When I was in elementary school my best friend owned and rode horses. I went with her quite often and the two of us had a blast riding together. However, she and her mom always told me that I wouldn’t be a real rider until I survived my first fall. Fortunately (unfortunately?), in all the time I went riding, I never fell off, so I guess I never truly became a rider.
I now find myself in a parallel situation. I am living in Spain, or so I thought. I have an apartment, two jobs, a gym membership, a cell phone, a bank account, and I’m even a legal resident. But a Spanish friend recently enlightened me that contrary to appearances, I’m not really living in Spain. He says that you haven’t really lived in Spain until you’ve stepped in dog poop. Walking in the streets here is often quite an obstacle course, navigating your way around the lovely remnants that dogs leave behind, and that their owners don’t think to clean up. I’ve been diligent thus far and have managed to avoid stepping in one, but if I must do so in order to really live in Spain, I guess I don’t want to live in Spain. I’m perfectly content keeping up my facade.