Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just want to go home.

I just want to go home. HOME!!! BURIEN!!!

Somebody come and take me home!!!

Two more months. FUCK.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pictures from Paris

Beware: There are A LOT of doubles or triples or maybe I got carried away with the Eiffel Tower....

Ben Tang

Monday, March 2, 2009

Paris trip


Since we had a week off from school, a few of us decided to go to Paris for three days.

The trip started with an overnight bus ride to Madrid from Cadiz, which took eight hours. That bus ride sucked. I slept most of the way but the seats were cramped, the bus was super hot, and there was no bathroom on the bus. Once we got to Madrid, we took the metro to the airport and flew to Paris. The language barrier was a huge problem although most people in Paris speak a little English.

Once we arrived in Paris, we took another metro to our hotel and checked in and everything. Our hotel was about a five-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower, which was nice. So the first night we just went there and walked around that area.

The second day we went to the Louvre in the morning. The Louvre is a huge museum that houses the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and also has Napoleon’s apartment in it. It has three different sections and each section has at least three floors so it takes a while to get around to everything. We spent about three and a half hours there and we were going pretty fast. After that we went to the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. Then we walked to Notre Dame and looked inside the cathedral for a while. Then we went to the top of one of its towers and its all stairs up and down. There’s no stopping point or anything and its full spiral stairs, it was a work out. Once we got to the top, it was worth it. You could see the whole city and the day was pretty clear. After Notre Dame we walked around some more and finally went back to the hotel. We went out to dinner really late and nothing was open. We eventually just went to Chinese food, haha. The lady didn’t know English and we didn’t know a word of French so I got to practice my Chinese.

The next day we went to the Catacomes of Paris. The Catacomes were an old mine which turned into a grave for all the people that died from the plague. It was cool but also kind of creepy. After that we went to a cemetery that a good number of famous people were buried. This cemetery was huge! The cemetery didn’t have headstones or tombstones; it had huge monuments for each person. A lot of them were family tombs and had a lot of names on the grave. After the cemetery, we went to Sacre Coure, which is another cathedral but this one was up on a hill and you could see the whole city from the top. Then we went to see Moulin Rouge and walked around the neighborhood a little bit.

The last day we walked around in the morning before heading to the airport and flying back to Madrid. Once we got back, we went to the bus station to catch the eight-hour bus ride home. This time, I only slept for about three hours and the bus was still super hot. Never again will I take a bus for that long. I actually hate buses now. I would rather pay a few extra dollars or euros for a plane ticket.

Pictures from the Paris trip will be posted shortly.

Cadiz update

Cadiz Two Month update.

Two months since I’ve arrived in Cadiz and it’s time for another update.

The weather is starting to get better, still cold at night and in the house but it seems promising.

I have a newfound appreciation for box wine.

I think my socks are slowly disappearing…

The people here don’t move for you when you’re walking down the street. (I’m at least twice their size and they won’t even move for me)

I’m pretty glad my family has a dryer instead of hang drying everything.

They don’t eat spicy food here and it’s hard to find hot sauce.

I have yet to try the Chinese food here but I will before my next update.

I am slowly forgetting my Chinese.

I still get bored during the day but once we start going to the beach daily and dominating the beach volleyball courts, the day will pass quicker.

I still miss home and the people there.

Carnaval Summary-

Carnaval is a huge festival here in Cadiz. Cadiz has the second biggest Carnaval in the world only to Rio. My host family told me that the population of Cadiz is around 130,000 and can rise to near 1,000,000 during the first weekend of Carnaval. People sleep on the beaches and the streets. It was absolutely crazy, people everywhere drinking and partying until the morning hours of seven or eight. People dress up like its Halloween but for the whole week.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Seville (Sevilla)

Seville is about 2 hours on train away from Cadiz. Maybe a little closer since we stopped and started a few times. So Saturday morning we had a scavenger hunt around the city of Cadiz and of course my team won. After the scavenger hunt and lunch, we all went to catch the train to Seville at 5:00PM (First time on a train). We get there around 7PM and search the city for our hostel (not hotel, no even the Motel 8) and we finally find it after asking a few people. So we get situated and showered and whatever, then go buy some liquor and come back and drink before going out.

*Side note on hostels* I’m not a huge fan hostels for the lone fact that you don’t get your own bathroom. Other things I could complain about are that the beds are horrible, I could feel the springs in my side when I slept, also the fact that its just four beds in the room the size of mine at home isn’t that cool. Granted we only paid 20 Euros each for the bed, I think four people could have split a decent hotel for five Euros more. But I thank Christina for planning everything and putting it all on her credit card, I wouldn’t have been able to deal with all the people.

