Day 54: Saturday December 3rd, 2011
Even when planned correctly, shit happens. I said no to clubs and Karlee, and was rewarded by…
My phone’s alarm didn’t go off, as it was inbetween the wall and the bed. It was 7:30, a half an hour after I had planned to wake up by. I packed my shit, barely remembered including my sandals (necessary for hostel showers), got my key deposit and booked it to the metro station. I got to my train with 5-10 minutes left to spare. Whew.
I passed out for awhile but then the coach became a school bus with crazy loud kids, so I watched Midnight in Paris on the train TV. Considering it’s still in theatres some places, especially in Europe, it was pretty sweet. It made me reminisce about Paris, and it was fun seeing it AFTER I had actually been there, unlike before, when it made me want to go to Paris. This time it made me want to go back and find Marion Cotillard (dibs).
I had mixed emotions leaving Barcelona. Most of the friends I had met were still there, and it was insanely fun, but I don’t think I could’ve handled another couple days like that without a break. That said, I hated Barcelona at night. It was just riddled with fuckers trying to sell you shit, and from what I heard about Morroco and Africa and Asia, it was nothing, so it doesn’t bode well for me if I go to those places. Either way, I couldn’t help but be sad leaving, but I know I’ll like Sevilla.
My worry on the train ride was my bed bugs. They were really bad, covering my arms, hands, legs and even on my back and sides, itching like crazy and without mercy. I didn’t know what to do. I was off to visit Raquel, my former high school prom date who lived in Sevilla and was graciously letting me stay with her for a couple days to show me around. I had only really hung out with her a couple times since high school, and I was hoping to give a good impression (you want to show your former prom date what’s up), but here I was riddled with bed bugs. I considered not bringing it up, and hoping to pass by undetected, but there was the chance that the bed bugs were travelling with me in my clothes and/or in my backpack, and I’m not a dick. But telling the truth could lead to a hostel and spending more money, or at the very least, put our rendezvous off on the wrong foot.
But I show up, unshowered, hungover, exhausted and a shell of the man I was 53 days ago. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get to Sevilla, we hug, and I believe the first sentence out of my mouth is “I have bed bugs.” I offer to stay at a hostel, but she says nonsense, and we resolve to wash all my clothes and leave my backpack on her roof. Raquel seems the same as high school, a little loopy, chill, nice, and she’s upgraded because she now eats meat.
For a late lunch Raquel fixed up a salad of peppers and baby tomatoes in olive oil and balsamic vinagrette which was lovely and made some beef in lemon and garlic. Yum. And we had ham flavored chips, and a Pina Colada flavored yogurt drink that saved me. Raquel had to go teach/tutor (she’s a fluent Spanish speaker who teaches English for a living), so I had internet time.
That night we explored Sevilla, and met up with a few of her English speaking friends. There was Jordan, who also taught English and went to UNC. I didn’t even realize he was gay until Raquel told me. He had brought a friend this weekend as well, John, another UNC alum who was from Colorado. He also spoke Spanish, putting me at disadvantage. We also met Celia, an Aussie who also taught English and spoke Spanish (she was cute). We met at Levies, a tapas bar where I had Cruzcampo beer (cheap shit but all they have in Spain really), fries with aioli, croquettes with spinach, chicken with pimiento sauce, calamari and fried cheese. Tapas rule. Get to try so many different things, you don’t pay too much, and you somehow get full on all these tiny portions. It’s also very communal, and very Spanish. The Spanish don’t really eat to get full or nourished. They eat as an excuse to socialize and drink, and don’t until 10 pm at the earliest. I don’t understand it. I like food too much, and while I love chatting, I usually want to move from place to place. Spanish people are relaxed, slow, and love their siestas. They operate on Ryan time, all the time. It’s a very interesting lifestyle, and I’m sure I could get used to it, but I can’t wait until 10 to eat, and I can’t wait until 4 am for clubs. In America it’s a great/long night if you get back by 4-5 am. But in Europe, you’re just getting started. It’s exhausting.
We went back to Jordan’s, where we played beer pong and listened to Girl Talk. It felt wrong not to be on Kendall in Ithaca for that, which may have explained why I actually lost to Raquel and Jordan at beer pong in game number two.
Then we went and saw a Flamenco show at a bar for free, which is pretty incredible since you usually have to pay anywhere from 10-100 euros for that shit in the touristy towns. But that’s not Sevilla, at least not as much. Sevilla is the home of Flamenco as well, so I’m glad I held out in Barcelona for here. Flamenco is a type of music and dance from the region of Andalusia, and I’ll describe it simply as a lot of stomping, clapping, guttural singing and intense glares from the woman in the dress doing the stomping/loud tap dancing. The woman in the club we saw was super intense, all business, but whenever she was really rocking it, she had the hint of a smile around her lips. Yeah, I fell in love. She was flanked by a guy who sang and clap, and another guy who played the guitar.
After that, we all called it a night, because thankfully, everyone was almost as tired as me.
NEXT: More Sevilla and more churches!