Before painting started to provide me with enough money to survive, i did Airbnb for a while. I can not even begin to sum up the wondrous encounters, there are so many of them, and they were so rich.
That Chinese guy,...
who after having done an apparently obligatory tour through Italy-Marokko-Granada-Madrid, ended up in my spare room, and didn't come out anymore, not even to pee. After one and a half day - he had me thinking: come out of that room you lazy fuck! Don't be dead! My life is enough complicated without that! I just wouldn't know how to dispose of a Chinese body in the middle of Barcelona! - i knocked on his door.
'Hey listen,' i mumbled through a crack of the door. 'I don't want to disturb your vibes or anything, but i just need to know if you are well.' Inside it was pitch dark, except for the light on his computer.
'Yes i am fine, thank you. I just didn't sleep much, busy with my laptop you know, so i slept late into the morning. I'll get up in a second.'
'Well, it is not exactly morning anymore. It is evening. Do you want soup?'
'No thanks, i'll get out to get me some food.' Which he did. And after that he went back to his room to stay there till the moment he left for a new city. Oh, all my fantasies about what he was doing in my room, and why he went on a journey at all, if all that really interested him was already on his laptop!
'You didn't like Marokko? They say it is beautiful.'
'No i didn't. Sand everywhere. In my clothes, in my eyes, between my teeth. The tea they had was the only good thing there."
'And Granada?' He shrugged. God, i was relieved when he left, he made me so nervous.
But there was also this beautiful Scottish girl, oh i love her so much, with this huge suitcase, transporting kilos of healthy Gambian herbs and powders, and a ghostly mask that totally freaked me out, and colourful rags of dresses in which she had been dancing away her freedom under the African sun, filling local heads with fantasies of marrying her and getting easy access to a rich European country.
'Sweetheart don't do that, please. Enjoy him, chill with him, but don't marry him. You said he already has a wife?'
'Yeah, and kids. But that is not so much of a problem, he's cool with that.' Every now and then an exotic beetle would leave a fold in her suitcase to cross the living room. Now that i think of her, she was not Airbnb, she was Couchsurfing. Lovely people also, i had loads of them. I picked them up in the park, or they found their way to my house. We giggled, sang and made kurkuma milk together.
That very brave Turkish woman for example, hitchhiking through Spain on her own, telling me about the first aid work she used to do as a nurse, after earthquakes and inundations. Etcetera etcetera. All those stories, all those lives... i could fill books with them.
the illustration is a painting i made of one of the visitors, a Mexican woman