18 Oct 2008
I have officially Barack’d the vote! Hollaaaaa! I don’t care if you guys know who I vote for, so whatever! Amy, Kelly, Kelly's visiting friends, and I went to what is, supposedly, the best Mexican restaurant in Barcelona and realized that Frommer is a dirty, old, lying sack of crap! First of all, it took FOREVER to get our food, and when we did, there wasn’t a lot. And in comparison to the taste and portion, it was waaaaaaay overpriced. Well, at least we know to never go back there again. After coming home and changing, we went to the Chupitos bar and Yaser saw us and gave us the “OH HEEEEY!” equivalent in spanish. He totally loves us. There was a long line and it was super crowded so we only stayed long enough to get our guests Harry Potter shots. So we went to Mojito, but our bar buddies never showed up...I guess next time we’ll literally have to go over there and get them, haha! Fun night with great music (Losing my Religion & the Bulls song were played, whaaaa!?).
20 Oct 2008
BASILIO’S BACK!! He’s back and CrAzIeR than ever!! Legit, today he talked about how he, a poor but smart kid, fell in love with the most beautiful girl on campus. She fell in love with his words (poetry) and they dated or something for 3 months until she found out that she was to be married to one of her dad’s very wealthy friends who owned a chocolate company/factory in Switzerland. So she left, yada yada. She calls him 15 or so years later and says she’s in Barcelona and wants to meet up. So he goes to the place they decided looking for the most beautiful girl and find a plump lady waving at him. So he said, he lied (like you have to do) and said she looked as beautiful as she had some 15 odd years ago. Blah blah, she wishes she had been with him. He must have been such a player when he was younger. He also said something really adorable. He was saying how he studied theology but never found God. Instead, he’s found it in art, his wife and kids, and in us, his students—all the things that are close to him in life. Awwwwww, I love him!!
22 Oct 2008
I couldn’t sleep last night so I’m sickly today. I guess that’s just how it goes here. Today Basilio told us about his youth (which somehow related to Baroque…who knows). He told us that when he was 9, no one had any money so he would steal bread from a bakery every morning and then go to the boqueria and steal apples. He said he would look off into the distance until everyone around him was looking to figure out what he was looking at and then he would make his move. He said that one time when he went to steal the bread though, three guys with bats said they would either kill him or beat him if he continued to steal from them. So Basilio, being a little hoodlum, whipped out a pocket knife and told them that if they try to kill him at least one of them will die too. And then he proceeded to tell us that if you want to stab and kill someone, you’re supposed to start from the lower belly and cut up. Needless to say, they left him alone. He also said that he had been in jail twice in his life. While in the US this would be frowned upon, he said that in Europe, going to jail meant you were someone important who they wanted to hush up. As it turns out, his cell mate ended up being the president of Catalyna. Wow. Then he started talking about how he only has one guy friend and a few girl friends, since all of his other friends are dead and in Hell. He said his only remaining guy friend would also go to hell since he’s a gay alcoholic….and then he laughed! I would seriously consider going into his office hours just so he could tell me his life story. Then in Cine, our teacher came back from Denver and hugged Kelly because he missed us, hahaha! He said he gained 3 kilos since “Americans eat a lot.” Yes, we know. He also made a good point in that you can get a lot of bad (quality) food for cheap, but the good food is quite expensive. Oh well. Such is life!
Zaragoza adventure this Friday/Saturday. My one Thursday class was cancelled so I guess I’ll just go book/warm clothes shopping, haha!
