Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ROCIO

So Coop and I woke up early Sunday morning to walk 45 minutes to the bus station. Yes, we really are that cheap. Got tickets (two for 10 euro, pretty good!) and sat down for some coffee while we waited for the bus to arrived. At first, I was a little annoyed with myself for not checking the bus schedule because we got there at 9:30 and it wasn´t leaving until 11. However, two events occurred that caused a little worry. First off, I´m just going to say do not use a bathroom in Spain without thoroughly checking for all necessities including t.p. I´m still not sure how the bathrooms worked but there was definitely not even toilet paper holders so I don´t think its customary for them to provide toilet paper. There was some sort of contraption on the door to put quarters in but I´m not sure what it was for. Very awkward situation. ANYHOW...after that experience, I decided to go see if our bus was there. Similar to the RENFE train situation, I´m still not sure how we found the right bus as neither our tickets nor the bus labels indicated anything to do with Rocio. Coop is just saying to go with flow at 10:55 and I´m like WHERE IS THE BUS???!!! And then we found it and everything was fine. But there was definitely a 5-15 minute freak out period. Once we got there, it was alll mud. There´s like one street in the town and the rest is mud. Apparently a bunch of families and friends rent out houses in Rocio to see all the horses there and pretty much to drink, dance and party. Which they do very well. You can fit about 35 people in these houses because there are BUNK BEDS. Therefore, around 6 people at least to a room. We got there on Sunday at around 12:30 and for the next 5 hours meeting Paloma and Luisi´s friends, eating paella, drinking coffee, drinking caramelo shots and watching other people dance sevillana. One old man continuously tried to get me to dance sevillana in front of 35 spaniards. I politely declined as I neither have rhythm nor a desire to embarrass myself in public. I was doing my best to stay awake but around 6 I was falling asleep on a couch. So the men in the family just decided to pick up the whole couch and bring it over to the fire to do some more singing and dancing. That was pretty hilarious and awesome. Then most of the people left to go home but those who stayed went to the shops. Paloma, a true shopper, tried to help Coop find a stylish hat (they have certain hats that people where in Rocio). Unfortunately his head was too big. We also visited a cathedral with a big gold virgin mary (**a man was selling lottery tickets outside and theres a gift shop....). Then Paloma bought Coop and I virgin mary pins. I think it´s because she found out we are protestants. Afterwards we spent the rest of the time eating, drinking and dancing more and listening to Spanish gossip. Finally I went to sleep in my bunk bed and it definitely felt like camp with Ali Crocco. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

El Rocio y Cordoba

Busy weekend. Friday we went to Alcazar. I´m glad that our teachers, who double as our tour guides, do not hold back when sharing stories. Two of my favorite moments at Reales Alcazar. 1) When Fernando was trying to explain to us the "geishas or prostitutes" of the king and called them the king´s putas (look it up) AND 2) One member of the royal family did have a heart attack after doing the deed for three days. Friday night I made Coop take me out to dessert and coffee. Deliciousss. I thought I would be so healthy here from the mediterranean diet but in actuality I´m overdosing in postres. Which is perfectly fine by me.

Saturday I woke up at 7:00 to go to Cordoba. Arrived at the meeting spot at 8:00 and freaked out cause no one else was there and called one of the program directors to find out where we were supposed to be. Too bad we were meeting at 8:30 so I missed out on 30 minutes of extra sleep and woke a program director at 8:00 on a Saturday morning who wasn´t even going on the trip. Luckily, true to my nature, I slept the entire way to Cordoba and the way back. La Mezquita was amazing. A nice mix of cultures and architectural styles. And I got pizza and beer for lunch so I was very pleased.

Saturday night I went out with Andrea, Angela, Andy and Elle. Botelloned first, or rather carried Coop´s six beers around in my purse for him, and went to Big Ben. My new favorite hobby is dancing with Coop (I´ve given up on this David business) to songs that were popular 5 years ago and techno music. (I think) he feels the same way? We went home rather early because we had the trip to Rocio the next day...

Will write on the trip to El Rocio soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Discoteca!!!

