Dear readers (yes, I have more than one now!), I have just come back from a lovely sojourn in splendid Spain, where I spent a great week or so with none other than the still fabulous MadGlam. I won't bore you with the whole sightseeing spiel on the wonders of Barcelona and Madrid, but let's just say a lot of it was indeed cultural and a lot was ... hmmm ... let's just say interesting. (Did we see a grown man remove his pants, squat and then use the sidewalk as a toilet? Yes! Did I see two random men walking down a major street buck naked - oh, excuse me, one was wearing flip flops - for no apparent reason, except maybe they wanted even tans while getting some exercise? Yes!)
I will, however, tell you a little bit about our trip. First, traveling with a friend is definitely a lot better than going it alone. Although MadGlam and I are complete opposites for sure - she is the energizer bunny that, literally, never stops, and I am the relaxed person who is well ... normal. For example, I wear sneakers and a small shoulder strap bag; she wears heeled boots with a pink Balenciaga bag. She is madly glamorous after all!! We also differ in how we like to sightsee. I like to soak in the sights and take my time, take a rest when I'm tired, take a cab if I don't feel like walking anymore. She likes to see a whole city in three seconds without taking a breath, and cover the whole town ... in heels. By the end of the afternoon, she still looks MadGlam, and I look like I'm about to keel over. Many an afternoon she would still have the energy to walk around more when I would walk back to the hotel alone for some rest (thus my encounter with the buck naked dudes).
MadGlam is also, for some reason, in love with trains, which is how we got from Barcelona to Madrid. Oh my God! I can't think of anything less vacationy than lugging around your own luggage across a stinky train station, carrying them onto to a packed train and then lifting them into luggage slots. HOW IS THIS A VACATION? I felt like I was in a manual labor camp in Siberia. But MadGlam is like this mysterious contradiction: she dresses like she's going to a nightclub even when going on the Orient Stinkville, yet she is also able to haul a five ton suitcase without breaking a sweat ... or a nail. I was a disheveled mess. But unlike the other people on that train, I actually use deodorant.
Yes, MadGlam has no problems with suitcases at all, not even when going shopping. In fact, on the day we went to the outlet mall, she stopped by the luggage shop and said she wanted to buy a suitcase. 'But, we're at the mall,' I said, 'why would you buy a suitcase to lug around while you shop?' In the MadGlam world, that's how you shop, you see - you buy a suitcase so you can put all your purchases in it and then you just roll it around ... in a mall.
In case you didn't believe me, that's MadGlam, suitcase in hand, at the mall!!
'Everyone does this!' she tells me.
'Uhhh, no they don't,' I say. And believe me, I shop. I know shopping. And I have never seen a person buy a suitcase at a mall and then putting all their stuff in it and then rolling it around all the other shops. Ever.
'Well, what do you do with the bags?' she asks.
'Uhhh, carry them,' I say.
'No, no, this is much more practical,' she says. Yes, MadGlam practical. Did you not know this? No? Neither did I!
Anyway, as the shopping progresses, guess who gets stuck lugging around the suitcase? You guessed it. It started like this:
MadGlam: Anissa, do you mind taking the suitcase, I want to try this on.
Me: Sure [Ten minutes later, me window shopping, embarrassed as hell going around with a suitcase ... at a mall.]
MG: Thanks, do you mind taking it again, I want to go into this store.
Me: Alright [Another ten minutes, getting weird stares from people who are obviously not in on the MadGlam philosophy of how practical it is to carry around a suitcase ... at a mall. Oh, and did I mention it was an open air mall and that it was raining?]
I'd like to say that's the Lebanese way of traveling and shopping abroad, but it's probably more accurate to say it's the MadGlam way. But because she's MadGlam, she knows how to make it work!