Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Spanish Plague

Disclaimer: I have self-diagnosed myself with what I consider the Spanish Plague. For the past solid week, I have been consistently hacking up a lung, whenever I try to laugh, speak, or breathe. It has semi-hindered my ability to pick up any future Spanish husbands, as I currently have no voice. Although some think the "no voice" thing is sultry, I manage to sound either like a 13 year old boy going through puberty, or complete silence. Hot. Needless to say, Spanish lifestyle + Spanish plague= not "Sooo Spanish" Sam.

Mis Clases y Futbol!

So Mondays I have Art History and a course about the management of Spanish soccer clubs. Our art history professor is adorable and the peppiest little woman. She always does these strange sound effects and little dance moves, and compares herself to woman such as Aphrodite in classical masterpieces. Her English is good, but not amazing, so that will definitely keep class interesting.

The soccer course I'm taking seems amazing. Although, to the dismay of many of my friends I'm sure, I really don't know much at all about soccer, I'm excited to learn about this crazy cultural phenomenon. The extent of my knowledge is Cristiano Ronaldo, for obvious reasons, and very limited World Cup facts. For example, I know Spain won! Bonus points? The cool part about this course is we are going to get to attend a lot of events, whether its games, or sports broadcasts, or sports journals headquarters; it's going to be cool.

This week we actually went to a game, and oh. my. lord. I was not prepared for it. It was the Spain v Colombia exhibition match. Usually exhibition matches, you can get cheap tickets and pretty good seats because no one will actually be there. In Spain, that's wrong. Just getting up the stairs to our seats was an event in itself, as there were about 1200 Colombians and Spaniards trying to climb the same staircase as us. Then we reach the entrance of the stadium. I had one of those starstuck moments where I completely freeze because I'm in utter amazement of what I'm looking at. This happens a lot as I grew up in Buffalo, so most things outside of that seem pretty amazing to me. And let me tell you, this was not Ralph Wilson Stadium. Oh, no. This was a madhouse. Every seat in the stadium was full. Every person was decked out in either Spain or Colombia attire. And every fan was screaming and/or blowing an obnoxiously loud horn. It was absolute madness. After climbing the world's steepest stairs to our seats in the very back row of the entire stadium, we could actually watch the game. It was great because they had to pull their first string players because apparently Spain keeps losing, which is just unacceptable. Torres, Villa, Shakira's boyfriend and other famous people I'm sure were playing. Last 5 minutes of the game, Spain scores and wins the game. Crowd goes wild! New goal of the semester: try to learn more about Spanish soccer so I can pretend I'm cool.

My other classes are nonprofit marketing (AMAZING), international marketing (great) and security issues (boooo). The security issues class may suck because 1. I can't understand the professor at all, 2. the class is almost a 4 hour block, 3. we just got way too much homework, 4, everyone else is dropping and 5. I'm in Kogod, why am I taking a security issues class? I'll keep you updated on that thrilling situation.


Thursday night my plague subsided enough for me to finally go out again. Kapital is Madrid's largest club, with 7 floors and I'd estimate 13 bars. We obv went because it was free entrance that night but good lord, this place was amazing. Enter bar: first floor has huge dance floor and techno music is playing. Second floor: 1960's Mod themed egg shaped chairs with a bar and kareoke. Third floor: where the VIPs party in their private tables separated by Middle Eastern inspired decor. Fourth floor: Walter Torre's dream come true; Bacardi floor with all white furniture and a long lime green lit up bar decked out with rum and mojito bottles. Fifth floor: Cocktail bar. Terrace: Beach party status equipped with palm trees. It was like when you were younger and couldn't decide where to have a party and what theme: Jeepers Creepers, DZ Discovery Zone, Chuckie Cheese, Disney Princesses? Here was the adult version, and you could have them all. Dreams do come true.

We got there at midnight, and left at 6am. Yes my feet felt like they needed to be amputated afterwards but if you pace yourself right, and do like an hour per floor, you barely notice its morning when you leave! Also, mid giant techno dance floor you would find relief from the warming temperature of the club. Every couple minutes the skies would open up and mist would literally push you to the ground. Think Hook's Lagoon giant bucket of water pouring down on you...yea, it's that forceful.

Strolled in at 7am, made myself some breakfast and went to bed. Apparently that's how people do it here often so we'll see if I ever get into the swing of things.

Fun fact: There are almost 3 million people living in Madrid. There were about 1500 people at Kapital that night. There are about 13 bars in the club. When I ordered a drink at the bar, guess who was ordering one next to me? Blast from the past: Nick Ramage. What. Are. The. Odds.

La Reina Sofia

We checked out the modern art museum this weekend as well. It was really pretty, and pretty bizarre. Picasso exhibit was of course amazing. There was also a cool photo exhibit of a person at every age, from 1-100. Then there were the weirdies. For example, a film of a man trying to cut his arm off. And another film of a man playing with all these wax figures that looked like melted people. There were also many times I would have like to see a little more effort shown. A piece of paper hung up with an extremely lopsided circle and a line drawn in pencil, that resembled something a 3 year old would come up with when trying to write their name....not art. Three fluorescent lightbulbs on the floor is not's three lightbulbs. I could have dropped all the contents of my purse on the floor, stuck a title on it, and I think people would have actually given that "exhibit" the time of day too. Maybe I'm just not deep enough.

I'm starting to fall in love with this city, especially the tapas. I love how everyone just sits outside little bars and restaurants, no matter what age they are or what time of day it is, and just chat, drink their sangria and eat their extrememly unhealthy but DELISH tapas. So fun.

Next up, Brussels this weekend with Emily to see Dani!! Fries, chocolate, waffles, chocolate, beer, and chocolate are on the menu. Can't wait!

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