, a Chilean spirit. It was a 2 hour journey in the end and Anna enjoyed her surprise.
There’s just some kind of nostalgia with Chileans, their mannerisms, opinions, strange Spanish etc. You can’t help but fall in love with them. Even if they talk to every animal on the street and can be in your face a lot. They have hearts of gold and there is always room for them in my life/house after all the kindness the Chilean people showed us (Project Trust volunteers) during our year there.
Me and Claudio spent the afternoons together wandering around Madrid, sitting in parks, people watching and just chilling. By the end of the week I felt like I knew him (and his cows Rosita and Pamela) inside out and I was truly upset to see him leave.
After leaving him at the airport last night I went back to the hostel where we had met as I still had another 2 hours until my bus left. I sat outside and one of the neighbours cats came and sat next to me, as if noticing my loneliness or maybe noticing Claudio’s smell from the cardigans he gave me – he is an animal lover and was forever stroking the cats, whistling at birds and talking to dogs.
I took the picture without flash as I didn’t want to scare him.
So here I am now in Barcelona, waiting for my flight to Mallorca, which leaves tomorrow morning. I have no desire to talk to anybody new at this hostel and think that I might spend the day finishing a book, so that I can leave it here (at the moment I am travelling with one rolly case and a big handbag and tomorrow will need to squeeze everything into one because I know what Ryanair can be like).
In Mallorca, I will see other friends and as I will be staying in a hostel for 4 nights I will be able to feel settled and get to know my way around. But for the moment, this hostel is in the north of Barcelona, away from the hustle and bustle of the Ramblas and I plan to have a peaceful day, as Leona the loner.