Malága…The Ultimate Learning Experience

I don’t even know where to begin or what mistake to begin with.  Perhaps it was planning a trip to a city I knew nothing about, staying out until 6:00am and having to wake up at 7:00am for the bus, trusting weather reports, not packing, not using the bathroom before a 2.5 hour bus ride, not knowing the name of the hostel because your friend who booked it missed the bus, not checking if the hostel was in a safe area, and the list goes on.  Well my trip to Malága does have a happy ending, but not before we messed up everything along the way.  This past week three friends from my school and I planned on going to Malága and staying at this cute hostel (according to pictures) and exploring the city and the beach for two days.  We all also decided it was a great idea to be out drinking until about an hour before we had to leave.  Miraculously, two of us made it on our bus and the other two girls had to buy another ticket for the 12:00pm one.  Once we arrived in the city, we had no idea where to go.  We both had terrible resacas and needed to find coffee and food ASAP.  We were in beach attire while everyone else was in winter clothing.  The sky was a nasty grey and it had just poured down rain.  This was a horrible idea.  I turned to my friend Jack and asked him if he knew the name of our hostel.  Blank stare.  Great.  Thank the lord for McDonalds and their free wifi.  After finding out this much needed information, Jack and I finally caught a taxi and searched for our hostel.  Let’s just say my first reaction to the hostel was not the best.  Well this isn’t the HolidayInn, I thought.  Is this the same place as the pictures we saw on the website?  Talk about photoshop.  I thought you could trust everything on the internet, right?  Once our beds were finally made, the other two girls graced us with their presence.  Within about two minutes of them walking in, Logan was already on the phone trying to find a train ticket back to Sevilla.  We all were tempted to join in on this call, but finally decided this was a learning experience and already paid for the hostel so we might as well stick it out.  We took a long nap and then ventured out that afternoon.  This time we went the opposite direction than the bad horror movie streets we drove down before.  The sun was shining and the Spaniards were out after their daily siesta.  Logan was convinced that we were missing something and kept explaining that “this is a huge vacation destination for Europeans!”  After a few blind turns we found the city we were hoping for.  Huge stores, adorable restaurants, and outdoor marble floors surrounded us.  The top of the buildings had enormous covers draped between them to dim the light.  I felt like I was on a movie set.  It was absolutely beautiful.  We stopped at one of the tapas bars and each ordered something different.  “Qué es lo mejor?”  I asked the waiter.  He pointed to a word that I never heard of and definitely should have written down.  “Vale.  Eso para mí por favor.”  It turned out to be fried zucchini covered in honey.  It was delicious!  We then explored some other bars down by the ocean and had a much needed relaxing night.  I knew there was no chance of us going out to another discoteca once we all saw the row of gelato and froyo stores ahead of us.  I’d rather eat my calories than drink them tonight, por favor.  A mini froyo for me!  We returned to our hostel and were asleep within seconds.  I don’t think I have ever slept that well.  My bed was so comfortable (probably from the hundreds of people that slept in it before me) and I was exhausted from a week of very late nights/early mornings.  That morning, we ventured out to the beach and quickly discovered we all forgot towels.  Not to worry, that’s what t-shirts are for!  I definitely felt very American-college-student-backpacking-through-europe-ish covered in sand and my huge backpack safely tucked between my feet.  We played in the water and made a scene taking pictures.  I could just hear the “stupid Americans” thoughts floating all around me.  We didn’t care though.  We were having a great time and some good old fashion fun.  All of our hard work laying on the beach and tanning left us starving.  We found this nice restaurant (pretty pricey unfortunately) with a flamenco type show on the street.  I was craving a salad more than anything.  I realized since being here, Spaniards love their meat and bread.  I needed something green!  We sat for about two hours enjoying our meal and the performances in front of us before taking our bus back.  We did have a very strange encounter with a lady waiting outside our bus.  I’m not really sure how to describe it, but we all definitely had a strange feeling about it.  She asked us in Spanish for 30 cents since she was short for her bus ticket.  Us being dumb, gave it to her, and she winked at me and just stared at us.  We all quickly checked our bags to make sure no one had come up behind and robbed us while we were distracted.  I’m not sure why I responded to her in the first place.  The “gypsies” here are very unique people and I must say I am a little superstitious.  Maybe it was a good idea/karma that we gave her that 30 cents or maybe we were all overly exhausted and over thinking everything.  Yeah, probably the latter.  I slept the entire way home and then went for a much needed run to stretch out my cramped legs since no one was home when I arrived.

When I returned, I was very excited to find my host parents sitting on the back porch drinking wine together.  I told them all about my adventure and they were laughing so hard when I explained the beginning in my broken spanish.  My host dad tells me that they have the best american student, even if she está un poco loca!  My host mom says that’s fine though, because she’s even más loca!  I’m obsessed with them.  When my actual parents come to visit we all are going to my great uncle’s villa in Soto Grande.  I told my host family that we would absolutely love it if they came and stayed with us for the weekend.  They were ecstatic and couldn’t believe we invited them.  It makes me really happy that I can do something fun for them after all they have already done for me.  They truly are wonderful people.  My “little sister” was so happy when I gave her a little bracelet I bought for her on the beach today. “¡Que guay! ¡Gracías Chacleen!” She squealed.  I really feel like part of the family here.

So in the end this entire weekend was a huge learning experience.  I also have decided that I made the best choice ever to come to Sevilla.  There is no where that compares to the beauty and the people here.  I feel so lucky that I have four more months to explore the city and learn so much more.

Well, I am absolutely exhausted and need descansar ASAP!  I will post pictures from this weekend soon.  Buenas noches!

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