lunes, 15 de junio de 2009


Many events that have occurred since I woke up this morning can only be summed up with one word: sad.

Let me start at the beginning. I woke up at 8:15 a.m. Sad. I then proceeded to pack up my toiletries, realizing in that moment that I was completely packed and technically ready to leave Sevilla. Sad. Next I had to go to EUSA to print off my boarding pass and another handful of random documents that I need for these final weeks. I ran into Cheryl and Angeles and had to say goodbye. I also had to say goodbye to the computer lab, the home of way too many memories for the semester. Sad. I then made the walk back from EUSA to my piso for the final time, sweating like a straight pig because it was already 90 degrees at 9:30 a.m. Sad.

I quickly ate breakfast at the piso, making it my last cola cao & pan tostada for a while. I then paced around the apartment for about 10 minutes, realizing that I should probably head to the airport since one of my bags, as I mentioned in my previous post (which you should read... shameless self plug), was probably going to cause me problems since it was so bulbous. I also then realized that it was time to face the inevitable: saying goodbye to my Senora. S.A.D.

I don't know what it was about that moment, but the second she gave me a hug I burst into tears. I don't think that leaving Sevilla had become real until that moment. It's kind of like when you find out the guy you really like is dating that boring skank... you don't believe it until you see it... you thought he actually meant it when he said he likes 'personality'(Oh God, the bitterness is coming out). Maybe that's why my world has been like a daze for the past week -- denial that I did, in fact, have to leave; either way, when I gave her the final hug, it got real. Real quick.

I walked out of the apartment still crying and awkwardly waited for the elevator til it made its way to the second floor. I didn't realize she was still watching me until she said, "Adios" one more time. I managed an "Adios" (I tried to say "Voy a echarte de menos" earlier but I really don't think she understood through my blubbering) and that was it. I walked out of my building for the last time. I walked down Villegas y Marmolejo for the last time, causing me to cry more; I'm really going to miss the caricatures that live on this street, as well as the constant whiffs of dog shit. I used the Santander ATM for the last time, and I coger'ed my last Sevillan taxi.


By some miracle of god, my bag only weighed 23.5 kg, so the lady at the Iberia desk didn't make me pay any excess baggage fees. That wasn't too sad. I guess it didn't really get sad again until I got off the plane in Madrid. In my opinion, there is nothing sadder than traveling alone. I realized when I walked off the plane that I was, regrettably, all alone in Madrid. Sure, Julie's coming tomorrow, but I had to spend an entire day alone with just my misery that study abroad is, in fact, over. Gahhh, that thought alone is just so damn depressing.

I spent most of the day walking around the area close to my sweet digs (thanks daddy), which just happens to include the Plaza Mayor, El Gran Via, & tons of awesome shopping. This is definitely going to be a test of willpower because my budget is preeeetty much non-existent. I already found a dress I want. Nooo. Sad that I had to leave it there. OH, and another sad thing... my new f*cking camera has a damn PARTICLE of SOMETHING on the lens. I seriously cannot win with cameras. I've had it for a good 10 days, it hasn't left its case, and yet there is a black particle in the corner of every GD picture that just decided to show up today. AWESOME.

The culmination of today's sadness is happening right now. It's 10 p.m. I am in one of the liveliest cities in all of Europe in terms of nightlife... and I'm laying alone in a hotel room eating digestive cookies and watching "Life" in Spanish without pants on. I don't understand really anything that's happening, except there's a man hanging from the wall with an ax through his body. And that really sums up how I feel about today: I feel like there's a figurative ax pinning me to the wall, draining my heart of all its blood (wow for that), because Sevilla Spring '09 is over.


domingo, 14 de junio de 2009

Oh the Irony

I feel like my life has just come back and bit me in the ass. As I am sitting here staring at all of my possessions cramped into one large duffel bag I realize that I had it comin'.

