The vacation was absolutely great. It was a perfect balance of traveling around aimlessly, and doing nothing at all. I saw some historic sights, i saw some nature, i ate some great food, i talked to some interesting people. The scattered fragments of my thoughts sitting down at various cafés and bars doesn't really cover the whole experience. I didn't write about the ridiculously amazing bus trip from Motril to Granada that went through some truly spectacular gorges and cliffs. Or about the dog i thought might attack me when i walked through a poor neighborhood during siesta. Or going deeper and deeper into an empty fort at sunset wondering if i might get locked in. Or the woman who managed to get her massive Gaddafi-Mercedes stuck trying to get it through some tiny twisty walled back alleys. Or the lonely woman in a mini-skirt who was in tears till she finished her mojito. Or the kind women who came up to me telling me to watch out for the drunk local sleazing on me and the waitress. But what i wrote was what was in my mind at the moment.
The pictures are on Facebook. The writing is here.
I pondered gender a little bit, especially when i got to Melilla, aka town of bros. Being a girl on my own, i got a lot of advances over the course of the trip, and especially there. Some of them were sleazy, some of them were gentlemanly, many were simply friendly, and a few pulled the usual 20 questions about me being a guy or a girl or whatever. Eventually i started to introduce myself as Alicia (con acento Andaluz) to ease the confusion. The real bummer was when i checked into that 4* hotel, and i gave the clerk my passport to copy down my details, and she still filled in "masculino" on my form even with the "F" right there in front of her. I've given up correcting people these days. And i've given up trying to have a long conversation about being a trannie. People will make their own conclusions no matter what i say. The good part was i never felt particularly unsafe, though i definitely was a curiosity for a few folks. People don't really get solo travelers, especially not women, or trannies. But i figure the best i can do is strike a bold path and always stay confident and friendly... And it works.
That said, i do wonder sometimes what it'd be like to visit (real) Africa or the Middle East. They're places i'd love to go, and even though i know a couple of tough chicks who have done it solo, they didn't have being trans on top of that. Eh, maybe the locals would just be confused and eventually shrug and give up trying to figure it out. Honestly, the worst i've gotten it was not in small town Indiana or Texas, like you may expect, but in Australia and Canada and in big fucking cities where people should know better. I get the feeling that Western cities breed the biggest douchebags, because they know just enough to be transphobic instead of simply trans-ignorant. Eh, who knows? God, life would be so much easier as a boy. Or even a girl. That's why i can't get behind the whole "but transwomen are real women" thing. We're not. We have our own identity with our whole own set of problems. And usually that doesn't really come into play, because really, gender is not that big of a deal in everyday life. Unless it is.
Which is why i am a "feminist". Or a gender-equalist. Or whatever. My mom flew over to Europe with Emirates, and i was like, how could you? Every time i see these DJs on my Facebook post a "wow i'm in Dubai" selfie i want to unfollow their asses. Not that i don't respect other cultures or religions, but holy goddamn crap. I don't feel comfortable contributing money however indirectly to a country that has laws enforcing inequality. So, why are Israel and Saudi and UAE on my shit-list and not Iran or Russia? Good question that i do not have an answer for. I think it's sort of an underdog thing. The west decides to ignore the human rights violations of their "allies" while condemning their "enemies" for the exact same thing. Somehow that annoys me more. I'm a hypocrite and i'm okay.
Anyway, rambling aside, i had a blast in Spain. And i think i will visit again. I would love to go back to Mexico, but it's so damn expensive to get there. As is everywhere outside of Europe, for that matter. Yeah, i am earning enough money to do it, but blowing a grand or more on a flight seems frivolous when i can spend 700€ for an entire week including flight, accommodation and food without leaving the Schengen Zone. I'm not sure how i will spend all the extra cash i am earning. It would probably be wise to just leave it there as a rainy day fund, especially given i have moved countries so often my hope of getting any kind of useful retirement benefit is non-existent. Perhaps then i will move to Spain and make caipis for tourists.