Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How could I forget!

Also, I just wanted to say Happy Halloween and remind everyone to eat too much candy (especially candy corn...completely inaccessible in Spain) in honor of me. This holiday is completely UNcelebrated in Spain. Que lastima!

goin for the gusto

Sometimes, those moments of, "I can't believe I just did that," bring an incomparable sense of satisfaction.
"Whatever could you be speaking of, Sarah?" you ask.
Backtrack: For those consistent readers of this blog, you most likely know who my "Starbucks boyfriend" is. Victor used to work at the Principe Pio Starbucks (my metro station) so I would see him often, seeing as I'm obsessed with coffee and Starbucks in general. Well, I had not seen him in a couple weeks and finally asked about him, only to discover he had switched locations to La Reina Sofia (across town). I was pretty bummed, to say the least. I enjoyed our encounters, as well as the frequent dicounts and free lattes. Plus, he's really cute.

I put a lot of thought into what I should do about the situation. I had a few options. I could forget about the whole deal and just move on. After all, showing up at his new work location would be extremely forward, and maybe a little creepy. Plus, who was I to assume that he even wanted to see me again?

But just giving up didn't sit well with me. I didn't feel like having that feeling of "what if". After all, I'm only in Madrid for a short time and I have to make the most of it. My friend Gretchen confirmed my thoughts on the situation when she told me what her Pastor, Kyle Dunn, had said on dating: "Sometimes, the guys are so dense that girls just need to be forward. Go up to a guy and say 'hey, I like you. He're's my phone number." This "forwardness" does not apply to all situations, and in most ways I am a traditionalist in that I believe the girl should be pursued. But sometimes, certain situations call for different actions.

Fastforward: So today, with the moral support of my amazing roommate Cheryl, I did it. I walked into his Starbucks with much anticipation of what his reaction would be. I was greeted with a big smile, so I felt a bit better.
" Hola Sarah, como estas?/ Hey Sarah, how are you?
"muy bien y tu?"/ Good, you?
"bien!"/ good
"Porque has cambiado de lugar?"/ "Why did you change locations?"
"jaja, es la culpa de ellos".../ "It's their fault.....this parts too long to type the translation...Victor got a promotion and so they made him move to the new location even though it's further away from where he lives. He's now assistant manager! que bueno!

We talked a little bit more and it was really cute...he mentioned to his co-worker that I was from New Orleans (attention to details, haha)...charged me a euro less than usual, and made sure to ask if I was going to be staying or taking it to go (that's not part of the Starbucks process, haha this isn't McDonald's). I told him I was taking it go, but then I decided it was now or never.

"Bueno, Victor, necesitas mi numero de movil"... "Alright, Victor, you need my cell number.." Asi que, si quieres, puedes llamarme"..."So, if you want, you can call me."

I looked up from the receipt to see a big huge smile on Victor's face. I was pretty happy to hear him say, "muchas gracias" and not "actually, I don't want to call you."

So. Some of you may be shocked that I would do such a forward thing. But I told myself that even if he never uses that phone number, it's not because he didn't have the chance to. Now, I can never have any what ifs, and that is satisfying enough in itself.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

locura!

Madrid is straight up crazy. I love this city. My marketing professor described it as a place where if you want to stay up all night and have a good time, you have a whole city to do it with. Last night, Cheryl and I went out without our roommate Teal (since she is in Germany) and headed down to Moncloa station to meet up with some friends. When we got there, it was like a huge mass of 18-24 year olds waiting to meet up with their friends. I even ran into my other friend from Starbucks (as in, he works there) Roberto. He flipped out. It was cute. We met up with our spanish friends from Villalba and went to this disco called Sala DuOm. It was realllly cool as far as aesthetics were concerned (the walls were lit up with green lights...cool effect). My only complaint is that they only played techno. Difficult to dance to. All in all, I was very pleased with my Friday night :)

Tonight, we are going to this disco called Cats which is approximately 99.9% spanish people (we avoid the places that attract Americans). I'm pretty excited about it.

Next week begins second round of midterms, which equals me not liking life so much. So we'll see how that goes. But for now, obviously, I'm enjoying my time before death week! wooo!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

schedule :)

I just want everyone at Baylor to know that they should be jealous of those who get to register early due to study abroad. I have attached my beautiful schedule for next semester. It is absolutely amazing. No Friday classes. No class till 11. Out by 3:20. Basking in pure glory the rest of the time. Yep. I love life.

Monday/Wednesday:
Marketing 11-1:50
PoliSci 2:00-3:20

Tuesday/Thursday:
Health 11-11:50
MIS3305 12:30-1:50
Spanish 2-3:20

Friday:
Nothing

Rest of the Time:
Basking in pure glory

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the beat goes on...

