As I was sitting in the computer lab in the centro de idiomas (language center) waiting for my Spanish language class for extranjeros (literally meaning strangers, which I find quite amusing… Perhaps it translates as something more like foreigners but for personal satisfaction I like to think of myself as a stranger) I realized a nice shelf of fiction novels. Novels quite like what I would occupy my free time with in the US. Novels that help me keep my sanity in a much calmer world. Novels that I needed like some sort of life-preserver to take me to a much more tranquil environment without booking a flight to somewhere that speaks English. So, as class was ending I eagerly went to the shelf and pored over the books. There were some that I had read, some that I wanted to read, and others that intrigued me simply because I had never heard of them. Anyone that knows me knows that books are my equivalent to candy, cigarettes, or some other terribly addicting vice. Maybe some of you might say right now that reading books surely can’t be considered a vice. It certainly is when you lose yourself for hours on end doing nothing productive in reality. I suppose there are ups and downs to participating in a sedentary activity in which you spend your hours living vicariously through amazing characters in some fantasy land however, it’s not necessary to debate those reasons. Why, you might ask… Well, that is because I didn’t have the opportunity to lose myself in that novel that I had so delicately selected. I took the novel to the desk to attempt to ask to check it out. After saying rather confidently in Spanish that I wanted to check out the book something profound and unusual happened. The woman did not look at me with the usual look of confusion upon her face that most Spanish people adorn themselves with when I speak to them. Instead she merely told me that I couldn’t check it out because my native language is English. Even after telling her that I really wanted to read that book she still wouldn’t allow me. I thought about telling her that my sanity depended on the amount of time I could spend within my thoughts lost with that book… but then I thought better of it. The Spanish people already think I’m crazy enough.
That’s that, the quest for English literature continues. Off to the public library next.