September 7, 2005
I am finally in Madrid. It feels as if I am not really here. I guess the fact that I will be living in a foreign country for three months hasn’t sunk in. So far, I like what I see. The people seem very friendly and always willing to lend a hand. Madrid has all the charm of a South American city with the bustling feel of a major metropolis. The fact that everyone speaks Spanish is fantastic. I have only been here one day and I have already heard more dialects of Spanish spoken than I ever did back in Miami. But I should probably tell you the story of my travels, which really began over a week ago.
I left Miami in a state of emotional turmoil. For starters, my parents were angry with me for putting a scratch in their car and their anger was profuse. I was also having a hard time finalizing my packing as I had lost several essential items and was working while severely sleep deprived. Although I was a bit sad to let my parents go, boy was it marvelous to get out of Miami. My flight to New York went without a hitch and Lina came to pick me up at JFK. There we saw Kurt Loder, who was apparently on my same flight coming back from the VMA’s. Lina drove to Long Island and I quickly remembered why I love the North so much: so many beautiful trees. We arrived at Lina’s pizzeria where I met Lina’s grandma “Lita”, her cousin Diego, the uber-religious pizza guy, and Lina’s mom. I had some delicious, but potent pasta, ali olio. Then Lina suggested we go to see “The Forty-Year Old Virgin” which wasn’t as funny as I would have liked but it did have some excellent one-liners (see: What are we? Al-Qaeda?) I also had my very first ride in a VW Beetle, which was really cool, and it helped to reaffirm my love for small vehicles. The next day we hung out at Lina’s almost all day and we went to the mall for a little while where I ended up buying a lot of slutty clubbing shirts.
New York was fabulous as always. The majority of my week was spent at Lina’s house hanging out with her super cool fam. We did make it out to the city twice though. The first time we spent the whole day there and we ended up walking a great deal. We started our adventure in Koreatown (which we had mistakenly thought was Chinatown) and decided that it smelled too bad to be Chinatown. Then we finally made it to Chinatown (after buying a map) where Lina bought some über cheap trinkets and I some gaudy sunglasses. Then we miraculously ended up in Soho and I decided it will be my future neighborhood (no matter how much prostitution it takes to make the rent). That place is awesome; the streets were crowded with classy 20-somethings in their smart clothes and nerd chic glasses. Hotness. We found some flyers for an orgy and considered what that might entail. Great fun ensued. Later, I made Lina take me to the public library because it is just so gosh darn cute! I wanna work there so bad! Then we headed out to 42nd street, because a trip to NYC would not be complete without a good view of Times Square. There we saw some ABC show being produced with a massive crowd of onlookers seemingly trying to catch a glimpse at a star and when we got close I asked “who is it?” and some lady said “The guy from Access Hollywood” to which I remarked loudly, “Who cares about that guy” and walked off, which really put the crowd into a fit of laughter. I should do this for a living.
Our second night in New York City was a lot funnier than the first, though not nearly as enjoyable. We decided that we had to go clubbing in NYC because we are some bad ass mofos. So Andres took us to Avalon NYC (like the one in Boston) and we paid the steep $20 dollar cover only to find out that that shithole place only plays techno. Who the fuck listens to techno? I’ll tell you who. Asians. That’s who. The place was overrun by Asians. Seriously, I think we were the only people there that weren’t Asian. The place sucked. Apparently Andres really likes that shit music. I was trying to give it a chance, but seriously, have you heard that shit? I think that music would only work as the background to hot robot porn. I can picture it now: buttons, knobs, flashing lights, grease, and the sound of chafing tin and sparks and mechanical voices saying “oh baby, oh baby, yeah” in an eerie rhythm. Fuck that shit. Then these fucking forty year old, ugly as sin, smelly ass Asian men kept chasing me all over the club (not just one, but two). I was pissed because Andres didn’t do shit to keep those freaks off of me. And then I missed Miami. Seriously everybody, Miami has THE BEST clubs. Don’t go to Miami for any other reason, it’s a shithole, but the clubs are sublime because people in Miami really do know how to party. We stumbled out of Avalon (which is inside a church, by the way, and really creepy) at 6am and saw the sunrise on my fabulous city. I motherfucking LOVE NYC. We had a hard time getting that techno stink off of us on the way home. Then Andres told us that his dick is pierced. Can you imagine that shit? Gross.
Here are some other less important things that I did in LI. I went to the Walt Whitman mall, (for rich snobs), hung out with Lina, Andres, his cousin, and Teresa, and watched them get torched up and then almost caught by the cops. Lina was an expert negotiator and kept the pigs at bay. The boys tossed their half-smoked blunt and I later recovered it with my keen sense of smell. Lina got mad drunk and it was hilarious. She kept yelling to the streets that “You bastards all voted for Bush” and kept telling us that she would let people rape her. Her cousin slapped me an unexpected kiss on Lina’s porch, that was quite heavenly, and the next day we had a rendezvous. Lina pissed in a park while there were some strange people watching her and she only knew she was done pissing because of the sound. She’s like “Damn, I’m still pissing?” Lina + Heineken keg can six pack = HILARITY!!!
Then we arrived in Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, which smelled a lot like Koreatown. The six hour plane ride wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it, mainly because Air France is awesome. I have never been so well attended on a flight before. Fuck American Airlines. The turbulence sucked though. At the airport I saw a semejante culo belonging to some Jamaican lady, for some reason, it gave me the giggles. Lina and I were annoyed at all the cheese smelling French and their tongue tied talk. We were very glad to get out of France. For the record, I am never going back there if I can avoid it. The airport alone was enough to keep me off of France forever.
Today we were so majorly jet lagged that we fell asleep and woke up too late to take part in any of the day’s activities. So we decided to go for a stroll in the rain and we ended up walking all over Puerta del Sol to Atocha. We made a stop at “El Museo del Jamon” which is right in back of Hotel Paris where we are staying. El Museo del Jamon is quite amusing as it is nothing but hams hanging all over the place, and a sign that reads “bueno para la salud” with an ironic picture of a big fatty shank that greets the passersby. At Atocha we stopped in a bar and Lina had un bocadillo de salchichon and a rancid tasting beer and I had some frituras de calabaza. The lady serving us was extraordinarily nice and didn’t even charge me for the frituras, which were quite delicious although a bit grease ballish. We heard some Colombians talking and enjoying a bit of pot (second group of the day) and I decided that the Spanish are quite liberal about illicit drugs. We also came upon a gentlemen’s club called “Sex Factory” which we had overheard some fellow talking about on his cell and I remarked that “all roads lead to the sex factory”. Lina and I were trying hard to disguise our “Americaness” by speaking as much Spanish as possible, but our accents tip us off as foreigners right away, but I don’t even think it matters much because so many people here are foreign. Along the way we say a Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut, all brimming with people, which eased me up a bit, in case I ever get tired of gambas al ajillo and all that malarkey. But I don’t think it will happen, considering my adventurous nature when it comes to matters of gastronomy. Ok this is long enough.