Sunday, January 17, 2010
Who let the dogs out?
I think one of the main differences between home and here is the schedule on which people operate. A typical Friday is as follows:
10: Wake up and eat breakfast
11-2: Do whatever you need to get done (errands, homework, etc.)
2: Eat a huge lunch. Try and tell your host mom that you can't eat anymore. Eat a little more.
3-5: Siesta! (This basically just means to take a rest. Naps are not required, but Chantel and I have found them to be very enjoyable.)
5-9: Do whatever else you need to do.
11 or 12: This is when people START going out here.
6: The time when the bars close. So, the song that says "The party don't stop 'til 6 in the mooorning", really rings true here.
Chantel and I got our first authentic taste of this lifestyle last Friday. To start off the night, we made sure that Chencha (our host mom) knew where we were going. She was more than okay with us going out, even alluding to the fact that if we didn't come home that night, "no pasa nada" (basically, no big deal). We assured her that this was not going to be the case. I'm still not sure if she's joking when she says these things or not...
So, we meet up with our American friends (so far, the Spanish friend count is a solid 0, unless you include our 45 year-old brother Juan) at a bar in town at around 11:30 pm. The bar was pretty empty, except for a few Spanish couples here and there (including one lesbian couple), and so we filled it up fast with 30 Americans. The good thing was, most of us spoke Spanish the entire time. A few even ventured out and spoke to some locals as it got more crowded. I spoke only to our waiter, who was wearing a shirt with the superman S on it. However, instead of saying 'superman', it read 'Super Skunk.' Yeah, who knows? I asked him where there was a good discoteca, and also if there were a lot of viejos verdes there. (Viejos verdes means creepers) He laughed a lot at that.
At around 2:30 am (normally the time I would be coming home from a party in the states), we trekked across town to a discoteca called Buddha. This club has three floors, each of which plays different music. We had heard that there were less creepers on the 3rd floor, so naturally headed that direction as soon as we entered. As I was climbing up the stairs, I wasn't completely sure that I wanted to be there...that is, until I heard the words: "WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? WHO? WHO WHO WHO?" Needless to say, I ran up the last bit of stairs to join the Baja Men party.
Another different thing here is the dancing. Instead of boy/girl partnerships, everybody dances by themselves. Furthermore, boys are not afraid to dance by themselves, or even close to their other guy friends. (Very different in the states.) I think the weirdest thing, however, was that people don't really dance. We looked like crazy chickens with our heads cut off compared to the sevillanos; they basically only shift back and forth, maybe with a few arm movements in between. I tried to be more subtle to blend in with the locals, but when I heard 'Single Ladies'...I'll admit I got a little crazy. They play a lot of American music here, but not from the 80s like I expected.
After dancing our 'culos' off, we left with two of our American guys to return back to our neighborhood. We finally got home at 5:30 am, and slept until 2:30 pm in the afternoon. Chencha seemed to very much enjoy the fact that we were not accustomed to the night life here; she kept laughing at how tired we were the whole day.
Needless to say, last night we stayed in with Chencha last night, and watched "La copla" on TV. It's basically like American Idol, but for Spain. Chencha loves it.
Other minor things that have happened recently:
-For lunch, Chencha served 'bacarón', a little fish. You eat it with mayonnaise. After breaking the fish in half length-wise and pulling out the spine.
-While shopping last night, Chantel and I witnessed both a Haiti demonstration and a breakdancing contest in the center Plaza. The breakdancing was more like teenages boys dancing like girls, however. Not really sure what was going on there...
-Chantel and I bought cell phones! Seeing as this is complicated in English, we had a bit of difficulty trying to find the best plan in Spanish. True, it's a cheap phone with only 10 contacts, but I'm very proud of my 'móvil.'
I'm still trying to adjust to everything here. Last night, I got an overwhelming craving to crawl into our big orange chair at home and eat some normal breakfast food. I wouldn't say I'm homesick, but I do miss the familiarity of home at times. So, someone out there reading this, eat some waffles for breakfast next time for me. With a lot of butter. And syrup. Yummm