Barcelona: Part I

6/26/10   –   21:13

Sorry for the delay. And the lack of witty title. Last night was pretty ridiculous but I will get to that later. I left Madrid yesterday morning at around 11:00 using the AVE train. I was very impressed with the quality of these trains. So much leg room, even in coach, and very very fast. These trains travel at 300 kilometers [around 200 miles] per hour and you can barely feel the train moving. I honestly wish there was an AVE connecting Pembroke Pines and Gainesville. It would make the trip so much more bearable. I found it interesting that the announcements were in Spanish, English, and Catalán. If Portuguese was a 15 degree shift to the left, Catalán would be 30 degrees to the right. I actually don’t really like Catalán. It has fewer cognates and I’m not sure how to pronounce some of these strange consonant clusters.

I got around to the hostel around 3 or 4 o’clock and I was too far from the center of the city to do all the big stuff, so I went to Park Guell. It’s a park on the side of a mountain with some great views of the city and a good introduction to Barcelona’s odd architecture. It has a lot of work by Antoni Gaudí and it also houses the longest park bench in the world. [I think.]

This hostel I booked in Barcelona is a pretty sweet deal. It’s apartment style, with 2 or 4 people to a room. You get your own kitchen, washer/dryer, and a bathroom shared with only 6 people. It’s a little bit out of the way, which sort of sucks and I got lost trying to get here, but I think it was worth it. I got pretty lucky with the people in my apartment, too. They were uber-friendly and they were all down to go out that night. Patrick, from Oregon, and Chris, from Scotland, just finished studying for a year at an engineering school in Lyon, France. Dhruv and Ali are from New Jersey. David and Shelby are from Seattle. Donald is too, but they don’t know each other. Donald is here for 7 months doing that thing where you work on a farm in another country in exchange for room and board. Deb is from Australia [and I fooled her into thinking I was Australian too. bahaha]. And there’s this one guy from Atlanta whose name I can’t remember, but he was really nice.

We were all watching the Chile-Spain game in the common room before we were to head out to the Magic Fountain [it’s a fountain with laser shows at night] and we just bummed around, bonded, and pre-gamed. Shelby got pretty ridiculous[ly hilarious] because she doesn’t really drink. She came out with exceedingly eloquent phrases, the best being: “Don’t drink, kids. It makes ya silly.”

But yeah. The Magic Fountain show might sound really lame but it was actually sort of amazing. I wish I had brought my camera. Or maybe not, considering the hostel was taking us out to the bar afterwards. We got to the bar and that’s when it started. Yeah. I had one of those nights. Believe me, it was fun. But waking up the next morning was … a little unpleasant. Everybody split money for 6 pitchers of beer and 4 of sangria and we started playing ring of fire [making a rule where you have to speak in accents was great. Especially for Chris because we deemed it unfair that he already has a Scottish accent so he faked an American one]. It’s the sangria that got me. Suffice to say I got extremely trashed and probably made the biggest fool out of myself. The most common thing I heard the next morning was “How’re you feeling?” and that’s horrible considering I don’t remember what happened. You know what’s worse? [Is that vomit? I think that’s vomit. FUCK. IT IS VOMIT.] -_- This means that Chris and Patrick probably helped me back into the room and took care of me. God bless them. This is a lesson and  a testament. The lesson: I’m never getting completely wasted here again. However, it’s a testament to the kindness of strangers. Oh humanity, my faith in you is restored. Thank you, Chris and Patrick.

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