Sorry it’s been a while since the last post. I’ve got plenty to talk about now though so you won’t have to read a watered down blog entry.
I’ll talk about last weekend first and start with a question again. What place do you think of when someone talks about the British flag, pounds for currency, and funny British accents. Britain right? Wrong! Well actually that’s right, too, but I’m thinking more of Gibraltar.
You’ve probably heard a little bit about it, but in case you haven’t Gibraltar is a British territory that sits about as far south as you can get in Spain. I went with a group of 7 people last Saturday to check it out and it ended up being pretty awesome. To get there, we took a bus from Sevilla (about 4 hours to get there) and then really only had about 2.5 hours to check out Gibraltar b/c the last bus left at 4. So we were sprinting most of the time, but still worth it. One of the guys we went down with (named Adam) had found us some British tour guide on the Internet, and this guy was waiting for us in a bus right as we crossed the border.
The border crossing was pretty funny. You show up, hold up basically anything that resembles a passport, and stroll on in. No lines, no hastle, no problem. After that, we hoped in the tour guide’s car and took off. This guy was hilarious. We went to the tip of Gibraltar first, and from there you can see Africa. Not super well, but you can see it (I couldn’t make out the shape of any elephants/zebras/etc, but I’m sure they were right there lookin back at me).
After that we headed up the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a giant rock, also has a cave in it. The cave was really neat inside (not quite as cool as the one in Aracena but still pretty sweet) but we were basically flashing pictures as we sprinted through. I’ll skip the easy stereotype here of our far east neighbors.
When we came out of the cave, we walked into a scene from Jungle Book. Again, not sure how much you know about Gibraltar, but it’s a really weird place in that there are these wild monkeys everywhere. I guess some British soldiers brought them over from Africa because they thought they were funny/cute (true), some boy and girl monkeys escaped, and now they are hangin around all over Gibraltar. They’re pretty friendly around people and some will climb all over you. They’re normally pretty laid back, but there’s one thing they just go crazy for, and that’s food. Whenever these guys see a plastic bag, they assume there’s food inside and go wild trying to get it. We’re talking druggie lookin for the next fix wild. Our guide warned us about this, but I guess another guy standing by me later that day didn’t get the same warning. I had been looking at one monkey that looked like he was about to fall asleep, but then he saw this man with a plastic bag in his hand and this monkey’s eyes we’re instantly enflamed. He tore off and started jumping all over this guy trying to rip the bag out of his hands. Pretty funny. Wish I would’ve been quicker with the camera.
After chillin with the monkeys for a while, we had to book it back to the bus station because ours was getting ready to leave. Made it just in time.
Outside of traveling, everything’s been going great in Sevilla. Classes have been pretty easy for the most part. My poetry teacher is crazy and I have no idea what the poem we’ve been reading all semester is about, but I wouldn’t have a clue in English either (it’s Altazor by Vicente Huidobro if youre interested in checking it out. I’m sure his poems are great for some people, but I don’t understand a damn thing).
I’ve been going out quite a bit, blowing through money like it’s going out of style, and picked up a bit of a pastry habit. I walk by about 5 or 6 pastry shops everyday on the way to/from class and cant help myself. The things are too good and there’re 1,000 different kinds to try. I guess I shouldn’t judge the monkeys so hard because I know exactly what they’re going through. I’d be rippin plastic bags out of strangers’ hands too if I knew there was a chance there were pastries inside. Which I guess there could be? I guess if you hear reports on the news of an “enraged American” in Sevilla with chocolate smeared all over his face and ripped bags in his hands, you know what happened. Sevilla be warned
Also, as far as nightlife goes, we’ve found some pretty cool places. There’s one really neat place I don’t think I talked about in any of the other posts, but it’s a hole in the wall flamenco bar called Carboneria. It’s a really discreet place – no signs, only two red doors that look like you’re going into someone’s house. Then every night from 11-12, they have flamenco performances. Pretty cool, free to get in, not too expensive to drink.
My coat got stolen (borrowed?) at a different place one night. I’m surprised it took this long for something like that to happen. I’m a pretty easy target
O ya and probably the BIGGEST NEWS EVER happened last Friday. Laura, the 25 day returning champion of Pasapalabras (Spanish game show), finally won the grand prize of 282,000 euros. Concha and I had this girl pegged for a champion from the beginning and here we find ourselves. What a day
Outside of that, been trying to check out as many bars/clubs as possible and been having a great time. If you want to know a little more about what life in Sevilla is like, check this video out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1t3FnasmgY. I fit right in.
I’ve got my first test this week for my Arab World/Politics class on Wednesday. Tuesday night I’m goin to the Sevilla vs. Moscow soccer game. And as far as this weekend goes, maybe go to Cadiz again? Maybe Portugal? Somewhere else? Not really sure so guess I’ll have to leave you with a cliffhanger and you can check back later to find out