I´m very excited because I finally got to go to a discoteca. Very very fun. Let´s see....David was invited over by my family for dinner (something similar to chx noodle soup, a mixture of scrambled eggs, potatoes, onions, bread, meat and then a smoothie type thing for dessert). Btw, the smoothie thing is served in a little bowl and is a mixture of kiwi, banana, apple, cookies, pears and sometimes mango and then topped with a sprinkle of cocoa and coconut. I´m in heaven. Afterwards, David said muchas gracias about a million times so my family is pretty much in love with him. Afterwards, I dressed up a little for the pretty much the first time here and we went over to Louise´s residence to meet up for drinks. Little did I know that the Sex and the City viewing was only about halfway through and Brad was the only guy. He was a little upset to say the least but after his 40 of cruzcampo, he was a little happier. So we walked with a mix of international students (who were very nice and much more outgoing than the Spaniards I must say) although unfortunately most of them are leaving. Louise is staying, however, and she is a very fun person to be around. We finally made it to the discoteca (forget the name now) and barely missed getting in free. However, Lousie, David and myself said we weren´t drinking and got in for free. I really didn´t drink at all. Andrea had to pay because the bouncer would only let a few of us in for free so I really need to buy her a drink. ;) So we got in and ran into a bunch of people and just danced to crazy techno/old popular hits from 2006 for three hours. Had to go home at 3ish because David has class at 9:30. It was a very good time and it was great to see people in our group being crazy dancing. Interesting note: there are mirrors in the club and some men just like to watch themselves dance in the mirror. By themself. AWKWARD. The place actually was very posh with the mirros and white furniture everywhere....Anyhow, going home for lunch. Much love to all. I have started to really miss everyone.!!!


Side note: There are orange trees everywhere here. But you aren´t supposed to eat them supposedly because they´re so sour. Instead Spain sends them to London to make marmalade. However Coop, being malnourished and a fruit aficionado, decided to go against all odds and try one on the way home after the discoteca (Club Catedral!). First he cut his hand trying to get one off the tree. Then he took one bite and made the most horrified look. Then he got citrus juice in his cut. Being his loving mujer, I laughed until I almost peed and took pictures. And then I wrote about it on my blog. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Viajes a otros paises....¿¿¿quieres venir???

Everyone is starting to plan their trips to various places....These are the places I really want to go to outside of Spain.



1) Paris

2) Morocco

3) Amsterdam

4) London

5) Ireland for St. Pats

6) Italy!!!



Within Spain

1) Cadiz

2) Jerez...sherry and horses!!!

3) Barcelona



I already have plans to go to Granada, Cordoba and Rocio. The last two are both this weekend! I really can´t wait. My friend Elle has also found some pretty cheap airfare to Irelandia and I think that would be so fun. So far no Spanish friends outside my family really but I have met a sweet girl named Louise from England. I am going to try to go over and watch Sex and the City with her and some other people at her house tonight...It´s difficult to meet up with people any earlier than 10:30 because I have class until 9 and dinner immediately afterwards. And meals aren´t like in the U.S where you eat and go. It´s more of a chat and eat time for about an hour at least. I feel rude eating and leaving immediately. Last night, I wish I had been able to go out to celebrate Obama but I had already told my family I would celebrate with them. Which turned out to be another game of dados. Haha. Oh well I won once and lost twice. So I´m down two euros...Dados by the way are dice...We also went to the grocery store with Luisi and let me tell you what an experience that was....First of all, they have pig legs just hanging everywhere (these are also in the bars) that David is pretty much obsessed with. It´s very odd to see these meat legs hanging everywhere unrefridgerated. My madre has one of these pig legs in our kitchen. You can buy fancy holders for them so you can just carve off a slice of pig leg anytime you want. I´m not the biggest fan of this ham but again, David is obsessed....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Botellones, Botas y Bombo...

Friday night, we went out to see Flamenco. It was a free show so it lasted about 10 minutes. The dancer was very passionate and good at dancing but she could not have resembled a man more...Coop walked me home around 3 because I had to get up the next day for....ITALICA!!! So I´m a huge dork and enjoy history. Seriously, though, I can´t believe there are just Roman ruins chillin outside the city. I barely made it to go on the excursion--rolled up at around 9:56 and the bus left at 10. So the bus arrives at a gas station and I think we´re making some sort of turn around but no....For whatever reason, Italica is located behind a gas station and its bordered by a shantytown. I saw horses eating litter. It was sad. Anyhow, once you get past that, very very cool. Got to see an anfiteatro--i.e where the gladiators fight. Interesting fact: 35,000 people could fit in the "stadium," gladiators were actually fat (to add an extra layer of protection) and Sevilla boasts the 3rd largest anfiteatro every built. The tour guide tells us that the upperclass Romans used to have festivals where they would eat nonstop and then go throw up so they could eat more. Andrea notes: "Sorority?" Anyhow, came back, napped and then went out with David for a paseo. I will try to post pictures soon. Paseo sort of turned into shopping. I couldn´t keep David away from the rebajas (major sales during January and February)....Anyhow, paseo/shopping for 4 hours. I come back and eat dinner and the boys come by so we can go out to botellon (sort of drinking in the streets or parks--no worries, all part of the culture). It was hilarious because we were trying to be sneaky about it and on our way out my madre just hands us plastic cups. I told her she knows everything. She does....

