Saturday, June 26, 2010

World Cup Fever

Since coming back from Valencia focus has turned completely onto the world cup. Within this last week (including today) we will have had 4 HUGE games.

1. Spain vs. Honduras (a blow-out, Villa Villa Villa!)
2. USA vs. Algeria (one of the best sporting events I've seen recently, was in an Irish bar with mostly Americans and Englanders were watching their game on the TV in the back and we all just went crazy!)
3. Spain vs. Chile (An intense game and it started to rain making it even more intense)
4. USA vs. Ghana (we'll see how this goes tonight!)

and that's to say these are the only ones I'll travel somewhere to experience, not the only ones I've watched. I will definitely miss the consistency and overall appeal of the world cup when it's over. It provides an unceasing amount of distractions for me which definitely is good for my workload here haha

But that's not the only thing that's been happening. As I said in the past, I'm taking each day as if it were my last here and have been filling them up with countless activities. Let me take you through them:

Monday was the big night of the Spain Honduras game. Me and my friend Mike and two girls from UNC (his school) who we met randomly on a train in Barca all went to the Real Madrid stadium: the Santiago Bernebeu to watch the game. It was insane! Wall to wall people and a sea of red. Before the game, cause we got there early, people were dancing all around and they had singers on stage and drummers and lots of similar things of that sort. didn't really know the songs they were playing, but I caught on eventually. Of course Spain won and the whole place was in a celebratory mood. But because it was a Monday night and I had school the next day (See? I am a good student) we only stayed out for a bit and then went to a tapas bar for food then went home and crashed.

Tuesday was a bit different. I signed up for a Flamenco class but couldn't find it so I ended up exploring the city (don't worry I'll be taking it this coming week). I love exploring and even though I walked more than my feet could handle it was definitely a cool journey. Then came the Intercambio and this time I got a few people from my program to go with me. I reunited with some of my friends from other weeks and met more new people. I met this one Kenyan who makes a living by trading currency, pretty interesting and he was incredibly nice. Funny thing with the Intercambio is that even though it ends at 11 we usually end up talking and hanging out till much later which is good and bad for my school work (good cause I practice Spanish, bad cause of the obvious). Funny thing I've found so far about this trip is how weird it is to meet people you'll probably never see again in your life. I try my best to keep contact info for Facebook but sometimes you just don't and when you say goodbye you can't really say "see you later". Usually in California and elsewhere there is a probability you will run into them later. Here, however, in a foreign country with only a few hours of talking between you it is not really likely that you'll be keeping in contact.

So Wednesday was THE DAY. After class I hung around for awhile and went home for a bit then we all went to this local Guiness-sponsored pub to watch the US game. The reason I say Guiness-sponsored is because when you buy drinks you get tickets that you can use to get free shirts! I ended up getting 3 free shirts, but not because of the amount of drinks, but because I unwittingly took advantage of a busy bartender's bad short-term memory. He put a shirt on the table and i pocketed. Then he came back with another cause he thought he hadn't given it to me yet. They give away the shirts like candy though and the bar gets them for free from Guinness so it's all good. My favorite one was a picture of all of the countries and France is saying "Why isn't Ireland with us?". Pretty funny. Then on Wednesday as well I had three more friends randomly show up in the city. The story behind this is entertaining because I knew they were coming but they didn't have a way to contact me. When one of my friends, Patrick was walking by my apt. randomly they saw him and asked if they could use his phone for a call. He said sure and he typed the number they needed to call. Turns out my name came up and both of their minds were blown. Haha so my friends came in and we went to a place called Cien Montaditos (which I might've already talked about) where everything on the menu is 1 euro. Then we got ready and went to a club called Orange which is known for housing foreign exchange students. I met a few people from UCSB here and it was def a fun night.

Then Thursday, after working out and going swimming to cool off, a large siesta wiped out my day and I basically just hung around till Joy (which is a club that is free on Thursdays and it plays awesome music). Funny thing is through Alex I keep getting the names of important people to drop and so I told all of my friends going to say they were under Ryan + 15 on Johnny Madrid's list. I'm definitely going to need to transfer this VIP status back to the states somehow. Anyways so Joy was awesome and funnily enough when me and Pat were going to get a drink at the bar we ended up meeting a large group of Spanish girls who were excited to be done with school. Turns out being from California already makes me cooler than the average person and we ended up making friends and hanging out the whole night. Literally the whole night though cause we went to Churros afterwards (not Mexican churros with sugar on them but Spanish churros that you dip in chocolate...delicious).

Friday I was woken up by my friends and we all went to walk around a few parts of the city and I showed them around. Then when they left I watched a movie for class (Mar Adentro, starring Javier Bardem, which is the story of a tetra-paledgic (i know this isn't spelled right) who no longer wants to live: good movie. Then we went back to the stadium for the Chile-Spain game. When we got there it was pouring! About 10 minutes of waiting and the rain kind of subsided for kick off and we got a spot on the second screen (not the main one but still cool). The game was crazy and Villa's first goal: a 40 yard chip over the goalie was crazy too. Then at halftime it started to POUR again. All of the fans were dancin in the streets with their flags with the face paint dripping down. We were under umbrellas trying to stay dry. After Spain won (obviously) the Rain started again! It was like the rain waited for the game to begin before stopping and then just turned on during the breaks. Most people gave up and went home but three of us went to a tapas bar and got dry. Later that night we went to Kapital again (this time on a happening night, 7 floors packed with people). Oh and I almost forgot. strangely enough at the game 6 different Spanish people at different points in the night told me I looked like Fernando torres. I've never gotten this before and I'd tell them I don't think so...but many of them wouldn't take no for an answer. One Spaniard told me she loved me haha but I really don't know.

This picture is the closest to looking like me I could find:

what do you think?

and now Saturday. I slept in LATE and it was great. About to watch my final movie and then go to the US game and then see where the night takes me.

I am really debating what I'm going to be doing the last week (besides finals and my paper of course) cause I've already turned down a few things such as going surfing in Northern Spain as a result of budgetary concerns. There is a cool theme park, but that is expensive, it'd be cool to take advantage of the late daylight and go night golfing, there is a huge graduation party-esque thing downtown tomorrow, I want to go to a Flamenco show, but it's all pricey and i gotta keep in mind the future. We'll see which I decide and how that effects me later. but as you can see I have been making the most of my days here. Tune in next week.

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