Tales From Abroad
So as many of you know, for spring break I traveled to Spain and Italy! In Spain, the two main locations were Madrid and Barcelona and in Italy, we visited Rome.
The trip was an EF tour and so I learned very much from all these cities and saw a bunch of amazing things, including a bullfight, which I very much enjoyed!
If I had to sum the whole trip up in two words, I’d say it was: Exhaustingly Fun.
And everyone who went with me would totally agree.
But since I’m apparently not allowed to just sum the whole trip up *cough* Ash *cough*, I’ve decided to share all good and bad expierences of the trip and well everything I can think of… So this will be more of a behind-the-scenes thing or whatever, I’m not really sure. I also kind of want to share this too so I can’t say I have to share since I kind of want to.
*Edit: Since I’ve been procrastinating too much with this, I’m going ahead and posting what I have so far which is good since I was doing the problems portion first so I can now do this in parts that sort of make sense to be grouped together. If it doesn’t make sense, it will in the future*
And so anyway, here goes:
Tales From Abroad – Dilemmas
*Note: None of these follow a particular order as I am remembering things as I go
The Dr. Pepper Dilemma
First off, I have to discuss the serious problem with Europe not having Dr. Pepper. Completely RIDICULOUS. But before I begin this rant, let me go back to before I actually leave the country – to when I’m standing in line with the rest of our group, waiting for our items and bodies to be checked for weapons, etc. etc.
So I’m in line when a thought crosses my mind. Are drinks allowed? My carry-on has two cans of soda? Oh my gosh, can I bring those???
So I speak up to the pleasant looking lady at the desk. “Are drinks allowed?”
Of course she tells me no.
“Can I drink them right now? OR do I have to throw them away?”
“If you want, you can drink them before you go through.”
“Okay.” And so I dig out my two cans of Dr. Pepper and am about to open one when one of my teachers stops me, saying, “You’re really going to just drink two cans of soda? Right now?”
“Why not?” I ask and then open one. “It’ll be hours before we land and I’m not going to let these go to waste, especially since it’ll probably be tomorrow when I get the chance to buy more.”
And then the guy behind me (friend’s dad) cheers for me to chug it, sure that I wouldn’t be able to drink them in time for me to go through.
But I did. I downed one in like 30 seconds. And I’m on to the second one when a warning bell goes off in my head that it might get very ugly if I chug this one down too, so I only drink half and very reluctantly throw it away. Of course, everyone behind me was slack-jawed. And my friend’s dad later asks me if I just really like soda. I told him yeah, but that I really really really like Dr. Pepper. I then explained my addiction to it and he confessed that until he had weaned himself off, he had been addicted to gatorade.
But anyways, fast forward to touchdown in Spain and I quickly realize there’s no Dr. Pepper anywhere. None. I was so devastated.
A few days later and I’m going through legit withdrawal. My mood plummeted, I got cranky, and I found myself mournfully glancing into every store we passed for one glimpse of a single bottle or can of my precious liquid. But it was all hopeless! Do y’all wanna know what they have there in Spain?????? COKE, DIET COKE, SPRITE, and FANTA! That’s freaking it! Every single cursed place we passed through only sold those drinks besides the country’s own weird sodas/liquids! That’s just..ARGH.
Pretty soon, I get a bunch of people to join me on my quest for the drink because everyone could see how desperate I was getting.
FINALLY I find a few cans in the back of a super market and well, it was beautiful but also a tad humiliating.
A group of women are just standing next to this fridge thing talking amongst themselves when I come across checking the sodas yet again for my soda. I’m so mad by this point, I yell “What the hell is wrong with this country????! Why is there no DR. PEPPER ANYWHERE?!”
Said group of women look at me like I’m retarded and one of them raises their hand and points to the fridge thing. So I check and there it is. Six cans. WTF. But I grab five and left them one and RAN to the cashier, all excited like, but as I’m running away I can hear them start to laugh and giggle in spanish. I pick up the words “crazy” and “girl” and “Dr. Pepper” and “Americans”. So I probably left Americans in a bad light or something. But whatever. I don’t mind them thinking that Americans are crazy. (It’s not like they’re wrong, right?)
