Monday, August 20, 2007

A Jiggidy Jiggin' Good Time

After dinner at El Arte Serrano

My, how time flies when you're having fun. One month in the Land of the Rabbits down already. No doubt Sierra and I closed out our last few days in Cadiz in style....

Thursday. True to our nature, Sierra and I did very little studying for our finals (Our excuse this time was that we were too busy starving on Wednesday since the cafeteria was closed. In a story that beats the croissant dinner, we had one can of Fanta and a few Cheeto puffs between the two of us all day, because, alas, the last of our cash went to laundry. Times when I wish clean clothes were overrated...) Not to worry though--we finished our grammar final in half an hour. Then during the two-hour break before our next exam, we sat outside at a cafe and reviewed everything we had learned in our culture class with our friend Matt. Another final squashed in a mere 30 minutes. Check.

That night, the cafeteria prepared us a delicious spread of tapas, which we enjoyed while mingling and sipping sangria with melon. We're so classy here in Spain, I know. We were also presented with some intense flamenco dancing performances by some almost-professionals and some fellow Cadiz group members. Very exciting.

Afterwards, a few of us headed to Playa Victoria for beach extravaganzas. One night a year, when Cadiz CF plays their big futbol game, people pack the beaches and BBQ until 7 in the morning. We definitely got in on that action, although we "only" stayed until 3. Whiskey and 7Up, sand and ocean, people watching, new intercambios = good fun.

Friday. We returned to the University of Cadiz one last time to review our exams in our respective grammar and culture classes. Fortunately, things went well for the both of us; our parents' money is not in vain. Heh. Highlight of the day: a question on our culture exam was "Cual parte del toro recibe el matador cuando torea bien?" with the correct answer being "las orejas o la cola." Someone in our class put "el pelo del culo" with the best of intentions. JAJA. I could hardly breathe. Oh my.

Later in the afternoon, Sierra and I climbed the tower of the famous Catedral right across from our Residencia. The bird's eye view of Cadiz was incredible. We had a great time taking a plethora of pictures and doing ridiculous things on the way back down; heel clicking off flights of corroding stone stairs, laying on the ground and tucking ourselves into cracks in the wall, pretending to borrow money from the saints...oh, you know us.

Our very last night in Cadiz brought us to El Arte Serrano, a fancy restaurant on the beach front of Playa Victoria, for a celebratory dinner. The plates of gourmet food never stopped coming, and rest assured that Sierra and I relished every last bite. As you can imagine, we do NOT take food for granted here. And because everything had already been included in the program fees, well, let's just say the wine and champagne were flowing all night long. Hey, when in Spain...

Post dinner/dessert/endless toasts brought our group across the street to some "chiringuitos," little bar huts on the beach. With all the, uh, water Sierra and I drank at dinner, we felt no need to consume any more liquids and contented ourselves with simply sitting on the beach and enjoying good company, trying to get our time in before our group faced its sad fate of splitting to our respective Spanish cities. But it was an exceedingly nice night and a perfect way to end.

Sierra, Chad, Isaac, and I got back to the Residencia at 3 in the morning. I didn't sleep that night. 1) For fear that we wouldn't wake up in time the next morning to check-out and leave (we've obviously had far too many incidences...) 2) Sierra conked out in my bed. (I'm so tempted to put up pictures.)

Saturday. Yeah. Traveling was a beast. We left the Residencia at 6 on Saturday morning, and trekked to the train station, our monsters of luggages in tow (a 15-minute trip that took us a painful forty). What I wouldn't have given to have an empty-handed friend with me that day. Took a two-hour train ride, then rode the bus to the airport in Sevilla, waited in the airport for three hours before finally boarding a plane headed to Barcelona. The hour and a half flight was followed by more ordeals with luggage and then a blessedly uneventful taxi ride to our final destination of Colegio Mayor Sant Jordi.

Our first few moments in Barcelona, picture this: Sierra and I standing on a random sidewalk with two large suitcases, a rolling carry-on, a duffel bag filled with bricks, two backpacks, and a stuffed shoulder bag. We haven't showered in...far too long, all the signs are in Catalan, the taxi has driven away, and suddenly it dawns on us. We have no idea where we are or possess the slightest clue how to get where we need to be.

Dun dun dun.

To be continued....

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