Thursday, April 29, 2010


So i don't know how many of you know about the religion here in spain called football but last night is a testament to how amazing the environment of football is here in Spain.

Last night was the semi-final 2nd leg of the champions league between Barcelona and Internazionale (for those of you who don't know, this is a HUGE match and 2 very good teams.) Champions league is a europe-wide tournament that takes place apart from the norma leagues in each country and causes some huge matches to take place (i.e. Manchester United Vs. Bayern Munich) and causes many rivalries between the fans of the respective countries.

So last night, sporting my Barcelona Jersey, Werner his scarf and Sophian his hat, we headed out to show our support for our team, BARCA! We always go to this bar around the corner called Merchant's to watch football on the weekends and during the week when there are special matches like this. Usually all the seats are full for bigger matches like Real Madrid or Barcelona beat tonight, you couldn't even walk in this place it was so full. Religion. You could call the bar a place of worship.

Werner and Sophian had been there 1.5 hours before to get us seats, thankfully, and we supported Barca through our enjoyment of the match, roars of ups and downs, and many a cruzcampo pints. As the match went on the tone in the room became less and less cheery as it got closer to the 90th minute and Barca had yet to score. (they had to win 2-0 to advance) in the 84th minute Pique (on a questionable offsides call) put it past Julio Ceasar to put barca up 1-0. THE BAR WENT INSANE. You have all seen what it is like when the hawks score a goal in game 7 or something like that but this is like nothing i've ever seen. People were hugging, high five-ing, kissing, embracing, doing anything with random neighbors at the bar. the rapport of this place was absolutely ridiculous.

At the 90th minute, you could hear a pin drop as stop time began. 4 minutes of stop time (extra time) for delays during the game was all Barcelona had to put in the winning goal. About 2 minutes into stop time, Barca (i couldn't remember who) put it in the net only to have it negated by a hand-ball call which in the replay clearly showed went off his chest and the ref just had a horrible perspective. Hijo de puta.

So barcelona lost and i really think some people were crying. It was saddening for all involved. Afterwards Werner says to me "I need to go out and drink more to forget." he was so upset. So go out we did. After our last pint at Merchant's we headed to Calle Alfafe only to stop at Plaza del Salvador (a local spanish hangout with 1 euro beers) to enjoy the night outside instead of a smokey bar. After a beer or two we ran across some fans wearing inter jerseys, to which we immediately were like, WTF? So we approached them and they hugged us to say sorry that we lost. HAHA. It was so funny. Then we talked with them (all in spanish) about the match and the calls and why they were wearing the wrong jersey.

After saying ciao the the "italians" we began to head to Calle Alfafe. En route we encountered a real McAsshole who wanted to fight us because we were being rowdy and screaming barca through the streets to which werner responded in some crazy spanish i couldn't understand. When spaniards get mad, they talk faster than the speed of light. After getting to the next bar, we discussed the asshole as well as the match some more and headed across to another bar to talk with some people because this one was rather empty. The next bar was a lot of fun.

At our next, and final bar, the place was packed. There was this guy and girl couple sitting at the bar drinking Agua de Sevilla (equivalent to a long island and $20 for a pitcher that rocks your world because its 96% alcohol 4% something else) and Werner and I start talking to them. After about 15 minutes of spanish, 3-4 more beers, Werner tells me, "I want to take this girl away from this guy because she's hot and i'm way better than him" HAHA. To which i said, are you trying to get your ass kicked?! But the girl was a fan of Real Betis (shitty) and we agged on a little rivalry chant between betis-barca.

After interacting with spaniards all night and receiving a few compliments about how well i could speak even though i've only been here since january (wow) we decided it was time to head home. On the way home, we started the chant again and we were pretty pissed at this point. The walk home, to which took much longer than it should have due to frequent bathroom breaks and during the walk we may have pushed all the dumpsters into the middle of the street, who knows if that was us or not. Just before getting to our street some guy got out of his car and started chasing us, but luckily we just ran into our house and he didn't know where we went. I kind of felt like I was in Green Street hooligans for a night between all the beer, football, rapport and ruckus.

