The seventh installment of my abandoned Granadino memoir, Flawed Abroad: Useless editorializing from an ignorant, close-minded American on his semester overseas.
Sábado, 15 Ene. 05, 15.00 (Saturday, January 15, 2005, 3:00 pm)
Well, I’ve reached another dead end in my quest to temporarily rid myself of all major sensate faculties. Thursday night began promisingly enough, as more than 20 of us took to Granada’s narrow streets, splitting every obstacle in our path with our patented “Flying V” and the occasional knucklepuck. I’m sure to the locals we represented a veritable gringo granuloma that evening, but as we had yet to fragment into our natural peer groups at this early point in our adventure abroad, we were still finding comfort in numbers.
As you can imagine, there are some obvious disadvantages to rolling two dozen deep in a city that has been inhabited since the dawn of recorded history—not the least of which is the difficulty in finding a venue spacious enough for mass wanton debauchery. But find one we did…and then see one we didn’t, because the moment the last straggler made her way through the door of our disreputable establishment of choice, literally every light on the block went out with a quiet fzzzz. In an ill-conceived effort to look on the bright side (as it were), we stood around in the darkness for awhile, debating whether the relative merits of not having to look at uggos were worth the relative hardships of not being able to scope out hotties. Naturally, the hotties eventually won out and we soon moved on to the disgracefully well-lit establishment down the block, La Marisma.1 It was there that I proceeded to down two vasos de sangría in quick succession, which I have to admit were only moderately obnoxious.
Speaking of the moderately obnoxious,2 it was dear Alli’s 21st birthday that night. Thus, like all good friends in our collective position, we kept a steady supply of drinks heading her way. In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have kept insisting that she have “just one more” because, by the end of the night, Alli had spilled an entire beer on poor Liz (who was, as usual, stoically good-natured about the whole thing) and also found herself engaged in other unladylike endeavors that it really isn’t my place to describe.3
Marisma’s marshy charm began to wear off around 1.00 or so, at which point a small group of folks set out for home while the rest of us continued on to the Chupeteria5—Steve and Alex C.’s favorite shot bar. The Chupteria featured more than a 100 different liquor combinations with fun, lighthearted names like fuego (fire) and muerto instantáneo (instant death). Each shot cost a Euro—a mere pittance compared to the alleyway robbery of my whatever-con-vodkas from the night before—so naturally I was buying them for the chicas left and right. (Specifically, I bought one for Nora on my left and Jessica on my right. Hey, I’m not friggin’ Midas here—or any other kind of muffler for that matter.) I myself ended up downing five shots within the first half hour, the best of which tasted like a sour-apple Blowpop and went by the classy moniker of “Quick Fuck.” The others ranged from some gross cough-syrupy thing to some gross pineapple-y thing. However, to my dismay, I was still speaking as eloquently and superciliously as ever after this second round of imbibing, so I agreed to accompany Luís and a few of the others to Luís’s favorite dance bar, SugarPop, on our last stop of the evening-turned-morning.
There was a 5 € cover charge at the door, but it came with a free drink coupon, which pretty much negated the cost. I had another piña con Vodka inside and, for a change, it wasn’t terrible. However, it too failed to produce any so-called “degenerative effects,” so I finally succumbed to Luís’s exhortations and ordered a shot of tequila, straight up. I have to say, while the lemon was delicious and the salt just right, the shot itself tasted like liquid goat fart. Nor did it bring about any notable change in my comportment, much to my prospective dancing companions’ dismay. (Read: a bunch of swarthy looking gentlemen in tight shirts standing by the men’s room. Did I mention that Luís is a gay Mexican?) By the time we left SugarPop at 4.00, I felt pretty much the same as when we arrived at La Marisma almost five hours previously—which is to say, disappointingly sober. I think this will be my last night of on-the-town drinking for a while, as it would appear that I can literally not afford to get drunk. Perhaps next weekend I’ll make some serious pre-gaming efforts instead, so stay tuned.
Miscellaneous Observation: While the various establishments making up Granada’s nightlife are, in general, highly conducive to having a good time—what with their festive atmospheres, friendly natives, and reasonably priced liquid refreshment beverage products—their bathrooms are, for the most part, the worst I’ve ever seen in the industrialized world. I have never been to so many places in a row where the “water closets,” as they are so charmingly and misleadingly labeled, are so utterly lacking in basic amenities like mirrors, door locks, toilet seats, and toilet paper (a.k.a., the four things that actually make a bathroom a bathroom and not, for example, a kitchen pantry with a hole in the ground.) I suppose you could consider these filthy rat holes a part of Granada’s inherent charm, but I suppose you could also call Hitler an innovative and progressive thinker. I know I have.
1. Translation: “The Marsh.” Crack marketing team they employ over there, no?
2. Oooh, preemptive burn!!!
3. Unless that place is in a footnote. Which it is. Which is why I don’t mind mentioning that the birthday girl puked her brains out that night. For these and other photos of Alli in drunkenly compromising positions, email me at HawaiianPun@gmail.com!4
4. Just kidding Alli. You know we love you.
5. Chupito (literally, “a little suck”—from the verb chupar) is the Spanish idiom for “shot,” so a chupitería is simply “a place that serves shots.” However, in this case, Chupitería was also the formal name of the bar.