Friday, January 30, 2009


Yesterday we finally made it to our first real soccer game! It was apparently a very important game -- Espanyol vs. Barcelona. The stadium holds over 98,000 people so those of us from PSU felt strangely at home. Compared to the zealous but only half-interested State fans, the spaniards here have a one-tracked mind when they are watching soccer. I swear, a meteor could be falling from space and they wouldn't take the 2 seconds to look up if it compromised their view of the game. It amazed me how everyone knew what was going on at every second, and I don't mean just when they're close to scoring. Even when someone falls or kicks the ball out of bounds, the entire stadium rejoices or roars in anger. It was really fun, but if you're not a soccer fan, it's definitely a one-time deal.

The funniest moment had actually occured on our way to the game. After getting lost on the metro, which only happens when we're in a hurry, my face starts sweating from all the walking and confusion. I look over at Leah, and for some reason, we are both having crazy hot flashes. Mackenzie cannot stop laughing as I'm fanning myself with my scarf and leah's looking for the air vent on the metro. If it wasn't the alcohol, I don't know what it was. Hopefully not early menopause :/

On our way home, we decided that the line down the street for the metro was way too ominous, so we opted for a cab. Going ten miles an hour down the road, I hear a weird bump sound and Mackenzie says "whoa!". Suddenly, the taxi driver stops and gets out of the car. The driver next to us had obliviously attempted to turn right and turned right into our taxi!! We seriously just got into a car accident. Our driver was so mad at him that she paid absolutely no attention to the 3 dollars we handed her for the one mile we'd travelled.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Vamos a movar!

Why is it that the morning after a long drunken night, when each hair on my head is individually deciding to rebel, and my eyeliner is creating a nice smudged look an inch below my actual eye, I feel compelled to participate more in my 9am class than on a regular refreshed weekday? I noticed this unusual trend at school in PA as well. I walk to class thinking about how much my head hurts and trying to suppress my nausea and I am 100% positive that participating in class is out of the question for the morning. Yet, as soon as the discussion begins, my arm seems to constantly raise and thoughts are spewing from my overactive brain. Perhaps a hangover is just what I need to get my day going (?)

The night that preceded this winning morning was another doozy. I was iffy about going out on a Tuesday night with a 9am staring at me from the future, but my friends convinced me to live a little. As I walk in the door of the apartment, I get a call from none other than Iven. Yes, it's Iven, cause now he's in my phone as well. My heart raced while my mind rushed to figure out what exactly he was saying. He does not speak a word of english and I'm not sure if that's a blessing in disguise or just another thing to cause me to be awkward. Face flushed and feet pacing, I tried desperately to end the conversation with my pride in tact. Despite my efforts, he was in no hurry and kept throwing out the longest and fastest spanish sentences I've ever listened to. I finally had to give up trying to sound smart and just spoke the slowest and best phrases I could muster. The result of that conversation, I think..... is a dinner date on Sunday! I know I should be excited, but all I can think about is the misinterpreted conversations and courtesy laughter that will be filling the night.

The phone call finally ended and we took taxis to the bar Pippermint. Here, they do not serve regular drinks, they only have Liters of drinks with multiple straws. Both unifying and sanitary, I think I'm really gonna like this place. We played it safe and ordered a 2L orange soda and vodka for the five of us while the two girls to our right ordered a 6L beer. Well into our next drink, a coke and vodka, I decide it would be my job to help them with their bucket-o-beer and I introduce myself. I'm sure they appreciated it. I want to go back and order the 10L just to see what happens...

OHHHH!!! I almost forgot. Marta came home today and informed us that we (all) will be moving into a new, and hopefully bigger and nicer, apartment in about a month or two!! Amy and I are ecstatic and can't keep from imagining the new digs. We get our own bathroom and perhaps it'll have central heating!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vino Del Mar - drink o' champions!