So botellon in the park is fun...except I will say there are no bathrooms in the park. We went out as usual but we went to a new place called Big Ben. Very spanish...haha. Everywhere we go there are Americans. That night we met people from Boston and Wisconsin. I´m so glad I have a boyfriend here. There are so many creepers. But I did cheer Elle on to go talk to a Boston guy. I was very proud...So Coop and I left the bar and we saw the bright lights of the hamburger stand. This time we got one with potato sticks on it. Unfortunately, Coop wanted half of it but I guess that´s fair since he paid for it. :)

Sunday! One of my favorite days so far. 1) Coop and I went to the gypsy market. It is huge and very intense. There was a moment there that I thought I couldn´t breathe there were so many people. Once you enter, you can´t turn back. You just have to keep going. It´s like a mile long. 2) I finally saw my madre outside the piso. Not to say she doesn´t leave a lot, but I just never see her. She´s a little bit of a shopaholic but she is very fashion savvy. (She has 100 pairs of shoes). Speaking of shoes, I bought a pair of boots for 9 euros. Apparently that´s muy caro but I like them. I´ve already bought two pairs of boots here. 3) Played a game with the fam....very fun!!! It consists of rolling dice really but it was very animated and it didn´t hurt that Coop and I had pretty good luck. I won the first game as well as 5 euros. Paid out the second game to Ruben. After the game, I felt really sick and went to bed at like 9. Even though on the whole the food is very good here, some of the foods just don´t sit right with my stomach. 4) Coop and I had a tapa for the first time yesterday. Chorrizo criollo. So good...!!! Although I must say, I dream about American food....

My other suitcase might arrive today!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sevilla no es una tierra templada...hace frio!!!!

Someone told me that since the mid 80s Sevilla has had a week of spring time weather in January. I am so waiting for it. For all who might be wondering, it is freezing here. In actuality, it´s probably similar to N.C cold weather but because there is little to no indoor heating here, it´s much more noticeable. A plus however: I sleep amazingly well here because the bed is warm and the rest of the house is pretty cold. Side note: A long hot shower is non existent here. The water heater at my house holds 60 liters of water. After that, it´s FREEZING cold. I´ve learned that twice here. Instead of a full shower, you rinse yourself, turn off the shower and then wash yourself and then rinse yourself again. I will admit that this process has been a complete turnoff to showering...haha.

Last night I finally met Ruben (my madre´s son who is 33ish)´s girlfriend. Pretty much the first interaction I´ve had with a Spanish woman my age. I think both of us were a little standoffish at first but after I introduced myself, and she was very amable (kind) and sociable. Note: I´m trying to integrate a few spanish words for those who may be visiting...!! :) Madrid and Barcelona played each other last night so I watched a bit of that but we have so much homework here. I think it´s because we are fitting a whole class in three weeks but I have school from 5-9 and I feel like the rest of the time I´m writing a composition or looking up the millions of words I don´t know in the reading. I guess it´s all for the best since no one really goes out M-W. Except Americans. haha. I´m excited about going out tonight. Anyhow, Coop came over and we went for a paseo or a walk. We have gotten in a pretty regular habit of walking at night (mostly because we´re 80 years old...haha). Usually we walk down to the river and Calle Betis or just wander. Last night we stayed in our neighborhood which is la plaza nervion. Really good shopping, a cortes ingles, futbol stadium of sevilla (there are two futbol teams in sevilla: sevilla y betis) and of course, EUSA. Of course David (I really need to start using this name so it will be easier on the spaniards) and I got lost in our own neighborhood but thats besides the point.

No word on the suitcases. We´re of the last few who haven´t gotten everything....hoping they didn´t lose it.

Today my group went on a visita al museo arqueologico. Surprisingly interesting because they actually have some legit stuff here (Spain obviously has much more history than the U.S). I´m always amazed at how smart and talented people were. We came back and everyone went home for lunch. But because my madre packed me a huge bag lunch (two huge subs, an orange and yogurt) and I didn´t have the heart to tell her I didn´t need it, I just stayed at the school to eat it. I like watching the spanish people in the cafe at the school. But I do smell like salami now. And on that note, I´m going to go....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We have classes here?!

