Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekends in Spain

The days sort of blend together and with my classes being so easy, it sort of just always feels like the weekend. Although, when weekends roll around, you can definitely tell.  People are all over the streets everywhere, young and old.  Families will be out with their children and old people are walking the streets still at 1 in the morning.  All the bars are packed and La Calle de los Bares (a street with nothing but bars) has people all over the streets.  Its like one huge fiesta! That would never fly in the US...
After a not so great week, it was definitely made better when the weekend rolled around.  A bunch of us went out on Friday night which was a lot of fun! I had to leave at 3 AM to make it to a Circle K Board meeting online... but with my bad luck, my internet wasn't working when I actually needed it to.  I tried to get it to hook up for a while, but then I just gave up.  I even tried on my friend Ruben's phone... no luck.  Everyone was still out when I was at my house trying to get it to work.. so I met up with everyone again later that night.  Many people dont leave their houses until about 4 AM, so when I went back it was even more packed then when I left it.  We went to a discoteca called All The People (i think) and it was a blast! It was nice being somewhere where they didnt play solid American or Spanish music.  It was a good mix.  The place we usually go to, Toys,  ALWAYS plays American music and it drives me nuts!  Its like we walk in, they can tell we are American, and they play English music.  As soon as we leave, it switches back. Thats one of the disadvantages of going in a large group... its obvious we are American and it drives people crazy.  They won't leave us alone... I have hunch that they are not all that interested in what we have to say, more just the fact that we are American and the stereotypes that come with them.  I feel alot better when I tell people we are here studying, because then they know we will be around for a while and they become less creepy knowing we are not just there for a night.
On Saturday morning (after only getting 2 hours of sleep) we toured La Escorial.  It was really cool! I think it was built after Spain gained their independence and there was something about a San Lorenzo I think.  He apparently was burned to death on a grill (very common that all the saints died in some form of tragedy or torture) and so the layout of the building was in the shape of a grill.  Inside, there was a huge basilika church with beautiful fresco paintings on all the ceilings.  It was said that the man who painted it used both of his hands and it only took him 2 years to complete ecerything- unbelievable.  There was also a statue of a Jesus on the cross that was made from white marble and it was one of the most beautiful Jesus statues every made.  It was so smooth and detailed, as if it was carved from soap, its hard to believe someone made that.  There were also various paintings and whatnot that we did not have time to see, but we did go down in to the basement where we got to see where all the Spanish royalty are entombed.  There was a large room for all the Kings and Queens, and then other smaller rooms for other royalty.  One of them was a room for all the royal children that died before they were seven, and it was layed out as if it were a birthday cake (sad).  One part that that sort of creeped me out tho was the fact that we walked past the "rotting room" where they store the dead to rot for 25-50 years until the smell is gone, and then they take out all the bones and whatnot and put them in a box to be put inside the tomb (sick!).  Lovely image.  There were a lot of courtyards and gardens tho that were very beautiful on the bright side!
When we got back i took like a 5 hour nap and then had dinner and went out again.  The streets were crazy as usual.  There were a couple different bachelor parties going on where the men were dressed up as super man and another where there was some sort of bug theme (?).  It was interesting.  People singing and drinking in the streets- que locura!  But i loved watching how happy everyone was.  We called it in early that night and went home around 2, so it wasn't that crazy of a night for us at least.
On Sunday, my host mom brought me to a piscina (swimming pool) at a club and it was really nice- She's so simpatica!  I tanned for about 5 hours and Im happy to report that I only got burned in 2 small places where i must have just missed with y sunscreen.  I thought I would be burnt to a crisp!  But I only have a little sun kissed glow and not much else.. I may go back again today and keep working on it since I basically was reflecting light with how white I am- especially compared to all the tanned Spanish skin. I also got to try Paella- a rice and seafood/meat type mixture.  Its like the Spanish version of house fried rice.  It was good!  But also interesting... there was some sort of seafood where you had to pop the head off and take off the shell.. Not sure if I really want to know.
Me and my friend Amanda decided to meet up with Ruben and Dominik last night for a little while, but it ended up being longer than we expected (shocker).  On friday they invited us to go to an amusement park with them on Monday (today) in Madrid but im basically the only one who didnt have class.  So we were getting together to figure out the plans for that and are trying to convince them to go on Tuesday because that just sounds like a blast! It hard to communicate with people (like Spanish friends) around here because nobody has facebook and its really expensive to text or call with our pay-as-you-go phones, so we just always have to make plans to meet in person.  Its probably better that way ayways.  Im learning more than I do in a classroom with those guys and its a great way to practice my spanish (which almost feels like its gotten worse since I got here with all the english everyone speaks to eachother).  Last night sort of ended in a stupid brawl- which is apparently really rare here- so we left and went for a walk down to the Alcazar. It was a nice time I suppose, but Im really tired today, so Im about to take a nap.  Hopefully next time I write it will be me talking about going to the amusement park :)

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