My oh my...what a weekend. Our Friday night started off smoothly. We finally got out of the apartment before 1:30am and we were on our way to the coolest abroad hangout in town -- which I'm pretty sure is just a fishbowl-type spectacle for the Spanish locals who sometimes stop by. We safely made it there, bought two pitchers full of beer, turned around and immediately had nowhere to sit. As the 2 liter beer jug bent my wrist, I pleaded that we just sit down anywhere. Low and behold, a nicely crowded table of cat-calling men. How lovely. As it turned out, they were all very nice guys, however, some were more popular than others (Jirafa? no me gusta... please take a shower, sir). We were all talking, laughing, having a great time, when I suddenly spilled beer on my pants. Yessss! The tell-tale sign of a great night to come. At least for me it is. Per usual, we taxi-ed it to the club and got our groove on. This time, however, I did not waste 20 euros on two drinks (go me!) So we go upstairs and I am having a very popular night, however, things go haywire with the creepers surrounding my friends and we leave in a hurry. It seems to be an ongoing trend, now that i think about it.

Amy didn't come out that night, so none of my friends would let me walk home alone. Naturally, I have no problem sleeping on their couch, but even in my drunken state I remember a conversation we all had about how comfy our friend, Ashton's, bed is. With a reluctant "sure" from Ashton, I jump happily into her double bed ready for a great nights sleep -- unfortunately, so does Ashton and my other friend Mackenzie. At the time, I thought, 'oh how fun! slumber party!!!' As soon as we turned on Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, they both passed out. I'm talking less than 2 minutes max. Meanwhile, both my arms are over my head, i'm in my full going-out wardrobe and make up, and from a bird's eye view, i know i look like a sardine. After several minutes of readjusting, I give up and try to watch the movie. By now, it's 6am and it's almost 98 degrees in that bed. The beads of sweat drip down my face and I wonder if this is how I'm going to go. Luckily, my alarm rings to go back home before our house mother wakes up, and I, as I later found out, drunkenly jumped out of bed and down the street. So bizzare.

El proximo dia, we had a Barcelona soccer game to attend. Excitement brewing, we pregame with a bottle of 2 dollar wine each. Classy. We figured every american football game we go to only gets really good during the second half, so we're in no rush. Yet, as soon as we step foot in the stadium, everyone begins to stand up, clap, chant, and then leave. Yup, we missed it. Apparently it's a 90 min game, not 90 min halves. But no worries, we rescheduled and we WILL make it to this next game.

We took a dreary, and extremely embarrassing metro ride home, and proceeded to get dressed for a fun clubbing night. Too lazy to go anywhere by taxi, we walk to the nearby club Roxy. Since I've been here, I've frequented this particular club and have caught the eye of a particular bouncer named Iben (or Iven). Tall, dark, and handsome with a long black wool coat, suit, and tie? bingo. So, like the regulars we are, I chat it up with my friend and we are admitted without cover charge. How cool am I?! We enter and immediately check out the upstairs bar too see if any free shots will be possible, but we are attacked by an over-eager beaver of a spaniard. Taking refuge in the French men next to us seemed like the smartest idea at the time, but ended up being smelly and unrewarding as well. At the end of our boring time together, Leah tells them, "Do you like pretty girls? well, when you like a pretty girl, you buy her a drink" They seemed both dumbfounded and just plain old confused.

We head downstairs for better luck, and I swear... at this point, i think everyone in there was gay. If we danced with a group of guys, they could care less about us, coming and going as they pleased. No big deal. We dance for a little while and then get invited to the "bottle service" stage. This is the glowing surface above the dancers that is just too cool for words. This very mousy small man keeps repeating "the drinks are coming!" and we just stand there and wait around. Finally, Leah inquires where there table is, and this guy cooly says "oh, i don't know... we just came up here." Welp, that's our cue! Without a goodbye, we leave the club, but not before Iben and I share a couple of poorly communicated spanish words. He asks for my number, and my night is made. Score!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Salvador mi amor

I almost forgot! Happy Obama Inauguration! I just had this infuriating talk with Matt (butterface seducer) about how he thinks he's too inexperienced and we shouldn't rely on hope because hope doesn't cause action, etc. Since I know as much about politics as I do quantum physics, I decided to be relatively agreeable about the matter, but I got him to realize that he was really just angry about the ignorant voters who only support Obama on the basis of his skin color and not because Obama is unqualified. In that moment, I felt just like my sister, and her self-righteous argument tactics. (ps - Paula Abdul's Opposites Attract is blasting from my house lady's tv!)

And speaking of butterface seducer, as of today, he is a repeat offender. yeah, i know. she's in our spanish class now, and they don't say a word to each other. HA!