After aaaalll of my jokes, my jabs, and long rants about women in Spain who seem to want to just squeeze themselves into any garment of clothing that is way too small, it seems only fitting that my bag is bursting at the seems.

And now I know how these disgusting women must feel putting these poor and unaware pieces of clothing over their grotesque bodies. I laid on my suitcase for a while for it to flatten out before I could even zip it.

I even felt the disappointment these women must feel when I grabbed my luggage scale and read 25 kg. That's not going to fly with the airline. But unlike these tank-top wearing, white capri rockin' women, I was able to take out some of the bulk and put it into another bag.

I love how things are seemingly coming full circle in my journey... first trips to Betis & Buddha, and now a too-fat bag only too reminiscent of the fat Sevillana gypsies whom I've so enjoyed making fun of for 5 months.

I'm going to miss this place.

Magic & Mayhem

I have finally regained the mental strength to re-write this blog after Blogspot bitched out and had an "error" last time. You don't just have "errors" that erase literary masterpieces like the ones I so graciously post on your website. That's all I'm going to say about THAT.

But yeah, back to the old post.

Last week I finished up the rest of my exams here in Sevilla. I could go on a rant right now about how much Spanish students CHEAT... like, for real: can you NOT study at home? I seriously saw a girl spending 15 minutes prior to the test writing her notes on the desk. I hate the fact that I'm so GD honest, because it took everything in me not to tell on her. Yeah, lame. But, as a wiseman once said, she'll get her comeuppance... But yeah, I finished one exam, turned in an extra credit paper (complete with the largest possible 12 pont font) and ran out throwing papers through the corridors and screaming.

Of course, since school had officially ended, it was time to celebrate. And instead of going to any of the thousands of normal Spanish bars throughout Sevilla, we decided to spend Wednesday night at the place where it all began -- Calle Betis. I'm all about bringing this trip full circle, and literally the first time I went out was to this hell hole of skanks, cheap liquor and, my fave, the creepers. However, despite many other tantilizing offers, we decided we had to do Betis one more time.

We all met up at the Nervion Burger King (another nostalgic moment) and awaited David, our collective Spanish friend, to pick us up in his coche. Sweet, right? Well, except for the fact that he drives like a bat out of hell. I literally screamed, "THIS ISN'T TOKYO DRIFT" as we raced down Ramon y Cajal. It was so scary. Add to his speed a blasting selection of techno music and you have my personal hell. In the car, I remember thinking to myself how weird it is that the "cool" Spanish guys drive little compact cars with rims, gel their hair, and blast shiteous techno music. In the US, those are what we call *guidos.* Come on, Spain.

We finally got to Betis all in one piece and waited for David to park his mini car. In the meantime, we took tons of pictures on the infamous street, trying not to touch anything for fear of contracting STDs. We headed first towards Big Ben, always a solid decision for its 1 euro shots and beers. We were, however, talked into entering Garage Bar (oooh the memories of being talked into a bar), which was basically empty save the mutants at Table 9 from Wedding Singer. We quickly got through with our drinks and went to Big Ben which, by the way, was extremely awkward because it was right next door to Garage Bar, and Garage Bar's bouncer watched us leave their bar to go to the one next door. Ouch.

We finally got to safe ground, aka Big Ben. There weren't many people there, but those that were were champions as we'd soon find out. After a long-lasting games of Sevens (in Spanish and with the keyword of "conyo") we were all just hanging out until we were approached...


And with that, we all turned around to see the shining face of none other than the sidekick of the Harry Potter films, Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley!

Okay, not really. But this guy, whose name was Sam, looked exactly like Ron. It was crazy. He did, however, lack much of the charm that one would expect when meeting a magical being, let alone Ron Weasley. In short, Sam was an obnoxious, drunk American.

And DAMN did boy like to talk.

