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Josh Rouse and 2 views of Valencia, Spain

A Conversation with Josh Rouse (continued)

PM: [laughs] So what I'm dying to talk about is Spain. I've been all over Mexico, and speak pretty good Spanish, but I've never been to Spain. So whatever detail you're willing to go into about how that migration came to pass, I'm totally interested in it.

JR: Well, I'd toured over there, and had a good time, and met a girl over there. And we just kind of kept in contact. And a couple summers ago I was touring over in Europe a lot. So she came on tour, and we took a train around Europe for a couple weeks and had a good time. And then I was going to go to New York, and she was too. And she found an art school she liked in this little town in Spain called Altea. And we had been to that town. And it was really cute, along the coast. And I said, "Well, maybe you could look for an apartment there for me, and I could check it out."

So that's kind of how it started, and that's how I got over there. I just rented an apartment for six months, and then it turned into a year and a half. We moved to Valencia about eight months later. That was a bigger city. The town was really nice, it was really cute, and I like going there. I miss it a lot. But there was no movie theater, there was no concert venue, there was--

PM: Right.

JR: Well, it was cultural thing--it was hard to kind of get out and meet people just because there weren't a lot of people. It was like we had to travel a little bit to go do something. So we moved to Valencia, which is nice, just fifteen minutes from the center, so you could walk around. And a lot of art, and concerts, and the beach is right there as well.

PM: Oh, so Valencia is not far from the beach, either.

JR: No, no. It's about a ten-minute cab ride for us, and we're right on the beach.

PM: Oh, well, that's beautiful. So how big a city is that, Valencia?

JR: A million. It's like Nashville. Except it's far more urban. You can walk. I mean, everyone either walks, takes a cab, or they have a car. It's not spread out like Nashville where you've got miles of stretches with little houses. It's like New York, I guess.

PM: Right, like New York, yeah, which is so much more fun. I mean, these places that they make today that you can't walk around, it's really screwed up.

JR: It's a pain in the butt.

PM: It's stupid.

JR: Especially if you don't have a good transit system, or some kind of underground, or something, to get around, because then you've got to have a car. It's great, I don't have a car now, which is fantastic. I really like it.

PM: So are you making good friends in Valencia?

JR: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's been kind of hard just because I--

PM: It's a whole different culture.

JR: Yeah, well, that, and it's not like Nashville where there's definitely kind of a big music scene. There is somewhat of a local scene there, but I haven't really got into it too much. I think they're kind of more curious as to what the hell I'm doing, why would I live there. [laughs]

PM: Yeah, of course, you're a curiosity.

JR: Yeah.

PM: And then your music to them is--

JR: They're always asking me, "When are you going to play concerts? When are you going to play concerts?" I'm like, "Oh, I don't know." But no, it's really nice. Yeah, I have met some nice people there. But it's a whole different thing. It's kind of hard to find like your Bongo Javas and places like that where big groups of people hang out--I haven't found that, really, there.

PM: How is the Spanish coming? Slow but sure, or fast, or--

JR: Well, good, good. I've been speaking it for about a year and a half how. I'm pretty fluent.

PM: That's great. That's fun, right?

JR: Yeah. It was fun. It's been a lot of hard work, though. There's time when it's fun, and it's like, wow, it's cool, I speak another language. And then there's times when you just don't want to deal with it.

PM: Yeah, it's like "I forget what that is in the subjunctive, damn."

JR: Yeah, exactly.


JR: Or you say something wrong, and you're like, "Screw it. I don't want to speak Spanish today."

PM: Oh, one time I was in a restaurant in Mexico, and I meant to order pear juice, and it's jugo de pera--

JR: Yeah.

PM: And I rolled the "r" by accident, and it came out jugo de perra--

JR: Oh, no.

PM: --which meant to her that I wanted dog piss. And she went running up and down the aisles of the restaurant saying, "El quiere de perra..." [He wants dog piss.]

JR: That's funny.

PM: But you learn quick when you do that.

JR: Yeah. But no, it's good. I really like it. And my girlfriend and I speak--she's Spanish, and she speaks English, too, so we end up doing that a lot.

PM: Wow. Yeah, I look forward to meeting her.   continue

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