Granada: I want my Tapatio!

Gorgeous interior of el Palacio
Gorgeous interior of el Palacio

Took the bus to Granada yesterday. Apparently the reason Europeans use public transport is because it doesn’t suck as hard as Greyhound. Seriously, comfortable seats, leg room, and TVs?! It was like being in business class, and this was 16E, which is cheaper than effing Greyhound. Plus there weren’t any creepy weirdos on board.

I got royally frustrated trying to find my hostel. To make it worse, I knew I was within a few blocks of the place, but I couldn’t find the street, AND no one else seemed to know of its existence! When I finally got here, I just crashed, hoping that I could get up early enough to squeeze in a shower (hint: there’s a reason the 10 person dorm with one bathroom is the cheapest option).

Today I got up early to hike up to La Alhambra to get my ticket. It’s spendy (grumbles angrily about not being able to con ticket woman into a student discount) and I can’t actually get in until 2 pm. I feel sorry for my Texan friends who really didn’t want to miss their plane but desperately wanted to get in.

I am getting sick of being hit on by creepy guys. Listen up jerks, I may be ignorant of your effing customs, but I know that your hitting on me creeps me out so I’m not putting up with it. See, I know what’s friendly, and I know when people make my skin crawl.  Stop acting like I’m being culturally insensitive and go find some American girl that’s dumb enough to buy your act. And hint number 2, I understand you perfectly well, I’m just pretending like I don’t so you’ll go away. This rant was precipitated by the 2 guys on the road to La Alhambra.

In other grumpiness, I miss spicy food! Seriously, nothing around here has any real flavor to it. And I couldn’t even find hot sauce in the grocery store. Whine, suffer, my taste buds are going to shrivel up and die.

Shopping!

Woke up at 10 today, which is impressive cause we stayed up till 5-6 last night. Just went to bars, and got kicked out when they closed down, and migrated all around the area. Made friends with two Swedish guys on a roadtrip to Ireland. I also determined that Spanish Coke isn’t as bubbly as American.

Unlike my roomies, I have no responsibilities, so I went shopping today! The entire time my magpie tendencies were at war with my brain.

-Shiny! Pretty! Mine!

-No! You can’t afford that. You need to save your money.

-Pretty…

Suffice to say the shopping here is incredible. I was good, didn’t get anything, but that cannot last forever as I need more pretty clothes for going out.

I am getting the hang of this Spanish thing (a little). I even helped this poor confused tourist order at Pans and Co (think Quiznos with more pork products). I’m personally too vain to look like an obvious tourist: no burmudas, baseball caps, big backpacks, or look of confusion on my face.

For those of you who care (aka the female readers) fashion here is hella cool. People always dress up (by our standards). My jean shorts are very incongruous; girls wear pants, skirts, and dresses. I have also had to recalibrate my gaydar, as metro guys are everywhere. Shoes are amazing, and I went into some 20-odd “zapaterias” today looking for a cute cheap pair to wear instead of my flip-flops (apparently they’re for the beach 🙂 How the hell these women walk on cobblestones all day in heels is beyond me, but I’m going to use “different social dress code” as my excuse to buy lots of shoes.

The plan is to get on the bus to Granada tomorrow–should take about 5 hours. I have my hostel all lined up, and hopefully I can get a city bus so I won’t have to walk 5Ks but we’ll see. And for mi noche final in Madrid…That remains to be seen.

What happens when you mix cerveza, vino, y yagermeister?

I have awesome roomies, who’s recent luck makes me realize that, whining aside, I’m very blessed. Georgia is from New York and just had the wonderful experience of the airline losing her luggage. Jolene is from Colorado and came over for an au pair gig with a rotten family that just fired her. We decided to celebrate the weekend together, along with Philipa from Portugal. Went out to a couple bars, my favorite being El Tomas, where the people danced around with free yagermeister shots (dangerous)

This morning I woke up at 10 and proceeded on my quest to get my adapter back. It was at my old hostel, and while there, I met Will, a British guy who’s bumming around with his skateboard and backpack. I suggested he follow me back to Chueca, because my hostel had rooms (it’s the weekend, so places fill up fast).

We all went to Museo del Prado today, which is humongous and full of Renaissance art. Saw some cool stuff by Goya and El Greco, but my feet hurt. Ahora, es tiempo por una SIESTA!

Oh, the answer to the question above is: purple vomit.

Como se dice TGIF en espanol?

Went out dancing last night and though I got back by 2 am, I was the only one in my 8 person dorm until at least 4! Now listen to me complain: I drank espresso so I couldn’t sleep. Ergo, at 3 am I attempted to go to bed. At 4 I was still sorta awake. I did fall into beautiful sleep, only to be woken by the melodious noises of drunk French roommates, at 7 am. I gave up and got up–lovely way to start the day!

