Warning: this post is the most disorganized post of all time. My lack of digital camera and structure in my trip has become apparent. It will be different on the next post. You have been warned!
Basically, the same way we got to Greece we repeated on the way back. I took that night train from Athens to Thessaloniki and slept perhaps half an hour our of the six hour ride. For whatever reason the train stopped every hour or so in addition to stopping at each station so people could stretch their legs or something. I couldn’t really figure it out, and I didn’t feel like looking up more Greek words to ask what was going on. I applogized to the guy sitting next to me for smelling like a homeless person on account of my shorts and jacket not having been washed for nearly three weeks. I just now realized that I told him that in Spanish and he probably had no clue what I was talking about… I was really, really tired. Oy.
Right before we left, I got this creeper shot of a guy who looks EXACTLY like my dad.
We made it to Thessaloniki right before sunrise. I was exausted, so I stayed in that same cafe from before in the train station:
I literally stayed there all morning, hogging the only available wall plug for four hours. At that point I’d had enough of sitting so I looked up “cheap” clothing stores in the hopes that I could buy a cheap pair of sweats and hide my shorts from existence until they’d been washed and didn’t smell like everything that gives you nightmares, but after looking for an hour around town and finding nothing but closed shops and angry Asian women telling me they couldn’t understand my Greek I gave up and took a bus to the airport to meet Teresa. There is apparently no such thing as a second-hand clothing shop in Thessaloniki, and you also have to realize that because of the economic collapse, nearly one in three shops in Thessaloniki had been closed. Yikes.
There was a Carrefour (French supermarket) in the Thessaloniki airport and we bought an extravagant meal of tomato sauce, crackers, muffins, and some other crap. We looked absolutely ridiculous. There were no spoons, so we used straws, niece carrying that around the airport got us the best looks I’ve ever seen. I was tempted to actually attempt drinking tomato sauce through the straws…
I tried to sleep during the flight but even my exhaustion wasn’t enough to lull me into sleep on the airplane. Teresa and I discussed getting a cheap hostel in Alicante when we landed, but there weren’t any cheap ways of doing so since all the hostels were in the center of the city nearly an hour away by bus, so we gave in and slept at the airport, using our backpacks as pillows. We had even tried hitchhiking within the airport, but no one would take us!
I don’t think I’ve ever slept so deeply!
Dawn finally came and we took the morning bus to Murcia. I really, really missed Spain even though I’d only been gone for ten days. I was SO ready to be back in a country where I could actually communicate.
Once home, we zonked. I was out like a light literally all day. And all night. And then again the next day. I was starting to get worried I was sick, but it’s three days later now and I’m feeling great. The other day, Teresa and I went on a wild goose chase looking for a store that could fix my camera, and after reaching the third camera repair shop that was supposedly licensed for Sony products, they told me I would have to go to Madrid to get it fixed. Seriously?! UGH. I sucked it up and ordered a new camera which should be here Monday… Three weeks without a camera seemed like a waste and I figure when I get back to the states I can just sell the newer one and get the older one repaired since it should still be under warranty.
Unfortunately as a result of my traveling slowing down, I can feel myself becoming more complacent not to do anything and eat gofres all day. I think I’ve had like six or seven gofres now since being back, so yesterday I had to make a rule for myself not to eat more than one every two days… Not only are they fried, they have little sugar clusters embedded inside. AND they’re covered in chocolate.
I can’t. I just can’t.
Would you like a “MAXI” sized smoothie? I know I do.
I also tend to get homesick and miss my friends and boyfriend. I tried to find other things to focus on and ended up starting applications for grad school (which are uber expensive) and giving myself the absolute worst haircut ever (though partially the buzzer’s fault because the guard fell off while I was cutting my hair…)
We’ll try this for a while I guess…
We hit up the mall the other day to find cheap sweats (and we found them, thank the powers that be) so I can spend all my free time lounging like a bum. But the fun part of our visit to the mall was that I got more gofres (two in one visit!) and we ate delicious Spanish tapas for cheap.
Four sandwiches, potato chips, bacon cheese fries, and a giant beer for €6.
Without my epic 18x optical zoom camera I can’t take creeper shots of people from far away, I asked this guy if I could take a picture with him for my blog, and he said yes. Cutest guy ever, or cutest guy ever?
After lunch was more gofres.
“My gofre is all gone?” 🙁
Then Teresa and I went hiking the next day and I was sad because of my stupid camera but I found ten euro on the ground! How wonderful!
And we explored an abandoned house:
Later we went to a research conference where I met a PhD student in linguistics from Spain talking about gender inequality in Spanish dictionaries (which is a huge problem, since the Spanish dictionary actually dictates how words should and can be used on the radio and in television…)
Things I like to read about while on vacation in Spain.
Suhila (Teresa’s roommate, the one that had actual research to present) likes to sing La Vie en Rose and insists I sing it with her.
Murcia is pretty, and I look like an elf who’s having a bad hair day.
Since I still don’t have a camera I’ve been using my phone sparingly whenever I see funny things, of which there is an abundance in Murcia:
Spanish Jesus == American Jesus
The cathedral by night. To tell the truth, the churches are usually the most interesting buildings in each city, and usually there are many of them like this.
None of the cars are actually moving in this picture. They’re all just honking at each other.
This used to be a gay bar (now it’s just closed). Background information: “Maricón” is the Spanish word for fag.
All over the city you’ll see buildings with signs that say “SE ALQUILA / SE VENDE” (for rent/for sale), but the listings for those businesses aren’t updated, so if you’re looking for karaoke late at night and you finally find it, it might be OUT OF BUSINESS. UGH.
Nooooooooo! I’m having karaoke withdrawal!
And suddenly in the last two days I’ve met a bunch of people just walking around town. I met a couchsurfer for dinner a couple days ago and I tried morcilla (known in Great Britain and Ireland as black pudding) which is congealed pig’s blood (GROSS) and looks like sausage:
The next day I was walking around to burn off the gofres I’d eaten, went into an icecream shop (just to look!!! I swear!) and ended up talking to a couple from Madrid (Antonio and Marlena I think were their names… I’m still bad with names), who invited me to sit with them. Turns out they were singers in a play that was going on in Murcia that night, and they shared my love of karaoke, so they invited me to stay with them when I come to Madrid and show me he karaoke scene! Sweet.
Antonio in his costume.
One more random thing: wine here is unbelievably cheap. There are some boxes of wine you can get too for less than a euro!
Mmm, tastes like gas, but with grapes!
Okay, now Friday night the STRANGEST thing happened. After giving up on finding karaoke I went to go find a bar to dance in (still haven’t done any partying in Europe, how depressing) and ended up meeting the program coordinator for exchange students in Murcia, Roberto de Gea, and he happens to know a bunch of people from Truman and has been to Kirksville on several occasions. It’s such a small world!
I got his picture from his twitter account. Cyberstalking!
Okay, more later.