Alice in Wonderland

When I got back from Spain in December, I got asked a million times “How was your exchange?”.

Well how was it? It was great, it was horrible, it was exciting, it was scary, it was boring, it was exhausting and everything else between awful and wonderful. I mean how do you condense the experiences of one whole semester into something that one person can bother to listen to in one go?

You don’t. You smile and say it was great. You maybe say you learned some Spanish or that you liked the people you met and lived with. Maybe to a close friend you tell some funny stories, but that’s the most you get at really. But if pressed for a story, I think this version might capture the interest and curiosity of my listeners better, the story of how Alice was lost in Wonderland…

Alice had been sitting at home, quite bored of the regular goings of life, when she noticed a little white piece of paper with the words “Come away – study abroad!” floating away from her! She decided to follow the piece of paper, but after chasing and chasing the magic words STUDY ABROAD, she suddenly found herself flying a long long way away from home. After landing on the ground somewhere she did not know, she found she had magically grown! No longer was she two heads shorter than everyone else, but seemed to have stretched to be quite a bit taller! The air had also seemed to change, no longer was the air crisp with the coming of winter, but the air seemed to shimmer in waves of heat.

Alice tried very hard to make friends with the strange beings around her, but they seemed not to understand her. When she opened her mouth, they either stared at her in curiosity or shrugged their shoulders and moved past her. Some of them pulled at her hair, telling her it could not be real. One called her “Lucia” and tried speaking to her in Russian, while still others spoke in riddles, selling her bus tickets, or maybe not tickets after all, but something quite else, but selling all right, with all their might and a wink and a smile. And the queerest things they did to greet each other, making kissy sounds in the air and shaking their heads from side to side. And they came from every side, kiss here, hug there, kiss some more, but make no mistake – a handshake could make enemies.

Alice was also known to be a bit of a clumsy girl sometimes… She was especially considered clumsy and a little bit wild by the coaches of the national team that she trained with, though they all mostly considered her comings and goings amusing.

Alice tried to make her way around, but seemed to be lost in some long tunnel of endless doors and currents of people rushing past in all directions and platforms that appear and disappear in minutes. Wading through, she found herself wandering the barren desert landscape all alone. After some time of searching Alice thought she found a place that had people that would help her get on her way, only to be puzzled and perplexed by the endless riddles and stories that she must try to solve to enroll.

Alice also met the “queen”, who orders her students to eternal shaming at the slightest dissatisfaction. While on her way to meet the “Queen” again, she was stopped by a long metal caterpillar that refused to move when it was supposed to. Arriving at the “Queen”‘s hall almost 45 minutes late, the “Queen” stopped her court and turning to Alice with pure rage in her eyes swiftly commanded “OFF WITH HER HEAD!”.

Alice escaped the awful “Queen”, never to see her or “Contemporary American Drama” again, and instead set off on incredible adventures involving imaginary time machines, bottles that make her feel funny and sick, castles, ancient ruins, disappearing wallets and disappearing ticketshidden lakes, giant feet, and bicycles that seem to drive themselves, but cars that do not want to be driven no matter how much you want them to.

Alice rubs her eyes and gets up from the floor. What strange dreams she has had… And oh how much she misses all the amazing friends she met along the way! Gracias!


2 thoughts on “Alice in Wonderland

  1. What a WONDERful way to describe your experience. I hope you’ll always remember your stay abroad as a happy-ending (yet sad-it-ended) fairy tale. Keep on writing, here you have a fan!
    Lots of love from down the rabbit hole,


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