Monday, December 31, 2007

Feliz Año Nuevo!

Mikey´s typing on the computer right next to me, so hopefully we won´t overlap too much. Sorry for the dueling posts, but there´s lots to write and little time!

It´s about 3:30 now on New Year´s Eve and we´re gearing up for the big night tonight. Our hotel is right on the Puerta del Sol, which is like Spain´s Times Square. So tonight we´ll be surrounded by Ricardo Clarko´s Nuevo Año Rockin´ Eve. The tradition here is to eat 12 grapes at midnight for good luck in the next year (or perhaps 12 years...couldn´t quite translate the explanation perfectly) and, of course, drink champagne to toast the new year. It´s going to be a good time...and we know this first hand because we were around yesterday for the practice...yes, ¡they practice for New Year´s! That´s how seriously it´s taken here. And the crowds stayed out til 3 or 4 am afterward...actually, was still some noise in the street when we woke up this morning. This morning we went to the store to buy our cans of 12 grapes (brilliant marketing by the grape industry, as they get triple the price per grape), a bottle of champagne to drink, and two bottles to spray all over the crowds beneath our hotel room. =) Hey, when in Rome...or Madrid...

We also made an exciting find yesterday- other Americans! We were hanging out in the Puerta listening to some Mariachis when we met two teachers from America, Brooke and Evelyn, who were able to give us some good tips on what to do and see in Madrid. I especially liked one piece of advice: ¨drink lots of vino.¨ Well, okay! They were also able to clue us in on why we keep seeing people walking around in multicolor wigs all over the place. Apparently it´s a New Year´s / April Fools´ Day (celebrated here Dec. 28- the day we two fools departed for Spain) tradition, so we´ll have to find some wigs big enough for our American heads and join the fun!

Some other quick tidbits:

- After avoiding eating at a KFC in the US for 24 years, I finally broke down and tried it last night, since we couldn´t leave the Puerta and make it back in time for the New Year´s practice if we ate elsewhere. It was $20 for 7 pieces of chicken and some fries...kind of wishing American things weren´t such a novelty here!

- ¨Google¨ has also become a verb in Spanish: Googlear = to Google something (no joke)

- Spanish people like being happy and having fun...and they dance whenever possible. At the New Year´s practice, we learned a few songs, including the Spanish Hokey Pokey and ¨Quando te toco, vas loca¨ (When I touch you, you go crazy), a dance that spreads virally, because every person who´s touched by someone doing it has to join the fun.

Okay, that´s my update for now...be back soon, possibly next time from Paris! We leave tomorrow afternoon, SPT...eeks! Better learn French soon!

¡Ciao!

1 comment:

Madai said...

hey guys i'm glad you guys are having so much fun!! Mikey i told you so... hehe anyways it seems that you got the night life of Madrid pretty much down, and yes it is called the city that truly never sleeps... Well now Paris, funny paris is know as the most romantic city in the world mmmm well guys have fun and take lots of pics...