Not Completely “All Play and No Work”

Journal Entry: March 20, 2012

So, I know I’ve been talking about the trips I’ve been on and the friends I’ve made, but I can’t forget that I’m doing something else while I’m here, too— school.  Yeah, sadly, I’m still a student and can’t just go off gallivanting through Spain whenever I feel like it.  Sometimes I forget that school exists, though, because we never have any homework.  But then I get an assignment like THIS one, and it’s a rude awakening.

In one of my classes (Social Psychology Applied to Advertising — it’s not as interesting as I originally thought, mainly because the profesora isn’t very good), we had a group project where we had to create some advertising and promo items for a conference. No sweat, right? If I could survive ADV4800, I can handle anything.

But what happened was that we decided to do the whole thing in one sitting. Everything done, all at once, Sunday night. Even though it was due on Wednesday.

So, to make a very long, miserable story short: I left my house at 6 PM, thinking I’d be back in time for dinner at 10 PM.  I came back at 8 AM the next day.

That was my first school-related all-nighter in Spain! (remember Barcelona? Those were like 2 or 3 all-nighters in a row)

Good news: We finished!

Bad news: After getting back home I had the most massive, unhealthy (death by carbohydrates) breakfast imaginable, then slept through my first class that day.

Hopefully that won’t be happening ever again.

Oh, and fun little anecdote: We went to do the project at my friend Ana’s house, where she lives with her parents.  Her mom is a little firecracker, and she got a kick out of the fact that I’m an American. While we took a brief dinner break, she ended up grilling me about all sorts of fun topics like American politics, Obama, and abortion. SO. MUCH. FUN.

(NOT!)

Breakfast à la Americano!

The same weekend as our trip to Córdoba, my friend Robbie and I got together at his Spanish friend’s apartment to make some bona-fide American meals!  The most important (and famous) is breakfast, of course, so we made scrambled eggs with bacon and toast, then pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream on top!  For lunch we made the Spaniards some BLT sandwiches.  Robbie entertained our Spanish host and her friends by playing his harmonica for them.  We had plans to make grilled cheese sandwiches, but everyone was way too full by then!  It was a lot of fun to make those meals to share a bit of our culinary culture, and at the same time Robbie and I got to enjoy some comfort food from back home.  It was a win-win!
Making the pancakes!And Robbie plays the harmonica, too!You know you want some.More and more kept arriving!

Mama, Papa, I’m sorry. I’ve become a thief.

Journal Entry: March 4, 2012

I know you’ve raised me better than this, but my circumstances have made me this way! I’m not alone, either. All of the American girls have become thieves.

You see, the problem is this: There is no toilet paper in Sevilla. Let me rephrase that. There is hardly ever any toilet paper in any of the restrooms in Sevilla. With the exception of your bathroom at home, you won’t find it. I can’t believe I haven’t written about this before, cuz it’s a pretty big deal.

As a result, the American girls have resorted to thievery. Yes, thievery. Although it shames me… I steal the cheap paper napkins from the little metal napkin dispensers at restaurants and store them in my purse for later use as toilet paper. THERE! I admit it! I’m sorry! I just don’t know what else to do! The boys don’t know how easy they have it. But you know what the worst part of it is? The napkins aren’t even soft like toilet paper. They feel more like wax paper; they make crinkly noises.

Also, it’s crazy how we’ve adapted to our environment. Before we figured out the napkin trick (it took us about a week and a half), a lot of the girls would stop drinking water prior to heading out so that they wouldn’t have to use the bathroom.

Just the other day, one of my friends was stepping out of a café’s bathroom when I felt “the urge.” These were the words that came out of my mouth regarding the bathroom: “Is it clean? Scratch that. Is there toilet paper?” To which she responded with an elated, “YES! It actually has toilet paper!”

I’ll never take toilet paper for granted again.

WIG PARTY

The Thursday after my trip to Barcelona, I got invited to the birthday party of one of the Spaniards in my class.  It was all girls, and it was themed: WIG PARTY!!! (Fiesta de la Peluca)  Well, silly me, I didn’t bring any of my pelucas to Spain, so I had to borrow one from my Spanish friend, Maria.  The wig was long and red, and I had a blue/green dress, so I decided to go as the Little Mermaid!

