por Maggie Lancaster
What would you say if I gave you the option to order horse meat? I hope you would say no. I personally would. Honestly, at the start of this trip, I was scared it would all be like horse meat. At least that is what I would have thought if someone had warned me about the horse meat instead of me finding out while we were deciding what to order for lunch. However, I would say this trip is much closer to chicken, and chicken is probably one of my favorite meats.
Going into this trip, I was terrified. Originally I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go. The course seemed like a ton of work I wasn’t even sure I could do as well as the ominous trip where I would not be allowed to speak English. When you combine all of that with the fact that you are halfway across the world away from your family, it sounds terrifying. However, I soon realized that it wasn’t as scary as I had imagined it to be.
Maybe it was the jet lag that didn’t allow me to be scared, or maybe it was how we just got thrown right in with Doctor Little forcing us to figure out how to navigate for ourselves, almost from the get-go. However, after today, I think it was more the general feeling of this trip and how different it is from every trip I have ever been on before.
My favorite place we have been on this trip so far was the Ninot Exhibit at La Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias. I have never been anywhere like that before. Sure, I have been to art museums, but this was on a whole different level. I’m not really sure how to explain Ninots. They can be many different things. There were caricatures, pieces that I would call truly beautiful, some really concerning ones, and even some pieces that made social commentary. There were not only pieces reminiscent of Spain’s culture, but pieces reminiscent of other cultures as well. One of my personal favorites reminded me of the one iconic American photo of a soldier kissing a girl in the street. There were also pieces about Biden, Putin, and even Indian monks, but I didn’t get any photos of those.
I was reminded of an interesting fact about Ninots when I was cooking the appetizers for dinner with Kate and Reagan tonight (by the way we did a wonderful job). At the end, all the Ninots are burned together. Well, all except one, but that takes away from the point I am trying to make. I think that is why I felt okay on this trip. We are all in this together. None of us have ever been here before, and we are all facing Doctor Little’s crazy little “do-it-all-yourself” antics simultaneously. In other words, much like the Ninots, we are all burning together. I guess I might be starting to understand Spain a little more than I thought. However, if you do happen to visit the Ninot Exhibit and want to vote to save one of them from burning, make sure you vote for mi favorita, numero veintidos.