Saturday, March 26, 2011

Semana Ocho: Lions, Camels, and Idiots--Oh, my!

18 March ~ 24 March 2011

I began this past week with a weekend jaunt to Africa—sounds wild, eh? Well, Africa wasn’t wild, the people were. When you book group travel, you would expect to be traveling with a group, right? Well, not me. For some reason, I thought Lizzie, Ariel, and I were just going to be in Morocco on our own, doing our own thing. I’m not entirely sure where this assumption came from. It was like the time I assumed—actually, audibly proclaimed—I wouldn’t get sunburned lying out in the pool in the middle of July without sun block. Waking up the next morning with first-degree burns was just a hell of a good time and a reminder of just how much of an idiot I am.

After our three-hour bus ride from Granada to Seville to meet up with the group and board our additional two-and-a-half hour bus to the port city of Tarifa, I was not in the mood for general human interaction, let alone those of the retarded Barbie and Ken group we happened to be traveling with. All I wanted to do was sit in my seat, as you would on a bus, and go to town on my mixed bag of gummy candies. Instead, my poor ears were subject to typical meathead comments like: (on a calculator)”If you multiply this by this, and add this to that, and then divide by this, it says “BOOB.” If the comment wasn’t irritating, the jacked-up, macho, hyena cackle was enough to make me slit my wrists. Seconds later, one of the Barbies wanted verification that the Strait of Gibraltar was “a rock, right?” No stupid, that would be the ROCK of Gibraltar. I didn’t have alcohol, or Nyquil so, I was stuck with these examples of reverse evolution/primeval middle schoolers at least until the port, where they could mysteriously disappear into the Mediterranean. I was just waiting for someone to say, “Pull my finger.”

At one point, after expressing my thoughts on our peers, Ariel chimed-in in support: “I’m glad you guys are jaded on general human behavior (like I am).” At least my companions were on the same page with me so, it was just a matter of surviving this Laguna Beach nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, there eventually proved to be some worthy, normal humans with us on the trip, but they were the minority. After watching a few people ram into my armrest while maneuvering their way through the narrow aisle with their luggage, I decided to put it down. Ten seconds later I put it back up. There would be no sympathy for this crowd, plus it was pretty amusing watching them take a blow to their kidney and literally being stopped in their tracks. One-by-one all of the passengers were being impaled or thrown backward due to my incredible object of amusement and it was delightful.

To add fuel to the fire, the tour guides, which were practically our age, decided to put on Superbad. Why? Yes, it is a very funny movie, but it would be like putting on Never Say Never for a group of teenage girls, or Spice World for me. I could just see the headlines now: “3 students (Ariel, Lizzie, and I) were found dead after hanging themselves with their backpacks in Tangier. Officals said they had been there for approximately four minutes.”
                                                           African coast

After about ten bus rides, three boats, two flights, and bicycling, we finally arrived in M’Diq at our hotel. I was absolutely starving as was everyone else. There was a group of Moroccan performers dressed in traditional Moroccan performing apparel at the entrance of the hotel playing music for us. While I appreciated the welcome, my stomach was on the verge of throwing a huge PMS episode and I did not have the time to wait for people to stop and take pictures, it was time to eat! The pasta with Bolognese sauce was very good, but it was the Moroccan tea and homemade ice cream that stole the show. The banana and vanilla ice cream was the best ice cream I had ever had. There must have been a cat farm in or around our hotel because our dinner was interrupted a few times by the pack/school/group/flock/whatever of cats that were roaming freely through the restaurant.

Fat, full, and happy, we finally got to go check out our room. We were already halfway to the room when one of the bellhops decided to join us and try to take our bags for us, which we didn’t give him as we only had a backpack each…that were ON our backs. He opened our door for us and showed us to the beds as if we weren’t capable of doing so ourselves and then practically broke my arm trying to take my backpack off to set it on the bench behind me. He then expected some kind of tip, but we had only just arrived and only had large Moroccan Dirham bills. Do you honestly think I’m going to tip you for the arduous task of taking my backpack off and setting it directly behind me?

