The weekend Part I: Moving (again) and Flamenco

So life has been crazy, as usual. I’m now installed in my second home of the month. I’m staying here at Jordan’s piso until Friday, at which point I am hoping against hope that I’ll be able to move into my place! If not, I’ll have to find a sweet, helpful soul with a large couch to last me through the weekend. Fernando (the guy that’s moving out of my future apartment) ought to have his keys by this weekend, but one never knows here in Spain–it could be another few days of transience for me.

Friday I had a fantastic adventure walk with Talia around her Bilbao ‘hood. We got lost in various Narnia-like Spanish stores that seemed to stretch back for city blocks. One was the equivalent of a US dollar store, the other a hipster’s paradise of a mini shopping mall called “El Mercado de Fuencarral” with sick clothes, a bar, a lounge area boasting free wifi, tattoo parlors, crazy hair salons, and shops with names like “Stupid Room” and “Fuck.” (Yes, it was indeed called “fuck.” No, I’m not kidding). Here are some pictures that only semi illustrate how amazingly cool/surreal it is:

Mercado Fuencarral

Afterwards we got ice cream and then waited in line for me to turn in my application to the language school, where I’ll be taking Spanish for foreigners–probably at the intermediate or advanced level. While I’m at a pretty decent level now, my Spanish is clumsy and I feel that the opportunity to brush up on my formal Spanish in the classroom might do me a lot of good. I need to go take a “prueba de nivel” (test for level) tomorrow afternoon at 4. It consists of multiple choice, written and oral segments–it should be quite the shitshow. I’m actually a little nervous.

After that I met up with Jordan, who helped me schlepp my crap to his piso in Marques de Vadillo which is way Southwest of Central Madrid. Needless to say, it took me about 1.5 hours to get to school today. Thank God I’ll only have to get up that early for another 4 days… 4 because I forfeited one Friday off for having been sick last Thursday. Ugh.

Friday night I arrived to Jordan’s piso just in time to throw my things hurriedly into my room, brush my teeth, and fly back onto the metro to be at the Chamartín metro to see “Cumbre Flamenca” (which expresses the pinnacle of Flamenco, I guess?) . Cumbre Flamenca, which was presented for free thanks to funds from the Comunidad, featured Flamenco greats Pansequito (who has the most heroic mullet/bouffant hairdo I’ve ever seen in my tender 22 years) and Aurora Vargas, who played in the movie version of “Carmen” alongside Plácido Domingo.

The suave and sexy Pansequito and the truly sexy Aurora:

Aurora Vargas

It was cool. It was very cool. There was, sadly, very little dancing as in traditional Flamenco shows which I’ve attended, but I do love Flamenco purely for its passion and its pain. The crowd seemed to love it, too. Ancianos and jóvenes alike showed up with equal enthusiasm, clapping, shouting, dancing along. There were screams of “Ooooopaaaa! Arriba, guapa!” and more for the entire night with unflagging enthusiasm. Check out the exciting marketing in the video below to see sexy glamour shots of the Chamartín station and the Flamenqueros.

So yes–it was great, but I must admit that when the show ended at 11:30, my sinus-infected self was more than ready to go home, which resulted in my missing out on what the Fulbrighters and especially Andy, Fulbright’s self-appointed tour guide–tout as the best tapas bar in Madrid. I, weary and with throbbing sinuses, returned to Jordan’s piso to discover with no little elation that Skype and all of my programs now work being as I’m out of the residencia!

That means, if you want, you can Skype me at slothinabox (she urged ever so subtly).

Next up, my strange but fun Noche en Blanca!


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