Soaking Up The Bar Scene in Madrid

Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
Trip End Jun 07, 2009

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

As much as I was happy to have Mom and Chad come visit, I was relieved that I could finally do my own thing again. Tuesday night, I met up at Doogan's place (the apartment of Matt Doenges) and met some of his friends from University of Florida that are on his program here. We pre-gamed a little bit, and decided to go to a bar in Chueca called Area, which has a twinge of a Moroccan theme that features comfy couches and chairs as well as quality Moroccan decorum. I pledged not to spend a lot of money since I had splurged the week before at a Club on a Wednesday night called Pash. In addition, Doogan pleaded that he "owed" me some drinks because I somehow snuck away on my 21st, leading to the inability to buy me some shots. Thus, be bought me a couple beers, and we chilled in the bar for a good while. I also ran into some of Jared Wishik's friends who go to Emory, which was completely random and surprising actually. At about 2:45am or so, I wanted to leave, but due to my stingy mindset, I would NOT take a cab home by myself. Thus, I was completely determined to take the Night Bus home (the Bho, which means owl). So, there I left, walking for about 20 minutes, asking people where the Plaza de Cibeles was, which is basically the late night bus hub. Thankfully, I had looked which line I had to take prior to going out. I finally got the Plaza and became overwhelmed with the amount of bus stops and literal buses. After about 5 minutes of asking bus drivers where Line 10 was, I found the stop and boarded the bus. Believe it or not, there were actually less "weird" people than you'd expect on a late-night bus in Madrid at 3:30 in the morning. Furthermore, the bus ride was smooth except for the fact that I missed my stop by 1 stop. I trudged up the street and made it to my bed, only to wake up in about 6 hours for class.

Thursday Night pretty much ensued the exact same thing, only we want to the same bar to celebrate Allison's, a girl on our program, 21st birthday. We got her some drinks, and I took quite the liking to the Mojitos they serve. Expensive, once again, but definitely worth it for sure. After spending a couple hours at that bar, we tried to look for another one, but we pretty unsuccessful. Nevertheless, getting to know more and more bars in the Madrid area has been fun, but more works needs to be done.

The best part about no classes on Friday here: SLEEPING ALL DAY. I literally woke up at 3:45 in the afternoon since I really had no other reason to wake up. I knew my former roommate Eric Spiegel was visiting for his spring break, but I was just sleeping until he called me. Finally, he did so and we grabbed so lunch right by my metro stop. Due to inclement weather, we couldn't really do much else (outside), so Eric decided to go back to his hostel to take a nap. After doing so for several hours, he met up with us again and we went to the Hookah bar down the street so we could just have a chill night.

The next day I only slept till about 11 am to try workout at school. However, my friend Drew and I found out that it was closed for students on the weekends, so we pretty much wasted an hour and half getting to school and back. Nevertheless, returning for another one of Maruja's Majestic Meals was not too shabby. It consisted of a stew with potatoes and luscious short ribs that were barely hanging on the bones. Later in the day, I met up with Eric and we walked around Parque del Retiro, exploring some parts that I had not yet seen. It was probably around 60 degrees and I was walking around with short sleeves and my most recent purchase of Stunner Shades. I parted ways with Eric after grabbing a beer at 100 Montaditos so I could let him nap as he usually does.

That night, we decided to go on a little Pub (bar) Crawl similar to what we did in London. However, it turns out it was just about 6 of us, all from the WashU program. We hit up 3 or 4 places, all of which I had never been before: Mona Lisa, Deseo, Sol y Sombra, and one that I forget. I enjoyed some good drinks, especially some interesting shots of Absinthe and a taste of a TequilaBeer. (An absinthe shot in which the bartender lit the glass on fire, blew it up, made me take the shit, and then breathe in the fumes of the booze through a straw--intense). Not too shabby in actuality. After a couple, I began branching out and attempting to talk to some Spanish people, mainly females. It seemed to be tough at first, but they were actually pretty welcoming of conversation. They said I spoke the language very well and I immediately became flattered. At Sol y Sombra, I talked with some older females who also were impressed with my ability to speak the lengua. For whatever reason, I decided not to go back with my friends, so that I could potentially soak up the Salsa life at this bar. It became SO crowded (Asshole-To-BellyButton) at around 4 am that I had to leave. However, I marched out, once again, looking for the bus station, but I was unsuccessful in finding it. As a result, I just decided to walk home since I didn't want to spend any more money. Unfortunately, I got a little lost, and submitted myself to taking a cab the rest of the way. Nevertheless, I made it safely. Overall though, I was ecstatic to learn about a few more bars, and accustom myself even more to the city of Madrid. It's full of good people, fun bars, a vibrant culture, and an energetic vibe that fuels the city and all those around. Alliteration aside, I love life while living abroad. Absolutely loving it. Please come visit.

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Justin on

sick brah

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