Part B of the Valencia story will be coming to a theater near you very soon. But now, I will talk about this past weekend, culminating in the victory of the Packers (henceforth known as “The Good Guys”).
Phillipe, a French Canadian friend, had his birthday on Friday and thus a party ensued. Before the party, I was invited by my roommate to play basketball with his friends. After an hour and a half of play and a bottle of Mahou Cinco Estrellas, I was headed home to shower and walk over to my friend’s house for the fiesta. While only crazy people would walk 20 minutes when you could take the metro and be there in 8 minutes, I was happy to walk in the refreshing night air of Madrid. It has been rather cold here as of late and I was happy to be able to not hate being outside. Even today, it’s a mild 55 or so, and I couldn’t be happier. While I am still wearing a sweater and a jeans, at least I do not feel like my face is going to freeze off. Enough of that, back to the party. Typical of parties/bars/clubs I have been going to, there was a wide range of people there. In no particular order: Austrian, German, Dutch, Belgian, French, French Canadian, American (me!), Spanish, Chinese and Italian. We were practically the United Nations in there, at least most of the important countries. If you couldn’t speak English, Spanish was spoken. That being said, only the Spaniards could not speak English, which was perfect because I want to speak Spanish to them anyways. Phillipe and I decided to show the Europeans how to play Beer Pong, an American (and apparently Canadian) drinking game. Search it on YouTube if you want, just know that it’s awesome and hilarity ensued. After hanging around the apartment for a while, we decided it would be a great a idea if the 20 or so of us that were left over went out to a club. The club was advertised at being 10 minutes away, but that was just a lie. After walking about 20 minutes, we arrived at the bar. After paying the entry charge, we received our free drink and we got our dance on. The rest of the night was spent laughing, dancing, and pointing out weird public displays of affection. The Spaniards are always happy to be affectionate towards one another in public. Notice earlier how I said it took 20 minutes to walk to Phillipe’s? Then after, it took 20 minutes to walk to the club? Well, fortunately for me, the club happened to be 2 minutes walk for me to get home. Went to sleep, Saturday morning, around 630. Just another night out in Madrid. Fast forward to Saturday night.
Richi, a Spanish friend of mine, had his birthday on Saturday night. Two birthday parties in a row and they could not have been any different. Whereas Friday night the most commonly heard language was English, Saturday night there was barely any English spoken. Spanish was the language being thrown around, and at times, it is difficult to understand. That being said, it’s getting easier and easier to understand the frantic pace in which Madrileños (people living from Madrid) speak. There same amount of beverages were consumed, but the antics by the partygoers were a little different. Richi is from a small town to the North. And when I say small town, I mean he is from a town of 6 people. Though, there is a tourist boom in the summer and the population goes to 24. Yes, you read that right, there are 4x as many people there in the Summer. Ridiculous, no? While he was a kid he had friends from surrounding towns, and all of those friends (about 9 or so) were around for the party. Before I came to Spain I was told by all of my advisors that I should try to keep calm at parties and not try to be the typical loud and drunk American. I have done exactly that, staying back and watching hilarious drunken events occur from a relatively sober mind. The Spaniards at the party were not following along with this ideology. They were happy to be there, and were showing it. I imagine it would be like someone from a small town in the U.S. going to New York City, except that drinks here are cheap and you don’t have to deal with New Yorkers (on a side note, apparently the only Baseball cap you can buy in Madrid, or Europe for that matter, is a New York Yankees hat…and I can’t stand it. Giants World Series champs? Doesn’t matter) . After we decided the place had become too small for us, we decided to go to a nearby club to once again, get our dance on. After paying the cover charge and dropping off our coats (1.5 Euros btw) we hit the dance floor with our free drink in hand. Unlike the night before, and pretty much every other night, no American songs played. I’m not about to tell you that I am a good dancer (quite the opposite, but I haven’t heard any complaints…yet) but to ask me to dance to music that I have never heard before is quite difficult. It’s just difficult to get into the rhythm and the emotion when you don’t know what is being said…and everyone else around you does. Weird rhythmic clapping appeared all the rage in this club, except for me. All right…now Super Bowl Sunday.
Super Bowl Sunday (really very early Monday Morning)
In Madrid, the Super Bowl starts at 1230 AM. That means I did not leave the bar until 4 AM with class at 11 AM, yeah…that’s Madrid for you people. We’ll get back to the end of the night later, let’s talk about the build-up. We decided to get to the pub playing the game early in order to get a seat. We arrived at 11 PM to see the bar pretty packed. Which was okay, since I wanted to stand anyways. Since I was rooting for the Good Guys (remember, Packers) I decided to tell all of my European friends why they should root for the Good Guys. Here was a my list of reasons: The trophy is named after a former coach of the Good Guys, the Steelers (henceforth Bad Guys) are evil, the Bad Guys’ QB is less than a good person (if you don’t know the events prior to the season-search it), the Good Guys are led by a young QB and an even younger Linebacker. Even though they did not understand what a Quarterback or a Linebacker were, that did not matter…they were rooting for the Green and Gold, at least until they left. I coordinated our spot around a group of what appeared to be die-hard Green Bay Packers fans. They were all from Central Illinois (yeah, and Packers fans believe it or not), but that would do. After trying to explain the basics (by the way, how do you do that?) of football, the game was about to begin. After the end of the first quarter, a group of the European girls left, I guess American Football is not for them. Fast forward to the end, a somewhat quiet group of Bad Guys’ fans all of a sudden got real loud at the end. Knowing that a touchdown+extra point would give them a Super Bowl trophy (Or the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but who’s counting?) and when Ben Roethlisberger failed for the third time to not throw an interception, the place erupted in both sounds of joy and of anguish…the Good Guys won. With this victory in hand (on a side note, second year in a row the team I wanted to win won. Hasn’t happened in a long time. Steelers…I mean Bad Guys, and the Patriots (Cheaters) kept on winning in the 2000s.) I walked home with a smile on my face. What a weekend?
Until next time, hasta luego.