One of our volunteers, Carmen Ortiz Victorino, wrote the following blog about being in Ireland. She wrote it in the form of a play, as Carmen is studying Acting and Playwrighting. Carmen is here in Crooked House on an Erasmus+ funded programme called Student TRaineeship. You can find out more about this programme here: http://www.crookedhouse.ie/erasmus-student-traineeship/
You can read her blog, called The Trip below:
Bus stop at night. A teenage girl sits with her mobile phone in her hand watching Tik Tok. She looks at people's faces through the screen while wondering what she can do to look this pretty. She pulls out her front camera, looks at herself as if in a mirror; sighs and puts the phone away disappointed. It’s dark outside. She looks at the clock.
TEENAGER.- Five minutes.
Suddenly a woman arrives with a large backpack and clothes from months or even years oftravelling. She places her backpack on the floor and sits down next to the teenage girl.
WOMAN.- Good day.
The teenage girl looks up at the sky quizzically.
TEENAGER.- Good night.
WOMAN.- A day brings with it night, so good day and good night.
TEENAGER.- Forgive me for answering, but if you say good day it's because it's daytime.
WOMAN.- You don't need to be so polite. Age isn't so important, what's important goes beyond that; just like day and night.
TEENAGER.- I don't understand.
WOMAN.- Yes, you see... For example, here it's daytime, but in China it's nighttime.
Depending on the time and place everything varies.
TEENAGER.- But we're here, in Newbridge.
WOMAN.- Not for long
The woman points to the sign where the bus timetables are posted. The teenage girl looks at the clock again.
TEENAGER.- Five minutes yet. I thought the bus was coming.
WOMAN.- Can I ask where you're going?
WOMAN.- Sounds like an important matter.
WOMAN.- You can't wait for the bus to arrive: either it's an important matter or you don't want to be here.
TEENAGER.- It's not that... You see, my boyfriend lives in Naas and if I don't go quickly...
well, it doesn't matter, it's not something I have to explain to a stranger.
WOMAN.- Of course not. But you have the opportunity to be talking with an unknown
TEENAGER.- You're not from here, are you?
TEENAGER.- And where are you from?
WOMAN.- I was born in Sevilla, in the south of Spain, but now I am from many places.
TEENAGER.- How is that?
WOMAN.- I'm from Newbridge now but in a few hours I'll be from... Portlaoise.
TEENAGER.- But you're not from a place if you don't know people there.
WOMAN.- You're right, when you travel you are never really from a place.
TEENAGER: I don’t get it... what is that journey like?
Woman: Well, everything seems strange at first. You see faces you don't know. You feel like the ground you walk on is moving and there's not a stick to hold on to. If you're lucky you meet kind people who sympathise with you and offer you a hand. But it's the guilt that takes hold of them knowing that they have their feet firmly planted on the ground and you don't. You miss people from other lives and you feel lonely because the ones who protected you are no longer there.
TEENAGER.- And then?
WOMAN.- And then you say to yourself: "Hey, beautiful, how are you?”
WOMAN.- Yes! You look at yourself in the mirror and you say to yourself "hey, how are you beautiful?"; and you start talking to yourself and you say "we are here". And suddenly you understand. You realise that you like the rocking of the ground when you move and you don't need any stick because you have learnt to surf. And you start to love. Not in a romantic way, you start to love every moment, and every person who offers you a piece of bread or a passionate kiss. You learn to love people who are hostile to you too, because every moment teaches you something. Just like the present moment. And you learn to listen to the little clues that life gives you. And suddenly everything is in perfect harmony.
TEENAGER.- I don't think I want to go to Naas.
WOMAN.- You seem to be starting to understand too.
A bus is heard arriving at the bus stop. The woman gets up to look.
WOMAN.- It's my turn. It was a pleasure to meet you.
She holds out her hand.
TEENAGER.- But then how do you know where you're going?
WOMAN.- I'll listen.
TEENAGER.- What about me?
WOMAN.- You can do the same. In your own way.
The bus arrives.
WOMAN.- Good listening.
The teenage girl holds her hand.
TEENAGER.- Good trip.
The woman gets on the bus and leaves. The teenager is left alone with her mountain of new thoughts. She no longer cares about the clock. There is the sound of a bus. The bus to Naas stops. The doors open.
DRIVER.- Are you getting in?
She does not move.
DRIVER.- Hey! Are you coming or not?
The teenager gets up and goes to the door. She looks at the driver and shakes her
DRIVER.- Jesus Christ! These young people nowadays...
He closes the doors and leaves.
The teenager is left alone. She looks at her hands. She looks at the horizon.
Teenager: Hey beautiful, how are you?
She looks at herself again. Smiles.
Teenager: I'm here.
This blog is a part of a wider set of blog produced by our volunteers for the 2022-23 season. You can view the previous one here.