Buddha or Bust.

Journal Entry:

1st club night in Sevilla! A big group of about 40 of us from the program went out Thursday night to party it up Spanish-style. I think there were so many of us because everyone is desperate to make friends as quickly as possible. The atmosphere is almost frantic whenever the group is assembled; I feel like I’m at a speed dating session. Not that I’ve ever been to one, of course. *cough* Anywaaaaays, it’s all too-huge smiles, forced laughter, people trying to find if they have common friends or acquaintances (“Oh, you go to that college? Do you know so-and-so?”), everyone talking about their merits. It’s very job interview-esque. And of course I am no exception! I’ve realized that real life isn’t going to be my fantasy and my roommates are not going to be my best friends. Darn. So, I’m especially eager to meet people and find friends.

Back to the club night. The event was hosted by a tour company called DiscoverSevilla. First, we all met up at their office for some free Sangria, and then we made our way to a massive 3-story nightclub called Buddha. I walked in there, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, taking in all of the scenery. As the name suggests, the theme of the club was very eastern. Red and orange assaulted my eyes as I entered and incense filled my head with every inhalation. The bottom floor was relatively empty when we arrived, with people depositing their winter jackets at the coat-check. I laughed when I saw it; I’m far too cheap for that. Gotta stick to my carefully-and-painstakingly-prepared budget, baby! The strategically-placed Buddha statues watched me as I made my way to the staircase that would lead me towards the mass of inebriated gyrating humans. The base from the music was making my rib cage vibrate. I felt a bit intimidated, but the overall feeling was excited. Ridiculously excited. Elated, even. I couldn’t wait to start dancing. The second floor had a bit more action, and my rib cage increased its vibrating. I just kept climbing, reaching the deafening third floor. I realized this floor was made up of two groups of people: American girls and Spaniard predators. But that’s kind of expected.

After a few hours of dancing with friends and evading the more “handsy” men, we decided to call it a night. Down on the first floor, it was finally packed, and it was almost exclusively made up of Spaniards. I made a mental note to stay on the first floor the next time around. We left the club at about 3 AM, and as we exited we were greeted with a huge line of Spaniards waiting to get in. Holy heck, these people have some stamina. We decided to call a cab, and since we still didn’t know our way around the city, we asked the cab driver to drop us off at the only reference point we had: the University. We get dropped off and figure out the payment situation, then start walking. The one downside of my apartment with the awesome view? It’s about a 40-minute walk from el Rectorado (the main university building we got dropped off at). It’s three in the morning in a city I’m unfamiliar with and I have a long way to walk. Cold. Alone. Female. And a taxi by myself would be a bit expensive. I was starting to stress when one of the guys from the program volunteered to accompany me home. He says he lives in the same direction and doesn’t mind walking a bit extra to make sure I get home safe. He looks decent and like a nice guy, and it’s the best option available to me, so I accept his kind offer. So we walk. His name is Robbie, and he turns out to be really funny and a bit of a nerd like me (possible friend alert!), so his company makes the long walk much more enjoyable.

After about 20 minutes of shivering and walking, we spot Robbie’s apartment building. We walk a few yards past it to continue on to my apartment when Robbie suddenly stops dead in his tracks and says, “Oh my God.”  I nervously glance around and ask him what’s wrong.  He simply points to the next block and I turn to look at what he’s gesturing at.  There, brightly lit on the corner of the street with dozens of people hanging around outside and a huge line of taxis waiting to take drunken patrons home, was Buddha.  Robbie lives right next to it, and he had no idea.  We both just turned to look at each other and burst out laughing.  We couldn’t believe that we had payed a taxi to take us further away from where we needed to go, when we easily could have just walked home! But, hey, we didn’t know!  Lesson learned.  We giggled about it for the next few minutes, and finally reached my apartment.  I thanked Robbie and hugged him, then he turned and jogged back to his place next to Buddha.

I got upstairs to our apartment floor and stuck the key in, turned it twice, and pushed.  The door didn’t budge.  I tried again. Still didn’t work.  After hissing out an expletive I proceeded to repeat the process about 20 more times before my frustration reached its boiling point and I finally resigned myself to sitting in the hallway and waiting for my roommates to get back from the club.  Thankfully I only had to wait about 15 more minutes.  They struggled a bit to get  the door to open as well, and all I could think to myself was, “Jeez, three Americans can’t figure out how to work the shower nor unlock a door in Spain. No wonder people laugh at us.”  Finally one of my roommates figured it out and we tip-toed our way inside. By then it was closer to 5 AM, and I proceeded to fall into a deep, dreamless sleep.

And thus concludes my first night out in Sevilla!

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