Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Long Update

October 30, 2006

Well hello everyone! This is a super-intense and long update…after two months of being here I figured out that I could accomplish a lot more on the internet if I typed up these updates at home and then just did a little cut-and-pastage. And when I say that I figured it out, I actually mean that I overheard someone else talking about how that’s what they did. Sometimes I’m just slow like that. So, here we go!

I had midterms this past week, but now they are over so the weekend was all about celebration! Although, none of the tests were very hard…I thought my history of Spain one would be a beast, but it wasn’t. Hopefully I did as well as I think! I have been improving in my grammar class, each quiz grade is a bit higher than the last (the last one was an A+ thank you very much) so that’s good.
Thursday night we all went out to a club near school called Doblon, it’s kind of pirate/nautical themed. Everybody else has been there several times but as I have been battling the plague I’ve never been able to attend. This was also the first time I had been out since the Lagos incident—I was kind of afraid to go out in Barcelona, seeing as how it had only been one week. But I went out and had a great time! There were 2 guys I danced with who started asking me to go outside so we could “share a taxi home” and I kept saying, “Oh I’m sorry, I have to stay here by my friend.” Or even if we’d move to another part of the club, I’d tell my roommate exactly where we were going—it probably seemed a little crazy to some people that I was grabbing my friends and saying, “I’m just going over there, ok? Don’t worry.” So now I feel better, I’m more alert and cautious but still able to have a good time. My roommate and I were like real Spaniards that night—we didn’t leave the club until 6 am! I didn’t even realize it was so late (or is it early?) I was having so much fun! She finally got me and said we should go home and we got outside and I looked at my phone to check the time and I couldn’t believe I was still up!! That’s even after taking 2 finals, shopping and no siesta—CRAZY! Definitely a record for both of us. Needless to say, neither of us made it to the cultural visit to the Alcazar the next morning. But the Alcazar is just in downtown Sevilla and we get in free with our student ids so we’ll just go later.

Doblon is having a Halloween-costume party this week, too. Halloween has never been a big deal here, they’ve started celebrating it within the past few years but I think mostly the bars/clubs have parties for the American students. But my friends and I are so excited! Some of us are wearing our costumes to class—I’m only wearing part of mine as some of it is a bit too scandalous for the daytime-classroom scene. Guess what I’m going to be...A PIRATE! It’s going to be awesome! It’s just a homemade costume but it’s going to kick ass.

The monsoon season here in Spain has finally stopped! It has literally been raining for 2 weeks straight—there was all kinds of flooding in different parts of the country (not one of these cities is built for rain). Rain doesn’t bother me at home, but here, I have to walk to school and there’s mud everywhere—BLECH! I did take a taxi once or twice, it only cost a few euros and I stayed dry, so it’s all good. One day, everything in my backpack got soaking wet—it sucked! My notebooks and books dried out, but my agenda wouldn’t dry and began growing mold. So I had to go buy a new one (and I had just written all my reading assignments for the entire semester in my old one) and then re-write not only all my class info but all my Georgetown info that is printed in our agendas. However, I am a nerd, so it was kind of fun.

Speaking of me being a nerd, I need to see a class schedule thing for next semester. Could someone send me one ASAP—preferably through some sort of overnight-Express mail so I can look at it in time to register? It won’t cost but a couple dollars and I’ll even pay you back. Or just hunt down one of my padres and make then cough up the dough. I’d much appreciate it, just do a “reply all” to this email if you’re going to send one so I don’t end up with 87! First to reply wins! What do you win? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…

Every morning before class, I go into the bar across the street (well, it’s a bar-café, I’m not drinking in the morning although I have seen a few people doing that) and get toast with “jamón york” (American style ham) and a fresh-squeezed orange juice. The bar is run by a married couple named Antonio and Rosario, they crack me up. It’s usually really crazy in there, the first couple of times I was so nervous, I couldn’t just yell my order at them like everyone else but I can now. Anyway, I have officially become a “regular” because I went in there on Thursday and before I could open my mouth Antonio said, “Tostada con jamón york y zumo de naranja para llevar?” And I was like, you know it! I thought that was kind of cool, I’ve never had that anywhere.

Oh yeah, the alcohol in the morning comment made me think of something. When we were coming back from Barcelona our flight left the airport at 6:45 am, so we were on the plane at about 6:15-6:30 and I sat and listened to the flight attendant explain to 2 guys that no, he could not serve them beer at that time. Wow; that’s alcoholism buddy.