As if this employee wasn’t irritating enough, the electrician/resident hobo certainly was. I shouldn’t say he was irritating, rather mysterious—a magician of sorts. Our bathroom light didn’t work and we had asked if someone could come fix it. A couple of minutes later this guy comes rolling in hair disheveled and sporting a tattered blue jumpsuit and goes to “work.” After fidgeting with the light switch for a bit, he opened our closet and was searching for something on the top shelf. I saw him pull absolutely nothing out of the closet, but afterward we walked back into the bathroom and the light was on. Either this guy was a wizard, or he pulled out a screwdriver and light bulb without me noticing. After he left, we went and tried to turn the bathroom light on, which didn’t work—again. There was something fishy going on, but we decided to leave it be and go to the bar. I was hesitant to leave because I just knew we would return to find the hobo asleep in one of our beds. At some point during the night, Lizzie rudely obliterated a poor snail outside of our room.

                                                                                     R.I.P. Gary

The next morning we were off to the blue-and-white washed hilltop town of Chefchaouen. After getting off the bus we met up with our local tour guide who took us on an extensive hike through the city. There wasn’t one corner of the town that wasn’t photogenic. When the tour was done we headed to the restaurant near the town square for lunch. The restaurant had your typical Moroccan design and furnishings, but more importantly, the pastilla. It was incredible. It was a curried chicken with nuts and other seasonings in a baked pocket of filo dough topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon and over a bed of mint leaves. Although it was delicious, at about the halfway point you begin to be overwhelmed/nauseated by the entire use of their seasoning pantry’s collection. After lunch we had free time to shop. Exiting the restaurant, I got a warm welcome from one of the local children who made a gun with his fingers and gestured shooting me in the face. Nice to meet you too, you little f***er.

                                                                                 Pastilla!

Shopping in Morocco is tiresome and flat-out infuriating. I can’t even handle retail employees in the States coming up to me and asking me if I need help finding anything. Well, I don’t know, I did JUST walk in the damn door. Give me a minute to breathe. In Morocco though, they follow you, and they keep talking, keep talking. They tell you how good everything looks on you, and how it’s a good price and a good size. I just wanted to scream. I was in one store looking at traditional Moroccan poncho sweaters when Lizzie and Ariel decided to ditch me. I left the store and couldn’t find either of them. I began walking through the winding alleyways trying not to wander too far off the main path as I did not want to end up lost in that labyrinth of blue. I really wanted to find them after I was called a “mother fucker” by an older man trying to sell me hash, who was “talking” to me from behind me. How, just how am I supposed to know you are talking to me when I can’t even see you? He was apparently trying to ask me if I wanted hash and took my blissfully ignorant stance as an offence and then walked by me with a dirty glance and said, “mother fucker.” The best part was after walking ahead of me a bit, he turned around and asked me again if I wanted to buy from him—seriously? Well, I was contemplating, but since you decided to call me such an endearing term, the deal is most definitely off. Such savvy business tactics these men have. 

When we got back to the hotel, we decided to hit the beach to check it out. Besides the mounds of trash everywhere, it was a pretty beach. The coolest part of the time on the beach was watching the tour guides play an impromptu game of soccer in the fading light--it looked so full of life and majestic, and I would have liked to have been a part of it, if I were at all coordinated and could kick a ball straight without it managing to go backward and me falling into an awkward shape.


Returning to our room I was stricken with another tragedy—the cleaning lady took my empty, glass Coke bottle—obviously I was keeping it as a souvenir lady! Luckily, it was time for dinner and could preoccupy myself with food, as I often do. Tonight on the menu was chicken couscous served family style! It was simply amazing. We then had a very lengthy conversation about strobe lights. I know it sounds a bit odd for dinner talk, but for some reason it was weird to Ariel and Lizzie that I, on occasion, take a shower in the dark…with the strobe light on. I don’t see any problem with this. The fun-filled spirit of dinner was quickly interrupted with news that the one tour guide received word from his Moroccan policeman father that the countrywide radical protest would be taking stage tomorrow afternoon. At first it seemed rather frightening,  the fact that if we didn’t leave before the riot took place we would be stuck in Morocco at our expense, but then it kind of seemed like a fun challenge—a real episode of Survivor. It would be kind of badass to say that I had to flee a country in revolution and in the process had to scale a few walls, dodge a couple of car bombs, and swim across the Strait of Gibraltar back to safety. I knew none of this would happen, given my track record for grace and adequate fitness.

