Saturday, February 19, 2011

Semana Tres: Rude, Rude, and Rude!

11 February ~ 17 February 2011

Not much happened this week—pretty routine. But I’m glad to have my routine. I like routines. I’m a creature of habit. Anyone else always sit in the same seat in class? You walk in the first day, select a seat, and it’s yours for the semester. And when someone tries to sit in your seat? “Oh, hell nah!” You throw your little tantrum inside your brain because you can’t actually act out on such petty grounds. You don’t want to be known as the loser that had a meltdown when you took his seat. So, you throw your death glare at the seat snatcher, deservedly so, and plop yourself down in another seat emphatically while making as many “ughs” and sighs you can. Normally, this happens to be the seat that is a lefty desk which adds to your now miserable day. Or, this chair produces this hair-raising squeak every time you shift your body around in the seat. Now you’re mad, have to write across your body, and afraid to move. At this point, you have nothing left to do but to start shaking in anger and consequently becoming incredibly saturated in your own nervous/angry sweat. Let’s just throw in the hot shot who has to answer every question before the professor finishes their question, or the throat-clearer. It’s astonishing how different your class experience is with just one slight altercation. This day cannot get any worse.

It rained. I know you’re probably thinking the same thing I was: “Why?” There is no other possible explanation other than nature is an asshole. Quite simple. I mean, I didn’t even have an umbrella—how rude! Three-quarters of the way home, I spotted sombrillas (umbrellas) in a wonderful little shop called “Ghetto.” This should be good. I searched far and wide to find a little Baby Phat sombrilla, but to no avail. Well at least this letdown could be remedied with the discovery of a black umbrella with my name written in a golden, cursive font with matching earrings, necklace, bracelet, and toe ring—not that I need these things, but I like some bang for my buck. Unfortunately, there weren’t any. I had to settle for a dark blue and burgundy plaid umbrella. What kind of establishment is this? They obviously don’t know ghetto. There weren’t even any extra-long white tees or Tupac memorabilia. Not even a used umbrella patched up with duct tape. This was disappointing.

I mentioned that I finally settled into a routine. Part of this routine is heading to my favorite little café after my morning class on Mondays and Wednesdays. I have a three-hour gap until the following class so, I head to this place, which offers free wi-fi, and settle in with a café con leche and a napolitana chocolate (chocolate-filled pastry). I created a little pact with myself at some point over winter break which would see that I would follow my own personal path of enlightenment. This quest to supplement my college knowledge, which seems to always escape once classes end, involves reading the classics, teaching myself subjects that I feel I haven’t covered holistically like political theory, world history, and economics, and more. It is this time at the café that I designate for accomplishing this lavish goal. The only problem is, this café is by my school which is a twenty-minute walk so, not desirable for a studious outing when I’m home. I did find a Dunkin Donuts, which here is called Dunkin Coffee, near my house with a nice little lounge and café atmosphere, but no wi-fi. Still, this was a huge discovery as I much prefer Dunkin Donuts coffee to what is served everywhere. I thought my American peers here would be very excited to hear this news, I hoped. This reminded me of the time I, after just getting my new, snazzy iPhone, excitedly presented it to my friend Raina. “What is that?” she said. “You know I’m not good with these things.” Never mind.

                                                              Photo courtesy of: Badgerboy

However, my peers were very excited for my discovery. Next we have to work on getting a Starbucks. I’ll lobby. I know many of you probably think this is lame, and my attempt to further Westernize this beautiful Spanish city absurd, but damnit, I like creamer and flavorings in my coffee, and the atmosphere in general, including the jazz music (except the very intrusive and rude Esperanza Spalding). They are currently playing “The Time (Dirty Bit)” here at Dunkin Donuts. Not exactly studious-like music, not to mention I heard the twangy, blonde, curly-haired 8-year-old princess that is Taylor Swift just before. Not Spain too!  I had such high regards for this country…

I also tangoed with a mosquito. lt wasn’t as elegant as it sounds. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how or why undesirable insects always happen to be occupying the bathroom at the same moment I am. They invoke such fear and heart-attack like symptoms upon first sight, there is no choice but to gasp and pee a little when you see one. It’s worse when you are in the middle of showering and do not have a feasible escape. In Europe, at least in Spain, they shower a little differently than we do. Or maybe this is just at my house—I don’t know. Anyway, the shower head at our house is level with the rim of the bath tub and is attached to a long hose. After turning it on and getting it warm, you wash your hair with it and moisten your washcloth and then turn it off, lather the soap on, and then turn it on again to rinse off. Saves water.

This set-up assisted me in my “conflict” with the mosquito. I noticed it soon after I got in the shower. It was on the ceiling maybe 5 feet from the shower curtain. I didn’t even know they had mosquitos in Granada. Every time I looked up, it was inching closer. I grew weary. I was in the middle of the lather stage when the rude monstrosity decided to go kamikaze on me and dive into the shower. I had to quickly reach for the hose and turn it on. This is not easy to do when you’re spinning 360s and covered in soap. I think I blacked out at one point. Regardless, when I came back to my senses, it was down the drain. Mission accomplished.

Disclaimer: This next section is not for the prim and proper who act is if bowel movements do not exist. If you don’t like discussing no.2s and such, neglect reading this. This may be strange for some of you, but in my family this is just typical dinner table conversation—serious stuff. If you’re skipping, the last paragraph is free of such material warned about.

It’s 9:13pm. I’m starving. I had come out of my room earlier, but found José cooking with the pot I needed so, I went back into my room and waited awhile. When I walked out to go into the kitchen, I heard what very well could have been José giving birth. By the rapid sequence of breaths, I knew his contractions were very close together. I’d better wait in my room some more. After a while longer, I came out to find the coast was clear and could cook in peace. I still have yet to find the baby.

I must also mention the frustrating dynamics of the toilet. For a while, I had a long-lasting case of the rabbit pellet bowel movements. (For any of you who need clarification, this is when the waste formation fragments into many, tinier pieces). Well, the sound that these pellets make reflects the nearly 30-40ft plunge to the toilet water surface. It’s as if you’re dropping a basketball into a full tub of water. It’s a highly stressful situation. To cover for the Slipknot concert going on in the toilet, I have to fake coughs or turn on the water faucet full blast. Side note: I swear Tina goes to the bathroom roughly every 3-4 minutes.

I got an invite for a club-outing next weekend. Apparently there is a really big hill in the vicinity that many a tipsy club-goers have taken a tumble down. I should just get it over with now. Will take video of the way down. God help me.


  1. Ok, of course when you say "don't read" everyone will : ) Who talks about bowel movements at the dinner table?

  2. The only Starbuck's is in Madrid... I think the Club is El Camborio, which is my favorite so far. See you in Class!