I met up with Laney at la oficina de API and we walked over to Ana’s to sign her up for Flamenco classes. Ana was about to start teaching a beginner class and invited Laney and me to join in! Afterwards, Laney paid the amount for 8 classes, and I offered to pay for the class that I had just sat in on (it was not one of the 8 that I had paid for) but Ana declined, saying that it was her gift to me. Que simpatica! Pienso que voy a asistir clases con Laney. I decided to take classes with Laney and not with the other girls because Laney and I spend more time together, so we can practice outside of class and not feel silly. After that, I stayed in the apartment and relaxed a bit. Meditated a little and just thought about everything I’ve seen for the past couple of months. I’ve been noticing a lot of tension here between the arabs and some of the christian citizens. I don’t know if this has just started to happen, but I have the feeling that there are some deep seated conflicts between the different cultures of granada. I’ve been learing about the History of granada in class, and it’s strange because the way they teach it, or at least the way I understand them to be teaching it, is from the angle that the muslims had this land long before the christians, and then the christians conquered it during the Reconquista (to them, they were taking back the land, even though it wasn’t theirs in the first place…?) Therefore, Granada, the last muslim kingdom of Europe, was conquered by the Reyes Catolicos, who then forced all the muslims out. I imagine it was heartbreakingly violent, and of course all of this occurred in 1492. I have heard that the day Christopher Columbus finally got approval from the Queen was the last day the muslims and jews had to get out of granada. I wonder if she was just so fed up with everything that she just let him have the ships to shut him up. I don’t know, just speculating. It must have been chaos, the ports must have been a disaster. And this earthshattering tragedy for so many people is completely ignored by so many Americans (perhaps because it doesn’t apply directly to us, because we need things to be personal and direct, not applicable to some far off place that most don’t even know where it is on a map.) Like, all we know is “in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” but really so much more happened than that. 1492 was a hell of a year. This angle of history is so sad to me, especially since I am here in Granada while I am learning about it.. it seems so much more personal this way.
It’s hard to describe, but this place is so beautiful, I can understand why people were willing to die for it and I can understand why they would want it back. It’s just such a hard judgement, since the western world does not work so much in monarchies as it does democracy, so it is difficult to say who the land belongs to. I wish it was neutral, as if the land is free and truly belongs to no one. It would be better that way. But then the problems of government, social justice and economics arise. The dramatic scruff of human troubles seem to ruin everything that has the potential to be perfect and simple. But I am no anarchist. I am not so naïve as to assume that people are responsible to conduct themselves responsibly in a global society, without laws or a central government, without a secure economy. I know that would be disaster. This is, I suppose, the tragedy of life.