I swear, it was like he hadn't spoken to a human being for his 4 weeks in Spain. He did not shut UP. And to make matters worse, he continued repeating himself the entire time! Ugh... here's an example of Sam trying to get us to go to the club Aqua with him:

"What are you guys doing after this?"
"Oh, we don't know yet"
"We're all going to Aqua, you guys should come. It's just up the river"

...5 minutes later...

"So where are you heading after this?"
"We don't know yet"
"A huge group of us is going to Aqua... we got Pennsylvania, Texas, Montana... you should come!"

After 2 repetitions, we all got kind of bitchy the third time he asked about Aqua. I felt it appropriate to drop in some Harry Potter humor as well, hoping that he didn't realize he looked like Ron Weasley.

"So where are you heading after this?"
"You should go to Aqua---"
"--WE KNOW." -Carolyn
"Aqua's supposed to be a really cool bar"-Sam
"Yeah, have you heard of Diagon Alley? They also have cool bars." - Me

I also injected a little HP humor into a conversation I interrupted about beer:

"I like Milwaukee's Best" - Sam
"Ew, that tastes like piss" - Elle
"Watered-down piss" - Sam (as if that's a good argument...)
"...I prefer butter beer" - Me

After what felt like eons talking to this guy, he finally got the hint after we all just started talking amongst ourselves again. I bet you're all shocked to know that we didn't go to Aqua. Later, I realized that Aqua is actually the terrace of Antique, the coolest Spanish bar which just so happens to be WAY outside of Sevilla and therefore not "just up the river." Fail, Sam. You fail.

Thursday night we attempted going out again after Sam basically sucked all of the fun and enjoyment out of our evening with his repeating disease and his non-Ron Weasley ways. This time, David drove us again, but this time to El Centro. And again, he drove like a straight-up idiot. I felt like I was on the Bourne Identity, but without hot and sexy Matt Damon and therefore not happy. We somehow made it alive after I literally bashed my head against the car window and headed to Julio's one last time. Depressing. This has got to be the cutest old man of all time. He told us to come back if we're ever in Sevilla... This kind of set the tone for my depression for the rest of the night. After Julio's we followed David to a bar called Antiguedades with THE WEIRDEST decor of all time. They literally had mummies, random body parts in cages, shrunken heads, and other unnecessary items on every surface of the bar. Combine that with their Gucci 6 euro drinks and I was not a happy camper. We bolted out of there towards Buddha ASAP.

Buddha... what can I even say. There have been SO MANY memories at Buddha. From the first week it kind of became our favorite discoteca in Sevilla. Sure, it's filled with a lot of Americans and every godforesaken man on this Earth, but we love it. And going one last time was only fitting before heading home. Sadly, Buddha was a ghost town when we got there. It was a religious holiday Thursday, so many Spaniards and summer study abroad-ers went to the beach, leaving a few scragglers behind to fill in Buddha. They literally had the entire third floor closed, THAT'S how empty it was. It was so sad. But it didn't keep us from dancing jsut for a little. I can say that I will definitely miss European house music. They play the best jams... it's basically the music they'd play in a gay club in the US, but here, everyone dances to it.

Once on the dance floor, I was under the influence of friends and other substances and decided it would be fun to harass a group of guys we thought were gay. After we saw their dance moves, which included one of them straight-up humping the corner of the wall, we decided it would be funny for me to a) party boy one of them, and b) slap one's ass. Of course, this plan completely backfired. The guy who I party boy'd and then slapped his ass immediately came over and hit on Elle by grabbing and kissing her hand. Awk. I also think it backfired because a creeper in a blue and white polo with a receeding hairline must've seen my moves and WOULD NOT leave me alone all night. He actually came up behind me and touched my waist to try and get me to dance with him. BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I seriously writhed around like I was being attacked by bees. As if that didn't give him a hint, he continued dancing near me and staying in my peripheral vision at all times. Everywhere I turned, there he was. Now a seasoned veteran, I knew NOT to make eye contact with this ass clown, and it worked. Despite him hovering all night, I didn't really have to deal with him but one time. Oh the things I've learned in Sevilla.