I started classes Monday...and I would definitely not say they are a joke. Coop is already stressed out about his (surprise, surprise...) but they actually seem to be more work than mine. I haven´t done my homework yet so I should get started on that soon. For me, it´s a very strange schedule. I have class every day from 5-8:45 with one language class and one culture class. I´ll have these same two classes until like February 10th when the University classes start. My teachers are very nice and speak Spanish pretty slow for us....

My second bag still hasn´t arrived. I´m glad to have the first one though. Coop, or rather David as everyone calls him here, still hasn´t gotten his. Definitely a source of frustration.... I´m hoping to get reimbursed for the clothes I had to buy here because I didn´t have my bags but I get the feeling that Iberia has pretty bad customer service (note to other travelers!!!). The exchange rate is definitely a source of frustation as well as the service charges. It´s something like $5 for taking money out. haha not to mention with all of the little $2 and $1 euros it´s kinda hard to keep track of how much money you have. But it can be exciting I guess because you think you have a pocketful of change and it turns out to be eight dollars. haha...oh to be a college student.

Yesterday Coop´s madre yelled at him for not speaking enough. I really have to restrain myself from going down there and telling her what´s up. Luckily my family is in love with him (not even secretly)....Monday night they invited him to come up for dinner. Coop was scared to tell his madre that he wasn´t coming home for dinner so he ate twice....It was hilarious watching my madre tell him to eat more knowing that he had already eaten one dinner. It was probably the biggest meal she´s made too....Afterwards we had such a good time laughing. Paloma´s friend Luisi comes over every day and she is so fun to be around. We had shots of caramel liqueur with them and followed them with pudding. Very interesting experience. No worries though---all part of the culture! Luisi has her vacation coming up next month and she has already invited Coop and I on two trips with her--one to Rocio and one to la playa--the beach.

Nightlife, I must say, is a little disappointing. Last night we walked around and nothing really was going on except the bar fundacion with pretty much everyone from our group. A bar that sells budweiser, has promotion cards in english and has a john deere sign on the wall is probably not the most authentic bar....Coop and I decided to leave pretty early due to its lameness (we seriously could´ve been in Chapel Hill) and on the way home ran into some Germans looking for anything open. They seemed pretty excited when we said there was a bar full of Americans.....I don´t know what that means. That´s all for now. Mas manana....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Contact Me!!!!

Carolyn Moore

Campus Universitario EUSA
C/ Placido Fernandez Viagas, 4
Sevilla, Espana 41013

Skype: Carolyninspain1

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nightlife o La Marcha!

On Friday, Andrea and I had our orientation for classes at the university. Other students have said they will be easy and you don´t have to go to class and the program director said they will be very difficult but we can do it. Vamos a ver no?

Saturday was completely frustrating because a) we had a scavenger hunt at 10:00 in the morning b) I couldn´t communicate with anyone because I didn´t have a phone yet and c) I was still wearing pretty much the same thing as I had for 5 days and I was starting to get a little embarassed. Side note: I hate all types of organized group activities and games. But the scavenger hunt wasn´t quite as bad as I thought because we went with Wayne, one of the program directors, and his daughter. She was so cute speaking Spanish. And she definitely corrected something I said in spanish. It´s definitely a very humbling process speaking spanish around people who speak it fluently.

Although nightlife here has been a little more lowkey than usual because of the cold weather, it is still pretty fun. We are still in the process of finding the hot spots and hoping that we can find places that are fun but not full of Americans. One night we went to local bars. Everything is pretty cheap. Vino 1.10-1.50, vino tinto con gas 1.10, ca√Ďa-pint of beer-1, juego de naranja con vodka y coca cola con run(2) -5. Downtown is more expensive but the nightlife is better. Saturday night we walked all the way down to Calle Betis which is probably about a 45 minute walk. The boys said we were staying close to our pisos so I wore my new boots from Zara. I love the stores here: Celop, Zara, Blanco.... Anyhow we walked really far and I wanted to shoot myself my feet hurt so bad. But we finally arrived. We found one bar showing NFL games. Andrea and I also made a note that there is free sangria on Thursday nights for ladies. We left the NFL bar and went to another which has a lot more people. However, we weren´t there for 10 minutes before two club promoters who organize trips and activities for Americans approached us. We must stick out pretty bad although I thought that Coop looked kinda Spanish. I know my blonde hair and my jansport theft repellant bag make me stick out though. haha. Anyhow, they bought us drinks so I guess it wasn´t so bad. Then a huge group of people from EUSA found us and we were all being obnoxious Americans. Went to the bathroom where someone had thrown up in the sink. Disgusting.....We went back to the NFL bar (it´s called Long Island...) Panthers lost....Coop took me home to my piso in a cab and bought me a hamburger on the street. He was my hero....On the hamburgers here they put potatoes, carrots, corn, lettuce, tomato and onions. Kinda cool. I opted out on the carrots and potatoes much to the chagrin of Brad....Anyhow, we rolled in about 4. I slept forever....

