Feeling My Language

A woman from Michigan walks into a bar in El Bruc, Spain. She orders what she thought was a bottle of lemon-lime soda pop, but it turns out to be. . . . * * * That starts like a million other jokes, but not knowing what food and drink you ordered to put in your mouth because you don’t know the language becomes an act of terror. My nightmare is I would end up drinking cleaning fluid. Before I came here, the first thing people asked about my trip to Spain was, do you speak the language? The answer was no, which is and means the same world over. But can I get by on “no”? “si” and courtesies like "gracias" and "por favor?" So far, yes, except in the bar, where for the l

Drama in Dublin

Six months Into retirement, I was in a public toilet taking what one of my nieces unceremoniously calls a ho’ bath. It’s where you clean up just enough. I changed my panties. Washed my face. Brushed my teeth. Smoothed my locks with hair butter, all this with strangers milling around. Then, wishing my two bags would roll themselves, I picked up one and grabbed the handle of the other. They grew heavier by the moment. Now I knew how homeless people felt. How did a professor who the college president had once called among the finest teachers of the institution get to this point? I missed my flight connection in Dublin. I mentioned Dublin in my first blog, "Am I There Yet?", but didn't elaborate

Am I there yet?

I landed at 9:15pm at Barcelona, Spain, as it shut down for the night. Over the years, I have flown into strange cities to be with people I do not know many times. Each time my VIP vision of me has someone waiting at the airport, holding up a placard with my name on it. That has never happened and because of the event in Dublin, my mind leaped ahead thinking perhaps no one will meet me in BCN, much less a person holding up my name, but this older woman held up a piece of paper printed, “Dedria Humphries.” I headed for her and introduced myself though obviously she knew my name. Her name was Anne. I am grateful to see her waiting, and not because of my VIP dream. This is my first trip out of