The plan was to cut Tetouan out of Sunday’s agenda and head straight for the Caves of Hercules and the camel rides which were near the Tangier port. On the way to the caves, poor Daniel’s bladder was on the verge of rupturing. There weren’t any bathrooms on the bus, and the tour guide had told him to wait 20 minutes until we got to the caves. After a couple of more minutes he feared for our safety and his own sake as he for sure did not want to be known as “the kid that peed on the bus,” and had the bus driver pull over. I thought he would have gone to the bathroom the minute he hit the grass, but he instead took off full-speed into the jungle. Soon after, he came riding out of the African bush on a mountain lion and then jumped a barbed wire fence and got back on the bus.

Our tour of the caves was very short as the revolution timer was counting down. It was actually a savior because there wasn’t much to see or do in the caves. The tour guide tried to dupe me into thinking the entrance of the cave to the ocean was in the shape of a map of Africa, but it was a very liberal interpretation. He then tried to have us put our hands in a dark, wet hole to feel God knows what. No thanks. To add to this, the cave drippings were grossing me out and there selling product of choice was marble eggs(?) When we exited the caves I saw two camels in the parking lot and I had to laugh to myself. I thought this was our “camel ride on the beach.”—how ghetto. Thankfully, these weren’t for us and we hopped back on the bus to go ride the camels. There is not much to say about the camel rides, other than I got on, rode for five minutes, and got off. Fortunately, I guess, we made it back to the ferry and departed for Tarifa without any problems.

Thinking I had enough excitement for the week, my geography professor had a trick up his sleeve. In class Wednesday, we were discussing the metropolis of Barcelona. Suddenly, we were watching a music video featuring a Spanish drag queen version of Prince. I don’t even know where it came from. He tried to tell us it was a famous Spanish film director before his directing—and sane—days, but I’m still convinced it was/is him at his night job. The video then morphed into another, but this time it was a duet with a Spanish KISS member. The song was called “Suck It To Me.” Our teacher then began to sing the not-at-all creepy chorus of “Suck it to me. Suck it to me. Suck it to me. Suck it to me.” I thought I had been scarred by many things in my life, but this put an end to anything else previously deemed scarring. I’m still trying to connect the dots between “Suck It To Me” and anything, anything geographically related.

                                                   ¡Por que esto es Africa!

Un saludo,

Bryce

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Semana Siete: Irish Pride

11 March ~ 17 March 2011


Not much happened this past weekend because half of my crew decided to be rude and go to England without me. I think I watched “Just Go With It” which was hilarious. I then stared at the white walls and counted the tiles on the floor.

The real excitement came on Tuesday. I started my week out by slipping on dog shit on the sidewalk and sliding into an impressively balanced split. It all happened so fast; one minute I was talking to Ashley, Lauren and Liz about something, and the next I’m trying my best Evan Lysacek impersonation on an improvised skating rink. Did I not already complain about the ubiquitous dog crap earlier? It was only a matter of time—just one lapse of concentration. Evidence of my accident was even there the day after when I was on my way to school:


At least we were en route for our usual Tuesday lunch, which would hopefully shake me of traumatizing experience. Emily decided to take us to one of the cafeterias of the main university. Walking into the cafeteria brought memories of high school flooding back, but in a good way. After waiting in line to buy our 3 euro ticket, we had to hop to the other line to actually queue up for our food. This was some serious bang for your buck: a baguette, small glass of wine, chicken paella, beef stew, and fresh strawberries. Not only was it a lot of food, and cheap, it was amazing! It made me so jealous of the vast majority of students at the CLM who live with madres (moms) that cook all of their meals. This is what they get to eat every day. Grrr.


Wednesday in geography class we were all entertained by some guy who was reliving one of the craziest night of his life which resulted in him waking up the next morning wet, in the shower, and with a black eye. Elissa heard otherwise: “What? He woke up in a shower with a black guy?” No, a black EYE. Now THAT would be a crazy night worth forgetting, potentially.

