Please also note that the title of this blog is to the tune of "Disturbia" by Rihanna. Let me explain...
Many moons ago (in January, I believe), I was studying for the final exam in Rafa's class with some people, although I only remember Derrick being there. Anyway, as we were cramming in the final minutes before the test, we were trying to remember that Feria = gloria, aka that Feria is the celebration of life while Semana Santa is kind of like the grieving for the death of Jesus. You know, that old chesnut. So, in my true witty fashion, I quickly came up with the following:
It's FERIA, times were dark, this is the light (to the tune of Disturbia... it's f*cking genius, right?)
So yeah, that's how that all got started.
Feria, though, is second only to Carnaval in being a very unreal experience. It's 1/2 extreme class and 1/2 redneck; it's like mixing a debutante ball & the State Fair. You have these private casetas, closed and exclusive parties where the rebujitos (the drink of Feria) flow and the flamenco don't stop spinnin'. You have women in gorgeous Flamenco gowns riding stallions with men in suits and top hats. You basically have an old-fashioned party in the 21st century, and, hey, what doesn't say class like a night of dancing Sevillanas?
Crazy juxtaposition, however, is what defines Feria. Because right down the road from this almost black-tie affair is where the hoodrats of Sevilla come out to play. It's literally the NC State Fair, one of the most godforesaken things on this planet, lifted and dropped on my beautiful city. It's kind of like UNC and Duke -- a heavenly oasis mere feet away from hell on earth. Okay, the fair part isn't as bad as Duke, but you get the picture. In my opinion, it didn't seem to fit in with the timelessness of the casetas and private parties.
The sad part about Feria, though, is that you gotta have connections or a lot of luck to get into these private casetas, neither of which I had.
The fair it is, then.
I actually went to Feria on 3 separate occasions over 2 days. That's pretty f*cking intense, especially because it's so incredibly far from Nervion. Day one, I hit up Feria with Derrick, Casey, Angela and Jessica. We literally just wandered for a good 2 hours, stopping in only at a public caseta (those were pretty lame) to try rebujitos. We didn't go on rides or anything. Just wandered. We also quickly learned the problem of wearing open-toed shoes to Feria. I forgot to mention that daily during Feria, rich families parade around in horse-drawn carriages. As the old saying goes, where there are horses, there is horse shit. That's not the worst part, though; they had street cleaners SPRAYING the roads, making liquid puddles of shit instead of just having nice AVOIDABLE piles in the road. So yeah, lesson learned, note made. No more open-toed shoes.
Another strange incident on day one involved one of those man-statue guys who painted himself silver and stood not-so-still in the middle of Feria. In fact, he checked his phone, lit a cig, and completely dropped position in front of an entire crowd of people. The worst, however, was when he blew a SNOT ROCKET in front of us. Really, dude? You're not a real robot, it won't hurt you to use a f*cking tissue or hanky or napkin or whatever. That wouldn't even hurt you if you were are real robot. Oh, the class that a fair brings.
After walking to Feria on day 1, the next morning I had no plans of going to Feria again til later that night, when I planned to get appropriately sloshed for the event. I ended up, however, going back to Feria with Carolyn & Coop, who had just returned from a lovahs getaway. Awk. But yea, the three of us, Three's Company, if you will, headed out to Feria to again just wander. Glad we did. We saw some of the most unbelievable shit I've seen at a Fair, and that's saying a lot (this coming from the girl who will pay to enter those "World's Smallest Woman" or "World's Smallest Horse" exhibits).
1. The Ship: The ship was the shit. Literally. I think we sat there and watched this ride for about 10 minutes. First of all, it was run by an overzealous carnie who was just there to get the crowd going. I don't think he took a breath on the mic. But yea, the ship was comprised of a saucer-like apparatus with a row of seating lining the entire inside. In the middle, there was a mat. Why, you may ask? Well, my friend, I'll tell you -- for the duration of the ride, one could just run around the center of the saucer while said overzealous carnie pressed buttons to make the thing turn and jolt. This ended up making riders fall every which way, something that would scare the living shit out of US lawyers, parents... basically any right-minded person. Most of the riders were pre-pubescent boys who chose to wrestle each other on the mat and knock each other down. I call THAT entertainment.
2. Totem: Totem was another hilarious ride. It was similar to The Ship, in that it involved knocking around and abusing riders. It was just two cylinders covered in foam and plastic with about 5 handle bars down the back. Riders mounted (heh heh) the cylinders, held onto the handle bars, and the entire thing shook like a mechanical bull until all of the under-10 riders were ruthlessly projected onto the ground. They then raced like crazy people to get back on top of the totem. I still don't see the fun in this ride, and would never pay to be humiliated for 10 minutes. Oh well, kids have no dignity.
