Monday, October 31, 2005

Lessons

Spain has been a lesson in the variety of human nature. People are right to warn you to be careful on the streets here - the hand slinking off with Lauren´s purse that luckily even my atrocious peripheral vision could catch, the barefoot beggar who takes shoes out of her backpack and walks off in them when she´s done for the day. Last night we saw the other side as well.

After dinner one of the girls I´m travelling with had a two-hour long seizure. We were in the metro station when it started, just her teeth chattering as if cold, and she insisted we go on. By the time we had decided to get her back to the hotel an hour away and made it onto our train, she couldn´t walk or talk. We took turns carrying her through the station and holding her like some kind of live-action Pietà, except Jesus wasn´t shaking and insisting he didn´t want to go to a hospital. Eventually a crowd of Spaniards condensed around us and took over the action - the train station security guard who radioed his colleage to have a taxi waiting at the next stop, the undercover police agent who called an ambulance instead, the man who carried her out of the train, the bald man who covered her with his jacket, his mother who kept patting her shoulder and saying comforting things in Spanish, the very attractive ambulance driver who took off his sweater to cover her, the woman and her boyfriend who drove the rest of us to the hospital and later back to our hotel in the next town.

In the end she was fine, and my faith in people has been recharged.

1 comment:

sandy said...

well--that's a lot better than when a girl had a seizure in my bio class and ted wong just said "umm" and shuffled around looking confused! yeah--people can sometimes surprise you...for the better or worse. that's why they're people as Woland says. ok--time for me to stop moralizing and referencing dead Russian writers.