After class, I joined Elissa’s group again to finish up their tapas project. The first place was pretty decent, but nothing spectacular. The second place was a kabob shop which I did not know did tapas, but apparently this one did. The place seemed kind of sketchy, primarily given the worker’s hesitation when we asked if they had tapas. We took a table in the back all to itself and discussed all of the horrible things that could possibly be served to us. Surprisingly, we had really good kebab roll-ups and French fries. The remaining time at the kebab joint was a blur. There was a bug. I think it was human-sized. It may have even had wings and fangs. Well, it came dashing at Chante, whose bug tolerance is on par with mine, and she bolted out from behind the table. It was time to call it a night.

The next day after class Elissa and I walked/hiked/panted up the Albayzin to a plaza with an incredible, sweeping view of Granada and the Alhambra. 

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Apparently circus auditions were coming up soon as many there were sharpening their skills; however, this was no anomaly as the place was full of the hippie/oddball sort. We sat down to eat our lunches and tomar el sol (catch some rays) since it was a beautiful day. My bliss was soon interrupted by a major creeper of a dog. The thing suddenly appeared hovering over my shoulder watching my bocadillo tortilla intently.


 I stood up to see to whom this creature belonged and then understood why the dog was the way it was. Its owner was a woman practicing her unique dance “skills” all alone in her own corner of the plaza. This must be the cool thing to do here as there was another man who was doing his own dance number which culminated in him bending over…and staying in that position for a solid seven to ten minutes. 
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Elissa spotted two people she knew chatting with the reject society and was debating whether to get their attention or not. I strongly opposed such actions as that would inevitably mean the carnies would come too and I was not prepared to engage in their activities.

We, and by “we,” I mean Elissa, decided to go to this one tapas bar because they apparently had these amazing fries with a special sauce as well as a ham and cheese on garlic bread sandwich. On the way down passing all of the quaint white-washed houses Elissa pointed out a pretty accurate observation: “I know the metal bars (on the windows) are to prevent you from being murdered in your sleep, but they’re pretty.”

The tapas bar had a very interesting style; it can only be described as the outcome of a duel between King Arthur and Kesha. The place was outfitted in shields and armor everywhere while gold glitter was splashed on all of the walls and countertops. After finishing our quite tasty tapas, I began to drill Elissa with questions about Guinness since she was the so-called Irish expert. We figured the only way to convey the difference between Guinness and any other beer would be to go to Hannigan’s (the Irish pub) and get a pint. This was an oddly successful decision as it so-happened to be St. Patrick’s Day. We then got Irish flags painted on our face to feel more Irish as neither of us remembered to wear green. The even better outcome was my new-found love for Guinness. I thought it was supposed to be “the mother of all beers,” which entailed an acquired taste, but I actually prefer it to anything else I had tried up to that point. It was probably the most authentic St. Patrick’s Day experience I had ever had: an Irish pub with Irishmen, a pint of Guinness, an Irish flag, and an Irish girl.


After the pub I went home because I had to make a last-minute return that I had been putting off for quite some time. I completely forgot I had an Irish flag on my face, but was quickly reminded by two girls waiting in front of me at Zara. Seriously, if you’re going to poke fun at someone, you could at least manage to be less discrete: turning around and looking at me, then turning to your friend and whispering something that causes her to look back, and then you both giggle is so NOT cool. I mean, at least it was an Irish flag given it was St. Patrick’s Day and not a Mexican flag. I didn’t have time to think about this too much as I was leaving for Morocco the next day and had plenty of worries already to deal with:

Will I fall off of the camel?
Will the camel fall?
Will the camel and I both fall into the ocean?
Will I get diarrhea?
Will the camel have diarrhea?
Will the camel and I both have diarrhea?
Will the camel and I both fall into our own diarrhea?
What if Aladdin doesn’t exist?

