17 August 2009

Back in Spain

I've got a disease deep inside me, makes me feel uneasy baby, I can't live without you- tell me, what am I supposed to do about it? Keep your distance from me, don't pay no attention to me; I've got a disease. . .
-Matchbox 20, Disease

Oh, so much to catch you up on. Where were we last? Well, the last time I updated, I was sitting in the kitchen of my hostel, reluctant to leave because I'd already checked out and had turned in my keys. As a result, I would have to buzz up if I wanted to get back in, and I didn't really want to bug anyone. I did leave around 3 to meet up with someone for a late lunch/juice date, but I was back by around 4.
From that point, I basically held court in the Hostel Smith kitchen. I knew pretty much everyone staying there (that's right, all 17 people), so I watched American football and CNN with the Aussie boys, and then after they left, the Swiss boys showed up and made dinner. After that, a couple of American boys showed up whom I hadn't met. One of them looked like Owen Wilson and the other looked like Colin Farrell, and they were apparently renting a flat from the owner of the hostel, but their bathroom was being remodelled, so they were stopping by to pick up a key so that they could use ours. When they left I got on skype and started videochatting Jasey so that I could tell her in person all about Colin Farrell. I'm glad I did, because it ended up being extremely entertaining. German boys Robert and Flo showed up next, which Jasey was excited about because she thinks German boys are sexy by default.
[Don't get me wrong, Rob and Flo weren't bad-looking, but they were so funny and they looked out for me, so it was almost like having German brothers for a couple of days (Jasey insists that Robert had a massive crush on me though. . . which was probably true). The night before, when one of the boys in the band had walked me home after we'd watched that second band play, Robert, Flo, and two of the Aussies were just chilling in the hostel's front room, waiting up to tease me. We laughed about it for a while, but when they got a little too silly with it, I decided I'd rather just go to bed than dignify their questions with responses, so I went into the dorm and jumped under the covers. I'd just closed my eyes when I heard a sound, so I looked up. . . and there was Robert at the foot of my bed, pulling off his belt like a stripper. "Good night, Robert," was all I said. The next morning, he woke me up by saying, "Liiiiiiiiiiizzie. . . gooooood mooooooooooorning. . ."]
So. Flo and Robert were talking with Jasey, about all sorts of random things, and then these two boys from Manchester showed up. They had ridiculously strong accents, and they explained extended metaphors and the like to us. One of them proposed to Jasey. The other got a bit angry with me. Then several of the boys started stripping, and I put my hand over the camera, and the Manchester boys left. Around this point I decided that I was really hungry, but again, I didn't want to leave, so I started searching through the communal food in the fridge. I came up with a mayonnaise and mustard sandwich. This was about when Colin Farrell showed up again to take a shower. When he saw what I was eating, he was outraged.
"Helen!" he said to the woman in charge, "Do you see what this girl is eating? It's mayonnaise on bread."
"Mmmm, this is very fattening," she responded, shaking her head at me.
Basically, Colin Farrell decided that it was unacceptable for me to eat a mayo and mustard sandwich. "I'm going to take you out to eat," he told me, and before the entire sentence was out of his mouth, I'd yelled a quick goodbye to Jasey and shut my computer.
So that night, I shared pasta and life stories with Colin Farrell. People were staring at him all through dinner, especially this creepy-looking French girl. He was actually really nice, and really funny, and afterwards, he and I ran by Wayne's one last time (he knows everyone in that town so it was no problem to get in), stayed for about three minutes, then ran back to the hostel to grab my bags and make a mad dash for the bus station.
I would like to add here that, because he knows everyone in Nice (he also plays in a band), we had to stop a few times to say hi to people. There were these two older men in front of the hostel who stopped him to say hi. They chatted briefly, and he introduced me to them- their names were John and Paul. "Oh hey, where are George and Ringo?" I asked without thinking. We talked for a bit, and they kept saying how sharp I was, which was strange and new. This was how I discovered that some of the silly things that I say are actually funny to other people as well. It was nice.
We ended up arriving at the bus station around 11:50pm, roughly 9 minutes before my bus was due to leave. Boarding that bus was really, really difficult- I'd met the coolest people while in Nice, and some really nice guys (although it probably just seems that way because I spent 2 months being harrassed by the strangest men in Italy). But it all got better when I heard Spanish being spoken.
17 hours later, I was in Valencia. Yep, I chose Valencia because I knew it was a coastal city. I had intended to head to the aquarium while I was there, but in the end, I just couldn't be bothered. My hostel there didn't have quite the same camaraderie, so I went out on a pub crawl one night to try and fight the loneliness.
I was the only person from my hostel who went (apparently it's known amongst the Valencian hostel community as the 'boring hostel') so the guide had me come into the next hostel with him to try and drum up some interest. This meant that I ended up translating to some Italians for him. Now, if you recall, I've never actually learned Italian, just picked up a bit. Sooo I ended up saying to them, "Vuoi. . . andare con noi. . . per bere?!" which means "Would you like to go out with us to drink?" No wonder they all declined. Eventually, though, we picked up a couple of Brits and met up with another group consisting largely of Canadians and Germans and headed to a small bar. It was only around 11:30, so there was no one there. We played foosball for a while and I ended up just talking with most of the guys for a while. I can't help it; sometimes I just have to get away from the cattiness that girls tend to bring to the table and chill with the lads instead.
We moved on to another bar, and then to another. By that time, my lack of sleep from the bus ride was catching up to me, and I ended up walking home with one of the British boys. We were talking about the most random things, and I mentioned that I played softball, and he was like, "Wait, did you say you played softball?" and I was like, "Well, yes, I did," and he stopped, and said, "The European softball championships were played on a softball pitch about 50 meters that way," and he showed me the field where they'd been played only two weeks before! How random is that?!
The next day it was more beach, and then I headed to the train station. Somehow, the RENFE website had cancelled my ticket, which I had paid for by credit card while in Nice, so I had to pay for a new one, in first class, with cash. It was about 75 euro- and the first one would have cost me 27. At least they gave me a Cuba Libre on the train.
Now I'm in Madrid once more. What have I done since I've been here. . . not much. I've been feeling a little under the weather from so many nights out, so I'll probably take it easy. I did go to the Rastro yesterday, where I bought a few things for the house which I'm apparently moving into in about a week, as well as a gift for Katsy. Today I've got no clue what I'm doing- I'll probably take it easy so I look nice and healthy for the flight home. I'd hate to get quarantined or something. . .
I know I've left things out, but this post was ramble-y enough, so I should probably give you some time to process it.

1 comment:

Uncle Dave said...


Thanks so much for taking the time to keep us updated throughout the summer. Nan and I really enjoyed reading about your adventures.

Have a safe, safe trip home and we will see you soon.

Uncle Dave