Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lemongrass Mania

I can't believe it's my last week as an International student!! Wow, how quickly this whole experience flew by. I just finished my last final this morning, so it's party time...all the time. Hehehe, as usual I guess. JUST KIDDING, MUM!
On Sunday we layed out on the blanket all day because it was so hot and beautiful out. I think I even got a wee Scottish suntan! I got some studying done, but mostly just hung out and ate doritos with everyone. :) The boys also really love reading my Cosmo magazine. I think they're learning a lot.Around dinner time, we headed inside to get ready to go out to eat. We've been wanting to try this Thai food place close by called "Lemongrass." We decided to do 'fancy dress night' (not to be confused with the Scottish version of fancy dress...better known as 'Halloween.') The girls wore dresses and the guys wore ties (like they normally do anyways). The Thai place was really beautiful inside and the food was RIDICULOUS. I got an appetizer of chicken grilled in peanut sauce with a side of egg fried rice. Yea, ridiculous. It was soo good.Around 9:20pm we headed over to Cineworld to catch the 9:30 showing of 'Cop Out' (the new movie with Bruce Willis). I haven't laughed that hard in a cinema for a long time. It was really funny. I didn't expect that.
Thennn we all went back to Claude and Karen's flat and Claude cooked us some German strudel. It had fruit and custard in it....again, ridiculous. It was so good. Jealous that they eat that shiz all the time. Mmm...
I taught them how to play "I'm going to the moon and I'm taking...." At first they were really frustrated, but then they caught on. I made it harder and then Olof made one up. It was actually really good. It had to start with the last letter from the name of your country. So I could take an airplane to the moon since I'm from the USA :) I also taught them "Silly Willy" and that was just annoying to everyone. Kateri was the only one who couldn't get it, haha. She made me tell her and she wasn't happy about it. We also played one hand of Texas Hold Em' and since we don't have any money we were betting ridiculous things like a Highland Cow. ALSO, since we misunderstand each others accents often, the bets sounded like absurd things. For instance, Karen raised two dead beavers, which turned into two dead New Yorkers. And Beth's rainforest lizard turned into rain-forest scissors... ?
At the end of the game, the pot was up to 5 goats, 1 highland cow, 2 dead new yorkers, 2 units of man love, rain-forest scissors, sophie's machete (Beth's flatmate from Nigeria that butchers wild animals in the kitchen, hahah)....
Ziga ended up winning it all. So lucky.
It was a really fun night. I'm looking forward to this last week and actually starting my real summer break today!
I will back in the States soon. Can't wait to see and hug everyone again <3

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Very Glaswegian 21st

On Saturday the 15th Brittany and I celebrated our 21st birthdays! We decided to make it a graffiti party (everyone wear white tee-shirts and write on each others shirts with sharpie's). Everyone really loved it and there was writing evvverywhere. It was awesome. While I was getting ready for the party...Tab skyped me. It was so good to talk to her. We even took a birthday shot over skype! Then I took another one with Brandon, Rudy and Marianne. It was too funny...and awesome. (Thank you for celebrating with me!)We started off in Brittany's flat in Arran 2. About 30 of our friends came! It was nuts. After a while of writing on shirts, spraying glitter in everyone's hair (even the boys) and dancing to music we played some flip cup. The North Americans had to teach everyone how to play, but it was pretty successful. They caught on quick. My team was unstoppable.We even got a few presents. Vodka from Beth, a stuffed animal and wine from the Germans and birthday crowns, wands & pictures drawn especially for us from Ziga, Olof & Claudius. It was all so nice of them to get us something.After security came and kicked us out at 11pm...we headed down Sauchiehall to find somewhere to go dancing. Some of our French friends stopped me and told me we could get in free to a place called 'Jumpin Jacks' because there is so many of us. (Don't ask me how the crazy French people get these sneaky deals all the time..haha) So we decided to go check it. We've never been in there before because we always thought it looked sketchy and like it's been closed for 10 years. Turns out, it's awesome and HUGE inside. It looks like an old country barn inside and the dance floor was enormous. There was so many people in there, too. It was totally weird.We checked out coats and Krista & I got a shot of Tequila, obviously. Then Alisa bought me a beer and we headed to the dance floor. There were so many of us there together, it was so much fun. Everywhere I looked there was someone I knew.The played awesome songs there INCLUDING some of my favorites (OMG- usher, Sex on Fire- KOL)!! I was so excited. We danced like crazy til 3am. My feet were killing me, but I was having so much fun. I was even on Chris' shoulders at one point during the night ?? But like Tab said, it wouldn't have been my birthday if I hadn't ended up in some type of cheer mount. Haha :) True story.The entire night was a blast and I had so much fun. I know everyone did which made it even more awesome!On Monday, my REAL birthday, I woke up early and cleaned my room. Mostly because I was bored and my room looked like a pig actually lived there. Nasty. Then I watched 'Just Friends' and laughed to myself the entire way through it. (Love that movie) I noticed Kateri wasn't online all morning, so I messaged her and told her that if something sneaky was going on for my birthday she's getting slapped. I clearly told them I don't want surprised because it gives me anxiety.