So maybe those two nights weren't exactly how I wanted my going out experiences in Sevilla to end... but honestly, how else would it be appropriate for me to say 'Sayonara' to this place? Betis, Buddha, creepers, club dancing & cheap drinks... that about sums it up.

sábado, 13 de junio de 2009



(Can you tell I'm stressed about leaving? The blogpost I so beautifully and carefully crafted is coming soon... retold again)

martes, 9 de junio de 2009


In my emotional state (facing the fact that this incredible experience is drawing to a close), I have decided to write out my emotions in list form. I will ponder the pros of going home, as well as the cons of leaving this oasis of no work, all play known as mi Sevilla.

America, Fuck Yeah (Pros)
  • MOM'S COOKING - the dankness I've been missing
  • FAMWY AND FWENDS are alright, too
  • MY DOGS 
  • My car / Driving
  • Going to the gym and working off this tortilla de espanola ass I've acquired
  • Ice
  • Target and other one-stop places
  • No more withdrawal fees on my card
  • Obscurity with men
  • Concerts
  • Chapel Hill Bar Nights
  • Things being open on Sunday
  • Movies/TV/Everything in ENGLISH
  • Air Conditioning 
  • N64
  • Efficiency
  • Communicating at my level of intelligence
Sevilla Make Yo Clothes Come Off (Umm Cons about leaving?)
  • Shopping
  • Walking everywhere (I'm not a full-on tree hugger but I do like walking better than driving)
  • Back to classes which require effort
  • Better clubs & bars in Sevi
  • Mejorando mi espanol, porque yo se que no voy a practicar tanto en los EEUU.
  • Traveling is easy and awesome. Can't exactly roll up in London for the weekend from NC, now can I?
  • Senora's cooking is dank / I'm obsessed with Tortilla
  • Torta de Queso not the same
  • Supercor non-existent in the states
  • Botellon "legal" here
  • Facing that I'll be a Senior
  • Facing that I need to get a job in one year
  • Facing that I'm going to be bankrupt a la MC Hammer
  • Coloniales Almond Chicken
  • Not living in a place with thousands of years of history
I'll definitely be adding to this as the week goes on. If you're still in Sevi, tell me your thoughts and I'll add them if I agree. 

domingo, 7 de junio de 2009

Revolutionary War!!

What a tumultuous journey. That's all I can really say to describe my 4-ish days in London. It started out okay: made my flight with Ryanair, caught the train into town, got cash. The trouble really started when I left the train station. I expected to take the tube, but it was closed when I arrived. Taking a taxi was my solution, and I headed out the back door of the Liverpool Station to catch one. 


Apparently this "taxi" I took was illegal. In my groggy state of travel, I didn't realize that it was probably sketch that there was no meter in the car or that this guy had offered a flat rate of 10 pounds. I just wanted to get there, so I hopped in, thinking nothing of it. He didn't rob me, he didn't rape me, and he definitely didn't give me the run around. We listened to some god-foresaken arabic music, but that was really the only thing I could complain about. He took me right to my hostel without problems, unloaded my bags, and quickly drove off. 

I got to the front desk of my hostel ready to check in and quickly pass out. I gave the guy my reservation number, confirmed my birhtday... all was well until....

"Can I see your passport?"

I grabbed for my purse and looked in. No sight of my green passport book, but I didn't really panic; it always disappears into the abyss of my bag, especially when it's filled with all my travel shit. I moved my wallet. No passport. I moved my i-Pod. Nothing. I then realized that my passport was not in my purse. I dumped the entire thing out on the desk in front of the GUY working there (I say guy because, well, as ladies we always carry things in our purses that we would hate to fall out in front of a man. At this point, however, I didn't give a f*ck because I was in such a panic mode) and still couldn't find it. I knew it was gone. It wasn't in my pockets, and I knew I hadn't put it in my suitcase (although I tore through that as well). It was gone. 

