I love visiting local churches when I travel. I lucked out that I chose one to visit that offers daily evening mass. It was lovely, even if I could hardly follow the Spanish. I certainly hope, 30 days from now, I can report progress.
It’s awkward being in a Spanish-first location that isn’t a foreign country. The majority of people I’ve encountered have been able to converse with me in English fairly well. However, at the market, I got flustered when I couldn’t understand the cashier. I actually think she was simply soft-spoken but my empathy flares for her (potentially) not speaking English clashed with my embarrassed for me sirens. So, I think I said something like, “I’m sorry, no hablo English.” Helpful, Josie. Very helpful. Anyway, she immediately repeated herself and/or translated, “Do you need a bag?” That moment of fluster is so discouraging. But, it made me look up ‘bolsa’ for ‘bag’ and I’m sure that knowledge will come in handy, soon. Probably when I go buy myself a bolsa because I, for some reason, thought I should bring my smallest clutch as my purse for the trip. Because, clutches are well known for their handiness in carrying Lonely Planet guide books, sweaters for chilly churches, spare battery chargers and cords, with room to spare for a bottle of water. My ability to outsmart myself is truly astounding sometimes.
After mass, I was led by a purple and pink sky to the beach. It was sunset and the locals were soaking up the last few moments of beach fun. I assume they’re locals because Midwestern tourists ‘know’ you don’t go in the ocean at dusk because you will assuredly be eaten by a shark. I then wandered along the main stretch of hotels and restaurants and shops. I found myself lurking behind families to blend in and not appear like a solo female traveler. I had enjoyed my late lunch so wasn’t very hungry. I stopped at the market in my building and grabbed an Amy’s frozen lasagna dinner and bottle of wine. Nothing but the best for me. However, as I sat on my balcony watching the rain pour down — the rain I had just luckily bypassed without any awareness it had started, I enjoyed the heck out of my microwaved meal.
I can feel the waves of my mind and emotions starting to settle.