Anyways, I met up with Karen and Suzanne at 5pm and we headed down Buchanan Street for some ice cream (it was Norway's birthday that day too!) We met up with Kateri, Brittany & Krista there. They got me beautiful flowers for my birthday!! The ice cream was delicious. I had Ferre Roche flavour. Mmmm....too good. After that we headed back to Caley Court to drop the flowers off. We were supposed to meet outside at 7pm to go get pizza at Campus. So at 7, I made my way out to the courtyard...no one was out there. I buzzed up to Beth's flat, but there was no answer. I started to get nervous because I KNEW something was up. I buzzed up to Brittany's flat and Beth said "Come on upppp!" That's when I really knew something sneaky was happening. Why would Beth be up there?
So when I got up there, Brittany's bedroom door was open and no one was in there. That means EVERYONE was in the kitchen about to yell 'SURPRISSSE' in my face. I yelled "I'M NOT COMING IN THERE!" and they all started giggling. I waited a couple of minutes in Brittany's room and they started yelling 'HELLLP ME! PLEASE SOMEONE!' So I walked over to the kitchen door and Claire (Britt's French roommate) was looking out her door all confused like someone really needed help. I told her that they were just trying to get me to go in there and I tried to convince her to go in instead of me. Hahah, she slammed the door in my face instead. It was worth a shot. The kitchen door flew up and Alisa grabbed me and pulled me in. Brittany, Kateri, Alisa, Karen, Krista and Olof all sang 'happy birthday' to me and we ate cake. They got me cards and a coffee mug that says "You can take the girl out of Glasgow, but you can't take the Glasgow out of the girl.' I love it!! Even though I hated being surprised I loved everything they did for me.After our cake, Me, Kateri, Krista, Beth, Britt and Olof headed to Campus for MORE food. It was fun to hang out with them. We stayed there til about 9:30pm and then made our way over to 'Nice N Sleazy' bar for acoustic night. We met a bunch of our other friends there which was cool. I had my first 'legal' (as an American) alcoholic drink there! Beth bought me a White Russian. 21!!!!! I have never been there before and it was so awesome.Everyone did really good. A girl even sang 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'! Just for MY birthday I'm sure, heheh. It was an awesome 21st birthday, that I'll never forget!! I am excited now to come celebrate at home with YOU! Miss you!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm So French...

We landed in Paris around 10am. It was freeeezing there too. Go figure. We rode the bus for an hour into the city. It was so jam-packed with people. Me and Kateri got stuck in the WAY back where there is 5 seats in one row (awkward). Me and the old guy beside me kept drifting off and falling into each other. Haha, it was quite the ride.
We got off the bus in Paris and it was so beautiful. We found the Metro and headed to our hostel in Marie de Clichy. The hostel was...decent. I'm pretty sure it was used as a mental hospital at one point..but whatever. We threw our stuff down and mapped out what we were going to do for the day. There was a free walking tour at 1, so we decided to grab something quick to eat and make it for that. We got some lunch at Subway and made it just in time for the tour (Thank goodness). The tour was AWESOME! Our guide was really cool and told us so much cool stuff you would never even know about. We got to see everything from afar, but it was still awesome to know where it all was so we could go back and really check it out. The Louvre was pretty awesome. Apparently the guy who designed it meant for it to be an invisible triangle. But since that much 'invisible' glass couldn't be supported, they had to make a frame for it. Cool huh?We also got to see the Eiffel Tower from pretty far away, but it was really cool getting to see it for the first time! (I know, this picture is ridiculous right? Why is it so perfect!?)After the 2 and half hour tour, we took a walk to find the Eiffel Tower up close. It was a pretty far walk, but such nice scenery. We saw the Liberty Flame that is an informal dedication to Princess Diana. I didn't know, but the accident happened in the tunnel right below the flame. There is messages in marker to Diana all over the bridge. It's really beautiful.When we made it to the Eiffel Tower, FINALLY, we got harrasses by a million guys with Eiffel Tower souvenirs. It was an absolute nut house. Kateri even resorted to saying "No hablo Espanol.." ??? We were so frustrated but it was really funny. When we walked under and to the other side of the Tower we saw more guys with key chains, gypsies annnd someone dressed up like a gorilla ?! It was totally weird. Kateri and Hannah were trying to find where to go next on the map and Beth was down on her knees trying to get the perfect picture of me with Greyson. next thing I know a gyspie is asking Beth for help and Beth's telling me there's a gorilla behind me. I turned around and just saw scary teeth. Haha, she snapped the picture just at the right time and we were cracking up. It was such a freak show. We pretty much ran out of there.
