Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trick or Treating in Madrid

So in the hopes of finding a little Halloween adventure, my buddy David McCoy (whom I befriended 3 years ago while we were in Argentina and who decided to join me as a teacher in Spain) opted to go to Madrid for the weekend. In order to save some money, I resolved to taking the bus which turned out to be a 4-hour journey across the Spanish countryside. I did not mind the trip, however, given the fact that I am currently reading Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead”, a beautiful work of literature to say the least. We were to be in Madrid for Friday and Saturday night.

I feel obliged to admit that one of the primary reasons I love Europe is that one is presented with ample opportunities to encounter individuals from around the world, a fact that certainly manifested itself this weekend. Our hostel roommates were from Australia, Italy and China, for starters. Friday night after drinking over-priced beer in Plaza Mayor, we met up with one of David’s American friends who found herself invested in a pub crawl with Ausies and a cool French kid named Jonathan. After tagging along for a couple of bars we split to meet up with two Turkish girls, one of whom David had met a couple weeks ago via Couch Surfing. They were not too much fun, however, and took us to a pretty lame bar in a very cool part of the city, so David and I made the prompt, executive decision to ditch them. It was a smart decision, because we ended up meeting a really cool group of older Spaniards who took us into their group for the rest of the night. Without going into details, we ended up at a hipster Socialist bar drinking mojitos til about 6 am; I spent my time at the bar talking to a very cute 29-yr-old who we were fairly certain was into me, while David discussed politics with her friends.

Our late-night debauchery resulted in the two of us sleeping until 5 o’clock the next afternoon, only to find ourselves hitting the ground running since it was Halloween night. Being on a budget coupled with a lack of options, David had the idea of wearing our outfits backwards with masks on the back of our heads as our costumes. My mask was Santa Clause, David’s was either Hitler or Charlie Chaplan. For the sake of not being controversial or offensive, we claimed Charlie Chaplan. As lame as the idea sounds from an American perspective, the costumes were actually a hit, many people found them to be hilarious.

After bar/tapas hopping for a few hours, we randomly met a couple Greek girls our age, named Annette and Maten, who live in Madrid and study tourism. We began chatting while enjoying the 1-euro beers Chinese people serve in the plazas around the city. Soon enough, the four of us were approached by two local Spanish girls, who enthusiastically took us to a dance club. Don’t think the Greek girls were really into it though, because they didn’t stay long, so David and I were left with Spanish dates for a couple of hours, which was fun.

*Side note: many Spanish girls find it appropriate and acceptable to dance like Elaine from Seinfeld, which is something both hilariously disturbing while also irresistibly adorable.*

However we ultimately separated when they got tired and David and I ended up strolling around the city, encountering a group of homosexual Americans from Dakota who were very friendly and later making friends in a plaza with some people playing music. David plays the harmonica and joined in while improving some New Orleans blues-like lyrical content.

All in all, I must say it was quite a successful Halloween experience in the Spanish capital. Pics are up via Facebook

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