But I will admit that my face did get kind of red. Oh well.
Then my friend’s dad, found more in another store so I bought four more. I ended up finishing those off in two days and by that time we were stuck on cruise heading towards Italy. Damn it!!!!!!
So the next time I actually got to drink my soda was arriving in the US at the airport. I was so happy, I almost cried. I was also happily chugging it in between playing Words With Friends because that’s the first thing you do when you get back to your home country. Not call your family and that crap. (I find it funny how the first person I talked to when I got back – besides the people coming back with me – was Matt. Haha.)
But yeah, that was the Dr. Pepper crisis summed up. The longer version contained detailed accounts of all my withdrawal symptoms and how I declined throughout the days and how I went ballistic at one point…but let’s not mention that. That stays between those who went on the trip. We all pinky swore.
The Roommate Dilemma
I love the roommates I had. We’re friends. Good friends. I threaten to kill them all the time. (that’s normal for me)
Yeah, we’re totally tight.
So I was happy with the roommate assignments.
And everything was going fine until I learned a few things about my roommates, leading to what I consider too much bonding.
But of all the things I learned, two stand out the most.
The first being that Roommate #1 spends an eternity and a half in the bathroom. Actually more like an hour, sometimes even more. Either way, that’s way too long to take a shower and stuff. Too long to be normal? I mean, I sometimes take that long when I take a bath (which is rare, because I hate baths – I always fear I’ll fall asleep and drown) and the only reason I ever went past one hour was because I did fall asleep and was waken up by my head having submerged itself into the water (See? See? That’s why!), but I never take that long to shower. How is it possible?
And I wasn’t really going to complain about it because I showered at night instead of the mornings (You do you, boo-boo, I ain’t hatin’), if not for the fact I ended up getting locked out of our room for a good lengthy bit of time. I’d like to say it was fun, but it wasn’t since I had needed to use the bathroom bad. I ended up knocking on someone else’s hotel door and using their bathroom.
And for the second, Roommate #2 is a cuddlier and likes to communicate with people/spirits in their sleep, which was no problem because we slept in separate beds and I’m nocturnal, so I was up anyways.
Well it was no problem.
Then we got to Italy and the rooms only hat a giant double bed and a cot and guess who got stuck with cuddler/ghost whisperer.Yup, me.
My nights consisted of me watching horror films on my tablet with arms wrapped around me and me jumping in fear, leading me to bite my tongue, every time my roommate decided to reply to a question some non-visible person asked in my ear. Loads of terror filled fun.
But then again, I could have been stuck rooming with other people *shudder* so overall I was happy with my roommates. Plus thinking back, it’s kind of funny.
I am also very aware that I’m not angel to room with either. One, I was on soda withdrawal and two, I’m nocturnal and so go to bed very late. Fortunately for my roomies, they were both heavy sleepers so my watching movies and reading at night bother neither of them.
The Cot Dilemma
On the first night we slept in Spain (Madrid), we saw that there were two real beds and one cot. We immediately agreed that because this might most likely be a reoccurring thing in the next hotels we’ll be sleeping in, we’d take turns with the cot. This way it’d be fair. We’d all have a turn with the uncomfortable bed, but we never said we’d take turns using the uncomfortable (this is important so pay attention). We agreed to take turns on the cot. “We will switch who gets the cot.”
Well night #1 was for Roomie #1
Night #2 was for Roomie #2
Night #3 we had moved to a new hotel and new hotel had no cots but three beds, so I lucked out.
Next we end up on a cruise, so bunk beds for everyone – again, I lucked out.
Finally in Italy, as said above, there was a cot and a double bed.
I get the cot, right? That’s what was agreed, right? Miko sleeps on the single cot, yes?
Turns out, the cot is much softer, comfier, and an all-around better place to sleep than to share a giant bed, so to my roomies that meant Miko automatically gets stuck with someone on the double bed.
They then played rock, paper, scissors, for the cot.
Apparently, it’s now the uncomfortable bed and not the words we used “COT”.
I was totally ripped off!