For those of you who read my blog consistently (*cough* Michael Gilbert), my deepest apologies for the lack of updates. I can blame it on a mixture of business and laziness. Yet, I have returned to enlighten those of you who care on what has been going on here lately in Madrid.

First update: Tragedy in Madrid. Yes, tragedy. The last time I had seen my Starbucks boyfriend, Victor, was the day before I left for Paris (which, tomorrow, will be two weeks). So after quite some time thinking I was not having as much luck with running into him, I asked his co-worker and other friend of mine where the heck he was.
"Y, Victor, todavia trabaja aqui?"/ "And, Victor, does he still work here?"

"Ya no.."/Not anymore.

"Por que no?"/ Why not??
"Because I fire him (giggle giggle at his own "english joke")noo noo just kidding ya trabaja en el Starbucks de la Reina Sofia"

Victor straight up switched locations on me. I am depressed. This makes going to Starbucks about 90% less fun. The one he now works at is across town and I think if I just showed up at that one, it might be a little creepy.
Look, here's my haircut:

Second update: I got my haircut! Now, I have needed a haircut probably since about mid-July so it was definitely overdue. After seeing all the bad hairstyles here, though, I was a little nervous. So , I went to this salon called Marco Aldany and the girl who cut my hair had pink bangs. Just the bangs were pink. Not the rest of her hair. Needless to say, I was bracing myself for the worst. I asked for it to be "capeada" (layered) y "sin flaquillos" (without bangs)..."mantiendo mi largo" (maintaining my length). She did an awesome job, but it does look a little euro. I like the european
touch, though. I've gotten some compliments.

I don't have any huge "third update", but I did want to mention that my all time favorite place in Madrid is the Templo de Debod. Its sunsets are incredible! It's a place where you can really reflect on beauty and creation. On Monday, I went with my friends Martin (he's from Argentina and is sooo cute..he's also quite the photographer and we took a million and one pictures), Cheryl, and Christine. It was so much fun.

So, next week is more midterms which means I will not be liking life as much. I'm not really looking forward to that. I am thankful to be in Madrid this weekend and NOT travelling because that was getting tiring. I guess I'll be studying half the time, though. Woohoo. So, I will be working on updating more frequently. More later!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Paris=tres magnifique


This past weekend, Katie Plu and I finally went on our one-year-anticipated trip to Paris. All of the waiting and expectation culminated into two of the best days I've ever had in my entire life! Ok, and I know a lot of you know that I like to overexaggerate in my day to day speech, but I'm SOO serious about this! It was AMAZING!
So, first of all, I travelled all by myself with virtually no bumps in the road. I felt like quite the grown up. Katie and I meant in the Paris train station "Gare du Nord"...of course somewhere in the excitement of seeing her I ended up on the opposite metro platform. I yelled, "Katie! It's me!" and she proceeded to ask, "What are you doing over there??" I didn't really know what happened with my sense of direction. But we finally reunited and I had to stop myself from pulling a Janeen and crying. That afternoon/night we roamed around our hostel's neighborhood (which was SO cute...so french) and found this quaint little restaurant. I ate the best french onion soup I've ever had in my entire life, as well as this stuff called "bouef boulignon(?)" that was absolutely amazing. The meal was enjoyed with a great bottle of french red wine and topped off with a chocolate crepe. All of that delicious food and some of the best company in the world made for one of the best dinners I've ever had. Everything french food is hyped up to be is absolutely true, and now, I can vouch for it.