Un saludo,

Bryce

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Semana Seis: One Drink, Two Drinks, Red Drink, Blue Drink

4 March ~ 10 March 2011


Friday night I headed over to casa de Lizzie, Valerie, and Emily for the ‘90’s party! I was fully-prepared to get my Spice Girls on until, sadly, the ‘90’s playlist Emily had created was boycotted and then terminated. Come to think of it, it was Emily’s house so, not sure how she lost out to guests—next time. The best quote of the evening came from Amy while playing kings. Patrick had drawn a 10, which is “categories,” and he had to choose any category (like NFL teams or car brands) and then everyone had to name one until someone repeated an answer or said an incorrect answer. Pat chose “flavors.” The progression was: “chocolate,” “strawberry,” and then Amy’s: “White”…………

At this point it would have been better to swallow your mistake (she was intending for white chocolate, but still) instead of trying to defend yourself. “Amy it’s flavors. White isn’t a flavor.” “Well then how was strawberry right?!” Um…..

We then played ride the bus which is just cruel. Also, at some point during the night, I adopted a British accent.

Monday in class I nearly decapitated a poor girl sitting behind me. I was in the process of fanning Elissa off with my manila folder when I decided to pick up the fanning pace. A glossy cardstock flyer decided to whip out and bee-line it toward this girl’s face. Her head is still intact.

Remember how I said our final project for my speaking and writing class was to sample tapas bars and report which were good and bad to our fellow classmates in a Powerpoint presentation? Well, after class Monday, I joined Elissa’s group to participate in their quest since I had nothing better to do. I really underestimated the whole concept of tapas; these tapas were amazing and a good size. At the first bar we had mushroom crêpes (minus me) and pork-filled tortellini. The next stop was maybe even better—I got my cheese sticks!!!! I saw queso frito on the tapas menu and I could not stop smiling. I had literally just been telling someone a few days earlier how I really wanted some cheese sticks. Anyway, the fried cheese came with a raspberry jam which I wasn’t a big fan of, but it wasn’t too bad. The real star was Elissa’s panini—it was so incredibly good. It was basically a thick piece of French bread topped with chili con carne and melted cheese. I normally don’t eat off of anyone else, but I couldn’t help myself in this situation.

It was also a night of firsts: Chante and I tried green olives for the first time together. I don’t even remember where they came from, but she and I had both picked one up and were examining them like some objects from outer space. I had said something like “Oh, God. Here we go. My first olive.” Chante then said it was her first time too so, we decided to try it together. When I first bit into it, the juice hit my senses first, and I was actually thinking “Wow, this is pretty good,” until the rest of the olive caught up. There were so many nasty things going on in my mouth and the only solution was to spit it all out and dry heave. I saw Chante watching in horror to my reaction as I was a couple seconds ahead of her. She didn’t like them either.

The next night, I went out for tapas with my real group. Our first stop was a little modern tapas bar close to my house, El Cielo. Although it was pretty dead, the tapa was amazing! There were thinly shaved pork loins with a baguette and oil and vinegar drizzled over it. Afterwards, we headed to La Pateleta and by some stroke of luck ran into Andrea. I must add that our second tapas here was a plate of blood sausage and I valiantly tried it. Andrea had extended an invitation to join her and her friends at the chupitería (€1 shots bar) later. Ashley and I agreed to go but we wanted to try one more tapas bar with our group first which worked out because Andrea and her friends were going to a different bar before the chupitería. After splitting up with Andrea, we headed to the last tapas bar which, of course, was packed, as well as the covered patio. There was a pretty moderate rain so, we decided to just call it a night and Lizzie and Valerie decided to go home while Ashley and I were going to head over to the chupitería.

                                                           El Cielo
                                          That's the blood sausage in the back =/

But first, Ashley was craving “fried chocolatey goodness” which sounded amazing at that point to me as well. We set out for one of her favorite places for such a treat, but it was closed =/ I then thought we should head to the Gran Vía (one of the main streets) as places would certainly still be open—wrong. Next, we headed over toward the chupitería area on Ronda (another big street) because they really should have a place open since this is the drunken area of town—wrong again. Mind you, it was still raining. Ashely had an umbrella, I didn’t. So, at this point, it has been a half hour of walking in steady rainfall. At some point we ran into an “acquaintance” of Ashley’s and I asked him if he knew where we could find fried chocolatey goodness, but he didn’t seem to care.