Barcelona was really cool—I’d been there once before, but there is so much to see! Barcelona is so much more European and cosmopolitan than Sevilla (not a difficult task to accomplish, by the way), for example, if the opening hours of a store are at 9 am—the store will actually be open at that time! It was nice to revisit the “real world” where a few things get accomplished; I think I know how a crack addict feels, the first time I experienced productivity while in Barcelona I was practically high, thinking, “Oh yea, that’s how the world works!” The first day we basically did all the things I had done before (Sagrada Familia, Parque Guell, Picasso Museum, etc.) but they’re all so cool it didn’t matter. Also, practically piece in the Picasso Museum was “new,” I guess they must rotate the pieces throughout the year. In Barcelona, my friend Esmelda decided to call me “MapQuest” because I was able to remember how to get places even though it had been over 2 years since I’d been to Barcelona. Everyone thinks it’s crazy how I can just remember the exact way we came whenever we go anywhere—including after we’ve had some drinks. I actually think my accuracy record is better than MapQuest. The second day we took the train to Figueres which is Salvador Dalí’s hometown and where his museum is located. I’ve never been in a museum like that; it was crazy. He was such a genius! It was practically an interactive art museum!

The hostal we stayed at was pretty good—despite a little drama the first night. They had the 3 of us in different rooms; Esmelda and I were in one room but Candice was in another. Candice went up to her room to find that the other inhabitants were 4 guys! So I went down to the front desk with her and started raising holy Hell (especially considering what I had experienced in Lagos, there was no way I was letting that happen!) but the guy at the desk was like, “I don’t understand the problem—you have to send us an additional email if you have a request like that,” that being the concept that a girl doesn’t want to share a room with 4 strange guys. I told him that I was sorry and that I wasn’t aware that common sense issues had to be specified like that. I told him that she would be in our room, sharing one of our beds and that I wanted her money back. He told us to talk to the manager the next morning. The next morning, 2 people in our room left and there was a girl at the desk who was much more understanding than the asshole from the night-shift and she moved things around so Candice could be in our room. Oddly enough, the other 2 girls in the room are studying in Sevilla so we are hoping to hang out at some point. Another crazy thing happened in the bathroom of the hostal. First of all, the showers had those faucets that you just press and the water flows for a split second (like at the airport) so you had to try and shower while leaning one hand against the faucet! Anyway, I went in there one morning to dry my hair, and the door was shut. I slowly opened the door and could see the figure of a person—clearly naked, so I said, “Oh I’m so sorry!” and I began to shut the door. Then, in her German accent (I’m sorry Mike, it’s always the weird-ass Germans), “Oh it’s ok, I don’t mind.” All I could think was, “Wow, I mind,” but I didn’t want to seem rude to this friendly exhibitionist so I just went in and started drying my hair. Then Candice came in to see me drying my hair trying to avert my eyes from the naked German woman in the mirror. Once we were back in the room, Candice looked at me and was like, “What the f--- was that?” Oh if only I knew. And speaking of nudity…

Las Ramblas is the main “strip” of Barcelona and it can be really crazy, especially with all the performance artists out trying to make money. There were also these hookers out, but they were older hookers. I’m talking 50 year old women—not dressed really trashy, but after you saw them just waiting on the corner for about 20 minutes, you knew they were hos. So Esmelda is walking down the street and a younger hooker just slaps her on the butt and says, “Me gusta tu culo,” which means “I like your ass,” she didn’t know what to do so she just said thank you. The next night, she and I were walking down Las Ramblas and I see a man walking towards us, about 50-60 years old in decent shape. How do I know he was in decent shape? Well, he was wearing nothing but loafers, dress socks, a watch, and an olive green pair of briefs! He also had a medium sized shopping bag (not full of clothes that’s for sure) in his hand and the most serious expression on his face. I still have so many unanswered questions about that man. I told Esmelda I wanted to go and ask him if he knew he was naked—he was just strutting about as though he looked like the rest of us.

Today we had a cultural visit to Ronda, which is one of the oldest cities as far as bullfighting is concerned in Spain. My culture and society teacher, Judy (who is a trip and a half), and a friend of hers who is a retired bullfighter put on a demonstration all about bullfighting. It was interesting, some of the information made me feel a little bit better about the bullfight, but I still think it’s wrong and would never go see one.
This coming week I am going to Gibraltar on Wednesday because we don’t have class. And now some parting shout outs:

I’d like to give a shout out to my madre who’s having a b-day on Friday November 3. I’m not going to tell you how old she is, but it starts with an f and ends with an orty-five.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Peyton and wish him a belated 21st birthday and I want to hear all about the partying!

Well, this isn’t a shout out, but Devon, I forgot to reply to your email to tell you that I do have John (the Scottish professor) and he is my absolute favorite! He is such a cynical bastard…he reminds me of me. He cracks me up continually; I actually have 3 straight hours of classes with him on Mondays and Wednesdays and it’s awesome.

Well, that’s all for now. I just did a little word count action on this bad boy and I don’t think y’all can handle how many words were in this update…but I’m going to tell you, about 2300; oh snap!

Besos y Abrazos,


PS—A recent revelation I had on the bus today: Why is it that when sculpting animals (like horses) the artists insist on being so detailed that we see horse testicles? Are they afraid that without those big balls we won’t know what it is? We will, the mane/tail/guy riding on top of it really give it away as a horse.

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