3. Airbrushed Paintings: I'm not talking about those shitty t-shirts everyone seems to buy from the fair with Spongebob's face on them or some slutty Playboy bunny and your name. No, the only airbrushing at Feria was on the rides themselves. And boy, were they creepy and inappropriate. My favorite was the one for a ride called "El Toro." El Toro was the same as Totem, but, clearly, the art was uncalled for. First, there was a man with a smoking gun that looked like a straight-up pedophile. The other mural was of a woman wearing a cowboy vest, boobies exposed. And no, it wasn't Carrie Prejean (heh heh pop culture humor). It was wildly inappropriate! And no more that 50 feet away was another set of airbrushed boobs, this time perched atop of a HUGE haunted house, probably visible for miles and miles. If you are airbrushing boobs, you probably aren't getting any.
4. EL TREN DE LA BRUJA: This was by far our highlight of the day. Like I said previously, the Spanish must go to Feria to get abused, because that's all I saw on Saturday. El Tren de la Bruja is by far the best example. As we were walking, I saw something a bit out of the ordinary -- a carnie physically hitting riders on a little train, seeminingly for children. I rubbed my eyes, but by the time they focused, the ride was over. We decided, however, that it was worth the wait to see it again and make sure there was no carnie abuse going on. So the three of us perched along the metal fence surrounding the ride, which basically was a little train that went in a circle. It, too, had a few airbrushed paintings, but only of the witch from Snow White, as the name of the ride in English means "The Witch's Train." The ride slowly filled up again (the fair's not as efficient as in the US, so it takes like 12 minutes for each ride to actually start) and finally, el tren was moving again.
What I'm about to describe is absolutely unreal.
The carnie working on this ride next grabs a little brown broom that was leaning against the facade of the ride. As the little train starts going in it's little circle filled with little children and their parents, the carnie begins STRIKING them with the broom. I kid you not. For the ENTIRE duration of the ride, this guy with more pent-up rage than anyone I've ever seen just smacked the living shit out of riders. Oh, and you could tell who he didn't like. He particularly pegged this little boy in the backseat who was riding alone. I really thought he was going to draw blood by how hard he was hitting the kindegartener. Un-be-lie-va-ble. We were absolutely flabbergasted watching this, thinking, "WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU PAY TO BE ABUSED BY A FUTURE SERIAL-KILLER CARNIE?" I really will never understand.
Luckily for you, I got some video evidence:
Can you believe that guy? I remember saying when I saw him, "I do NOT want to be around when he snaps." You should've seen the fire in his eyes when one of the riders grabbed the broom from him.
So yeah, that was yet another great day at Feria.
That same day, we hit up Feria por la noche. We rolled preeetty deep that night. I don't remember the exact count, but it was over 1,000 (Ron Burgundy, anyone?). We left from Nervion, got the metro and were magically at Feria in less than 20 minutes. I was feeling pretty alright that evening... not going to lie, I enjoyed a Coke Light & Ron en route. I basically ran around Feria that evening like a child. I was scared to ride everything (I don't trust carnies to set up rides), so all I did was harass everyone around me with photos and videos. My main target was Carolyn, who was brave enough to put on the Flamenco dress her senora gave her... clearly it needed to be documented. I was also quite intrigued by a group of Canis (the guido-thug hybrid) who played this punching bag game for what seemed like an eternity. Basically, they hit a punching bag and the game would rate how hard their punch was. No prize was involved or anything, so they were basically paying to show off their non-existent strength. I literally have 10 minutes of video of this shit, but blogspot.com assholes will only let me put one on here. OOooh the irony.
I did end up going on two different rides -- the Haunted House & this really scary ride I would not have gone on without peer pressure. The Haunted House was absolutely heinous. No line usually indicates that it's a shiteous ride, but we didn't care. Every turn revealed a plastic Frankenstein or bed-sheet ghost. Clearly, it wasn't worth 3,50 euro, but we made it fun, duh. On the other ride, I just screamed the ENTIRE time. I have an intense fear of fair rides (if I haven't stressed that enough), so going on this spinny, swingy thing was quite a big deal for little ol' me.
Before I knew it, it was 5 am and time to get the hell up outta Feria. Luckily, the metro ran 24 hours this weekend (therefore redeeming itself after the Boat Party fiasco) so I didn't have to make the Trail of Tears back to Nervion. I was home soon enough to fall asleep before the sun came up.
Feria ended Sunday night, and it went out with a... bang? I say it like that because it literally did and I'm just being punny. Seriously, Feria ended with a sweet set of fireworks. I am a 12-year-old, so I have no gauge of how good the fireworks show actually was. I do remember, however, a few of the fireworks having a white exterior and a tan center, therefore looking like boobs and/or fried eggs. I also recall a statement I made whilst watching the display: "I feel like I'm on Full House right now." Not exactly sure what that meant, but I probably was just overwhelmed by how awesome my life is here... almost as perfect as that crazy Tanner clan.
The end of Feria, however, did signify one big NEGATIVE -- the end of LSCS's time here in Sevilla. Let the depression begin. No, really... it's a whole new ball game without them. It's especially strange for me without my one and only, Angela Ohlhaut, the best roommate and wife a girl could ever ask for. I am so lonely in our room.
I do only have one month left in Sevilla as of today. I vow to make it the best one yet. And bitch, that's gonna be hard (that's what he said). No, really. I don't know how I'm gonna outdo months 1 - 4.
I'll be sure to fill you in on how I do it.