*Back to main blog: So we go out, find millions of Americans and it’s just like home. But we go to this bar packed of Americans and if I really wanted this, I could just go home. So we go back to the hostel but can’t find anywhere to buy more alcohol so we just sit around doing nothing, sober.

The next day, we find Starbucks!! I couldn’t seem to decipher drip coffee so I just ordered a latte. Decent, but of course Starbucks in Seattle is better along with the Pike Place Roast. Then we head off to this place called Alcazar, which is some huge fortress type thing, turned into a house, turned into a tourist attraction. Pictures will say more.

Then we head to the Cathedral in Seville. This place is HUGE! I bet mass in there was legit. Hahaha. I took lots of pictures and will post those soon.

You’ll just have to look at the pictures.

Take Care and Happy Chinese New Year.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mini Update.

Quick Notes:

-They always eat white fish here. I hate white fish, its too fishy.

-I can never figure out when they go to bed, its different every night. I try to stay up so I can watch the Australian Open when they go to bed because it’s on every night here at 1:00AM. So I just end up taking a nice nap during the day.

-I can’t watch Sportscenter top 10 nightly. It’s hard to keep up with the Huskies.

-I still don’t know my way around town. It’s not as easy as “walk down Pike, take a left on 6th, then cross Pine and you’ll be at Pacific Place.” All the streets here are just names and in no specific order.

-Still raining and cold. Just like home!

-The streets are only big enough for one car and people drive super fast down the streets.

-I’m about to get my travel on sometime in March or April and probably going to Paris, Rome, Berlin, and elsewhere. Let me know if there’s any place I really should visit.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Small Update

First Day of Sun and the Pre-Carnaval

So this past Sunday was the first day since we’ve arrived that it was warm enough and sunny enough to wear a t-shirt. At least for us, but the people from here were still in sweaters and long sleeves. I think I saw on the news that it was around 17 degrees Celsius. So… Around 60, more or less. That’s hot compared how its been less than 10° C.

This past Sunday was also the party that leads up to Carnaval. If you don’t know, there’s this thing here called Carnaval, it is basically a huge party in the town and we have a full week off from school for it. This past Sunday was the pre-party, and it was crazy! Everybody was in the Plaza de San Antonio, like everybody. I will post pictures but they don’t do this justice. So we meet up at that Plaza and pretty much the whole city is already out. There are beer venders all over the Plaza, food venders with sea urchins, which I tried and its super nasty. For those back home in Seattle, think of the Bite of Seattle but with the WHOLE city closed and EVERYBODY in Seattle went to Seattle Center. EVERYBODY, including your grandmother, your mother, father, siblings, pretty much anybody you can think of. Everybody is drinking in the streets, eating those gross sea urchins and it is just one big party. We end up leaving the Plaza and walk around and everywhere you go, there are people partying and celebrating. We were finding our way home from the beach and found our way to a small square that was over crowded and almost impossible to walk through. There were people playing drums, dancing, and just partying in general.

Never been apart of something so crazy and can only imagine what the real thing is going to be like.

Other Notes:

The rice here sucks! Its super wet, doesn’t stick together, and the rice is HUGE!

Having to go to the Plaza to use the Internet is getting kind of annoying.

I just want to turn on my iPhone and text you all but that would probably cost millions. Sorry. I do have Skype and might try to call you guys when I can since I put money on it. We’ll have to set an appointment to Skype.

The presidential inauguration is all over the news here. They even have Spanish reporters over in Washington D.C. as well.

I need to watch the Australian Open, I need some Tennis in my life. There’s clay court tune up for Rolland Garros in Madrid, Spain that Roger Federer is supposed to be playing in and I’m going no matter what. Oh, and there’s nobody to talk tennis with here. They all love Nadal. I hate him.

I wish I had more shoes here, like all the ones from back home. I brought two pairs of shoes, a set of flip-flops, and some house slippers.

EDIT: I am watching the Australian Open as I type this. Its 1:00AM over here and it is well worth it. My host parents just went to bed so now I can watch the Open! Haven’t been this excited since I’ve arrived here. I will miss the voices of American commentary but I’ll get by. All they talk about is Nadal! Andy Murray is on live, first match on one of the show courts for day two. WTF! Who starts coverage before they even warm up? This is annoying.

Australian Open prediction: Federer def. Murray 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (6)