Sitting in the lunchroom today, the principal said there is a family here that is wondering if I would be interested in living with them. They live 2 train stops away which could be annoying with the 12 private classes I've already scheduled within walking distance of my current apartment, but I think I wouldn't have to pay rent so that could be worth it. Need more info. We shall see. The other day I saw (on instagram) that an acquaintance from college is in Murcia. I sent her a message and she said she is at a friend’s villa in La Manga, which isn’t more than an hour from me! Definitely wasn't expecting anyone I know from home to be in the small region of Murcia that I currently call home. I think I am going to visit her tomorrow! Excited to see someone I know and spend time with native English speakers. Tonight the roomies and I are getting dinner and going to intercambio, which is apparently where native English speakers and native Spanish speakers get together to help each other learn the other language. Sounds like a cool thing so fingers crossed! 10:00pm Update: We went to dinner at essentially the only place people talk about here as a good restaurant and it had a cool vibe. I was pretty tired though/mostly in a food coma from the patatas bravas so voted that we go home and they were both in favor.
I was walking out of the apartment the same time as a roommate and she offered to drive me to McDonalds, where the Bla Bla Car was picking me up. Bla Bla Car is kind of like uber but for longer distances. People post where they're going and when and you can reserve a seat in their car. The roommate's accent is pretty thick and I could barely understand McDonalds when she said it, took maybe 5 minutes to get it. She was taking her dad to an appointment in Murcia and I appreciated the ride since the walk was going to be 30 minutes and I had a bag. It takes us 10 minutes to find her dad, who is sitting on a bench talking to people and another couple to get to the car which is parked in a garage. I get in the back of the 2 door and her dad sits in front of me. As we are pulling out of the parking spot, she actually hits the car behind us. 30 seconds later as we drive away, she says you won’t be able to see anything since the car we hit was black (or that is what I think she said anyway, my Spanish sucks). I get out at McDonald’s, get a diet coke and the Bla Bla Car arrives shortly after. The car consists of 2 guys from Almería who are both going to Cartagena to visit friends (but they didn’t know each other prior to this). One spoke a lot of English and the other didn't speak much, but I think he understood some. We chatted the whole way which made the drive go by really fast. We talked about the US and Spain and each other’s perceptions/opinions on various events happening in the country and around the world. We covered Catalonia and the vote, Trump, North Korea, the possibility of WWIII. We then got to talking about variations in the Spanish language by region, probably because I brought up that I learned Latin American Spanish, and stereotypical American things (i.e. crazy college house parties, being fat, etc) and it was actually a really fun time (and not scary at all riding with two strange men in the Spanish countryside). We made it to Cartagena, where I was meeting Joan and her friend, and said our goodbyes.
I knew I was meeting Joan & a friend but had no idea who the friend was. When I saw them and realized it was a guy, I wondered if I was crashing a date type vacation (and was now really hoping the invitation to join them was not just to be polite...or this was going to be an awkward weekend). Good news, I was not crashing (or if I was they did not let me know). Joan's an acquaintance from college - we were both officers of a club at ND. She met Gregor, a Scottish lad, working on a rig. We perused Cartagena, a charming little town, checking out the ruins, walking by the marina and eating the most delicious dessert at a pastelería.
We then drove to La Manga about 20 minutes away. Gregor’s parents have a house in the La Manga Club and had been encouraging him to use it more often. Since he and Joan both work on rigs, they work for a couple of weeks straight and then have a couple of weeks off and their vacations overlapped this time. When we got there they showed me around and to my room (the master bedroom, thanks again guys) which had the nicest patio overlooking the golf course. The room was cutely decorated with Scottish bears in kilts on the bed and deer on the comforter. We drank homemade sangria before heading out on a hike. I asked if we should pack water but they had done the hike yesterday and said it wasn’t too intense, so we packed beers and jamón flavored Lays instead. That was dumb on my part because I think I had had one water all day. The hike was not that intense by normal person standards, but by the time we made it to the top, I legit thought I could puke from the sangria (kept this to myself of course). We climbed atop a small hut and cracked our beers and watched the sunset. It was kind of the coolest feeling, like how crazy is life? How did I get here? How is it that I am sitting atop a mountain drinking a beer with this ND girl and a Scottish guy I just met and the sun is setting over the Mediterranean and everything just feels right in the world. It was magic.
We headed back down and, unfortunately, I had to pee in the bushes because too many liquids haha. We showered and got ready and headed to a sushi restaurant. The sushi spot was kind of swanky and we ordered a bottle of wine. After sushi, we were off to the bars. Even just leaving dinner I was kind of drunk. We went to Sí bar and Joan and Gregor know the people there from their week of going out. I tried to order in Spanish but the waiters don’t speak Spanish...they are mostly British. Joan and Gregor explain that La Manga Club is essentially little Britain. Over the course of the night, I apparently convinced someone I was Scottish. It's unclear what motivated me to do so, though I do have a tendency to imitate people's accents when I am with them (this is low key one of my least favorite qualities about myself..it has gotten me into a pickle a time or two before). We took some shots (which I have been trying to refrain from) and by 12:40 I had already texted Lolo, "fuckkkk, I’m drunk." I switched to water at this point (thank you to any and all gods). We then moved on to The Last Drop, where I continued to chug only water (girl can't hang), crush sweet potato fries and maybe doze off once before we left at 4AM (early for Spain, so so late for Sarah).
As one can imagine, I woke up a tad hungover. Or maybe the hangover should come as a surprise based on my timeline and switching to water. Joan and Gregor had developed what they said was a hangover cure routine throughout their week in La Manga. This began with baracka, some drink that is supposed to help. I woke up to Joan setting this next to my bed and I thought it was a mimosa and left it there for 15 minutes before realizing it did not have alcohol in it. After a bit of laying around, we did yoga in our suits (step 2 of hangover cure) and then jumped in the pool (step 3), which was freezing but refreshing. After more laying around we went to breakfast at Sí bar, which was quite a different scene in the day than it had been the night before, though many of the same people were there (with the addition of families with small children). One of the guys in the front room (who appeared to know us) enquired how we were doing and one of waiters from the night asked us where we had gone since he came to the Last Drop looking for us. I experience numerous waves of nausea throughout breakfast but fortunately make it though. After breakfast, we drive to the beach and hang for a bit there and then back at the pool. In the afternoon, they drive me back to Cartagena so I can catch the train back to Lorca. I felt pretty rough on the way back, but was happy to get home early Saturday evening to go to the grocery store (since it is closed on Sunday in my town which I think is just stupid). I cooked a sweet potato bowl and drank wine (because I thought it would help...it didn't really) and somehow couldn’t sleep until 3 am.