Monday, April 21, 2008


As planned, on Saturday I went to Spain. More precisely to Valencia. Vicente turned 40-years-old and Eva organised a surprise party for him, managing to gather tens of friends coming from many different places in Spain and even from abroad. The party started already without Vicente, because even though his birthday provided the excuse, the truth is that many people had not meet for a long time and appreciated the gathering. You know how it works: big smiles, life updates, old stories remembered and many people praising Vicente and Eva's idea. In the evening, when we were all already gathered in the place where Eva was supposed to bring Vicente, the real surprise came: Vicente was not coming. He was sick, needed to go to the emergencies and, even though he was going to be well, he could not leave home... Nobody knew what to say and everyone was amazed at how the surprise had been turned on us... But, as we were sure that this was exactly what Vicente would have wanted, we partied anyway. And the catering was perfect, the venue nice and the company great. Then, at the end of the evening, and as my return flight was early in the morning, Eva invited me to come over and see Vicente. So I did. At first, he didn't even recognise me, due to a mix of short vision, lots of drugs and the huge surprise. Then, he realised and gave me that smile that only Vicente can give. That honest, sincere, almost childish smile that conquered us all, and made so many of us travel from far away to spend his 40th birthday with him. We spent a couple of hours updating each other on the latest developments of our lives, and laughing a lot. That's what we do when we spend time together. Vicente is one of those friends that no matter for how long we don't see each other, we only need one look and one hug to make it like if we have never been apart. We used to call each other « brother », and that's exactly how I see him: like a elder brother. In the meantime, a new week has started. I finished Inspector Chen's mystery and started another book linked to Shanghai: the already mentioned autobiography of J.G. Ballard. It's beautiful! Very well written as it was to be expected, and surprisingly close to the way my own childhood memories come to me when I think of it. And seeing such important events as the end of the British Empire, the World War II or the Chinese Revolution, through the eyes of a teenage boy is, to say the least, different and interesting. At times, it's even difficult to believe that the book has actually been written by a 77-years-old man... That's why I love books!


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