The guy at the front desk, despite anterior signs of being a complete dick, allowed me to use my student ID as my identification, probably because they didn't want to lose my business. Whatever, I didn't really care at that point. I grabbed my stuff and ran to the nearest computer. It was time to take full responsibility for my actions and figure out what to do next.

But first, I had to cry to my parents.

Seriously, I called my dad, and the second I heard his voice I started crying. I don't know what it was about talking to Ambrose... probably the fact that I hated myself for making the BIGGEST travel mistake of all time, but the emotion was definitely FLLOOOWWWINGGG. Our conversation went something like this:

"Hey Dad"
"Hey Andrea! Are you there okay?"
"Yeah" (awkward voice where you're holding back tears)
"...Is everything okay?
"No" (still awkward voice)
"What's wrong?"
(full on crying) "I..LOST...MY...PASSPORT"

Surprisingly, my dad wasn't mad at all. In fact, he was like... "That's it?" I guess it wasn't as big a deal as I made it out to be in my head (thoughts of being trapped a la Tom Hanks in 'The Terminal' came to mind). I really think my dad was more relieved that I was in the UK as opposed to, say, "that godforesaken country Morocco" (his words). Despite his claims that everything would be fine, I was still upset. I barely slept all night. I don't know why, either. I couldn't remedy the situation until morning anyhow, but the idea of my stupidity kept me up all night.

In the morning I started to retrace my steps and try and find the damn thing. It wasn't at the airport or in the train, which I figured. I went back to the train station to try and find this cab driver who of course wasn't there. I called the city of London's 'Public Carriage Office,' aka the Department of Public Transportation. This is when I was informed that I'd taken an illegal cab because the city does not have ANY vans legally registered. WOOOW. At that point, the woman told me that I had little to no chance of finding my passport. Despite wanting to take a Dumb & Dumber attitude ("That means there's still a chance!"), I again called my dad and decided my best bet would be to hit up the US embassy and order a new one. 

I forgot to mention that the waterworks didn't stop the night I lost the passport; I seriously cried all day Wednesday as well. I really don't know why, either. I guess the stress of travel really got to me. I headed to the embassy alone and without an appointment, hoping they'd be able to issue me an emergency passport since my departure date was only 3 days away. 

I can thankfully say that I'm proud to be an AMERICAN after the quickness with which the embassy handled my situation. They just don't do things fast in Europe, but the embassy gave me a little taste of something from the homeland that I miss -- efficiency. I walked in, told them my problem, paid, got pictures, took an oath, was issued and handed a new passport in a little under 3 hours. I felt like a fucking redneck I was so obsessed with America in that moment; I wanted to get a 'These Colors Don't Run' tattoo and wear a bandana and drive an SUV. I also walked out of there feeling like a straight-up idiot for being an emotional shitshow for the past 18 hours. I put the new baby passport in my wallet, zipped my purse, clutched it and headed off.

At this point I remembered that I was actually in London to have fun.

In all the stress of getting the passport situation handled, I could not get excited at all for the fact that I was meeting up with Allie & Abi, my future roommates and constant lovers who I hadn't seen in 5 long and arduous months! Without cell phones, it was hard to reunite. Thanks to a Facebook message, however, I knew they'd be at Tate Modern, an art museum, so I grabbed the tube over. I didn't find them right away; apparently, they were at the Globe seeing a shiteous version of Romeo & Juliet, but I didn't know that til later. I walked around the museum for a while and saw some Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Monet's "Water Lillies." I wish I knew at least SOMETHING about art in order appreciate what I was looking at, but modern art is probably the strangest of all time. There was seriously an exhibit where you walked into a room where they were projecting images of naked people on a wall. I don't know how they can call that 'art' while people shoot down Playboy and other equally nakie magazines... But yeah, after a while, I was bored and sat down in a leather chair to await their arrival at 6-ish. 