Changed hostels, which was harder than it should have been because I got lost. Ha! How impressive. But I saw awesome paintings at la Reina Sofia–La Guernica, hells yes! Actually, I got into that museum for free, cause i’m special, and promptly spent most of the day there.

I swear if this heat wave doesn’t break…Actually I’m enjoying everything but the fact that it makes my very small wardrobe nasty and sweaty.

Oh, I also managed to lose my power adapter. Luckily my roommate is super nice (thanks Jolie) and let me borrow hers until I track it down. Damn, must go waste time and go back to Pop Hostel.

Last night I walked in on my roommates…

They were doing push-ups in the middle of the floor. Ha, gotcha! Well, Dom was doing push-ups; Elle and Emma were kinda failing, even at girly ones 🙂 They invited me on a “walking tour” of historic Madrid for the next day.

It was about 2-3 miles total, on a day that was 90 degrees. Brilliant, right? Well I got tons of pics, and we explored a couple awesome areas, like ancient cathedrals and the Palacio Real–Royal Palace! Yay for student discounts! Sadly for y’all, they banned cameras, and I didn’t feel like getting thrown out by the burly women guards; aka, no pics of the inside of the castle.

I also had to act as translator today, as my darling British buds know how to say “hola”, “gracias”  (and Dom knows “te quiero”…we’ll see if he can actually pronounce it well enough to hit on anyone) and that’s it. At least I can form sentences and have a pasable accent; made me feel good about myself 🙂

We got an awesome lunch at a cafe–paella y fried sardines w/ beer and flan! Yeah, it was a little weird, but good. And then I got my caffeine fix at…STARBUCKS! Yeah, they’re everywhere–no Dutch Bros yet, sad. Apparently in Europe their coffee doesn’t suck as bad though.

I’m gonna change hostels tomorrow; Pop’s been cool, but I wanna mix it up (and not have to take the metro everywhere). And I’m pretty sure I need to fix my stupid debit card, as it’s only working sporadically. Still, ATMs are my friend and as long as they give me Euros, I am happy.
Quote of the Day:

“Dom, if you went around saying ‘Te Quiero’ to everyone in Oregon, you’d get punched in the face”
“That’s because Americans are all homophobic”

Yawn, I’m gonna take a late siesta, or at least Facebook and chill in front of the TV. And then, it’s off to the bars! Will update later tonight if I can type straight, lol.

Madrid: Day Uno

My room was ridiculously hot and gross when I woke up–which was about 6 a.m. I snagged my free breakfast at the Hostel and headed out into the city, looking for fun and photo opps.

Madrid doesn’t really wake up until after 9, apparently. Everyone was sweeping outside their closed shops, but nothing was open. But it’s so cool. All the streets and buildings are tightly packed, which means I could just see a sliver of the sky. I just wandered, looking at everything. I doubt I blend in that well, because all the women were wearing heels, not tennis shoes. And my darker skin and hair don’t matter, because half the city is blond anyways.I mainly just wandered, especially through the Retiro park, which is huge and really pretty. I felt more at home once I had some trees 🙂

Grabbed lunch and took the metro back to my hostel, but was delayed by superfriendly French guy. Apparently not speaking English and being oblivious to I’m-not-interested vibes are synonymous. I crashed about 3 pm, planning on avoiding more of the heat and sampling the custom of “la siesta” Unfortunately, my lack of a watch meant I did not wake up till 7!

Went to a salsa club and immediately made an idiot of myself. I love dancing, but it’s hard when they actually expect you to know steps and specific things! Still it was fun and I got better, though apparently I need to practice for 2 years to be as good as the chica in the red dress 🙂 Gracias to Miguel for taking me, and for the ride; driving in Madrid is nuts–the streets are barely wide enough to fit the car!

I couldn’t sleep when I got back, so I camped out in the TV room to read, but unbeknownst to me, the Argentina-Parguay soccer game was on. Cue the 10 hispanic people in the hostel. But I got free entertainment and chips.

I’m in Spain!

Slept the entire plane ride to Madrid. Ugh, it’s humid here. I soaked my clothes with sweat hiking from the Metro to the hostel. Must have looked like a retard with my giant pack, kept going “perdon” when I pegged some unfortunate person with my giant pack.

Still, Madrid is fricking awesome. All the buildings are crowded together and they seem to crush you up toward the sky. Pop Hostel is right in the middle of the city and it’s really nice for, what 16 Euros/night. Get ya’ll some pics tomorrow when I go exploring. Probably gonna stay here for a while, explore Madrid and then head off on a bus. I’m thinking Granada.