Fried chocolatey goodness was ditched. Both of us were wet, cold, and the tapas buzz dead, and just wanted to head to the chupitería, that is, if we could find it. I thought it was directly on Ronda, but after walking up and down Ronda for an additional 20 minutes, I was thinking this wasn’t so. I asked about three or four convenient store owners and they didn’t seem to know. By the way, here in Spain, it’s the Chinese that own all the convenient stores, not the Indians. Moving on. By some miracle, I heard English being spoken behind us as we were just pointlessly wandering in the rain. I turned around and saw two girls beginning to cross to the other side of the street. I yelled “Excuse me!” like five times before the one girl, now halfway across the street, glanced back. We caught up with them and asked them if they knew where the chupitería was. “Yeah, that’s where we’re going right now.” Thank you Jesus!

Once we walked in, we stood out like sore, sober thumbs. It was someone’s birthday from the CLM (where we attend school) and they were pregaming before the club. Everyone was up and over the moon drunk, especially this one girl I had met at Emily’s party on Friday. I had only met her that one time, but she greeted me like we’ve been friends since childhood. She was happy, so extremely happy. She then started giggling and told us how she stole the little container of sunflower seeds she had in her hands from the bar. Her next statement left me perplexed: “I haven’t even had one shot!” I didn’t think second-hand drunkenness existed but I was beginning to think she was proof, that is, until she pulled out a massive bottle of something from her shoulder bag. That would explain that.

                                                       Chupitería

Shots were definitely in order for Ashley and I. The place is pretty small, and the atmosphere isn’t one for starting impromptu dancing, and considering we didn’t really know anyone, we had to assimilate. After my first shot, I was confused by all of the bad things I heard about shots because mine was delicious! It was called a Buddha which consisted of Vodka, apple, and mint. I could drink an entire bottle of that. The sympathy for shots soon faded as soon as my second one went down. I contemplated punching the bartender for giving me straight up hydrogen peroxide. It was awful. I had heartburn for a good twenty minutes. Scratch that one from the list. Soon after, Andrea showed up and we hung out for a while longer. After shot number three we were still nowhere close to the rest of the crowd and Ashley and I had an 8:30am class that morning—time to go. 


There was another mosquito in the bathroom. I was in a less-vulnerable state this time than the time before. I quickly grabbed the air freshener and used the stream of aerosol to blast the bastard on the floor. It didn’t fall to the floor initially, but was bouncing off of the wall. After a couple more blasts, it finally fell on the ground and was now hopping/hovering around. I was doing some type of Irish jig trying to position my foot above it and push down. Thankfully it didn’t take too long because I was about to pass out from all of the fresh lavender fumes.

The only thing from this past week that I’m still trying to piece together is the man I saw cruising down the street in his unicycle like it was a customary means of transportation. Was he going to work? School? Birthday gig? Possibly en route to throw himself off of a bridge?

Un saludo,

Bryce

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Semana Cinco: Just Dance

25 February ~ 3 March 2011

I met up with Andrea at Dunkin Donuts last Friday to be studious and do some work which was somewhat successful. I did find everything I could ever wish for in a donut, and it’s called a fantasía chocolate y avellana (chocolate and hazelnut fantasy). It’s what dreams are made of: a donut filled with Nutella and topped with white and milk chocolate shavings. I must say, it is quite awkward when ordering this donut, “Yes, I would like a chocolate fantasy. That’s all.” Next time, I’ll remember just to say, “the chocolate and hazelnut one.” After our little coffee pow-wow we went back to Andrea’s and I began her Glee and Modern Family immersion. At some point, we took a TV show hiatus and did what all new friends do, swap your favorite Youtube videos. She showed me The Annoying Video which is definitely a good one. We then indulged in The Single Ladies Fail video and “Scarlet Takes a Tumble,” for old time’s sake. The key to a good laugh, especially with the Single Ladies clown, is to keep hitting the moment of impact over and over and over and over again. I think it’s 21 seconds. But seriously, she deserved it. Who wears a clown mask while dancing? Are you that frightening that a Steven King It the clown mask is more appealing to the eye?

