So this weekend we went to Cadiz a small beach town about 2 hours away. They were celebrating Carnaval there, which is a holiday that is for some reason neglected in the United States. It lasts for about 15 days and its supposed to end at the beginning of Lent, but the one in Cadiz lasts longer. I'm not sure I can really describe it, its one of those things that you really have to experience to know what I'm talking about, but I'll do my best...Mostly its a mixture of Halloween on Franklin Street and Mardi Gras.
We left Sevilla at 11 am on Saturday morning and got on the train. It was me, Andrea, Elle, Derrick and Ricky. Everyone else bought their tickets together so I was in a different part of the train than them on the way there. I felt like Julia Stiles at the beginning of Save the Last Dance sitting on the train by myself. We got to Cadiz which is a mixture of Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Its cool because it has an old Cathedral and the cobble stone paths but it also has the craziness of Myrtle Beach. We went and sat on the beach and eat our sandwitches and then headed into town to walk around. There were a bunch of people in town and there were stands selling candy and food. There were also a ton of street vendors. We walked around for awhile before heading into a Mexican restaurante for dinner\lunch? I'm not really sure what meal we were eating but I got a fruit salad that was absolutely delicious. It was nice to not eat the fried food I'm used to at Mercedes'. Andrea Elle and I went and changed into our costumes in the bathroom of the restaurant. Andrea was a baby, I was a mouse and Elle was a cowgirl. Derrick and Ricky went as Vikings, but they had their hats on the whole day. Then we went and sat on the beach and eat snacks and watched the sunset. While we were sitting on the beach there were these two guys dressed as ninjas who decided to really get into character and started climbing the walls, either that or they were real ninjas because they managed to do it without falling.
Once the sunset is when the massive numbers of people began coming in. Everyone there really went all out with their costumes. There was a lot of men dressed as women, chickens, priests, Marios, cows and lots of other insane costumes. Most of our group headed back to the train station to wait the night out pretty early which left me and Andrea to mingle among the crowds. Andrea and I seem to attract only the creepiest and the weirdest of men, so I think we both knew we were in for it when it was just the two of us left....
So first we went into Ben and Jerry's were there were two workers litterally restraining this girl who I guess just really wanted to go in to get some ice cream (can you blame her?) She was talking in English and I'm sure the workers had no idea what she was saying so eventually they literally dragged her by her arm and took her back onto the street. Then we decided we needed to find someone dressed as the joker to reenact our picture from Halloween. This one objective lead to meeting about 30 people hell-bent on getting to talk to us. Some highlights:
1) A man who must have been dressed up as an ugly person because he had his teeth blacked out and his eyebrows joined together with black pencil who decided he wanted me to take a picture with him. Then his friend jumped in. The picture is priceless.
2) A pirate who thought it would be funny to take a picture kissing my check and then decided to lick my face. Disgusting and totally not ok. He also made a serious attempt to kiss on Andrea on the lips. ewwwww
3) A man dressed as Antonio Banderas who first asked us if we had eyeliner. Uh...no.
Do you have ice? Uh...no. Do you have 7-up? Nope. He also told us that we spoke really bad english and decided he only wanted to talk to us in Spanish. Antonio left us with these wise words: ¨May you have long life, with lots of parties, alcohol, and sex. Shhhh!!¨ It was very deep.
4) A man who at first ensured us that ¨I am good guy¨ but then decided it would be fun to pick me up over his shoulder and start dancing around.
5) We finally found our joker and took a nice normal picture with the guy. He wasnt AS good as the joker from Halloween, but he wasnt bad. We also managed to find some people from the Dharma Initiative to get a picture with.
At this point it was about 5 am and out train didn't leave until 7:40 and the train station didn't even open until 6:00. We spent a very cold hour outside the train station waiting for it to open before heading back to Sevilla and sleeping most of Sunday.
It was really fun and definitely worth having to stay up most of the night.
Early on in the week it was pancake day in England so I went over to a friend from England's house to celebrate with LOTS of pancakes. They're a lot thinner there, so they were similar to crepes. They sprinkle a little lemon and sugar on them and that is a typical way to eat them there. I went for the much-missed maple syrup = so good.
It's hard to believe it, but I'm nearing the half-way mark. The time has literally flown by, I still feel like its January. I'm having so much fun and I'm really not ready to go back yet, but hopefully I will be in another 2 months.
love to you all from the other side of the Atlantic.
ps - my parents are headed to New Zealand for about 3 weeks to go camping and spend time with my aunt. turns out the south island of New Zealand, the one they are going to, is literally AS far away from Sevilla, Spain as it is possible to get. and here i was thinking we were already far enough apart...