So at school, we each have an academic advisor, who, just like in the States, basically doesn't do anything. The other day I needed to change my schedule around, so I visited my advisor, Salvador, to assist me, and let me just say that he is extremely good looking. But of course, I HAD to become friends with the weird swishy-sweatsuit wearing internet guy the first week we were here (which Amy makes fun of me for all the time), and as soon as i turn the corner, guess who's calling my name "SUNSHINE!!!" down the hallway -- Jose. Mr. Internet. Apparently they are good friends, and despite the many texts that I choose to ignore, he keeps popping up all over the city!! I can't escape him. So of course, when i'm trying to impress my young advisor with my witty charm, he keeps inturrupting with some stupid sarcasm that isn't really that funny. What a dufus!

On the more seriously strange side of things -- I think I just witnessed my first real example of racism. Amy and I walk home from class on a chilly evening and out of the corner of my eye, I think I spot a large group of 50-year-old business men putting their fingers on the outside of their eyes and pulling up (like kids do to represent Asian faces). I disregard what I thought I saw because of course, no one over the age of 4 with any respect for others does that. All of a sudden, as we pass them, we are stopped by one well-dressed man. One of them hands me a camera and I figure they just needed someone to snap the shot. Then I realize that they are all staring at Amy in anticipation. She looks at me and I know that she thinks they just want a picture with a tourist. As she gets in position to take the picture, they assume the "chinky-eyes" position and we both are horrified. Amy is in frozen shock, and I burst out, "why are you all doing that?" and they happily reply, "We're on a coporate scavenger hunt and we need a picture with an oriental." Hearing this I say, "But you know that's very rude and derogitory, you shouldn't do that" (meanwhile, I am reprimanding 50 year old men). They proceed to look at me like I have 5 heads, and I continue to stare at them in disbelief. Could they really not understand why this was wrong? My blood is boiling at this point, and Amy is still frozen solid with her jaw dropped. I loudly proclaim, "Ohhhhh, I get it! It's a racist scavenger hunt! right!!" and that breaks Amy out of her trance into a slight chuckle. She takes the camera out of my hands, and hands it back to them saying, "Good luck finding another Chinese person to take this for you!" And we storm off. It's just been confirmed -- there ARE still people like that in the world. Sorry to burst everyone's bubble.

It's a Friday, so there is definitely more to come....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Google google

Amy and I started classes this week, which is really bringing us down, site-seeing wise. We both missed a class out of pure ignorance, but now that we have our schedules finalized, I was shocked and dismayed to find that I have a 9am class 3 of the 5 days of the week. At school, in the states, this would be a difficult, yet, feasible hour to attend a class. However, in the land where your dinner ends at 10:30 and your night doesn't even begin until 1am, I am pretty sure I will be defying all odds to get to these classes.

Speaking of class, we have this one professor for Art that is completely out of his mind. I feel like I'm being Punk'd whenever I enter those two, very ominous, doors. The first speech this 71 year old cuban deals out is solely about the fact that he will support us "to the death" but if we betray him he will "drop us." Later on in this fun-filled lecture, he explains that if we don't care about art as much as he does, he doesn't care about us at all and he will automatically fail us. Sooner or later, we get to drawing, and in his expert opinion, everyone is horrible and unworthy. "Have you ever seen a water bottle THAT big before in real life? huh?... NO! I don't think so. fix it!" As I shook in my boots, Amy and I exchanged looks of terror and continued drawing. That was only the first day. Today, he referred to someone as "big girl" and asked a boy if he was fatter in his passport picture and why. Although terrifying, I think this man will be a large portion of my entertainment this semester.

Despite my affinity for sitting in my icy room on our weak and unreliable internet, I have been going out frequently, and since my last blog was before this weekend, I'm quite certain that all my nights are blending together in my head. Nonetheless, they are all equally entertaining. One night, we all went out to a spiffy club named Catwalk. We walked in to an extremely crowded room where I think everyone decided it would be funny to bump my purse every 5 seconds. We purchased some rather pricey drinks and split up. Those of us who liked to dance with strangers, and those of us.... who don't. We travel upstairs, and the scene is a little more relaxed, but basically the same. Naturally, we had already finished our drinks by the time we climbed the stairs and had to commute the bar once more. On our way there, we see this guy from our spanish class with half-closed eyes all over a small-statured butterface. We giggled in silence and then decided to keep our mouths shut, but it was no holds barred the next morning in class.

