Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spain: Quick and Dirty

Work 6:15 to 11. Bike home, shower, bike to train station, activate EuRail pass, train to Koln, next train was 15 minutes late, met some British girls, train to Bruxelles Midi, train wound up 40 minutes late, arrived as train to Paris was leaving, went to help desk, got stamp and told to get next train to Paris, went to platform and asked for help, man from train company called and I was not going to make the overnight to Barcelona, won't refund my booking fee for seat even though I had to stand for half the trip, met a girl from south Korea named "Liz", metro to Gare d'Austerlitz, hash drug deal over pizza on metro (one guy shared pizza with some others and when they got off, they gave him a hunk of hash in return), told I had to buy a new ticket since I did booking through DB and they can't transfer or refund it, also wouldn't put me in a hotel (all available were 200 or more for one night), wandered Paris for a few hours, took random photos, around 12 went back to sit in Gare du Lyon to wait on train to Barcelona (didn't leave till 7:15 am), read a book and met some strange men, was told repeatedly that I was beautiful read more.
Train station closed for the night at 2, rained so I was stuck on the streets in the rain until 4:30 when it opened again, lots of creepy men, told I was beautiful multiple times, met a French guy who spoke English decently, rolled us a splif and bought me a coffee when the station opened, talked to an Indian guy and he wanted a photo together, talked to more French people, tried to go to bathroom but it's not open until 6, got to use the toilet and felt much better, met a guy going to Barcelona too but he's Spanish and didn't speak any English, boarded on track 7 hall 2 and were off at 7:15, train ride begins, I am asked for my ticket and passport so I had to dig in my bag for my passport as this was the first conductor to ask to see my passport and for safety I had moved it to the large compartment of my backpack instead, fell asleep but kept waking up, guy next to me reminds me of the Asian from the hangover movies in appearance down to the boots but he is reading bible literature, two guys across from me are both very attractive but it takes me a while to guess if they are gay or not (one had a wedding band on) the one directly opposite me looked exactly how I see Sam Scott in ten years time, really woke up when we were driving through nices (nines, ninse, nenis..?) a totally pink city from the stone used to build the buildings, got to Barcelona and had a hard time getting out of the station, bough a two day metro pass (probably should have got a three day one though), metro to Bobby's place of meeting, my phone doesn't work here at all so my messages weren't going through and I couldn't call him, wandered the area, bought some lunch/dinner at burger king (where we were to meet), wandered more, back to burger king, borrowed a Spanish girls cell to call him, he sent a friend to pick me up, said friend bought me a beer but rushed me to drink faster since he was "already late", walked me in the direction of the apartment but had to stop in a store and told me to wait outside (not sure if making plan to sell me into the sex trade, buying drugs, or trying to avoid selling me into the sex trade), he left the store with a baguette though and ushered me to follow, walked to the apartment but I couldn't find my way back alone, a bit surprised that two Indian guys live there plus Bobby the host I wasn't expecting that, kitchen looks straight up jank (gas stove with no oven and trash can below stove), admittedly I was quite tired from no sleep in Paris and my usual 4 or 5 hours a night but I was slightly offended when I was rushed out of the kitchen into a bedroom and told to rest and that it "was nothing personal", my host wasn't even home yet and I don't speak a word of Spanish so I don't know why I was rushed out I wouldn't have understood what they discussed (possible over tiredness is making me paranoid), I was woken up by Bobby when he got him and he brought dinner not that I was hungry, we talked a bit an then I wanted to sleep, we shared a room (him on the floor and me on the bed) but he just kept talking, he told me the story of the bad review he got on coin surfing and kept talking, finally we went to sleep.
Lighting in the room wasn't too good which means I slept in until 8:45 then got up and showered (only cold water), got dressed an woke Bobby (he is going to show me the city today), he started boiling potatoes and went to buy coffee, I made coffee on the stove, breakfast was something like stuffed tortillas with yogurt interesting process to watch but not really my cup of tea, we then had tea and it was far too sweet but I said thanks and drank anyways, we didn't leave until almost lunch but then I got to stay out longer, took metro to cathedral, walked a bit an wanted to find Guell Park but wound up at La Ramba, found the port with tons of tall masted ships, still looking for the park, took the metro and walked up a huge hill with outdoor escalators, climbed to top and saw the city from above, walked down and found interesting buildings, took bus 24 (which Bobby has been talking about the whole day), found some of the Goya places I listed before the trip, metro back to Bobby's neighborhood to go to a carnival he said was there but we wound up back at his place having coffee and making dinner, water show (one of the first fountain shows in the world 1910 or so), went back by metro and Bobby was set on finding that carnival from earlier but he didn't know where I was so we walked in circles, you may have noticed that I didn't mention lunch or dinner and that's because I didn't consume any, by the time we got back I was past the point of hungry into pissed off mode and just wanted to sleep, I showered and Bobby made some food but I just wanted to sleep and h wouldn't let it drop, he came in and stood over me and wouldn't just let me sleep, kept talking about going to a bar, finally I said I wanted to sleep and assured him nothing was wrong, he finally left and I could sleep.