After getting home, enjoying a Weisbier and talking to Renee for a while, it was time to pass out. I couldn't tell you what time it was but i would guess past 4. And here i lay, still in bed at 1:30 because Im DONE WITH MY INTERNSHIP and have nothing to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays from now on besides study. Today I'm packing and off to meet up with Laurent and stay with his family in PARIS!! I'm pretty pumped to meet them, see Paris and chill with Laurent.

What a great start to a great weekend and a great way to enjoy the closing weeks of this insane semester in Spain and Europe.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Well after about 5 days of reading nothing about how this volcanic ash cloud looming over Europe and stranding thousands of people all over europe due to flights not being able to fly through the ask I woke up at 430am to call the airport and find out we were going to get to fly to amsterdam. the first flight into the Schipol Airport since Thursday. WOW. The 9 of us that went couldn't believe that we were going to get to make! It was truly a miracle.

We go into Amsterdam airport around 1030 am on Tuesday April 20th and the Trip took off immediately. A) the airport was EMPTY and B) nearly every flight on the board was cancelled, I have no clue how we got to fly in but i am not going to question it because we got to go and we didn't crash.

We had lots of luck getting into the airport and our flight working out, however, we didn't have as much luck with trains. It is about a 30 minute train ride from the airport into Amsterdam and about half way through the train in front of ours decided to have an accident or break or something like that. So we had to go backwards and switch trains and finally go to the DAM!!

Amsterdam, upon arrival, immediately became my favorite city of Europe. The place is amazing. The bikes everywhere, the canals, the buildings, the environment, the culture, everything was literally incredible. After we got there and checked into our hostel and got settled, it become apparent that Amsterdam has nearly every type of food you could possibly imagine (except taco bell and some other american traditions.) Kabobs, Fries, KFC, McDonalds, Sandwiches, Panini's, pizza, etc... just to name a few. It was all very expensive but very good.

After reconvening we set out to see some of amsterdam. We ventured through the city and saw a lot! We went to Anne Frank's house where she wrote her diary and hid during WWII which was rather uneventful (and why i have no pictures of it haha) as well as rather expensive! But it was cool to see that. Then we did some more walking and sightseeing!

After the first day of walking around the city and seeing stuff and traveling and getting next to no sleep we packed it in rather early. While back at the hostel i chatted with some Scots and Brits who had been working at a club by night and skiing the alps by day for 3 months and ended with a week in Amsterdam only to get trapped due to the volcano for another extra week. They were awesome guys and had been living, working and skiing for the past 3 months at 18 years of age....Europe is one big playground and it is nuts what some people do!

Day 2 was by far the busiest day i've ever had on a trip. We woke up, had breakfast and some coffee and set out on a mission. We went to the Iamsterdam sign, the heineken factory, the Van Gogh Museum and ended the day by taking a train 20 minutes to see Alice in Wonderland 3D in IMAX. It cost 20 euro but it was sweet. After getting back to downtown we decided to meander through the red light district for awhile, when in amsterdam, right? So the red light district really does is unreal. I will try and describe it to you all:

So...the Red Light District, where to begin? First off, it is rather large and legal for this place to exist. (thanks to loosely written laws and loopholes in Dutch government) There are tons of alleys and stuff that are all lit up with red lights inside and out and there are tons of doors, not windows, where women stand near nude and try and lure you into their "booth"/"room" idk what you would call it. They would like tap on the door to try and get you to look at them and then wink at your or point at you or something, it was WEIRD. The other guys took a walking tour after I left and said should you choose to go inside a room it goes as such: You pay first, for 15 minutes. Then she makes you shower in there, which counts as part of your 15 mins. Then you get it on haha. The more you want from her the more you pay! It was so weird to see rooms with chicks in the doorway and a bed in the background with just a curtain if front of the door of which a lot were closed as we walked past....someone was enjoying themselves!

So that's the rundown of the red light district (and no, none of the people in our group went into a room.) A very INTERESTING experience and sight and one that I'm sure won't be found anywhere besides Amsterdam.