Moving on... we get our drinks and stand in a threesome circle and kinda just dance in place. I assume every girl is used to this type of dancing, so although it seems uneventful and awkward, we were perfectly satisfied -- especially since we had found our own (air conditioned) uncrowded corner. I scanned the area and found a tyson beckford look-a-like on the wall by the door. He was dancing in place as well, and looked like a security guard. I tell Leah and Amy that I think he's good looking, but decide to play it cool -- whatever that means. My eyes wonder in his direction for the next 10 minutes and I'm under the impression he's looking right at me. I mouth to amy, "I'm gonna go get him!". Strutting stealthily over, I confidentally ask, "wanna dance?" and I receive a firm "I have a girlfriend, sorry." I proceed to have a long drawn out conversation about where I'm from and blah blah blah, but of course, I lost him at the word "girlfriend."

All of us girls head back downstairs after watching each other dance for another half hour, and the minute we enter, we are bombarded with uninhibited creepy (and slightly balding) men. I am swept off into a sexy (?) salsa dance with an older one, and Amy and Leah are forced to take pictures with these two men who spice up the picture by snuggling close and kissing Leah's cheek. Needless to say, we book it out of there as quickly as possible and head home. Muy raro, no?

Oh, and I was looking for internships for this summer, and Amy told me to google Google. I laughed. Hence, my title.

Friday, January 16, 2009

wow, you are berryy beautiful...

Today we went to school in the morning and infuriated our teacher, Judith, once again, with our obnoxious comments and laughter. The new students that just entered our class probably had no idea they'd be forced to face a cliquey and unruly group of students in the back who have already decided who is cool and who isn't during the course of one awkward, but decisive, week. Afterward, amy, some classmates, and I went to buy a book for school. We retrieve the book and proceed to walk toward our apartment, our friend Matt in tow. As we inch closer, we separately wonder what he will be doing while we're making our turkey and cheese sandwiches and watching TV game shows we don't understand. I finally approach the situation carefully and say something along the lines of "so, you coming back with us?", "ya I'm just gonna hang with you guys today"... "oh, ok cool. just checkin." Fail. Ok, try again. "Well I guess you can try some of our homemade gourmet turkey sandwiches!". did it work? yes..... At the next intersection he "suddenly" realizes that he lives pretty close to us and darts down the street with a swift wave. Me and amy breathe a sigh of relief and wonder what just happened.

Later, we meet up with Leah and her roommates and head down to Las Ramblas for some site-seeing. As you walk along these streets during the day, it's littered with kiosks of all sorts of goodies from souvenirs, to pets, to fresh flowers. They also have several street performers who usually dress up in strange costumes and sit very still. If you give them some money, they'll move for you and do something interesting. We continued to walk along, not deeming anyone deserving of our money until we see this very small "hump-like" figure under a bronze tarp on a stand. We all look at each other thinking, "I wonder what this guy does when you give him money." Leah says it MUST be good because it's so obscure, and she needs give him some coins to see what he does. She throws it in his collection bucket, Amy starts her video on her camera, and we all wait. We wait... and wait... and wait... Finally, I lean over to one of her roommates and ask, "do you think the man just sits on that stump?" We immediately realize that what we've mistaken for a thrilling sidewalk show, is simply its remnants. Thank goodness Amy got that all on tape. Talk about tourists, huh?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two's company, four's.....annoying

Last night, Amy and I decided to stay in (mostly because I was still recuperating from the previous night) and just go online. After skyping some people and doodling around on facebook, Amy decides to go take a late shower. Unintentionally leaving the door ajar, she walks down the hallway to the bathroom, and I don't dare to get up out of bed, or I might get hypothermia. no joke, this room may or may not be colder than an igloo, in the south pole... naked. So I'm sitting there, doing my thing, and all of a sudden, over the sound of her shower (which may as well be a constant stream of drops the size of tears), I hear something that sounds like heavy breathing. I convince myself that it is her shower curtain moving around, and ignore it. The more I ignore it, however, the more I hear it... and at this point, it is NOT her shower curtain. Eventually Amy comes back from her shower with wide eyes and says "wait, i have something REALLY awkward to tell you." And from that point on, I know exactly what i heard. One of the boys that is also at this homestay, who looks like a meerkat, has a room right next to ours on the way to the bathroom. The other one looks like a bush baby and wears tight jeans, but neither of them are.... the most popular guys in town. especially not with the ladies. If I EVER hear him pleasuring himself again, i'm outta here. Keep it in your pants, sir.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Stop everything you're doing, and give all your attention to the fact that the almighty and most honored grocery store, Wegmans, has resurfaced into my life in the form of a little store called BonPreu!! I never thought I was going to find such a marvelous place to be, but it was seriously the happiest place on earth -- or in Barcelona at least. The only thing it's missing is the food court, but beggers can't be choosers. I think I could be in there for hours and never want to leave. It was amazing.