I think I woke up around eh, 4:30pm Saturday? Pretty routine. The first thing I had to do was cook my chicken before it went bad. With half of the chicken, I decided to make chicken salad, but realized I forgot to get slivered almonds, which I knew would be a hassle to find here. I ran to the convenient store to pick up some almonds—NINE EUROS! That’s like $11! Needless to say, chopped peanuts were the substitution. After dinner, I returned to Andrea’s to resume our TV marathon. No, I was not coercing my favorite shows on her; her roommates were gone for the extended weekend and she wanted to see them anyway. I am no TV bully. But had she not wanted to see them, I would've done it anyway. On my way home from her house, I walked by a man peeing on the side of the bookstore. He had the nerve to give me a dirty look, like I was the one peeing on a bookstore. Rude.

Sunday I caught up on a very compelling episode of Jersey Shore—Sammi is back! Oh snap, there goes my sanity. Afterwards, surprise, surprise, I went back to Ms. Dormer’s. I had stopped at Open Cor (convenient store) to get a Kinder Bueno as I had been going through a serious Nutella withdrawal. SOLD OUT! I could have cried—on second thought, I think I did. I debated demanding to speak with the manager as suspension or some repercussion was in need of such neglectful stocking maintenance. If this didn’t work, the only option I had would be to call the police. While ruing my loss, I decided I was not capable of dealing with local law enforcement and substituted my need for ONE Kinder Bueno with a box of chocolate biscuit cookies, chewy cherry candies with a cherry liquid center, and a Kit Kat version of a Kinder Bueno. This ended up being my dinner, along with some chocolate chip cookies Andrea made, and by some I mean six or seven.

                                                        Photo courtesy of: tenant86

                           Hazelnut mousse covered in a chocolate-covered cookie = genius

We started talking about movies at one point and she mentioned how she wanted to see No Strings Attached. I had already seen it, but I knew the website I normally use to watch movies had it and didn’t mind seeing it again. Well, she got to see the first half. She watched the second half through her eyelids—lame. When she decided to join reality again, she got up to put her laundry away as one normally does at 4am. I was kind of delirious at this point too, and I kept tripping over things and I think I ran into a door frame or two. This is why I don’t need alcohol. We both had a mini heart attack at one point because there was a bug in her room. It was half-dead already, but any moving bug is a dangerous bug. We then swapped bug stories and favorite means of extermination. The final verdict was to leave it where it was for her muchacho to get the next day.

On Tuesday, I met up with the New Mexicans (Lizzie, Lauren, and Ashley) and the Brit (Emily) and had a picnic lunch at the Alhambra (really old Islamic fort). The cool thing about the Alhambra is that its situated on the top of the highest hill, as citadels usually are, but the view from it is amazing. This also means we had to physically climb the hill, which at parts was at least on an 80º incline. The last 20 minutes of the lunch was ruined by an eyelash that decided to dislodge itself and dive into my eye, where it remained for a good 2.5 hours.

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By the time Thursday rolled around, it was time for my first club outing. I headed over to Ashley and Lauren’s at 11 to pregame. I was fearful for my night given that I have enough balance troubles when sober let alone with added disorientation. Knowing the club we were going to was up on a hill, I was going to put on a helmet and knee and elbow pads to protect myself from the inevitable, but sadly, I forgot to pack these items. Eventually, everyone was accounted for, all 10 of us, and we caught cabs up to El Camborio. This is the coolest place ever! It’s in the Sacromonte neighborhood of Granada, which is on the second biggest hill opposite the Alhambra. You could see the Alhambra all lit up as well as part of the city. The dance floor is out on the terrace and is enclosed in glass giving views of the area. Besides the couple practically procreating on my back and having to rescue some of my friends from creepers, it was an awesome night. We decided to leave around five and walked down to Plaza Nueva at the bottom of the hill to catch cabs. Once there, most of us decided to just keep on walking home as it was silly to take a cab at that point. Most amazingly, we all made it down the stairs and hills of Sacromonte without a single casualty. I finally got into bed around seven and prayed I wasn’t going to be so tone-deaf I wouldn’t be able to hear my alarm when it went off for my 1pm class the next/same day.
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Un saludo,

Bryce