Sunday, September 05, 2004

I have so much to say that I'm considering not even saying it at all. It would take too long.

I'll fragment somewhat:

So the bar with the vodka and the Red Bull? That one? Would it surprise you at all if I told you I went there last night? We split a pitcher of sangria. It tasted like the juice at the bottom of the fruit cocktail can. I don't know why we went to an Irish pub and got sangria, but we did.

Mom, there were 7 of us on one pitcher. I had half a glass. Chill out.

Friday night ended with us arriving at our destination just as the Metro closed, then wandering around the city (same 7 people) until 4:30. Us three girls caught a cab back, got dropped off in a central location...and then I got lost for a very short time trying to find the apartment. Apartment found, I couldn't get the key to turn. Rargh. Yay for 5am in strange cities.

Saturday we went to the Corte Ingles to buy copies of the Spanish Constitution and ended up wandering around it for two hours. The Corte Ingles is like what would happen if Macy's and SuperWalmart had some sort of unholy union. There are like 8 of them in Madrid, and each takes up a city block or some ridiculous amount of space. They sell cars. And homeowner's insurance. And sewing supplies and tobacco and stamps and food and electronics and cell phones and *insert bizarre thing here*. It took us a while to stop going "holy freaking crap" every time we found a new section. Then that night we had tapas (which I've seen described as "Spain's only significant contribution to world cuisine - ouch! - they're like appetizers, sort of, and you buy a bunch and split them). I got garlicky mushrooms, and there was tortilla (potato omelette) and bruschetta and something I don't remember the name of that tasted vaguely like falafel. It was much fun. Then we went to the pub, where we were surrounded by other English-speaking retrospect, maybe not the culturally immersed night we were planning.

There are many other things:

I am trying so, so, soso hard to adjust to the food. I really am. I think I'm doing well so far, except for breakfast. I have cornflakes - that's fine - but the milk is whole, so I'm pulling an Uncle Chris and adding water. And the orange juice is not orange juice. It's like Sunny D.


Otherwise, the food is making me happy. It's healthy without trying to be. Yay, Mediterranean diet! There's tunafish in everything, which is ok by me. Mmm, tuna.

The schedule here is ridiculous. It is considered shameful if you are home before 3am. Lots of people wait to go home until the Metro reopens at 6 - but everything's open Saturday mornings only, and not at all on Sundays (except for this lovely amazing Internet Cafe). When do they SLEEP? I don't understand! I slept in till 2pm today and yesterday and I'm STILL exhausted. I tried to get up at 10 today to go with people to the Prado and I just couldn't do it. I felt like I'd been hit by a bus. I am confused. I am in a nation of never-sleepers. This does not bode well.

So I'm gonna go, because I have to look up hostels for our trip to Galicia and then try to figure out how on earth I'm going to get to Munich. But I will talk to you all later...bye!


Blogger Chris Clarke said...

I suddenly realized that even if someday I win the Nobel Prize for Nature Writing, the press is going to greet me at the door with questions about pouring water on cereal. I'm starting to be sorry I ever mentioned it.

9/05/2004 12:17 PM  
Blogger Coral Clarke said...

I'm not too worried about you drinking, actually. You're too much of an alcoholophobe. At least at the moment....but are you legal there??? :)

Actually, the wandering around by yourself part bothers me more...

I would think the schedule there (staying up almost all night) would agree with you! That's what you do here! Maybe you're still suffering from jet-lag....

Anyway, enjoy Andalucia! I assume we may not hear from you until you get back next week?

9/05/2004 5:34 PM  
Blogger Carrie Kelley said...

I think the european countries aren't as anal about drinking ( and a lot of other things)as the US is. Prohibition didn't work in the early 20th century; it still doesn't work.

Allie, I'm so envious of you! Soak it all in for me, will ya? And about being shy (which, it sounds like you're getting over that quickly), just ACT like you've known these people all your life! It takes the edge off a little!


9/05/2004 7:50 PM  
Blogger :D said...

the funny thing is, I've never thought of you as particularly shy.

I can't decide yet, but I think I really like the way tapas restaurants are called tapas bars. It often gives me the (however brief) impression that straight-edge friends of mine are visiting topless bars, and the momentary shock is always funny.

9/09/2004 1:02 PM  

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