09 May, 2006

Crazy Spaniards!

There's something I have learned about the Spanish; they lack a sense of time. For example, the bars here do not even open until 10 or 11 PM. That in itself is not so unusual because in Austin, most people do not go to bars until then. The main difference is that most bars here stay open until 4 and then others open at that time. Instead of crawling home exhausted at 4AM, you go to the bars that are just opening. Why waste a perfectly good morning by going home!

Last weekend I went out with some of my classmates, Robert, his Spanish girlfriend and couple of his Spanish friends. I ended up hanging with Robert and the Spaniards at the bar, dancing and drinking. Usually by 3 they stop playing the American music and convert to Spanish, so just when I got a little drunk and wanted to sing out loud the damn language changed! (In retrospect, I realize that this is a very good thing since it is a well knows fact that in general, a "Lies" cannot and should not ever sing out loud EVER.

We left the bar around 4AM and proceeded to go to another bar. We came to a cross road and my apt. was one way and the bars were another..decisions..decisions..the 5 of us discussed what to do next and were torn on the many options of bars to go to. I then suggested that we go to my (and Roberts) apt and continue the festivities there. They tossed the idea around. I then said that I had wine and BANG those were the magic words. We proceeded to walk the 15 minutes to the apt. We got there and cracked 2 bottles of wine, some bad whiskey, olives and a large chocolate bar with almonds. We were on our terrace and then all of a sudden I looked at the sky and something seemed strange. I then exclaimed "Look! That is the sun coming up! What in the hell time is it?" I got the response that I had received all night when I asked the time. "It is 2 O'clock". I said "2 O'clock" my ass, that's the sun!". I got blank stares and I could imagine them thinking: yes, you strange Americana, that is the sun; it sets in the west and reappears every morning in the east. But then I exclaimed "I have been up for 24 hours!" It was then that I learned the fact that the Spanish rarely sleep and it is typical for them to party until 5 AM or more and then go out again the next night.

At that point someone said "Hey should we go to the beach?" There were a couple of "I don't knows" and then from somewhere inside of me a firm demanding voice came out of my mouth "We must go to the beach" I said. I do not know why this crazy idea seemed brilliant to me. Maybe it was because the thought of the glistening sea or maybe the stillness of the morning air coming off the water, or maybe it was just because the wine was gone...

We walked to a cafe because I said I needed a shot of coffee as did the others. We stumbled into one near one of the guys apt. and there were about 20 people in there. As I studied them, I realized that they seemed kind of dressed up for a Saturday morning (by that time it was 8:30 AM). I mentioned this to one of the guys and he said "oh, they have been out all night like us. Anyone in a cafe before 9AM on a weekend has not been home yet." (Crazy Spaniards). We then all piled into his car and he drove us to the beach. Come to find out, his parents own a beach apt. in Benicassim (a town about 15 minutes north of Castellon).

We got to this place and it had the most gorgeous view! Now people were finding rooms and crashing, but I had just drunk a Spanish coffee (the equivalent being a triple expresso shot) and there was no way I could sleep. I lay on this couch on the balcony (14th floor) and became mesmerized by the ocean. I stayed that way for awhile and then suddenly woke up, realizing that I had slept for almost 30 minutes. I then remembered that I had a Spanish conversation session (called an intercambio) at 3PM that afternoon. It was now noon. I could not get anymore "real" sleep since I kept thinking that I would oversleep and miss my session. Everyone finally aroused around 2PM and we headed back to Castellon. I got home at 2:30, showered and walked to my session, where upon I had another Spanish coffee.

I got home around 5:00, finally got something to eat and tried to sleep. My body was relaxed, but my mind would not stop, so I got up, did some internet research and typed a page for my class paper. I finally went to bed at 8:30 PM after being up for over 37 hours. I do not think I will do that again for awhile...but then again, as my mother said to me "when in Spain do as the Spanish do....but I think she may have been talking about going to Church...


Forest Creek said...

That was one of the things I liked best about Spain. At hostels in Barcelona and Madrid everybody under 40 went out about 10-11 just before I hit the sack...then they'd come back about 6-8 just after I got up. I never slept better on the road. :-)

Adam G. said...

That's the funny thing about all those sayings you hear from other people...You can never really be sure about what they were referring to :-) With that said, I think the bit about waiting 30 minutes before going swimming remains good advice.