I HAVE AIM!
I have never been so excited in my entire life to be hooked up to AIM, even though it's 9am or some ridiculous hour at home and no one's awake. PEOPLE! PEOPLYPEOPLE!
I have a ton to write about, but I'm not sure if I'll have time to write the carefully crafted entry I'd like, so I may be stopping somewhere in the middle. Please forgive.
Yesterday was our first day of "intensive course", which does not seem to be very intensive at all. I'm ok with that. The professor, Ramos, is very cool - partly because he's a dynamic lecturer (despite the fact that I already knew almost all of what background he was giving us) and partly because he swears in English. It's funny to see this man in his mid-50s or so all of a sudden break out with a hearty "God damn!" or "bloody *whatever*". He's started talking to us already about our field trips, which begin next week (5 days in AndaluTHIA, Grandpa!) and are part of the curriculum. I absolutely cannot wait. Along with some other girls (more on that in a bit) I'm staying in Galicia week after next for an extra two days - we think we're going to dip down into Portugal while we're there, just to see. Read that sentence again. Holy crap. DIP DOWN INTO PORTUGAL. Ahahaha.
After class, we all went on a bus tour of Madrid in order to see the city. Originally, that didn't sound bad to me - but it ended up being exactly what I feared we'd develop into, which is a group of American lemmings. It was horrible. We got to see the Palacio Real (Royal Palace, but the king doesn't live there anymore), the Madrid Cathedral (which is this horrendous concrete Neoclassical monstrosity), and the Plaza Mayor. The Plaza Mayor is pretty much THE landmark they put in all guides to Madrid - bright red walls, statue of a king on horseback in the middle, terribly overpriced cafes all along. You should be able to find pictures easily, if you'd like.
We get off the bus and file into the Plaza Mayor for our guided tour spiel, and on the gate on the way in is this Irish Pub. It has a placard outside which catches my eye as we walk past.
A Pint of Vodka
I mull this over while listening to the spiel (how on earth do you drink a pint of vodka at once?) until we file back out of the Plaza to find food during our limited free time.
A Pint of Vodka
and Red Bull
No way. That's not possible, is it? We leave and go to find food, laughing about the absolute ridiculousness of it all on the way. We stop into a Dunkin Donuts/Subway (yes, my first meal out while in Spain was a glazed chocolate donut. But all I had was the change in my purse! And we only had like 10 minutes! And it's not like we were looking for American food, but that's what there was! And...oh, I am so ashamed.) and eat, then walk back to meet the group.
A Pint of Vodka
and Red Bull
Discount with Student ID
Do they know us or WHAT.
Two girls got lost at the Plaza Mayor and didn't meet back up with the group, which meant we had to spend half an hour circling back around to find them (and by got lost I mean are slow and stupid, I think). They ended up cutting the tour short and dropping us at a Metro stop on the other side of the city from us, which of course meant that we had to find our own way home, which also of course meant I didn't get home till 4:30 and was scared Pilar would be mad at me, which I think she was a little. I felt so bad. :( My phone is all messed up and won't work, or I would have called her.
Which leads us to our next topic: What did I do last night, my first night out in Spain?
We (and by we I mean me, Erin, and Jessica) had agreed to go out and wander around the city just to get our bearings and maybe find a place to hang out. We were going to call each other later. I went home, slept till 7...
and by 10 I was freaking out. *They're never going to call you, they stood you up, you´re going to spend your first weekend in Spain at home alone, even Pilar's gone out, this is so embarrassing, aghaghaghagh*. I eventually broke down and called Jessica (and at $.99/min, this was maybe not the best idea). "Oh yeah, we're going to meet at the Metropolitana Metro station in like 15 minutes, didn't they call you? *STUPID PHONE NOT WORKING* Well, come on along and I'll wait for you."
We get on the blue line. "Issa and some guys are going to meet at the Plaza del Sur, so we'll ride out there and maybe go out after."
We ride to Plaza del Sur, to the very south of the Blue Line. We get off. It is dead off deserted.
"Are you sure he said Plaza del Sur and not Plaza del Sol?"
Erin and I are approached by a Metro guide. "Are you lost?"
"Maybe a little. How do you get to Plaza del Sol?"
"Oh, it's at the very opposite end of this line."
Aww, crap. "Fuencarral Station?"
"Yeah, just take that train and you'll get there."
About thirty minutes later, we get off at Fuencarral. It is completely deserted - no one except for a group of three men who come up to us. Keep in mind that by now it is probably about 12:30am.
"Are you lost?"
"Uh...how do you get to Plaza del Sol?"
"Oh, you're looking for Fuencarral Street, not Fuencarral Station. You have to go back."
Skip to 1:30am, after traversing the very sketchiest of the (otherwise quite nice) Madrid metro. We finally get to where we're going.
And I leave the rest for a later date, as I am starting to write crappily. Don't worry, you will get it. I miss you all.