Anyways, so last night I went out by myself, because Amy was completely entranced by our new internet connection to get her butt in gear. I called Leah and decided it would be a good night to go out with her and her friends because there was a bar crawl and a party at a club (a characteristic similar to most, if not every night in this city). So Amy puts me in the cab and waves goodbye, meanwhile I'm thinking I know exactly where Leah's going to be. There can only be 1 "Ryan's Bar" in a city where most bars have spanish names, right? WRONG. I sat by myself, drinking alone (first bad sign), wondering where everyone is for the bar crawl and where the heck Leah could be. Finally, I ask the bartender and they inform me, with a slight grimace, that there is, indeed, another Ryan's Bar, about 3 blocks away. great... Luckily, at this point, a small British man invites me to sit with him and his friends and finish my beer. It seemed sketchy at first but they were harmless and kind of dumb. I was actually happy they walked me to the next bar on the crawl because it turned out to be down a series of dark, crowded, seemingly dangerous allyways that probably would not have been a smart move to walk alone. I finally find Leah, and she persists on staring at the guys who escorted me in, saying, "jackie, you brought a 40 year old man with you." In order to save my pride, I reply, "uhh no, he's only 35." I know, nice save.

After several shots, drink, and what have you, we end up at a big, loud club. I cannot tell you where it was, when we went, or what the name was, but I can tell you that I was very popular there. Free tequila shots? Yes, please! So I'm chattin' it up, making some friends and then it's time to leave. All 5 of us pile into a taxi and the driver proceeds to inform us that only 4 people can take the taxi. As the 5th wheel, I get out of the car and the other girls stay and make a big fuss about something with the driver. The next thing I know, the driver has called the police, and is physically pulling the girls by the arm out of the taxi. In my highly intoxicated state, I became very nervous, ditched the scene, and got in my own taxi -- and, as usual, started to cry. What would a drunken night be without crying, right? So, turns out, my cab driver felt so bad for me, he wouldn't let me pay for the ride. Perhaps I should always cry when I take cabs. Let's be honest, it wouldn't be a stretch. ha.

Barcelona is turning out to be one heck of a place...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Barcelona Shmarcelona

So, i made it to España. Barcelona is beautiful but it is humungous and easy to get lost in. Amy is a trip to live with, but i´m glad she´s here. she reminds me every day that at every moment, she would be crying if i weren´t with her. haha. We went out last night and walked along Las Ramblas without any hesitation. Apparently, they are very dangerous late at night. The bar we went to was filled with foreigners, so we didn´t quite feel out of place. Of course, I forgot my I.D. so I gave the bouncer my school I.D. He looked at me like I was crazy, and told me he would only let me through just this once. I never thought I had a problem looking older than 17 until now.

The weird thing about Barcelona is that they have city "quiet hours" at night. So even the spaniards are like shushing loud drunken Americans because we´re being too loud. But when you walk through the door to the bar, it´s booming with drinks and yelling and music. I figure, if you agree to live above or near a bar or club, then you are agreeing to the noise drunk people have no idea they are making.

Our señora is hilarous. She like really wants us to learn spanish, but she´s only in the apartment in the morning and night. So we don´t really see her that often. She was like in love with her previous student named Carly, and I´ve heard several things about how great she is. She looked like a dufus though. My standards are, if your best friend is your Señora, you are a loser. end of story. The apartments are really super tiny, but we went to the department store called El Corte Ingles, and it was like all the space that was sucked out of the apartments was put into that store. It was the most gigantic store I have ever seen, or could have ever dreamt of. Eight stories and like a million departments. My brain went into overload, and I didn´t buy anything... obviously.

Well, I´m gonna see how things turn out in the next couple of days and blog again. As of now, I´m sleep deprived and confused, so my perception is off.