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September 2nd 2006
Published: September 2nd 2006
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well its been a while since my last update, but as of yesterday afternoon I have made my triumphant return to glorious spain

so that morning in sofia i ended up hanging out with this Bulgarian guy from myspace. those of you over 25 probably don´t know what that is, buts its basically a big online friends database. he actually helped me out with my project a bit considering he lived in macedonia for 9 years, but is ethnically bulgarian. he´s the same age as i am and goes to the american university in blagoevgrad, so his english was near-perfect. had i not had someone to hang out, i might have died from boredom.

my flight to poland was short and sweet, and i had no problems with my ticket. for those of you who don´t know, i still haven´t paid for either of my tickets ( to warsaw or to madrid), or at least i haven´t knowingly been charged. oh well, not my problem. jarek and his roommate daniel picked me up from the airport and we headed up north to mazury, stopping at mcdonalds on the way. the last time i had had a legit meal from mcdonalds was also in poland. fun.

we stayed at thic nice lodge-esque place right off of the big lake. it was incredibly tranquil. i can´t tell you how happy i was to see a plate of polish cold cuts, pickles, mushrooms, and smoked fish upon arrival. so-long to liquid bowels from southeastern europe! for the two days we ate, drank, kayaked, rode bikes, and i even learned about picking mushrooms in the forest. i guess i´m a real polak now! on the way up we also saw ´my super ex-girlfriend´which was amusing, and also got more civlized-world-style medication for my face.

apparently mazury was too boring for them, so we decided to drive up to the 3-city area - gdansk, sopot, and gdynia. i had been to gdank, so we stayed in sopot in a room this woman was renting out. the weather was cold and rainy but it was enjoyable. we walked along the baltic coast and whatnot before meeting up with jarek´s friend ana, another myspace acquaintance. funny how myspace brings us all together. i pretty much hated her, but whatever. we went to a bar and had a good enough time.

the next day we did mostly gdynia, again walking along the pier and whatnot. we went aboard a naval (or marine, i dunno) ship was was pretty cool. by the end of the day, jarek and daniel were once again bored, so we decided to head back to warsaw. i heart warsaw, so that wasn´t a problem.

we came across a horrible storm on the way, but got into the city around 1am. we changed and hit up utopia, this club i had been to last time. we were joined by his friend krzysiek, whom i had met before. the club wasn´t all too hopping considering it was wednesday, but i had fun. got kebabs (as is custom) afterwards and headed home at 3 or 4, i dunno.

the next day we roamed the city, that is, me, jarek, and krzysiek. we hit up the old town, attempted to find me a new wallet ( i dumped mine in turnovo bc it was getting nasty), walked along the wisla, got ice cream, etc. etc. we intended to go see a movie but i guess nothing was up to par, so we rented "in her shoes" and "species 3". needless to say, i did not make the choices, haha. the first movie was ok, but species was horrendous. it was kind of an early night, since i had my flight the next morning...

the next morning, yesterday, i got a cab to the airport at 9 for my 10:40 flight. everything went smoothly, and i enjoyed listening to the people fluent in both polish and spanish traveling from poland to madrid. upon arrival, after changing money and getting my bigass backpack, i was greeted by victor and his dad. it was like no time had passed at all, and considering my spanish is significanly improved since my last visit, communication barriers were non-existant.

back home (which was newly decorated and really nice) mercedes (victor´s mom) had prepared some really good pasta with chunks of chorizo (or some other spanish sausage) in it. oh how i missed that taste...victor is in the middle of exams (he does chemistry - god knows why), so i ended up going on an adventure with mercedes to check out where my residence is here in madrid, and then where the hotel is where i would be staying tonight. we did a shitload of walking all around the city. my residencia looks nice and is in a really tranquil, but very connected, area of the city. i am ridiculously excited for these coming 5 months. continuing out walk, she showed me where the u.s. embassy is, but considering i have no sense of direction, i´ll never find it again. we walked through retiro park a bit (i tell myself i´ll be going running there) and then took the metro to sol, where my hotel is.

back home i showered before sitting down to a delicious meal of boiled ham, cured ham (thank god i had some jamon serrano within my first 24 hours, otherwise i might have gone crazy), a phenomenol (but extremely smelly and potent) goat/cow cheese, and then some bread and salad and pan-fried chicken things. i was pretty spent, so i headed to bed after watching tv with the fam. i learned all about the traffic rules, since we were watching this show where cops pull people over for drunk driving and whatnot. haha.

this morning i woke up to coffee, fresh croissants and other pastries (i´ve already gained 40 lbs since being here) which was quite delightful. at 2:15 we´re picking up my friend Mo from the airport (she´s coming from D.C., goes to BC with me) and then Miguel Angel (Victor´s dad) is taking us to our hotel in Puerta del Sol. i´m loving the life already...

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4th September 2006

que suerte
Oh Jeff...I'm so glad you made it back to Spain so I can know what you're talking about now. Every Bulgarian/Polish/Macedonian town/food/palace ran together after a while. But the good news is that I haven't been shot yet. :) Please give Mo the biggest hug of my life from me. Also - could you send me your address in Madrid? Thanks a mil. muah. paz.
4th September 2006

~
Wreszcze Hiszpania..:) teraz pewnie sie cieszysz..;) Mam nadzieje ze jeszcze kiedys wybierzesz sie w objazdowa podroz... nastepnym razem w inne miejsca..:) i moze w wiekszym towarzystwie..;)
4th September 2006

Catching up...
Took me some time to catch up on the entries that I've missed. I'm happy to hear/see that all is well and you are settling in. Can't wait to see you in a few months(?)! And 40 lbs? I don't believe that! Love you.
5th September 2006

Hi, dear Jeff! Well, Uncle Ray and I will finally not get ill when I prepare and serve the mushrooms that grow in our backyard. It's so good to know that we have a family member that knows which mushrooms to pick. Your grandfather would be proud of you! Welcome back to Spain. Love, Ii and Uncle Ray

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