Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Absolute Chaos

Nothing really can describe this week besides the title I've put above. The last week of programs are always hectic and stressful, but throw in the obligations of trying to pack under a certain weight-limit, trying to solidify plans for the next month, finals, a metro strike (will discuss this later), trying to visit all of the places I haven't yet, and socializing with all of my friends for one last time and we have a week that has been nothing short of intense. Ok so when I left off I was heading to watch the US game I believe. It was a bit sad honestly that we didn't get on...we had the chances but we just didn't have a striker that could finish. We scored 5 goals in this world cup...none of them were scored by a striker. But to make more sense of the chaos that is this blog entry I'll be labeling sections

The Weekend

Anyways following the game the plans were up in the air. The last two nights had been intense and some friends were going on a bar crawl but we instead decided to try and hit up a local club that supposedly overlooked all of Casa de Campo (a huge park right outside of Madrid). So taking it upon myself I look it up and after hanging out near a botellón (basically a customary tradition of Spanish youth to drink alcohol in public places in large groups) we went on our way. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened. We went down this road parallel to Parque del Oeste (the park right next to our school) and it began to rain a bit. For the past few nights Madrid turned into a lightning storm when it went dark. It was pretty crazy and so this was not unexpected. But on the ground...there were literally hundreds of cockroaches. all over. No joke. They weren't in big swarms or anything but every few feet a cockroach would be scuttling across the ground, sitting on a wall, or just chilling in random places. It was disgusting. strangely enough this was my first experience with real live cockroaches and I am not a fan. I don't even know what do with them... I don't want to step on them cause they are just too ugly and big and it's just disgusting. These things can survive nuclear bombs...I don't even want to begin to mess with that. Anyways it was quite the experience and when we get to where the club was supposed to be there wasn't anything...We asked around but noone knew where it was. We even brought up Google Maps and we were in the right place! ¿Qué pasa? Turns out thsi club was closed roughly a year ago and it no longer existed. All of those cockroaches braved for nothing :(!! Seriously? But despite this it was quite the fun hind sight

So that very same night before going out I locked myself out of my apt. It is a lot easier to do than one might think, my keys are small and the door automatically locks. So I was staying at Mike and Andrew's for that night. The next morning however I FINALLY WOKE UP in time to see El Rastro and go to it. Basically a section of the city on Sundays turns into a HUGE flea market. It was quite the experience an there were people and literally anything you could ever want. I bought my first items in Madrid such as a jersey etc. It was awesome but I'm glad I only went one week...any more and it would be dangerous for my wallet haha. But following this I went back and found out my RA was in Turkey and my Roommate was in Barcelona. So basically I was stuck at my friends until 10pm that night. I had so many plans for the day but the yall fell apart. So much for starting/finishing my essay early or going to this cool party that my friend invited me too at a pool club. Anyways so after a few world cup games in which I'm glad Germany won so I can see a game of theirs in Germany...and I also bought a German jersey so that was cool (sorry England I was rooting for you before I bought the jersey). Finally I get back into my apartment and end the weekend by catching up on all the stuff I was supposed to be doing during the day. This was also disappointing because I wanted to write a script for a potential movie, but no worries.

The Week

So Monday marked the first day that workers began to strike for the metro. The govt is in a crisis and their only option to cut down budget is to cut wages. Metro workers weren't happy...etc.. but basically EVERYONE gets around through the metro. Luckily I live close to school and also luckily the metro was only closed 50% but just the though of the metro stopping was scary. Especially in a week where I wanted to see the rest of the city I hadn't seen yet. After class I finally got to go to the Flamenco class that I signed up for! It was very cool and was taught by an award winning dancer. I love that Flamenco uses rhythm so much and beats and is very percussion-like...made me miss playing percussion a lot. But after that some of the Spanish girls from the club wanted to meet up with all of us and so we all went to the Parque del Retiro to ride on the boats in the lake. it took awhile to get used to rowing haha but after the hour I was definitely a pro. It was beautiful out too and if you ever go to Madrid you NEED To stop by the Parque del Retiro. It's a huge park that is gorgeous with so many things to do.

But following this we went back to my apartment and hung out and played cards. I knew I had work to do but meh I would just work on it the next day. And the next day I did...until the metro screwed everything up. On Tuesday the metro closed down FOR GOOD. This ruined all of my plans for the day. Ideally it was class->paper->dinner with friends at a new plaza i hadn't been too-> then game at the stadium with spanish friends. BUt with no metro, noone could get anywhere. Most people couldn't get to class (normally a 20 minute trip became 3 hours) and buses were absolutely overflowing with people. It was horrible. So after the stress passed a group of us watched the huge game at a local bar. It was packed and David Villa (the man on my jersey) once again came through! I've learned a lot of chants to take to other countries when I support Spain such as: Villa Villa Villa, Villa MaraVilla. and Yo soy Espanol espanol espana haha that one isn't quite right but if I say that I at least can chant along and sound similar. So I made a pact to not go to sleep until I finished my paper and finally came through halfway through the night. It was completely refreshing to finally be done and ready for proofreading.

Wednesday was the last day of class. I really did enjoy both classes and teachers. Grammar was always fun and our teacher always created creative ways to learn things (such as having a situation on the back of someone and having others give that person advice...mine was that I was too sleepy in class haha I doubt that was chance). Our film professor is very intimidating but he inspires me to try to impress him and the Spanish movies for the most part were quite good. So following class I went back to work, and by work I mean I caught up on sleep by having a 5 hour siesta that was only supposed to be 2 hours. By the time I woke up I had to rush around and do all of things I needed to do (such as laundry and homework for the next day). A group of us were all going to meet at Tigre which I'm don't remember if I wrote about or not. Basically they give you large plates of tapas with every drink. And there was also a free Jason De Rulo concert! Turns out he never showed up, but only stopped by for a little bit anyways and Tigre was amazing as always.

Got back home studied for my final the next day. Woke up, took my final, worked out, and here I am today. The metro is finally back up (which would've sucked to get to the airport) and everything is shaping together. I look forward to making the most out of my last two days. Kind of regret booking such an early flight (which means I have to leave at 1 am cause of the metro closing etc. and get into Amsterdam way before everyone else) but not much I can do now. Congrats on sticking through this long essay update and you'll be hearing from me soon!

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