Woke up at 7 ready to leave but Bobby was being weird, grabbed my things and left, only had a 50 and no one could make change, wandered the city and finally got change, made my way to station at 9:30, train should have left at ten but they wouldn't let me on, I had to make another reservation (another 10 Euros) for the 11 train and wait to board, got on the train and finished reading a book but then had nothing to do, found the metro and bought a two day pass, found my way up to Robertos house, cell still not working in Spain so asked a girl in the station and I don't know if she didn't understand me or if she didn't want me to use the phone but I walked out of the station to find I was in the middle of nowhere, finally found some girls and borrowed a phone to call, Roberto met me at the station and showed me back to his house, I got to meet his daughter Danielle and his wife and other daughter whose names I forget, he showed me some things to see and the family was off to a Mexican citizen party at the Mexican embassy, I showered and made a sandwich and left the house, metro line 1 to metro 10 to line 1 to Puerto del Sol, not even close to sure what all I saw it was Spanish buildings shops and food all over, saw some really cool buildings and bought some snacks and drinks, wound up a bit away so I took the metro back from Banco de Espana to sol, then metro from sol to Plaza de Castilla, got out and wandered a bit but no photo ops in the dark, back on metro to Las Tables, mandatory switch at Tres Olivos, switch to ml1 to Maria Tudor, walk back to the house (they're not home but I have a key), two Austrian girls will also be arriving tonight, I came in and picked my outfit for tomorrow then packed my bag with my new finds, sat down in couch to watch TV and wound up on some Spanish children's movie (I think it was about how the sword got stuck in the stone), up next was Hercules the legendary journey and I laid on the couch to watch it but I may fall asleep, and I did but the Austrian girls arrived soon after and I said I would go to bed but as soon as I got into bed the family arrived home, I got up and talked to the family and they were quite drunk, stayed up until about three drinking and chatting with them, bed.
Woke up at 9:30 AM and the Austrian girls were already gone, got ready and left the house, metro to line 10 then to Plaza de Castilla, switched to line 9 to go to Ibiza for Parque del Retiro, (I was told that museums in Spain are free on Sunday), wandered the park, was just thinking I couldn't find the museum I wanted to see when I looked up and there it was, found ticketing office and paid 12 Euros to go in because I forgot my student ID at the house, no pictures inside, walked and found a beautiful church and looked from outside, walked more and found a museum with free entrance and looked (all from Tate museum in London), went back into the church and there were a lot of people dressed up and it looked as if mass was to begin, went to McDonald's for lunch, walked back through the park to find the botanical gardens but there was a line to get in, wandered the park more, metro back but I stopped and wandered between stops (one on the metro and one on street level then back on the metro), back to the house, I had a hot dog with Roberto and family then headed back to the metro to catch my night train, I was early so I didn't know where to go yet and wandered the station, they announced the platform and I went down, I got into my car first and then Hansol a Korean girl and a British woman arrived, I was worried that no one would speak English but we had fun talking about our horrible conditions, a conductor stopped by to see our tickets and he took our passports telling us we would get them back in the morning, we talked and explored the train (the toilet is the same size as on an airplane), another man stopped by to offer reservations for dinner (which we had to pay for) but he only had openings at 10 PM and 10:30 PM, he told us that the beds couldn't be put down before 9:30 PM and the whole time he had a sinister smile like he got enjoyment from our pain and thought that anyone stupid enough to take this train was (well just that) stupid, we got another man to put the beds down at 8 and we go to lay in the beds earlier, this train is like a prison with this schedule, we were all laying in bed relaxing when at about 10:30 PM there was someone trying to open the door, we didn't answer since it wasn't actually a knock but a conductor opened the door for the woman (the 4th in our room), I was yelled at that I was in her bed by her and the conductor but they both (acted like) they didn't understand  me and only spoke French even though this was the same conductor that took our passports and he spoke English earlier (believe me it is not fun being woken up so rudely in another language that you don't understand), I said I will move but asked to close the door as I had no pants on but was screamed at by the woman conductor and who I can only assume was the woman's husband (what did they think we were going to do when we shut the door? Beat her up? OK so I didn't honestly consider it... I swear...), I had to pull off the covers and show her before she would shut the door and even then the men were yelling and she had to tell them I was indecent, she was quite rude after that too even and kept the light on, moved my bag and then stripped down, sick, and to think people are always asking me why I so dislike the Persians, I read some but finally fell asleep.
I woke up on the train (not so rudely this time), and just laid in my bed, we would arrive in Paris around 10:30 and it  was nearly nine (a bit surprised they haven't made us put up the beds yet, everyone was already awake but at 9:30 a loud beeping noise happened in the room and I'm assuming it was the rude way of waking up all the passengers, once everyone was awake (we were woken up by the French woman) the conductor returned our tickets and passports, we just sat in silence for the rest of the trip except when the woman left the room, the British woman will be traveling with me to Gare du Nord so she can get a train home and I can also, when we arrived I said goodbye, metro to Gare du Nord, boarded the train to Koln, got on a train to Hamm but decided to take the next one because it was direct, wound up on the wrong train and in Papenburg (no idea), caught the next train back to Rheine the train to Herford then Paderborn, saw the countryside but added an extra 2+ hours to my trip, looked for my bike but it wasn't there, caught the last bus from the train station but it only took me half way home, walked the rest of the way, halfway showered since there was only cold water, passed out.

Woke up at 5:30 AM and Skyped with mom, walked to work, skipped lunch (the group was going out for Marius' birthday but I wasn't hungry), bus to the train station to get a refund for tickets I couldn't use but I'm not sure if I will get the money back (will take 3-4 weeks to find out), went to report my stolen bike but the police office was closed, home to eat dinner but got distracted by compiling this and uploading photos to Facebook.

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