The sixth installment of my abandoned Granadino memoir, Flawed Abroad: Useless editorializing from an ignorant, close-minded American on his semester overseas.
14 Ene. 05, 13.15
Well, I won’t say that last night was a bust, because that would be a lie and I would go to hell, but it certainly did not turn into the fall-down, blackout slobberfest I had hoped for. In most of the bars around here, a glass of cervesa costs but a single Euro, but after tasting five different beers from five different peers (as well as some face-squelching white wine), my initial fears were confirmed: beer is a bitter, vile beverage and wine its disgustingly fruity life partner. Hoping that a mixed drink would prove more to my liking, I purchased a piña con vodka for the unconscionable price of 4,50 €. The drink itself was mediocre at best, but the alcohol never really registered, so I summoned up another five-spot and ordered a second—this one with a little more vodka. It tasted even worse than the original, but I grimaced it down like the true liquor lightweight I was and am. We left this particular bar soon afterward to hit up a much less reputable establishment, where Alex C. assured me the drinks would be cheaper. Well, the beer certainly was, but my naranja con vodka cost me another 4,50 € and was even more bitterer-er than the previous two. By this point I had begun to feel ever-so-slightly lightheaded but was still maintaining disappointingly full control over my various motor functions.
Our third stop of the night was the pseudo-dance club Babylon, which was actually pretty fun in its own hokey, neon-decorations-under-black-light sort of way. Unfortunately, not only was there no David Gray on the sound system, my drink was still a tear-jerking 4,50 €. This time I ordered an Acapulco on the naïve assumption that a combination of orange juice and pineapple juice would be enough to mask the ghastly taste of cheap vodka, but of course it was just as astringent as the first two. We hit up one final bar that night before a few of the braver gringos ventured over to Granada 10—one of Granada’s most happening discotecas, despite the lame name—but I discreetly bowed out around 3.00 to walk Amanda home.
Now, at Bowdoin College, returning home at 3:30 in the morning is an eminently respectable hour—borderline envy-inducing even. But in Granada, if you call it a night before 5.00, you are definitely considered a minor player in the bar scene. Then again, after dropping 18 Euro on the equivalent of nine shots of Vodka and not feeling much different than if I had taken a low-grade, over-the-counter pain medication, I’m not overly concerned with partying labels. In any case, a new course of action is definitely in order, as I was nowhere near the level of intoxication needed to bust out some serious white-boy dance moves (which I swear to you I have). And if what I felt last night was the proverbial buzz you hear so much about, then frankly, I don’t see what all the buzz is about. (See what I did there?) There was actually one point during the evening when I became really excited because I thought I was seeing double, but it turned out I was merely observing two actual bottles of Smirnoff stacked right next to each other behind the bar. To lift my spirits, Alex promised to take me to a shot bar soon. I assume the drinks there will still suck, but at least they’ll suck for a shorter amount of time and less money. Despite my alcoholic ambivalence, however, I’d definitely classify last night as a success. I didn’t puke, I didn’t hook up with any homely chicks (Spanish or otherwise), and what I failed to achieve in bombing experience, I more than made up for in bonding experience—and really, aren’t hydro-carbon chains really what life is all about?1
Miscellaneous Observation: The man who brings the Pooper Scooper®™©Iwillkillyouifyoustealthis to southern Iberia will probably become an overnight millionaire and be heralded as a saint. Speaking as an American in Spain, this shit is everywhere (pardon my French). While it’s true that I take great pleasure in watching the stray canine population frolic and gambol in the streets (and occasionally steal untended babies from their carriages), I could do without the mushy, ever-present reminders of their adorable existence.
1. Holy doublespeak Batman—two puns in one sentence! Will wonders never cease?