Hear my beautiful siren's voice?You know we're sexy.

The food was “Mexican” — so basically tacos and guacamole.  But it was so good!  One of the girls was going as Nikki Minaj, so she got creative and stuffed a pillow down the back of her leggings to give her a more “voluptuous” figure.  After much picture-taking, we hit the streets of Sevilla and attracted lots of strange looks and playful cat calls. 😉

Friends!Walking the streets of Sevilla. Yup.

We even met up with some of my American friends on Calle Alfalfa! I had a great time with the girls that night, and they enjoyed practicing their English and also teaching us all sorts of words and phrases popular among the young Spanish crowd these days.  A great night!

We met up w/ my friends! LOL @ KatherineThat's a good look for you, Robbie!
Bearded Katherine ^^^ & Robbie was such a good sport with that white wig! ^^^

It’s MAGIC.

I came down with the flu (see post: “Blaaaarrrggghhhh”) on Monday morning and didn’t leave my bed unless it was to use the bathroom for two entire days. My host-mom, Margarita, made a jarabe for me that she makes for her daughter when she’s sick, and gave it to me on Tuesday night. It’s made of onions, garlic, honey, and something else. It was actually pretty good! All you had to do was dip a spoon into it, fill it with the liquid concoction, and sip it.  By Wednesday I was feeling better but still made sure I got enough rest and water because I did not want to ruin my trip to Barcelona by being sick. I lost 6 lbs in two days, so that’s not healthy. I focused on recuperating my strength on Wednesday. By Thursday (travel day) I was all better!!

The magical concoction that restored my health!

Blaaarrgggghhh

Journal Entry: March 6, 2012

That’s probably the most accurate description for how I feel right now.

Honestly, I’m a little surprised it took me so long to get sick in Spain. Anyone who knew me through college can attest to the fact that I catch everything. It seemed like I was on antibiotics at least once or twice every semester. So, it was only a matter of time before I caught some sort of illness here in Spain.

So what do I have? I have gripe, as it’s called here. Back home we call it the flu. Cough? Check. Fever? Check. Massive headache? Check. Entire body in pain? Check. It hit me yesterday when I woke up, and I’ve been bed-ridden since. I’m feeling a lot better today though. It’s miraculous what sleep and Motrin can do! But hopefully it’ll clear up within the next day or so, because I’m flying to Barcelona this Thursday! I’ll be really mad if some stupid flu ruins my weekend in fabulous Barcelona.

And trust me, you won’t like me when I’m mad. I get angry when I’m mad!

Leap Year 2012

Well, the night started out well enough.  We all decided to meet at Plaza de España near the Parque Maria Luisa.  Except, nobody knew that the park closed at 10:00 PM.  Robbie (remember the nice guy who walked me home after my first night clubbing in Sevilla? He ended up becoming one of my best friends!) had arrived early and as a result had still been inside when the park was locked up for the night.  When we got there, we came to the realization that Robbie was locked inside the Parque Maria Luisa!  We searched for a place where he might safely be able to climb out without skewering himself on the sharp tips of the gate surrounding the park, and after an impressive feat of acrobatics, he managed to get out and we were able to start our festivities!

We crossed over a bridge and into Triana, where we went to a pub called Phoenix and had a grand old time watching fútbol highlights and chatting.  Next we walked along the party street, Calle Bétis, situated right on the Guadalquivir River.  This night we discovered what was to become our favorite bar: Alambique. On Mondays and Wednesdays you get either a beer or sangria plus a shot of tequila for only 1.50 Euro, and on Tuesdays tequila shots are only 50 centimos. Needless to say, we made a habit of frequenting Alambique on weekdays. We stayed there until about 3 AM (early for a Spaniard’s standards), but not without making art first. Enjoy our glass, salt, and lemon sculpture. Even the bartender joined in!

Robbie walked me home, as usual, and I had a wonderful and memorable Leap Year!

Note: The legal drinking age in Spain is 18.

Robbie's escape attempt.A masterpiece.Katherine, Kevin, me, StevaughnI laughed so hard at Robbie's face!