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My Kingdoms

6 May 2008
by

Our internet access went out at our apartment last Wednesday, sending me into a dimension of pissed off I didn’t even know existed. And not that a lack of internet access is all that worrisome; when compared to quadriplegia, it pales. And significantly.

I know this.

But when in the midst of job / apartment searching and finalizing plans for the remainder of our stay here, a sudden, inexplicable lack of internet access is a big freakin’ deal. Especially when it is your sole form of communication with the outside world (we don’t have cell phones, the apartment phone doesn’t work and there’s no TV). And when viewed as the only self-controllable aspect within our less-than-ideal living environment consisting of a troupe of college-age Swedes content with living on the edge of such squalor that the health department is considering condemning the entire 40-unit buildling on account of their filth, and who are intent on getting ripped to the nines every weekend night and reaffirming for the umpteenth consecutive time that, no, the paper-thin walls of the apartment STILL don’t muffle your raucous 6 AM return and subsequent hour-long drunken recap of the night you just experienced, then, yeah, the lack of internet access suddenly became a big deal.

At any rate, after Al talked me down off the ledge, she kindly reminded me that, despite all my proclamations to the contrary, I—unlike Richard III—had no kingdom to give in exchange for a return of my internet access. Or for anything else for that matter. She then refreshed my memory of all the things for which I have purportedly offered my supposed kingdom during our visit thus far, thereby leaving me in no state to offer it yet again. These include (in no particular order):
• A clean apartment
• A normal-size shower
• Hot water that doesn’t cut out in the middle of said shower
• A clothes dryer
• A clothes washer that holds more than a pair of jeans, a sock and one t-shirt at a time
• A vacuum cleaner
• Thicker, sound-proof apartment walls
• A complete grasp of the Spanish verb structure and all its permutations
• Our own apartment
…etc, etc, etc, all of which, I felt at the time of utterance, were worthy exchanges for my imagined regal holdings.

Upon realizing that I, in fact, HAVE no regal holdings (as yet…working on that one), I was forced to reevaluate my position and clarify the real reasons we’re here, namely: the Prado, the park, the monuments, the food, the language, the sun, the culture, the friendly (though wrong-side-of-the-sidewalk-walking) people, the wine, the cheap (but realllly cold) beer, the history, the smells and the otherwise FREAKING AWESOME TIME we’re having. Could be worse, eh?

-bdmc

P.S.: Please note that all kingdom-worthy aspects are related to our apartment or its state, indicating my overall pleasant contentment with our situation in general. I think, as a 28-year-old veteran of communal collegiate living / previous study abroad experiences, I am officially done with living in student housing with other students. And not like I haven’t given it a fair shake. Now I’m just certain.

P.P.S.: The internet currently remains out at the apartment, nearly a week later, thanks to our oh-so-easy-to-get-a-hold-of landlady…get this: she gives us her land line and her cell number, but doesn’t answer her land line and the apartment phone only calls its voicemail…work that one out. Good thing nothing’s caught on fire. Come to think of it, that may be a great way to get her attention….

P.P.P.S. (and yes, I just went there.): We are spending the bare minimal amount of time (awake) in the apartment, so our actual interaction with aforementioned internet-less squalor is fairly minimal. The kicker is that when we WERE using the internet, it was late at night when we weren’t missing anything outside. Now that we have to forage for free wifi, it’s cramping our style a bit. That’s the only down side and the reason for a lack of recent posts…we know you’re all crushed.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Countess of Cava permalink
    6 May 2008 7:19 pm

    This is one great blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Spirit of 73 permalink
    6 May 2008 8:48 pm

    I feel the need to point out that, even though you may have offered your kingdom on sundry occasions, the requested improvements have not been made, thus leaving your kingdom still available for trade. But be sure to find your kingdom first: you don’t want someone to deliver your internet and then not be able to meet the margin call. That sort of speculation has got our economy in the dumps as it is.

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