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Monday, September 23, 2013

My Weekend Was Better Than Yours

It's Monday. You know what that means? It means that I just had an awesome weekend, and it was probably definitely better than yours.

Friday: Okay, I'll admit it, Friday wasn't as spectacular. I finished my final exam for my two week intensive Spanish grammar course, and then it was celebration time with the amigos. Typical Friday night in Sevilla (Wow, never thought I'd be saying that...) Talked with some Spanish people while we were out, which is always cool because they help you out when you say something wrong, etc. It's a great way to improve on my Spanish speaking skills. Good news is that I wasn't followed home or harassed by anyone on my way home, so I'd say that it was a pretty successful celebratory evening. Now I just have to hope that I aced my final exam... (jokes on jokes, people.)

Saturday: Slept in after my night out on Friday, and woke up in a panic at 11 because I still hadn't packed or showered to catch the 12 p.m. bus to... Málaga! However, I rushed around for a bit and made it in time. After a 2 1/2 hour bus ride (which I slept about 90% of), we arrived to the bus station in the beautiful picturesque town of Málaga. My friends and I were staying in Málaga overnight at a hostel called "Feel Hostels" (Weird, right? Please tell who named that. They need to check themselves). Of course nobody knew how to get to the hostel from the bus station, and of course nobody had bothered to look up the directions beforehand, so we had to ask around for a bit and take a 40 minute detour through Málaga before we finally ended up at our hostel. And I always, always overpack, so carrying around a 50 pound bag for 40 minutes was pure bliss. I really enjoyed the way my bag made me feel like I had broken my back.

We had 12 people going to Málaga this past weekend, and the rooms were made for 6 people each, so I expected to be staying with 4 of my gal friends and 2 of my guy friends. However, when we got to the hostel, this was not the case, and 3 of us girls ended up in a room with 3 complete strangers, including a huge man who only wore boxers and shuffled around awkwardly. Super uncomfortable.

After getting over the interesting rooming situation, we were headed off to the beach! The waters were crystal blue and the sand was... well, honestly the sand felt like cat litter. And looked like cat litter. Kind of depressing. And then it got all over my only towel that I brought which I also had to use to shower the sand was a disappointment overall. But I remembered sunscreen this time (so proud of myself, honestly) so I didn't get burned this time! (Though the sunscreen did smell like menthol. I mean, to each their own, but Spain, why would you make such horrific smelling sunscreen?) But check out this picture of a sign on the beach (SO PRETTY):


 Side note: While on the beach, I bought a medium onion ring from Burger King, which literally came with only 2 onion rings. I was devastated.

We then went on a hike up to a castle which overlooked the city and the bull fighting ring (see picture below:)

It was an incredibly hard hike to the top of the lookout, but that might just be because I'm slightly out of shape. Though I walk about 4 miles everyday (get on my level).  But all-in-all, the hike was worth it, as was the 0.60 Euro fee to enter the castle grounds, because the overlook was gorgeous as was the castle. I felt like I was on top of the world. Here's another picture to give you an idea of the beauty from the overlook:


We finished the evening with dinner (the three vegetarians had to buy food from a Noodles restaurant and bring it back to the hostel because the dinner that was served that night had meat in it), and then we went on a "pub crawl" that took us to all of the hot spots in town. We met a lot of Germans, people from Belgium, and even some British people. There was even an old man in one of the bars that had a cane with him. What a gem he was to witness. I hope I'm that cool when I'm 90.
Sunday: We had to leave the hostel by 11 a.m., but luckily we were able to leave our bags behind for only a couple of euros for the day. Thank goodness. There was no way I was going to haul my 50 pound bag around with me all day, or else I literally would have broken my back. We went to El Museo de Picasso, which housed Picasso's paintings and I was in awe. I was in the same room as Picasso's paintings! He grew up in Málaga so I'm pretty sure that the museum is the town's #1 source of income. Sadly my phone died Sunday morning and I didn't bring my charger, so I was unable to take any pictures of the artwork in the museum. But let me tell you: there were some very interesting pieces. And by interesting, I mean weird. Really weird.
After the museum, a few of us went to this quaint little restaurant because they offered vegetarian paella (a traditional Spanish dish). We were excited and took a seat outdoors next to a garden wall and listened to a man play guitar and had one of those "Wait, oh my gosh, we're actually living here for the next 4 months" moments. Then we waited. And waited. Waited some more... *45 minutes later* Our food finally came out, but by that point I was so ravenous that I was about to eat my own hand. I had single-handedly finished off the entire bread basket (sorry not sorry) and dove into the paella as soon as our waiter set it down. It was so good though! Semi-worth the wait.
The group then went and got gelato (I then remembered that I'm semi lactose intolerant and spent the next few hours dying) and wandered around a small park near the beach. A few creepers approached us and asked where we lived, but you can't have a successful weekend without a few creepers thrown in. It just doesn't happen. Some woman also came up to us and asked if we were British, saying that she overheard me speaking and thought I had an accent. Wait, what? I'm pretty sure I'm as loud and American sounding as they come. I took that as a major compliment, and spent the remainder of our day analyzing my speech for any signs of a possible British accent.
The time finally came for us to head back to the bus station, and I was definitely sad to leave. However, when we got to the bus station, Tori and I realized that our bus tickets were for the 6:00 p.m. bus ride, and everyone else in our group had tickets for the 5:30 p.m. bus. So typical. We were unable to switch buses because the 5:30 bus was now full, so Tori and I bought bocadillos (sandwiches) and chilled on the bus station floor while waiting for our bus. I was pretty tired when the bus finally came and we boarded, so I passed out immediately. It seemed only a little while later when I was awakened to the bus driver saying we had a 10 minute break to get off the bus and stretch our legs. Break? Why would we need a break for only a 2 1/2 hour ride? When we got off the bus, Tori leaned over to me and said "Leah, this really sucks." I was confused. "Why?" I replied. Tori said, "Because we've already been on this bus for 2 hours and 10 minutes, and we are getting a break now." Awesome. Yes, people, Tori and I ended up on a 4 hour bus ride that took us all over Spain and we didn't get back to Sevilla until 10 p.m. at night. I am such an unlucky person.
Monday: And finally, today was my first day of my official semester classes, and I'm already in love with the two classes I had today: "Metamorphosis of News and Media" and "Podcast Reporting." Both classes have no tests or final exams all semester. BOOM.
Some highlights of the day: The main highlight of today was when Tori and I got harassed by two 5 year-old boys. That was neat. I didn't think I could have such a low in my life. I also enjoy the tuba player I pass every night on my way home who plays his tuba as loudly as he can.
Quote of the day everyday: "Why does it smell like something died?" Thank you, Sevilla, for the bursts of horrifying smells every couple of feet. The smells make walking around the city very interesting and always keep you on your toes, because you never know what you will encounter next. Yay.
Until next time,

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