The fourteenth installment of my abandoned Granadino memoir, Flawed Abroad: Useless editorializing from an ignorant, close-minded American on his semester overseas.
Lunes, 24 Ene. 05, 3.30 (Monday, January 24, 2005, 3:30 am)
Apparently in Granada, the way the bars subtly encourage their patrons to exit stage left as closing time approaches is by turning up the houselights and locking the doors from the outside. Maybe it’s just me, but that seems like a pretty good way to get people to stay where they are, especially if some sort of ransom demand is expected. In any case, at 2.45 this morning, with 2:45 left to go in the third quarter of the Patriots/Steelers AFC Championship game, Hannigan & Sons dispassionately turned off the television to give my staunch football allies and I the ol’ heave ho. (Not to be confused with the ol’ heave HURL, which is an entirely different—though equally recognizable—ending to a night of bar hopping.)
So here I am, hunched over my computer a few short hours before sunup, watching pathetically rendered Gamecenter highlights on NFL.com. I tell you what: You’ve gotta be a true fan to be captivated by colored lines moving back and forth on an animated football field…though I suppose a true fan wouldn’t be writing a journal entry at the same time, so you be the judge. I suppose I could just go to sleep, but that’d be so French of me, and I’m really trying to adapt to the Spanish culture here. Plus, my whole situation is looking pretty good right now. The Pats are up by three touchdowns with only two minutes remaining AND I’m having homemade churros y chocolate for breakfast tomorrow. (Well, today, really—in 4.5 hours, if you want to get technical about it. But since it’s usually not a good idea to get technical in Europe if you’re not well versed in the metric system, we’re going to have to leave it at that.)
19.15 (7:15 pm)
Blessed be thy son who doth maintain a vigil for the game of the ball and the foot in its entirety. This morning I awoke to my señora pounding her little Spanish fist relentlessly against my bedroom door. I couldn’t figure out why in the infierno she had taken it upon herself to wake me that morning until I took a sideways glance at my alarm clock, which gleefully informed me that my first class started in exactly 15 minutes. I did some quick calculations in my head and decided that even if I skipped breakfast, went to school in my pajamas, and caught a sympathetic autobus on the way, I still wouldn’t get there in time. And since I’ve always subscribed to the notion that it is insufferably rude to show up to class more than a minute or two late, I scrapped that plan and rolled leisurely out of bed, mentally preparing myself for the churros that I knew to be forthcoming. In that respect, oversleeping paid off big time, since my señora now had time to walk down to the corner Churrería and pick up a fresh assortment for breakfast, even though she had already purchased an entire batch last night for the occasion.
Now I’ve been trying to think of a colorful and accurate simile to properly relay the sheer volume of churro-age my señora returned with this morning, but the best I’ve come up with so far is a rather unpleasant comparison to my own thigh, as measured from the crotch to the knee. Since that’s not really an image I’d like you (or me, for that matter) to associate with my fried lovelies for the rest of our lives, please forget I even mentioned it. In any case, I polished off about half-of them before class and partook of the remainder less than an hour ago while watching—drum roll please………¡Smalleville en Español! Oh man, life is sweet. Diabetic even. Speaking of which, I’ve realized that I’ll probably go into a coma if I continue to indulge my real-time churro cravings, so I’m gonna try to limit myself to one helping a week. Unless someone else suggests we go get some, because refusing then would just be rude.
Oh, I haven’t even mentioned the best part of my day: When I finally arrived at school this morning—just in time for my second class at 10.30—my classmates turned a collective stink-eye on me and began inquiring vociferously and suspiciously about my earlier absence. I explained the minor football fiasco and then listened delightedly as they informed me that the teacher from our first class hadn’t even shown up! ¡La victoria es mio! I guess it just goes to show that as long as you never let your studies take precedence over the things that really matter in life (e.g., friends, fútbol Americano, churros, distinctive bellybutton lint, etc.), everything will work out fine in the end. Always.