The day I said goodbye to my family, I geared myself up to head down to the city of Cádiz for Carnaval, a holiday marking the beginning of Lent– naturally, a beach fiesta with drinks and costumes and outlandishness, so as to get every last drop of crazy out of your system before a more solemn 40 days. My day in Cádiz was just as I had expected: soaking up the sun in my swimsuit, dancing in the sand, saying “nah” when strangers ask me what my tattoo means, making new friends, etc etc…you know how it goes. This average story gets a little loco when I find myself chatting with a random American stranger while I sit with him and his friends. He tells me he’s from Houston, and I do what any sensible college student would do: “oh word dude, my roommate’s from Houston, do you know Michelle Globe?” because Houston isn’t a giant city or anything. “WHAT?!”, he replies, “what….”, I say to no one in particular, except maybe God. Do people ever actually have success dropping names like that? Well, apparently I was on the coast of southern Spain sharing drinks and conversation with my good friend’s buddy from high school, so I guess the answer is yeah, sometimes. The Spanish equivalent of “it’s a small world” is “el mundo es un pañuelo”… I think it’d be chill to say right now that el mundo es un pañuelo, without a doubt. What even.
The sun was setting in Cádiz, so I said bye to our newly-made friends as we left the beach. As it continued to get colder and colder, it began to dawn on me that I still had about 8 more hours of cold to endure in clothes that were packed by an over-zealous girl stuck on the phrase “beach party”. I tried to go all night but my stamina ran out, I couldn’t stop shivering, and in that moment, I gave up on life: I kept my sunglasses on the whole night. I buttoned my flimsy flannel all the way to the top button. I wore sweats with excellent shoes. Everyone was dressed in an amazing costume while I had nothing. “Your costume is mierda”, a Spanish guy told me. “GGRAAAHHHH I KNOW PLEASE GO AWAY.” I really did growl. (Mierda is a ‘bad word’ in Spanish… you may look it up yourself).
By the last two or three hours the wind was a force to be reckoned with, so reckon I did not. “How are these Spaniards still at it?!” I asked my friends and I while eating girl scout cookies curled up in a ball hiding from the wind in an alley, shaking my fist angrily at the heavens above. When 5 am rolled around after what felt like a backpacking trip throughout every region of hell, I got on the bus and instantly fell asleep.
What Cádiz taught me is that Spanish people party way harder than you and if you try to keep up you may fail. When I say you I mean me.
Until next time, Carnaval