It wasn't the Heathrow Gate reunion we dreamed of (Love Actually ref), but when Allie jumped on top of me in my little leather chair, it seemed to be the PERFECT way to reunite. It was the best/weirdest feeling ever... it's so odd to be with someone you haven't seen in so long. At first, we all just kind of stared at each other, but after about 5 minutes of hugs we were okay. We quickly headed off to dinner (I realized then that I'd eaten a bag of chips and a Snickers bar from the embassy's vending machine for lunch) and then got ready to go out with everyone in their program. I was introduced to the delicious beverage called Strongbow, a fizzy cider that tasted like it didn't contain any alcohol. My kind of party. We then went off to a bar called The Rocket. Everyone there seemed to be a shitshow which made the night particularly fun. Although the place was strictly a pub, we started a dance party and that really was the highlight. I was, however, incredibly surprised to find out that the place shut down at midnight... I am so used to Spain's seemingly never-ending bar scene that a 12 pm cut off really offended me. Oh well. We then tried to go to the bowling alley that also boasted karaoke and a bar, but that was closed as well. LAME. Now I see why we started the Revolutionary War; the Brits just don't know how to party.

America, fuck yeaah...

I got back to my hostel that evening in great spirits and used the computer for a little while. I even tipsily emailed the entire Sevilla Facebook list-serv telling them I lost my passport, which was actually quite embarrassing information that I didn't want to reveal til later. Oh well. I also didn't realize that, while I was on the computer, Creeper Alert 10.0 should have been going off. 

Time for another edition of The Creeper Files of Andrea... Woo! (if anyone remembers this show, you are as awesome as me; oh, and she really typed in Courier font so deal)

June 3, 2009
The Generator Hostel
London, England

All I wanted was to go back upstairs to my room and go to bed, but that was not what was in store for me. I noticed a genuine creeper staring at me in the computer room, but I paid him no mind, as I am accustomed to his type: gelled hair, awkward tight shirt with silver dragon, Chinese lettering or similar details, lighter wash denim and thin euro sneakers. I walked up the first flight of stairs to my room, and as I was about to reach my room... a voice...

"Excuse me, can you help me find my room?"

I turned around and there he was in all his glory. I didn't know whether or not the request was genuine, but time would soon tell that he was just another creepy Moroccan man. As he "fumbled" for his key, he started the barrage of questions; the basics came first. After revealing my name to Mohammed (go fucking figure... Fogel wasn't kidding when he said it was the most commonly used name on earth. I swear to God everyone who hits on me is named Mohammed), he then proceeded to ask me "What are you doing tonight?" I wanted to say, "I'm going to bed, bitch," but I left off the final insult. "Well, don't you want to go out with me?" Seriously, buddy? What indication have I given that I wanted to go out with you --completely blowing you off downstairs, or being polite despite your creepiness and helping you find your room?

Luckily for me, I am clearly used to this sort of probing questioning. I cooly responded that I was sorry, but my boyfriend wouldn't appreciate that behavior. 

"Oh, are you married?" No, you fucktard. I said boyfriend. 
"No, I'm not. But I am in a relationship." 
"Well... is he here?" Oh God in heaven. If I wanted to cheat on my imaginary boyfriend, it most certainly would not be with you. 
"No, but I'm in love with him, sorry." Lying was easy because I just imagined the face of my imaginary boyfriend for the past decade, John Mayer. I am soo faithful to him, I haven't ever cheated. 

Here comes the real kicker:

"Well, you are very pretty, you know..."
"Thank you." I said this really shortly, as I just wanted to go the hell to bed.
"You are the perfect size. Not too big, not too small."