Power Shortage Dilemma
In Italy, in the hotel, the power went out. LOL. You could hear the gasps of shock and terror everywhere and in the midst of all the chaos, hysterical laughter range out. The laughing, obviously, was mine. Why? Because of course the power went out just as I was coming out of the shower. Thankfully, I was dressed and all, but imagine the poor people who were still showering when that happened. That’s what really got me laughing hard. Picture that!
Do you know how freaky that would have been to be caught showering when the power goes out? You wouldn’t be able to see anything and so you’d be stuck in that shower for who knows how long since the fear of breaking your neck if you made a move out of the thing would keep you rooted in one spot until someone fixed the electricity. Bahahaha. Worst nightmare ever.
And so anyways, I immediately whip out my flashlight from my book bag and open the door, clicking it on, and going to investigate the rest of the hotel. I found a bunch of people in the hall in their pj’s complaining and goofing off and stuff. My friend then tells me to come back in because we’ll get in trouble and I just look at her and go, “You wanna be a cop too, right? Is this not what we (yes, I like saying we because in my head, I’m already there – aka, very full of it) do? Investigate? Where’s your curiosity? Where’s your bravery?”
It takes her three seconds and she’s putting on her shoes, following after me.
We go down a floor and about to head down one more when the owner, a very pissy Italian man, confronts us, coming from having talked to one our teachers, and loudly says, “I don’t understand why teenagers are still allowed to walk around this late at night!!! Are there not rules???”
He brushes past us and goes upstairs to fix the fuse and we’re just standing there going, “Did that *bleep* just say that?”
Our teacher tells us to return to our rooms and we do so, but we’re both not happy.
Personally, I bet if we were adults he’d have viewed us as the paying customers we were and would not have said those things as hotels don’t have a time people need to be in their rooms. You can come and go whenever you please. But since we were teens we weren’t allowed to do jack. And at the very least, he could have politely told us to go to our rooms. We just went out to check what was going on, we weren’t creeping around to go murder someone or something of that bad sort. We had a right to know what was going on.
But maybe I’m just really dead set on being against this guy because he threatened to turn the hotel wifi off if he saw one more person sitting on the floor. Well, sorry your hotel has like ONE couch! And ONE good hotspot right at the couch! What did you expect?! We’re American teenagers addicted to the internet! We are all going to cluster around the one good spot for wifi like moths to a flame! And we sure as hell aren’t going to stand around for a few hours, we’re going to sit.
*Grumble grumble grumble [bad word here] grumble*
The Cruise’s Shower Dilemma
The shower was minuscule.
You could stand under the shower head.
That was it.
That was all the room you had to get the duty done. And there was nothing but a curtain to keep the water from pooling out onto the floor of the bathroom. So when you stepped out of the ‘shower’, you basically waded into the rest of the bathroom. It was like you had a mini-wading pool. You couldn’t leave anything on the floor because it’d be soaked.
First world problems. *snicker*
The Prices Dilemma
Whew. How much everything costs in Europe is insane!
In some places, it cost 5.5o euros for a soda!
They give you a glass with two ice cubes in it and thin slice of lemon. And then a simple sized bottle of the soda you choose. We all reached the consensus that it was 2 euros for the drink, 1 for the glass and ice, and 2.5o for the slice of lemon. No joke.
Euros are worth more than dollars in case anyone didn’t know so technically we were paying around 7-9 dollars for bottle of soda, ice, and a lemon slice!
*breathes rapidly* INSANE!!
You can get 2 liters of soda for less than that!
I go to Spain and Italy rich-like, I come back poor with an empty-wallet.
And so I think that’s the end of the Dilemmas portion of the trip. So I’m stopping this here and later continuing another part of my tales – the good part. I did have lots and lots and lots of fun on this trip so don’t let the above confuse you or tell y’all different. I had fun and have no regrets. To be honest, the above mentioned things didn’t really bother me that much (except the Dr. Pepper one). I just felt like sharing them.
Alright, I’m tired of typing so that’s it. Done.
Miko out people!
Posted on April 24, 2014, in Down Memory Lane, Miko's Corner, My Blog and tagged cuddling, dilemmas, Dr. Pepper, EF Tours, fun, horror films, hotels, Italy, power shortage, showers, Spain, spring break, vacation. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.