The next day was probably my favorite day so far. My madre has been gone a lot so I´ve had a lot of down time and really wanted to get out and see the city. Coop and I went to buy cafe con leche (coffee with milk) y helado (ice cream: banana split flavor!) and went for a paseo through the city. It was pretty much the perfect day. It´s so awesome walking by historic buildings everywhere you go. I wish I could post pictures but I´m in search of my camera connector thing. I went to bed realllllly early because I was still really tired from the night before. So I went to bed at 10:45 and woke up around 6.....and just sat in the bed being a dork and looking up spanish phrases....wowwww. I really don´t know what I´ll do with myself until 5:00 every day because Coop and Andy are in classes....I guess I´ll just sit around, drink coffee, sightsee, nap, read....haha es la vida muy dulce!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Maria Antonia a.k.a Paloma

At around 10 a.m. the next day I shared a cab to Cajul y Ramon street. The boys left me and I walked over to my apartment. It turns out that the boys and I just had different entrances given to us. Really we live in the same apartment. I live on the 4th floor. Coop lives on the 3rd floor. I walk up and my awesome madre is waiting for me. She shows me her piso and it is very nice. Three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and a large living space.....class in 10 minutes....more on my madre later.

So again, my madre is awesome. She is blonde and very light-skinned which is why they call her Paloma. She is a smoker--which I sorta like because it reminds me of Adam and Maura--but it is not bothersome at all. She is around 56 and has an English bulldog named Bombo. I think he is currently is suffering from pink eye but he is very sweet. The first day she just talked and talked and talked, which is perfect for me because I need practice communicating. I have my own room, which is painted green and has a desk and lots of storage space. Funny note: there is a huge stuffed animal (I´m not sure what animal it´s supposed to be) on my bed. It´s literally bigger than me--kinda like one of those fair animals you win. It doesn´t bother me because my feet don´t reach that far down on the bed but it´s always interesting waking up face to face to a huge unidentifiable animal.

So far my madre has mostly prepared a type of meatloaf with a different sauce, a side of potatoes (french fries, a type of cut potato, etc), bread, fruit and always a dessert. The first meal was my favorite: a Spanish tortilla and a great soup! The desserts are similar to flan in that they are kind of squishy and always with whip cream. I´m always hungry when I´m at school, outside, etc. but at meal times, I get full pretty easy and never can finish everything. I´m always wondering what is for the next meal. It´s very convenient to walk in and have a meal always ready and I´m glad the program forced me to live with a madre.

Interesting note: my madre and Coop´s madre do not get along. My madre told me Coop´s madre is too strict and has no friends. Which is kinda true. I joked with Coop´s roommate Andy the first day that they might have a hot madre because she´s only 42. The complete opposite. Every day my madre asks me how Coop is like he might not survive. Which might be true because it seems as if Coop is completely terrified of his madre because she is so strict.

Last night I wanted to go out but didn´t because I forgot to meet with Coop at 10:30 and then had no way to communicate with anyone because I didn´t have a phone or a computer. When my computer gets here, my family has wifi which will be great. Anyhow, I talked with my madre and her friend Luise (who is a cook). Luise is a bit overweight and it´s funny how openly my madre will call her fat like it´s no big deal or just a fact. Big cultural difference. Also last night the program gave us a sheet to go over with our madre on rules, etc. My madre definitely said she does not care about when I shower, when I go out, etc.

....today orientation for SAS. Classes and registration at the university are supposed to be impossible. My spanish is not that bad but still....very intimidating. We shall see how they go...I am looking forward to getting my phone from Yogui. A good deal: two phones for 30 euros. Also, I think we will go out to Calle Betis today. Ruben, the brother that lives in the apartment, works at a discotec during the weekends. I hope to go visit this weekend.....mas luego...