26 Oct 2008
Friday morning was rough! I have not seen 7:00 am in a long time, and I hope not to again for a while, haha! The bus ride to Zaragoza took about 3 hours maybe? I listened to music most of the time since I am completely incapable of sleeping in a sitting position. Apparently everyone could hear my music, which makes me wonder if I’m even more deaf than I was before I left. I’ll probably need hearings aides within the next 10 years =(. It was so different to look out the windows and not see corn fields. I was seriously in awe as I stared at this exotic landscape. We drove through vineyards with mountains in the background. It was so amazing! You could see the bottom 2/3 of the mountains, then there was a thin layer of clouds, and then you could see the tops. The colors were so vibrant…it was just so ridiculous. The houses were adorable too! They were the white adobe-looking houses with the red plated roofs. Adorable! As we got farther inland, the landscape became increasingly duller. Zaragoza was much colder than barca! I’m so glad I brought my jackets! The first thing we did was go into the Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora de El Pilar. There was this wall where you could kiss the stone the Virgin Mary was standing on….it was just this little opening in the wall which exposed the stone and there was a line of people waiting to kiss it. Being the weirdo that I am, all I could think about was how diseased that rock must be, haha! I said that if I were a diseased poor person, I would lick it, just so everyone else after me would get sick, hahahah! I’m mean =). I felt bad taking pictures in there since there since they were in the middle of mass, but everyone else was snapping pictures and I just followed suit! Afterwards, we wandered over to another church-turned-museum (Catedral de La Seo) where we got yelled at por lo menos 5 times by the same guy for taking pictures. Whatever, our professor told us to take pictures but to try not to get caught…and if we get caught to act like we didn’t know. I seriously think Gabriel was going to pick a fight with that man! What a goofy old dude! Later, we went to lunch at this restaurant where they gave us a 3 course meal! 1. Chicken paella, 2. Some weird breaded steak and like 10 french fries, 3. Ice cream! We had wine and bread with it as well. When we were done eating, Aaron told us we had to meet in an hour and 45 at the Aljaferia. He told us it was “very easy” to get there from the restaurant and then gave us crappy directions. Man was he a liar! Thank God the Zaragozians are so nice—we had to keep asking them for directions and they were more than happy to help! We eventually got there and laid in the grass for about 45 minutes to get a little rest. Some of the girls and I walked around the building and then just sat around until the whole group got there. The place was cool, but the tour was waaaay too long! Afterwards, we hopped back on the bus and took a 45 minute bus ride to Fundetodos, a very small pueblo whose population reached 100 when the 50 of us got there. We dropped our stuff off in our freezing cold, croweded, and ghetto-fabulous before dinner. No joke the bunk beds were 1 foot apart and there were 14 people sharing my room. There wasn’t even a staff member there, just us kids, haha! We were told meet at the town’s only bar for dinner, so we went early, got some beer, and played some Egyptian Rat Screw. I lost (of course), and then we went and had another 3 course meal plus bread and lots of wine. We had some good soup, tortilla and some amazingly good chicken, and then some flan. We wanted more wine since we hadn’t gotten much, but when we asked the waiter told us that we had been cut off by our teachers, hahah! Oh well! We went back up to the bar afterwards and hung out. I played some more cards while everyone else got ridiculously drunk. People were taking pictures with the professors and program directors who totally know how to party with the kids. One of the guys in our program who was incredibly innebriated, fell, knocked over a tobacco machine the size of an arcade game, and broke a vase. Everyone went silent. Our professors and directors didn’t seem to worry about it at all. Gabriel just said jokingly that he must not understand that gravity pulls things down. Some of us left soon after and then a few more drunkies came back and we had the most ridiculous conversations. Then more drunkies came home, more funny-ness until the completely trashed people got back. Then we just got annoyed and went to bed.
Saturday we had to be ready to go at 9:00. After throwing our stuff on the bus, we went back to the bar for some breakfast—a chocolate filled croissant and some coffee (which I actually drank)!! It hardly counts though since it was half way filled with milk and then I put chocolate powder and sugar in it, haha! I still felt like a big kid though, woo! After sitting around for an unnecessarily long time, we went to the Goya museum and saw some of his works. The process to make those is ridiculous—I never would have had that much patience/intelligence. Then we walked to the house he was born in and got to walk around in all of the rooms. I guess Goya is Fundetodos’s claim to fame, haha! Then we got back on the bus and went to Belchite, an old town that was completely destroyed by bombs in the Civil War. Being a literal ghost town, one of the guys at the bar say that people can hear still airplanes and bombs there at night. It was so sad to see the ruins of this town. First of all, it was scary to see houses ripped in half, almost like looking at the cross section of a doll house. In the churches, which were more spacious, it was easy to see where a bomb came through the ceiling and took a chunk out of the wall. Nature had reclaimed what was rightfully theirs and there was prairie grass and vines inside the buildings and going up the walls. It was creepy to think how people had lived happily where we were walking and now their bodies were under the rubble. How scary that must have been to hear the planes and then have their world destroyed like that. It’s weird to think that these people lived through such a recent war, whereas my generation has no concept of war. In our lives, there has never been a war on the home front. The majority of us have never been affected by the current war. There was no draft, there were no bombings (unless you count 9/11), etc. It just weirded us out to see how hard war can rock your world in such a short amount of time. After Belchite, we went back the bar again for another 3 course lunch. We had (with bread and wine again) pasta, some type of meat, and then some weird pudding thing. Good lord, I probably ate more in that 24 hours than I have ever in my life! I definitely have a food baby now =/. We watched 2 movies on the way home. One super weird one with Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, the guy who plays Uncle Eddie, and one of the dads from Mamma Mia! called Goya’s Ghosts. Soooooo weird. So weird! And then we watched Meet the Fockers, haha! Perfect timing for the movies though—we got home right as Meet the Fockers ended! All in all, fun trip!
ps, also just read that part of Pan’s Labyrinth was filmed at Belchite—who knew!?
--there are some new pictures from London...but more yet to come as well