Day 3 began the same as the rest and we just kind of hung out until I had to get on the Train to Frankfurt to meet P-carbs! For a snack before the Train i had a delicious browny and it reminded me of just how bland the food is in spain compared to other places. They don't have spicy food really at all, very weird!

All-in-all, amsterdam was an amazing city, my favorite so far! Only Paris and Madrid left to see before heading back across the pond. It is crazy how fast this time has gone!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Past Due

So I haven't blogged in a long time. Spring break was way fun. My parents and I met in Italy, which was awesome. If you wanna hear all the details, ask me about it because I don't feel like typing all of that out.

After Italy my mom and dad came back to Sevilla to see where I've been living this whole time, see some of sevilla and the end of semana santa. We came back saturday and did some laundry and walked around sevilla and saw some of the pasos through the streets. This town was PACKED with people. It was nuts. You couldn't even walk through the streets and you had to take all the back roads.

On easter sunday, we went to church for about 5 minutes in the cathedral and walked around Sevilla again. It was just nice to be with my parents in Sevilla and it made me even more homesick being with them here instead of in chicago like usual. After a few days and a lot of Tapas with my mom and dad, they headed for Barcelona and I headed for Morocco!

Morocco....what t o write about you. First off, this was a school trip. We had rules and had to be up at the crack of dawn (5am 1 day and 6 the other 2) so it wasn't the most exciting trip. We started off with a bus ride to the south of spain to take a ferry across the straits of gibraltar. The seas decided not to cooperate with the boat and it was the roughest boat ride I had ever been on in my life. A lot of people were feeling a bit queasy and were ready to get off the boat.

After the 1 hour long boat ride we had another 40 minutes to Tetuan where our hotel was for the weekend and where we started our tour of morocco. We walked through a medina (which i don't have a clue what this word means in spanish but i would say "neighborhood" would be appropriate.) After walking around the most foul smelling market and seeing some stuff that I really couldn't tell you what the hell it was, we went for some COUS COUS! YUM!! we also had some orange mint tea that we soon figured out is served 16 times a day in morocco and got sick of very quickly.

After lunch we went to the Coca-Cola factory in Tetuan! That was really cool to see! We walked through the whole factory, got a tour, got some souvenirs and got some samples! They have this apple soda called POMS in morocco that was very tasty. It was crazy to think that they had state-of-the-art machines in the factory but outside, some people don't even have running water in their houses. A very surreal feeling to think about.

day 2 we went to Tanger, one of the largest cities in Morocco. It was pretty sweet but the most exciting thing was the market in which we didn't get sufficient time and I only ended up buying 1 thing, maybe a good idea seeing as how i'm living on a tight budget! After Tanger we went back to the hotel and had dinner and got a short nights sleep before waking up at 5AM the final day. YUCK!

Our final day we drove through the mountains to Chef Chahouen, a blue city in the hills of the mountains. They paint all of their buildings blue to help deal with the heat that can become sooo hot in the summer. They paint their houses 6-7 times a year and the only color is blue. It costs less than 10 euros to paint the whole house, very cheap! They also fit about 30 people inside 1 house consisting of 5-6 families!! crazy! After getting a tour of the whole town we had some more free time at another market and we just kind of wasted time until it was time to leave and head back to spain.

When we got to the port, we were told that the ocean was so rough all the smaller boats had been cancelled and just 1 big one was running so we had to wait for that one. Worth the wait! We all got these baller 1st class seats that were like on an airplane that went down and stuff. It was good because the big boat made it so you couldn't even feel the waves and saved a lot of people from getting sick. After the boat, we still had another 2 long hours on the bus and a lot of jokes and riddles were told on the bus to make time go by faster.

After a lot of busses, boats, and walking we finally made it back to sevilla. It was nice to be back in civilization where you can drink the tap water and don't have to buy bottles of water to brush your teeth with!!

All in all, cool to see morocco and i got to ride a camel! So i've been to africa, but it wasn't realy africa, just northern morocco!