All I could conjure up was "Thank You...?" as I headed off into the women's bathroom absolutely DUMBFOUNDED. Was that a compliment? I am not a goddamn farm animal for you to size up and buy, Mohammed, and I am certainly NOT up on some kind of display for your creepy, hostel-stalking ass. I could not really grasp the situation, so I sat in the bathroom for a good 10 minutes, as this was also a kind of I-hope-he's-gone, I-don't-want-him-to-see-my-room-number strategy. I was so freaked out and disgusted by him, I about screamed when I opened the bathroom door and someone else (a female non-Mohammed, thank you LORD) was waiting to get in. Of course, I kept seeing him around the hostel for the next three days and avoided eye contact at all costs. Great, and exactly what you want to happen while staying alone in a hostel.

The next day I slept in pretty late to make up for my worrying about the passport. I met up with the ladies at their hotel which was conveniently about 2 minutes from my hostel on foot. Perfect planning. We hit up Greenwich for one of their class projects to go to the park that, among other things, houses the Prime Meridian observatory. I went halfsies with the world, standing on the line and therefore inhabiting two hemispheres. Awesome! We then proceeded to lay in the park for a while, staring at a football (European-style) match, complete with a sweaty old man wearing only cleats and boxers. It was highly entertaining. We also tried to put Allie's roommate for the trip, Radhika, up into a cheerleading stunt. I tried to channel the olden days of doing that in the Park, but it was pretty much an epic fail.

After Greenwich, we got dinner in Chinatown before the girls had to go see a play with their program. I decided to go down to the Thames. I have this problem where I'm not satisfied with being in a major city until I see the sites (example: I didn't feel like I was in Paris til I saw the 
Eiffel Tower, etc.) because I'm 5 years old, so I went and saw Big Ben. It's seriously gorgeous. The magical thing about London is, in my opinion, that the entire place was bombed by Hitler during WWII, but it still has so much of it's old character. Maybe I just made myself out to be a history geek, but whatever, so be it. I think this crazy history is the real reason I'm fascinated with Europe. I could listen to tour guides and their little tidbits of information all day. Oooohkay, I definitely just out-gayed myself.

But yeah, I sat by the Thames for a while, then walked across the pedestrian bridge. I did field a little attention from a sexy homeless man ("Hello Darling"), but all in all I spent the beginning of that evening just walking around and thinking about my life. I really felt like Bridget Jones as I crossed the pedestrian bridge (just like she did in the movie, aaah!), although I didn't get to bang Hugh Grant or Colin Firth while in London... As soon as it started getting darker, I felt a little sketched out and headed back to the hostel til their play got out. We met up again in Piccadilly Circus, a mini Times Square, then went down to Trafalgar Square. It was so beautiful despite the tacky color-changing lights they'd put in the fountains for the nighttime guests. After a few digestive cookies and gossiping, Allie and I left the group so I could get some pictures of me down by Big Ben and the London Eye. We even stopped by the Prime Minister's house (Love Actually ref again) along the way. It was even more beautiful at night. We also decided at that time that we're moving to the UK after graduation. I really want to move to Europe, and although I love Spain, I'm not sure if it's exactly where I'm going to end up; I looove London as an option as well, and there are tons of PR opportunities for me (eww, why are we growing up). We finally got down and took my pics. We were also asked to take pics for a group of men, whose request for photos went a little something like this:

"Will you take a picture for us?"
"I am Iraqi"

What about him being Iraqi was pertinent to the situation, I really don't know. But we continued laughing about it. We also saw a Borat look alike on the bridge who was filming a sort of TV special. Another great sight. We eventually had to go back because the Tube closes a bit after midnight and we didn't want to walk. 