We headed back to the hostel and stopped to eat at small Italian pizza place nearby. We were so hungry and sore from all of the walking. It was nice to sit and eat.When we got back to the hostel we had barely any time to rest before the Pub Crawl. We were supposed to meet at 9pm and it was already 7:30. (We had to take the Metro to meet the group) We hurried and made it there just in time. We even got to see the Moulin Rouge!! So awesome. The bars were pretty nice and we got free shots with most of the drinks we ordered because we were with the group. The first bar was so weird, they made us take a picture behind the bar? I almost started serving drinks...I'm pretty sure they would have let us. Haha.The third bar we went to was the best. The lady bartender really liked us and even gave us four free shots! We didn't know they were for us and were joking about it. Then she lit them all on fire (they lit everything on fire in this place) and handed us all straws and told us to just do it. We were screaming and scared to burn our insides, but we just did it. It was so cool because at the end was a puff of gas and we were all laughing. It tasted exactly like a hot brownie. So cool. We gave her a big tip before we left. We were so glad to lay down when we got back.We got up pretty early the next morning to explore some more before we all had to leave. Beth and Hannah had to go to the airport around 4 to catch their flight to Italy. Me and Kateri's flight didn't leave til 11pm, so we had pretty much all day! :)
We got to see Notre Dame up close, which was incredible. I really loved it. (HUNCHBACK ALERT!!)I got to put a Love Lock, for me and Jordan, on the Pont des Arts bridge! It came with three keys. One for me, one for him and one to throw into the river. It was really cool. We did some shopping at little street vendors and we ate come French baguettes sandwichs. After Beth and Hannah left, me and Kateri decided to head back to the Eiffel Tower to see it from the lawn side. We got lost along the way because we got on the wrong train, haha. It was funny though and we got to do a lot of talking.The lawn side of the Effiel Tower was exactly how it looks in the movies and pictures. People were laying everywhere (& making out everywhere). We bought some crepes at a nearby stand and sat on the lawn eating them. They were soo good. Mine just had chocolate inside and Kateri's had chocolate and banana. Mmm...We stayed there for a while then walked around with no where to go. It was nice not having a plan. We saw a lot of beautiful things, and people, before we headed back to the hostel to pick up our bags and go to the airport. It was sad to leave Paris, but I hope to make it back someday. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Euro Trip '10 - Barcelona

So we packed our bags and headed to the train station. :) We missed the first train, but it turned out alright because we didn't have to wait so long at the weird airport to board. We each had one backpack stuffed with a weeks worth of clothes, but we made sure to leave some room for memories and souvenirs. The flight to Barcelona was about 3 hours. We could barely sleep on the plane and my ears were killing me. (I don't know why that happens now?) It feels like knives. Anyyyways, Ryanair always makes you get on and off the plane outside, which makes me mad beacuse it always seems to be raining. Well, it WAS raining in Barcelona and COLD!? We were so bummed. I was wearing flats and just while we were walking to the airport from the plane they got SOAKED and my feet were freezing. Oh boy.
We all went to the bathroom and caught the bus to our hostel. After we got settled into our room (the hostel was awesome!) we met up with Hannah's friend from home, who happened to be there at the same time, and went out to eat. We were starving!!We found a little place that serves paella and we all wanted to try it. I thought it was delicious and I ate like a hog monkey. Beth didn't like it only because the smell reminded her EXACTLY of the weird animals her Nigerian roommate chops up and eats everyday. (If the paella was made with curry, I would have felt the same way) So Beth was pretty much forcing it down, haha. We waited and waited for the rain to let up, but it was a major downpour and only seemed to get worse (I don't know how because it was already insane). We decided to make a run for it back to the hostel 3 blocks away. We stood in the doorway of the restaurant and did a countdown then ran for our lives. It was WAY worse than we thought. The water on the road was up to the middle of my shins and there were deep puddles everywhere along the sidewalks. Cars were racing past and it was raining too hard to see if we had the walking sign or not to cross the roads. It was a serious freak show. We were all running everywhere and laughing so hard. Our flip flops and flats kept getting lost in the puddles on the road and our clothes weighed 20 pounds. When we got back to the hostel everyone was laughing at us and asking if it was raining outside. We looked like drowned rats for sure.

