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W “Ad” ing: The Invasion of Iberia by Tall, White Americans, Vol. 1

20 May 2008

Apologies for the long pause in posts; we know you’re crushed. As previously mentioned, a horde of our very tall, very white and very close friends descended on us last weekend and since then, we’ve been putting the Iberian peninsula through its paces. And it has been tremendous, yielding a veritable tome of mostly humorous anecdotes, some of which are recorded below for your imaginative pleasure.

The Iberian Interlude began last Saturday when we collected our chums at the airport at the buttcrack of dawn (an obscene part of the day which Al and I haven’t seen in nearly 2.5 months; it was sheer horror, especially with the 2 hours of sleep we managed to achieve between onslaughts of Swedish party outbreaks). After schlepping around and into hotels thru the rainy downpour—which, of course, started immediately after our friends arrived, continuing until immediately after their departure—we took some time to collect ourselves before enjoying our first of many Long Leisurely Lunches (L3‘s from now on), after which we did a quick survey of the Prado. It was during this time we established the theme for our trip: “Waiting for Our Dear and Beloved Friend Adi Who Somehow Without Intending or by Virtue of Unforeseen Third-Party Actions is Curiously Late on a Number of Occasions”, or more succinctly, “W”Ad”ing”. It was always funny, however, and she knows we were just kidding…we hope.

Jet lag claimed two victims that night, while the rest of us went to get the other half of the group checked in to their hotel and catch up while we waited for our other friend—who had arrived earlier in the week and immediately went to Barcelona to meet an old roommate—to return (grammatic simplicity be damned!). Their room was cozy and well designed, though the door to the bathroom was clear glass. Made for interesting deposits.

Sunday morn found us at El Rastro, one of the largest flea markets in Europe, where you can find pretty much anything you could ever not need, with the exception of your wallet, which was probably ganked three stalls back by one of the sly and nefarious pick-pockets who frequent the area. We emerged unscathed, however, and came away with a cool etching of a toreador toying with a bull that will adorn some wall in our as-yet-undiscovered Chi-town apartment. Plaza Mayor was next on our list, where we got to see some of the San Isidro shenanigans, as last week was the festival in his honor as the patron saint of Madrid. It was after this that we ended up at the aforementioned cerveceria from which we were dishonorably ejected (again, for no apparent reason…still steamed over that one).

Following our dismissal, we headed home to pack, then journeyed to the train station to catch our night train to Lisbon. Due to an overestimation on my part of the amount of time it would take to get on said train (imagining it would be similar to the ridiculous rituals at airports), we arrived at the train station about 2.5 hours early (it says on the tickets you just need to be on the train 2 minutes before departure…must have missed that). Fortunately this gave us plenty of time to eat and drink at the terminal cafe (which, by the way, kicks the soy byproduct right out of the fried patties available at American transportation hubs: I got a real pork tenderloin feast with salad, bread and an icy cold beer and Al got half a roast chicken meal for about €14 total, which, even with the exchange rate, is fan-freakin’-tastic) before boarding. Despite our early arrival, however, we found ourselves experiencing Data Point Two in support of the blog title as Dear and Beloved Friend Adi suddenly felt the urge to go, necessitating a trip to the other end of the terminal that took so long that we barely made it on the train. Again, it was funny the whole time, right Ad?

The night train was great, and due to the graciousness of another pair of travelers, we were able to get everyone into two neighboring cabins, which, in the near future, would greatly facilitate our finding our bunks after stumbling back from the bar car several hours later. Needless to say, we spent most of our time in said bar car, becoming fast friends with the bartender, who, in his graciousness, allowed us to remain in the car as long as we wanted following its closing at 2a. Which, of course, we did. Till about 4a, I think…. Arrival at 8a sucked.

Post-arrival, and after a good looooong pee, we strolled the winding streets of Lisbon to find The Lisbon Lounge, quite possibly the hippest, cleanest, coolest, least Eli Roth-est hostel in the entire world. It alone demands a trip to Lisbon. We snagged a huge 8-person room for 3 nights for what amounted to $65/person TOTAL, including the fact that we bought out an extra bed to ensure that we got the whole room to ourselves (our American love of personal space knows no fiscal limit).

What ensued will be covered in another post, as this one is already ridiculously long, and although WordPress space is free, there’s no need to be gluttonous.

Will our heroes have a good time? Will they fully explore the cultural opportunities afforded by the city? Or will they just end up getting drunk together again like they always do? Tune in next time and find out!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. 20 May 2008 4:38 pm

    How is it I always feel slightly hungover whenever I finish reading here? Good hungover, like lets go for bloodies now, hungover. And, favorite line?

    we bought out an extra bed to ensure that we got the whole room to ourselves (our American love of personal space knows no fiscal limit


  2. Countess of Cava permalink
    20 May 2008 6:46 pm

    I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment of “The Tall, White Americans in Portugal.”

  3. mme. hoolaha permalink
    21 May 2008 2:29 pm

    shoulder shake-ometer reading is at 7.5. please don’t keep your gentle readers waiting too long for the next segment, with all respect for not wanting to be gluttonous.


  1. Mom, Dad, We Want to be Lisbians: The Invasion of Iberia by Tall, White Americans, Vol. 2 « The World According to Conison

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