The next day, Katie and I got up bright and early to see all the sights. We got a day pass on the Batobus, which is the river Seine transportation (this was a great deal, since you can hop off and on the boat all day and see all the main sights in Paris). We started off with Notre Dame (HUGE!), then proceeded to the Champs-Elysees (totally went to the most amazing Sephora and prohibited myself from
buying anything), Arc du Triumph, and then took a lunch break. We ate at this swanky little restaurant that was like an inexpensive cafeteria. I don't know how to describe it, but it was a wonderful business idea that I might try and replicate one day. So anyway, then we proceeded to the Eiffel Tower which is WAYYY bigger than I thought. We ate this chocolate and banana crepe that we bought from a stand right by the tower. Ummmm, let's just say my mouth is watering at the mere thought of it. Delicious. Moving along, we went to the Musee d'Orsay, where we saw WONDERFUL works of art (including some Degas ballerinas that reminded us of Satterlee...and we talked about how much we missed her). A much needed cappuccino break was taken after that. We were revived enough to go to the Louvre and see, of course, the Mona Lisa, as well as many other amazing works of art that are too many to mention. We thought our legs were going to kill us at this point. But we pushed on, so we could go eat a baguette, ham, cheese, and wine at the Eiffel Tower. TOTALLY worth it. Getting the bottle of wine open was quite the sequence of events. I'll just continue to the rest of the weekend...
Needless to say, we slept REALLY well Friday night. The next day, we planned on going to Versailles. Haha. Well, apparently if a metro stop is called "Port de Versailles", don't believe that it will actually bring you to the door of Versailles. It's lying! So, we decided to move onto the tomb of Napoleon. He was a neurotic little fellow. He made his tomb so that you either have to lean over to see (so you're bowing down to him) or looking up to him. Never on eye level. This knowledge is courtesy of the wise Katie Pluhowski. After that, we got a ham and cheese crepe, again, by the Eiffel Tower. Mmmm delicious. We wanted to see the Moulin Rouge, too, but we didn't know where that was and frankly didn't feel like asking anyone about it either. So, we went back to our hostel to freshen up and then roam around our hostel neighborhood. Thank goodness we did this, because we saw the CUTEST little french parade! Katie and I think that the french people were like,
-"Hey, what are you doing tomorrow?"
-"I don't know, what about you?"
-"Well, I was thinking we could put on 17th century clothing and have a parade."
-"Alright, that sounds good to me."

I'm 99% sure that's how it went down. We decided to continue roaming around our neighborhood later. It was the perfect area, because there were tons of locals. We were practically the only tourists, so I felt like we were getting the real french experience. We saw this cute street that was really hustly-bustly so we decided to walk down it. It was filled with "boulangeries" and "fromageries" and chocolate stores. Heavenly. At the end of the street, there were a TON of people, so of course we were intrigued. We continued on as I began to ask Katie, "where to from here?" she exclaims, "Hey, wait a minute!!"
We had literally stumbled upon the Moulin Rouge!

The way we found it was so hilarious and amazing that I couldn't stop laughing for a while there. We were so happy. But the street that Moulin Rouge was on was really sketchy and was practically nothing but sex shops. So we skidaddled out of there pretty fast. Yes, skidaddled. Our last meal together was another baguette, cheese, and ham. Glorious. Except while we were eating this really relentless guy came up to us asking for "only one euro" and I finally had to speak gibberish to him (my attempts at pretending like I was dutch) to try and convince him I didn't understand what he was saying. Props to Plu for not dying laughing.
Needless to say, Katie and I were verrrry sad to see our weekend coming to an end. But the time spent together could not have been any better. I am so blessed! Paris is certainly a gorgeous city meant to be shared with loved ones.


video
video

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"and in this moment I am happy"

Some moments in life just need to be treasured. That's what I've been trying to do this week, and it's been glorious.

Maybe my new found positivity is due in part to the fact that this week contains no midterms and ends with a trip to Paris. But no matter, this week, my glass is definitely half full.

Experiencing the changing of seasons in Madrid is marvelous. The weather is getting chillier, yet the sun is still shining bright which makes the happiest combination ever. I've always loved autumn...I don't know exactly why since nowhere I've lived has ever offered much of a changing of seasons. But there's this certain feeling about it that is maybe impossible to describe. But that certain feeling is absolutely amazing. It's one of those feelings that comes over you and you can't help but to smile.

European style keeps getting weirder as the weather shifts to being cold. Spaniards love layers...they just throw on whatever clothes that are within reach--I'm convinced there is no reasoning behind it. I do enjoy walking down the street with my Ipod on and marvelling at all the different styles people can come up with. And yes, I still giggle at all the mullets I see. That never seems to get old.

I realized today how much I enjoy the little things about Spain. I love that it is standard to have a pig leg hanging in your restaurant window. I love that you have to look for a plaque on the side of the building to see which street you're on. I love that reallllllly old men and women still hold hands--all of them. I love that bread is eaten with every meal. I love that people talk with a lisp.

All that said, I'm falling in love. There's something about these people, this culture, and this country that I don't know if I can ever get enough of. It's absolutely addicting. Every day I seem to get happier to be here. Tal vez porque mis habilidades de comunicar han mejorado muchisimo. Puede ser. Pero no se...solo se que en este momento, estoy contenta.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