The next day it was still pouring down rain. I did NOT pack the right clothes or shoes. We woke up early, got some breakfast from downstairs and took the metro to a Sagrada Familia cathedral that Antoni Gaudi designed. It started being built in 1882 and STILL isn't finished. It's absolutely ridiculous. We came out of the metro and I asked them which way to go. I turned around and it was practically on top of us. It took my breathe away how beautiful and massive it was. The entire thing is so detailed and has SO many things carved into it. There is way too much to see when you look at it. It's incredible.We really wanted to go inside and it was only ten Euros. I'm so glad we did. The bottom part entrance was sort of like a musuem with all of Guadi's designs, drawings and expectations for the cathedral. I don't even know how he thought up any of it. There was so much to see inside- pictures, videos, sculptures, little replicas. You could even watch the guys working on the cathedral! It was so weird.
We headed around to the front of the Sagrada Familia and we got to go inside up there too. There was so much construction happening. Inside was massive with HUGE pillars and stained glass windows. It was such a beautiful cathedral and so much thought went into it. I'm so happy I got to see it.After we went to eat at a little restuarant. I ordered a cheeseburger and when it came out, it was literally just a burger with cheese on it. No bun, no lettuce..no nothing. Thanks? It was really good though, but not very filling.We headed back to the Metro after because Kateri had to catch a train to Figueras. She was heading there for the next day to see the Dali museum. She's really into him and was so excited. On the way there we stopped at a little shop and I decided to buy a poncho since my only coat was soaked to the bone and it was going to be raining the rest of the time. I picked one that looked decent (for a poncho) and chose grey because I thought it help me to NOT stand out in a crowd. Turns out I was wrong. The poncho was ridiculous and I looked like a mad scientist who left the lab for a small lunch break. Oh boy. It wasn't cute.So we said goodbye to Kateri and got on different trains. Me, Beth, Brittany and Hannah headed back to the hostel. We went to a TINY grocery store nearby and bought some chips and drinks to hold us over between meals. When we got back to our room, we already had another roommate. There was a dirty tank top and white socks drying over the bed. After Hannah read a receipt on the bed (ha), we found out it was boy named Shawn. Grrreat. We talked and ate chips for a while and finally Shawn came back. We introduced ourselves. He was pretty short and skinny, 23, likes rock music (I asked if he liked Tool, pretending like I did..haha! ), 3 really stupid tattoos on his arms, not ugly...but the beard made him look disgusting. Anyyyways, he sat and joined in on our conversations about everything. He didn't act annoyed with our girl talk, he seemed to like having some company. (He was traveling Spain by himself since he has work off?) Then he would say things like "I'm not saying this to be offensive, but we're not at the same place...you're just young." Yea Shawn, screw you. You're 23, big deal. So he was pretty annoying...and had 3 stupid tattoos that he wouldn't tell us what they meant. When we'd ask he'd just show them to us?? It was totally weird. So we got Dominoes for dinner and Shawn pitched in. It was really good. I wanted to go out, but no one else did. So we stayed in.
The next morning we got up early again to go on the Gaudi Walking Tour that was given by the hostel and was free! I was sooo excited. The whole way there we HAD to stop in every single store to ask if they could put money on Hannah's phone. I told her 10 times "We can do it AFTER the tour, Hannah..." It was ridiculous and annoying. After a while me, Beth and Brittany ditched her and headed to the meeting point for the tour. Hannah showed up at the last second and was so happy about her phone.
The tour was awesome. We saw three buildings that Guadi created and they were insane. One of them was a house that he had re-done. The guide told us that almost everything he did had something to do with Saint George who represented the area where Gaudi was from. This particular house was designed to potray St. George slaying the dragon to save his daughter. The roof looked like the dragon. The chiminey was like the Ascalon sword St. George used to kill it. The balconies were the skulls of all those the dragon killed. And the pillars were the peoples bones. It was so awesome.After, we went to a buffet and sat, talked and ate for a long time. We were so exhausted and cold from the rain. When we went back outside, we got maybe 2 minutes of sunshine...so I ripped my poncho off in celebration! But the sun didn't last long. Soon it was raining again.On the way back to the hostel we shopped around a lot. It was fun. We all bought some colorful headbands.
We only left the hostel to eat KFC that night. We had to catch a taxi to the bus station at 3am and wanted to get some rest. I was sort of bummed we didn't get to go out in Barca, but I was so tired the next morning so it was probably a good thing.Barcelona was BEAUTIFUL and I can't imagine what it looked like with the sun shining. I would love to go again some day and lay on the beach for real. It was a great time and I'm so happy I got to see Spain again. :)