Arrival & my new madre!

The Hotel Alcazar is a pretty nice hotel and I shared a room with Elle, a nutrition sophomore major also in the SAS program. We got settled but I was still freaking out about my computer and immediately contacted the airport and my parents through Coop´s laptop. Coop was pretty much my saving grace because I needed someone to tell me to stop freaking out, I needed to borrow euros and I needed to borrow his computer. This is why he is awesome among other reasons. We had a basic orientation and went to dinner at a restaurant that served salad with tuna on top, chicken in a olive oil sauce with vegetables and strawberry and vanilla helado (ice cream) for dessert. We walked to the restaurant through a bunch of beautiful alleyway corridors. It´s amazing how everything is so picturesque in Sevilla.

At dinner, I got information about where I´ll be living for six months. Previously, I requested to live near Coop for safety and conveniency reasons. Because of my special request, I ended up in a solo living situation. Some might be upset to not have a roommate I guess. I was ecstatic. So far I get my own room and pretty much all the attention from my madre. This way I won´t rely on anyone else to speak Spanish for me. Not that I would but sometimes around other Americans, I am less bold in speaking Spanish for whatever reason.

After the dinner, we walked back and Coop´s roommate (at the hotel and in his current apartment) Andres invited us out for a beer with others. Another girl, Jennifer, in our program was meeting up with her sister who lives in Spain at a local bar. Jennifer lived in Spain for nine years and speaks perfect Spanish. Initially I just went to grab a beer but it was very interesting to listen to her speak with her sister and meet some of the other people. Seems like everyone is here to enjoy the culture...I´m glad it isn´t like UNC where everyone is so spastic about grades, etc. Her sister bought us all a round and I really felt for the first time that Spaniards were glad to have us here for more than tourism.

Mal Voyage

I left RDU airport 3:00 pm Tuesday, January 9th. Very strange and sad to leave but very exciting all the same. Arrived at the gate to realize that a good amount of UNC students had similar travel plans, which made me feel better about the sketchy situation of traveling on the AVE train from Madrid to Sevilla. It shouldn´t have. Pretty rough flight from RDU to Boston in terms of turbulence. Arrived in Boston and discovered that we had about 45 minutes to travel to a different terminal, go through security and get to our gate. Which is why I left my laptop at a security point. It has been found and should soon be recovered but it was a high point of stress when I woke up at the end of our flight to Madrid to realize it was gone. Of course I assumed then that it was stolen after all the talk about watching your stuff closely and the petty theft in Spain but no, it was merely my stupidity, which I should´ve guesssed. BARELY made it to the plane from Boston to London but we did indeed make it to the luxurious British Airways flight. And I´m not kidding about the luxurious. Did I have two free glasses of wine on the flight? Yes. Did I have a personal t.v. on the back of the headrest in front of me that played movies the whole time? Yes. Did they serve some pretty good food? Yes. Only problem was I didn´t sleep at all. We arrived in London. Coop almost sat on a person sleeping at the Heathrow airport. Andrea and I split a delicious sandwich at 6 a.m. We then waited for about an hour and half to get on our next flight to Madrid. Of course, our pilot decides that we should wait an hour for some passengers that are running late. Nevermind the rest of the passenger´s plans. I slept the whole way except for a brief period when I eavesdropped on 8 year olds speaking Spanish and English. I´m so jealous of people who grow up bilingual. Arrive in Madrid an hour later than we were supposed to (12:30), I suffer from a heart attack and we then wait for our luggage that never came. Spoke with the baggage claim people. No we don´t have a permanent address to send the suitcases to, no we don´t really have a telephone number for anyone to contact....Coop and I had a train to catch at 3:00 and we left on a metro for the train station at 2:10. So Philip and others had made it seem it would be easy to take the metro to the AVE train station. Um, no. Of course, they should´ve known that Coop and I do not speak Spanish fluently, have terrible senses of direction and we functioning (barely) on 0 sleep. Long story short, we ran around metros asking people for help, exchange our 3:00 tickets for 4:00 tickets, made the 4:00 train at 3:52 and collapsed. And all the while I´m freaking out about my laptop. I´m fairly positive at this point that it´s at the Boston airport but really pissed at myself for being such an idiot about losing things (per usual). We arrive at the hotel at 6:30 and we are just happy that we made it alive.

Thursday, January 1, 2009