Monday, February 16, 2009

The Weekend

So this weekend was SUPER busy and a lot of fun! Friday night I went out with Santi and Isma and five of their friends. We hung out first at a restaurant in La Mora, then sat around outside (and it was PRETTY cold) until around 3:30 AM. All of their friends understand English really well and a couple of the boys also speak really well. It was a lot of fun getting to know them and I hope that I see them again soon!

Saturday (Happy Valentine's Day everyone!) was the day of the big Carnaval party, which is basically like Mardi Gras except for that we didn't celebrate it on Fat Tuesday. The party was themed Mediterranean culture. I think I'm dressed up like someone from Turkey but I'm not sure... I borrowed my outfit from Anna lol. We had pirates, a Cleopatra, a hippie, a Roman, a greek God, some Mallorquinas (from the Island of Mallorca), farmers from the mountains, gondola men, and a great number of other things. Everyone was so nice and friendly, and I got to practice a lot of Spanish! (Even though most of their friends speak English, they humoured me by letting me speak Spanish and speaking Spanish back). All of Mapi's friends are incredible cooks - we had little sandwiches from Greece, Catalunya, Italy, and I don't remember the last country. The Roman (who is actually from Belize and told me I must always speak English to him because he is an English speaker) brought along some very good hummus (but I think my mom's wins the prize!). People started arriving at six and stayed until midnight. We didn't start eating the actual dinner until maybe 10:00 PM!

On Sunday I went to the twins' sister's house to celebrate her boyfriend's birthday with them. We ate a traditional Catalunian food called calçots. Basically, calçots are really young white onions that are grilled over a wood fire until the outside is black and the inside is really tender. You then pull the tender center out from the blackened outside and discard the outside, dip the inside in a sauce that Rafi (the twin's mom) promised to teach me how to make, and then you eat the bottom as shown in the picture. In the picture, from left to right: Santi, Bea (Isma's girlfriend), Isma, their dad (whose name I don't remember), Jose, me, David (the birthday boy, who turned 27), Rafi. Victoria (I think that's what her name is), is the one taking the picture. Oh, and after eating calçots, your fingers get really black. We had about 200 calçots to split between 9 of us; Victoria was telling me that once her dad and only two other people ate 400 calçots.

After the
calçots, we had a HUGE meal, then we started boxing on the wii. I beat my opponent the first time, but the second time he beat me :( I have videos of everyone except Rafi playing (she told me she has a bad back), and it was so much fun to watch. Later, I went with Rafi and Victoria and Victoria's dog Gago on a walk around the village. We got back and played a couple of rounds of cards - they taught me a game called 7 and a half. It's pretty much like blackjack, as far as I can tell, except that you try to get to 7 and a half. I think it would be difficult to play with a regular U.S. deck of cards, because we have too many cards over 7, and somehow they didn't, and they only had numbers up to seven then 10, 11, and 12 which only counted as halves. They were all really impressed with my shuffling skills - I'm beginning to think that no one in Spain knows how to shuffle, or at least not how we shuffle in the US. I told them I shuffle okay because I play a lot of cards with my family, but that I'm really not that good; let's face it, once I get two decks of fifty-two cards in my hands, my shuffling skills go downhill rapidly. I have baby hands! Anyway, I ended up winning (we played with these cool fake coin things that are like poker chips except look much cooler) all of the "money" but I think that was more or less beginner's luck =p

Also, I'm heading over to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day! And then after about a week in Ireland I'm going to hit up the UK for a couple of days and then fly back to Spain. I'm so excited! But it has been a bit stressful for the past couple of days trying to work out where I want to go and where I'm going to stay. I have most of it ready now at least for the Ireland leg of my journey, but I still have to work out some accomodations and also plan the UK leg.

Over and out.

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