The next day I got up super early to catch up on my sightseeing that I completely missed out on on day 1. I hit up Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey & St. Paul's Cathedral alllll alone. I was so proud of myself, especially when I built up the courage to ask someone to take a picture of me in front of Tower Bridge. If you knew pre-Spain, social-anxiety me, you are probably proud, too. But I got my pictures and headed back to meet up with the girls after their class ended around 1:00. We headed from there to Buckingham Palace, where I searched in vain for the only real live redheaded man I'll ever love, Prince Harry (I say real-live because I also love Ron Weasley, but after years of being told he's not actually a real person, I guess I have to accept that and move on). We then headed for Notting Hill to try and go to a street market we'd read about. It was really cool; it used to be known for antiques, but now it's just a bunch of different shit. I bought, among a few other items, an 100-year old key to put my car keys on back home. I thought it was a really cool idea, so whatever. We also got lunch there and I FOUND A CREPE STAND!!!!, where I was able to relive the glory of chocolate + banane that I killed three times in Paris. YUM. 

After that I hung out at the hostel for a little while again until they got done with their group dinner. I was going to sit in my room, but my new crazy roommate showed up complete with the always lovely habit of talking to herself. It got awkward quickly, so I just hit the shower and spent the rest of my time in the bathroom or in the common room. I hate hostels for that reason... Oh well, it was the last one I'll stay in for a VERY long time. 

That night we headed out again with the people from their program as it was their last night in the city. We went to The Rocket again... but not without first stopping at KING'S CROSS to check out the legendary PLATFORM 9 3/4. I seriously DIEEEDDDD looking at it! I am such a Harry Potter nerd. It was probably my favorite visit of the entire trip... and the best way to disguise my true identity as a wizard by posing at such a muggle-popular site! I got my picture and headed off to the Rocket, this time chock full of Brits. We of course met some creepers, especially a man who danced with us all night but did not speak a WORD to us. It was hilarious. Really, though, it was a great way to end my rollercoaser-of-emotions journey to London. And seeing my lovers 2 weeks before going home gave me just a little bit more strength to make it there... 

It's so hard to believe I'm leaving Sevilla a week from tomorrow. I am really freaking the shit out. It's absolutely the definition of bittersweet... I know I'm going to miss it more than anything, but I also know it's time to go. I don't want to be the guy who won't leave the party, but I kind of feel like I'm not ready to say goodbye to the best 6 months of my life. More news on my subsequent depression later.

sábado, 30 de mayo de 2009

Pop culture phenom #147092b

As you know I'm generally shocked by the pop culture that defines the lovely city of Sevilla. In fact, this city is one giant juxtaposition: a classic, old, historical European city filled with people who look like they're straight outta the trailer park. I have written several blogs about my pop culture observations, but this one I find fun.

Remember that loser in middle school? You know, the guy/girl that everyone made fun of? He/she probably had greasy hair, zits, glasses, pudge, lame clothes, etc etc etc. But one key accessory that always made someone a prime target for verbal harrassment was that beauty he or she lugged around school... that sack used to hold books, pencils, Nano babies, lunch... that beauty made for ease of transport....

Oh yes, baby. I'm talkin about the rolly backpack.

I cannot believe how popular the rolly backpack is here. I, for one, REFUSED to carry one despite the fact that I literally had 50 lbs of books to carry to and from school in those days. Everyone who had one, no matter what their social standing, was automatically shunned to sit with the mutants at table 9 if they had one. 

But damn, they are popular here.

And it's not just little kids heading off to elementary school to finger paint, sing, scream, or do whatever other cool shit you get away with in kindergarten. No, I've seen high schoolers wheeling their backpacks with pride down my street on several occassions. This blows my mind. I always secretly thought a rolly backpack was a great idea and extremely convenient, but would I be caught dead with one? I'll give that a hell to the no. 

I guess the difference is the fact that students here actually walk to school. It's probably less of a coolness factor and more of an "I don't want arthritis" factor. However, it's hard for me to drop the stereotypes I've had since my days in middle school. 

Maybe someday when Americans stop being so damn lazy and start using their legs as transportation, the rolly backpack might come back into fashion. But for now, Spain's seemingly single-handedly keeping the market alive. 

Viva la rolly!