life is beautiful

Oooh how thankful I was for the weekend to arrive. It has slipped between my fingers yet again but the coming of this week also means something I've looked forward to for a very long time: A weekend in Paris with Katie Pluhowski! I am going to be researching Paris and learning a few useful french phrases in my preparation for this Thursday. I couldn't be more excited!
So Friday night can be described as "multicultural". First off, we went to Cheryl's mom's hotel room because she is in Madrid visiting. She's a riot! We visited with her and her aunt for a while and then headed to our friend Martin (mar-teen)'s apartment with the roommates and Alejandra. Being at Martin's apartment was one of those experiences where you sit back and think, "This is good." There were four Spaniards, three Americans, two Argentinians, and one French girl. We sat around speaking all of our languages...the spanish speakers were trying out their english, my roommates and I were speaking spanish, the french girl was teaching us hard to pronounce french words. We were just sitting around, listening to all styles of music: from Incubus to techno to classical. And then we shared each of our perspective languages tongue-twisters. It was hilarious to see everyone's reaction to my recital of "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?" The french tongue twister was insanely hard to say.
I loved being able to exchange thoughts on culture, politics, and life with those from all over the globe. We represented three different continents, yet I realized how alike we truly are.

Then last night my roommate Teal and I met our friends Kate, Vaughn, and Travis up at Plaza Espana to go and see the Templo de Debod at sunset. The Templo de Debod was an old Temple in Egypt and supposedly it got flooded so they had to move it. And so they moved it to Madrid? I don't really know any of the reasoning behind this, Spaniards just do what they want. So we made it at the verrrry end of the sunset but it was absolutely gorgeous. And we were able to see Madrid transition from daytime to nighttime...the Palacio was lit and the Temple lit up as well. We roamed around the park that surrounded the Temple and listened to this jazz quartet for a while. It was, again, one of those experiences where you realize: "This is so good." I was so happy to be there at that moment. Maybe next time I go, I'll be on a date. Because this place is like the most amazing date spot ever. One can only hope :)
So, I am soaking up all the cultural experiences I can and enjoying every moment of it. I think Italian expresses it best: La vita e bella.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

post script

Also...I have had midterms all this week and I am very burnt out. You know when you just think your mind WILL NOT allow you to study anymore? I have certainly hit that point and I still have to study for my last midterm tomorrow. ugghhhhh. Although it's difficult how Baylor does it (some classes have frequent quizzes AND up to four tests) at least they are spread throughout the weeks. Here it's all at once. Like death. And in most of my classes I only have 2 midterms and a final. Where's the opportunity to do well here? If I mess up one, I'm in for it! I hate stress with my whole heart. Shouldn't I just be enjoying my time in Madrid instead of....hahaha....getting an education or something? I guess I'm just speakin foolishness now. Welp, just thought I'd let out some of my frustration. I have never been MORE READY for the weekend.

jajaja

Ok. I had to edit my previous entry. My Starbucks boyfriend is definitely named Victor. And I'm an idiot.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

oh yeahhh

And just because I know everyone was on pins and needles after the last blog, I got another free latte today.

This flirting thing can be a profitable business venture.

Monday, October 1, 2007

novio de estarbucks

Ahhhh...so I have this novio (boyfriend) who works at Starbucks. Don't freak out. He's not really my boyfriend. But I like to flirt with him.
I just thought I would blog about this because it's one of those "little joys in life".
It all started when I was obsessed with Starbucks and God provided one, conveniently, at the metro stop/mall I have to go to everyday to get to school. So, of course, I quickly became a regular. Over the first few weeks, I slowly but surely met every employee there. They know me.
But the day I first met Victor (haha..come on the names are just unconventional in Spain) was special because I was in line like any normal day, but when he saw me he did this double take that was absolutely priceless. It made me smile for the rest of the day.
The next couple of times I saw him I was sure to give a cute smile.

The third time or so was a special occurence. It went a little something like this:
"Hola! Que tal?"/ Hey how are you??

"Bien :) y tu que tal?"/ Good! you?
"Bien, que quieres hoy?/ Good..what can I get for you?
"Quiero un latte../ I want a latte...
.."Grande con vainilla y leche desnatada?"/grande vanilla nonfat?
"haha siii..como lo supiste?"/ yeahh how did you know?
"...algo mas Sarah?/ anything else Sarah?
"es todo" / that's all...
So he knew my name. Now, I've worked at Starbucks so I know that it's not that hard to memorize regulars names and orders. But you only memorize the ones that make an impression on you.
It really sealed the deal when I got my latte for free... :)

And yesterday was amazing. I can't describe it without sounding gay. So forgive me. I was in line with my roommates and I got a "side glance" which let me know he saw I was there. The cutest part was when I was the next in line and he said "hola" to the people in front of me and then looked at me and mouthed "hola". I nearly died. So I finally asked his name. He said it really fast. But it's Victor. Starbucks was really crowded so I'm sure he was stressin a little bit. But he was sure to smile at me occasionally. When I left he waved at me from across the cafe.

Ah I'm a stupid girl. Oh well, it's fun to have a little crush I guess. But if "history repeats itself" then nothing will come about. Story of my life.