Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Rain in Spain makes people insane

blog blog blog. blog blog blog, blog blog. BLOG! Yes, everyone.... I understand that my writing is so captivating that, without it, your days drag on and on like the infectious cough my roommate still hasn't shaken. SO, I apologize for my lazy/ridiculously busy behavior as of late. I will finally return to blogging in this last month of being abroad.

To start off with, today it is raining. However, rain is not just an old form of precipitous weather in Barcelona. Here, it is a chance for everyone to take their crazy pills and head out the door. And naturally, more people use the city bus on days when it is raining. Because I live so far away from school, I use these buses to transport myself to and from in order to avoid an hour walk from which I usually get all sweaty. The people who ride the bus are usually really old, really young, or disabled, and in that sense, it is quite a pleasant experience. No one is trying to pickpocket you or stare you down seductively because of the light color of your hair. I usually enjoy the bus. But today was relatively bizarre.

After class, I went to the art supplies store to , yet again, spend my money on something totally useless for my art class. Next, I stopped by Starbucks for a large coffee and an hour of reading. As I stood at the bus station to return home, I was getting soaked. Everyone had decided that I was unworthy of standing underneath the awning, so they made a barricade of people to keep me in the rain. The bus came and I entered, hoping to get a seat. Strangely, all of the two-seaters had one singular person sitting on the isle seat, blocking anyone from sitting next to them. Usually, this is a major no no on the bus. I had to ask in spanish if I could occupy a seat, and was very thankful that I had. During the next couple stops, the bus filled up quickly and everyone in the standing area looked like a bunch of unhappy sardines. Sometimes during these rides, the bus drivers have to switch shifts. During this time, they usually take a little break and talk to each other. It's a little odd, but not a huge inconveniance.

As the man bus driver got up to go, he and the lady bus driver got to talking. Within 30 seconds, there was a loud rapping at the front door. An angry mob of old bus-riders were pounding on the doors to open. As soon as the driver opened them, the old women burst into an uproar. The man bus driver angrily mocked the leader of the pack by kicking the door three times and throwing his arms up wildly into the air, screaming something in catalán. He stormed off and the new driver stood up in her seat to duke it out with these old ladies. They were furious, however, I'm not sure why because there was a big overhang at the stop they had just been waiting at. The spanish are very strange when they fight because instead of cursing each other out and scowling, they make these very surprised faces and gesture wildly with their hands. Watching a fight, it looks as if they are telling each other a very involved, extreme story. After they cooled down and we started to drive along the road, we were slowing down because of traffic and a small white car turned into our lane, screeching slowly into the side of the bus. Between the curb and the bus, this little tin can didn't stand a chance, and we most definitely didn't feel it. Instead of dealing with the damages like we are obligated to in the united states, the driver waited for the tin can to back away, and just sped on down the road. She was having a definite "FML" moment.

This has been my day today.

In other news, I have been to Florence and Dublin since I last wrote. They were both two of my favorite trips so far since I've been here. On the plane back from florence I wrote a little blurb about what went down. So, in my next blog, I plan to re-live those ridiculous events. to be continued.....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

El resto de Febrero

So the rest of February was packed. Amanda and Lala came to visit, and we had so much fun. After all the site-seeing and fun nightlife, the funniest part of the whole weekend was their 4am flight back to Sevilla. We returned to Leah's apartment at 2:30 am from an early night of drinking. Amanda announces that she and Lala are just going to take a quick nap before they have to pack up and leave. I make it known that I think it's a bad idea, but i let them sleep, nonetheless. I snuggle into Ashton's amazingly comfy and empty bed for a long sleep. About an hour later, I hear Amanda in the room saying "Jackie?... Jackie??? Laura won't wake up. She keeps talking in her sleep. Will you helppp??" I giggled and walked over to Laura on the couch and shook her to get up. She repeated, "sí, sí, sí!" and I laughed even harder. After about 2 minutes of pulling her arms and shaking her, she finally awakened. She pulled her boots and coat on, slung her bag around her shoulder -- all with her eyes still shut. Amanda thanked me and I waved as they left the apartment. Hehe. I love them.

The weekend following their visit, we all went to Paris, France for our next excursion. Luckily, this time, all of our flights were on time and successful. That fact, in itself, was a miracle. When our first successful Ryanair flight landed, all the Spaniards clapped with excitement (per usual), and a shockingly loud horse-racing song came on over the loud speaker. Apparently since all of our previuos flights were messed up, we'd never heard this "congratulatory" song for the landing. It was both unecessary and hilarious.

The only word I could think of to accurately describe Paris was "cute." It was specific kind of beauty that can only be understood by experience it first hand. The streets were small and the markets were open with colored aunings. The cafe's looked like they were right out of the 1920s and all the peopl were relatively nice about our lack of french speaking abilities. The first day we ventured to the Louvre, Notre Dame, and got a little glimpse of the Latin Quarter right before dinner. The next day we spent most of our time at Versailles, which happened to be my favorite part of the trip. It was a little far from the center of the city, but being able to see the building again was incredible. The gold-laced gates and decorations within the mansion were breath-taking. But the most spectacular part were the murals and paintings in every room. While we were walking through, there was a man and his baby that always seemed to be with us. He would show her each room, and attempt at listening to his informative headphones, but failed every time. She was about 1-year-old and looked around each colorful room, wide eyed. Near the end of the tour, we reached a beautiful room decorated in gold with a large window that let in the rays of sunlight from outside. He set the baby down in the middle of the room and proceeded to take pictures of her from the corner. Everyone made the typical baby faces at her and couldn't help buy smile and say "awwww" to the person next to them. She responded with a cheerful giggle and wide smile. If I could have taken that baby home, I would have.

Since I moved to my new apartment, I've gotten a lot more comfortable. At first, I felt like such an intruder because all of these girls had been here for over a month and a half together, and they had become great friends. I would try to interject in their conversations but it was just awkward. Little by little, though, after making dinner and having some chats during the day with them, I feel more welcomed. We went out to a bar last night and I think after that, I feel like this is really my home now. I'm glad I moved, because if I hadn't, I would always wonder what could've been. I'm also learning SO much about cooking. It absolutely boggles my mind how much I do not know about cooking food for myself. I thought i'd be fine on the fact that I know how to make scrambled eggs and pasta, but after two days of that menu, I was dying! It's extremely beneficial for me to be here because my roomate Sarah seems like she knows everything about cooking. Last night, she was making home-made spaghetti sauce, and I was looming over her shoulder. I assured her I was not trying to be creepy, and that I'm just curious about how she could make such a concoction.