Thursday, March 4, 2010

Posting at a Bus Stop

Where: Bus from Sevilla to Madrid

Listening to: “Gypsy” by Shakira, my new favorite song

Phrase of the day: “Walking gets too boring/When you learn how to fly”

Ladies and gentlemen, you are reading the words from the happiest barely 21-year-old ever. This week we celebrated my last positive monumental birthday! It’s all down hill from here. Currently I’m traveling to Madrid for the night then Amsterdam in the morning for the grand finale of my birthday extravaganza.

We started off the week on Monday, March 1, at Phoenix, which has karaoke on Mondays! However, it did not have it this Monday sadly due to Monday being a holiday, “La Dia de Andalucia” (Andalucia is the region that Sevilla is in). Just my luck. I had actually warmed up in the shower and perused through my “Songs to Sing” playlist. Typical. The representatives of the Mizzou Crew (Haley, Tricia, Savio, and the Trav) were all there to ring in my day of birth in true Midwestern style. We played a few games of cards and “Never have I ever.” It was a pretty relaxed night with a few tequila and honey rum shots thrown in. It was exactly what I wanted, nothing too extreme or crazy. I was just really happy that my friends were willing to make my birthday special for me. It’s never easy to have a special day away from your family. I’ve gotten used to being alone at Mizzou—freshman year I opened my presents alone in my room which a forlorn “Happy birthday to me”—but it’s a little more complicated when you are on a different continent.

On Tuesday I woke up and went to school wearing lovely plastic jewelry brought for me by my roommates. Nothing says sisterhood and birthday like a small silver scepter and translucent beaded bracelets. School was normal, just with more people wishing me a happy birthday in the halls. I was still tired from the night before and the weekend, so afterwards I came home, took a siesta (nap), and talked to my mom on Skype.

That night after a hearty dinner of French fries, a strange meat that could have been liver, and bread (Jealous?), my beautiful roommates brought out a cake that they had bought and gifts! The desserts were four little round chocolate cake-like things that were surrounded in chocolate, a bigger version with crème on it, and a Spanish raspberry cheesecake! They were so delicious. Tricia had gone after school to try to find this bakery called La Campana. I had read about this in my Sevilla guidebook and passed it on multiple occasions. It was founded in 1885 and is Sevilla’s oldest bakery. Just looking into the windows is an experience in itself. It’s filled with all sorts of treats in every single window facing the street. It even has a nice little patio in front that people always sit in when the weather is nice.

Speaking of nice weather, everyone in Sevilla is really annoyed because recently Sevilla has been a little more like Seattle than a Mediterranean palm tree paradise. There has been a lot of flooding problems in the small towns surrounding Sevilla. I’m actually surprised Sevilla hasn’t had any issues because the streets were obviously not designed with drainage systems planned. The cobblestone streets are so small. Sometimes there’s not even enough room for a person to stand next to a car, much less have any sewage planned like they do in the States. On the days when it has been nice, we book it to the river and sit out on the blanket I bought and play Farkel or cards. It’s definitely one of our favorite things to do. We plan on renting a paddleboat soon too.

Anyways, after we sang happy birthday, they gave me a lovely Hannah Montana bag with some Red Bull (they know me so well), wine juice boxes, and sangria. Happy 21st!! It’s probably a lot more fun to turn 21 in the US. Oh well!

We got ready and I wore my special blue birthday dress that I bought specifically for the event. We went to Fundicion where on Tuesdays they play beer pong, the great American past time. Everyone came and joined us, even the Spanish boys! I was really happy that they came. They definitely felt out of place though in an American bar.

At Mizzou, for everyone’s 21st birthday we make them shotbooks which are scrapbooks in which twenty one people make a page for whoever’s birthday it is. Since I can’t have a shotbook in Spain (that would be a very expensive book), Haley made a makeshift one. They bought a spiral and markers from Corazon, the Chinese market, so that each person would decorate a page throughout the night. It ended up being a really fun idea. I actually think this should become a trend! Toba, Benni (two guys who work for Discover Sevilla travel company), Bart, Savio, Trav, Lauren, Hannah, Melanie, Mindy, Tricia, Laura, and the Spanish boys all made me pages. As fun as it was during the night, it was even more fun the next morning.

Overall I had a great birthday. Much better than my one freshman year that I spent in the hospital for having chest pains. Looking back now, that was not a fun birthday. Surprisingly I didn’t notice at the time. I’m so thankful that my friends made it special for me and for the money my parents gave me. Thank you again guys!!

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