cangas de onis.

here’s something i find weird. other kids in my group here in spain are writing about stuff we’re doing, seeing here in spain, like monuments, sights, things of that nature. all i ever want to write about is what i do with the people around me. for example, this weekend our whole uni group stayed the night in a hostel about an hour from oviedo. all i want to write about is the stuff we did, conversations i had, the dance party, potato jams. other kids are writing about real spanish stuff they are seeing, and i feel like a tool for not writing about that smart stuff too. but what interests me is seeing amazing things and writing about social interactions. so here’s a recap of the weekend.

it started out a bit stressful on saturday morning. blake and kevin and i got shafted into taking a bus because there wasn’t enough room in the cars for everybody. so i woke up too late, showered and packed super fast, my phone ran out of minutes so i couldn’t call blake or kevin, so by the time i got to the bus station, i was already hot and sweaty. not the best start. but before the bus left, we had time to go buy donuts and orange juice, amazing, and then we had an hour bus ride to rest. once we got there, paula picked us up from the bus station with some more bad news. again, there wasn’t enough room in the cars for everybody that wanted to go to the mountains, so they needed three people to stay behind. the three of us had some good vibes about the afternoon so we elected to be the ones to stay behind. as soon as everybody was gone though, blake came up with the genius idea of hiding all the mattresses, excluding the three we had claimed. the only really good place for the mattresses was up in the rafters of this little hostel we were staying in(the whole place was ours for the night), so we got to work. we made little signs for our beds and found a ladder and hauled all the mattresses up there. we were really proud of ourselves.

after our hard work was finished, we decided to take a leisure walk into town to buy some supplies and get some fresh air. oh man it was gorgeous out. a very pleasant walk down into town with mountains on all sides of us. we got into town, got what we needed, and headed back up. the walk up was a lot harder; shirts came off and the sweating started. we got back to the hostel and it was time to relax. kevin got out his guitar, we poured some drinks, and just lived. it was perfect. actually it was perfect minus two guitars. but still pretty close. three dudes in the mountains, beautiful weather, playing guitar and drinking. felt great. after an hour or so the others who had been horseback riding arrived, and then after awhile the rest of the mountaineers returned too. after that is sort of just a blur because so much happened. some people started cooking, some people went into town to buy alcohol and a few more food items for the group, and the rest of us just hung out. for like five hours or so i think. it was super fun too. i ended up playing a lot of guitar. like more or less the whole time. and man did it feel great. after i took a break for awhile, the next time i picked it up my fingers were killing me. it was awesome. my fingers haven’t hurt that bad from guitar playing in like five years. such a great feeling.

dinner? outstanding. i think megan supervised it all, and she did a stellar job. we had loose-meat pork and chicken sandwiches, mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, and i know i’m leaving something else out. whatever though, everything was off the wall. super great stuff. by then it was around ten-ish i think (this was a whole week ago remember) and the fun really started. some people played uno, some more of us played guitar, some just hung around and talked. i don’t know when it started, but at some point music was put on and those of us playing guitar were told to go outside. perfect time for the first potato jam.

ok kevin taught us this thing he calls a “potato jam”. somebody gets on a guitar, or a drum or something, and throws down a bit of a rhythm/melody/chords/whatever. then the first person in the circle/group/whatever starts singing/rapping/making noise with the name of some kind of potato, like mashed potatoes, fresh fries, baked potato. example: “au gratin, au gratin, au-au-au gratin.” that type of thing. the next person comes in with the same type of thing, some noise or melody or something with the name of a kind of potato. this continues until everybody in the group is singing some type of potato. and then usually it would turn into kevin throwing down a freestyle rap about a girl in the group or drinking in spain or something great. and he is actually way way good at freestyling. charmed all the ladies for sure. so that’s a potato jam. that was the first of, i think, five or six throughout the night. fun times.

after that, the night is just a blur of dance party, potato jams, breaking firewood, watching people interact, watching people get drunk and trying to interact, more guitar playing, more eating, more dancing, more of everything. oh yeah, probably overall, one of the two best things of the night was that my spanish was just on. it’s weird, when my mind loosens up a bit my spanish flows so much better. luna even said that to me, so that was good. i had a nice long talk with her, about lots of things. i think she’s pegged me as the close-minded weird kid of the group who is far too sheltered and she basically disagrees with everything i believe about life. so it was a great talk. she found out i was homeschooled for the first time, so that gave us lots of talk about. it’s interesting to try to defend my beliefs and/or belief system in another language in which i am not very fluent. but it was super fun.

after having gone to bed about 7:30(yes, a.m.), i think i was one of the first ones up around 11 in the morning, and i walked around the hostel a bit, was about to go outside to get some fresh air, when i saw a bunch of cars outside that were not ours. there was an old church directly next door to this hostel, like literally with only a driveway in between the two buildings. unknown to all of us, including luna and paula(they said this had never happened before), there was a church service there in the morning and i think the church goers were a bit taken aback to see a bunch of branches and wood on the driveway outside from the night before(firewood). so after i saw all the cars, i decided to sit by the window and take in the air and wait for all the churchies to leave. unfortunately one of them had a different idea. this old spaniard man came into the living room at one point, the living room full of sleeping americans and three sleeping spaniards and said “hola! buenas dias!” to which i responded the same, since i was the only one close enough to talk to him. unfortunately he followed “hola buenas dias” up with something that sounded a tad bit stronger than irritated, to which all i could say was “espera espera por favor” and tried to rouse the spaniards up from their sleep. the old man just kept rambling though, and proceeded to go back outside. thanks luna/paula/soli. the only people who could actually speak real fluent spanish, too lazy to wake up and apologize to this old man for all the wood outside. just a stupid american kid in sweatpants and no shirt trying to mumble out “i’m sorry we’ll clean everything up.” sweet. so the morning started off a bit rocky for me.

after that though was great. blake made some stupendous fresh toast, with which we had scrambled eggs, syrup, real peter pan peanut butter!(that stuff is so ridiculously expensive here, like close to 10 euros = 14 dollars for a little tiny tub of it) and milk and other great stuff. it was awesome. after breakfast, everybody got packed up and cleaned the hostel up, then we headed into town to wait for the bus to leave. and this was one of the best parts of the weekend for me. luna and paula and soli wanted to wait until the three of us taking the bus back were able to leave on the bus, which wasn’t for like two hours, so they gave us some free time in the town. however, most of us were way too tired to walk around, so those of us that didn’t want to just sat in this little park area in the middle of downtown and laid around. we looked quite a mess. a bunch of unshowered, decently hung over american students just laying in the middle of a park. as soon as i got kevin’s guitar out, wow, it was really bad then. a guitar bum, three kids actually straight up laying stomach down on the cement, everybody else just looking spacey. it was great. lots of great pictures were taken. for example:

this picture is on facebook too but it’s just too perfect to leave out of this post. kevin, you kill me. this was a fun time though, just a couple of bum american kids playing guitar and hanging out in the park.

then the bus came and it was time to go home. overall i really enjoyed myself. the whole night was just super interesting to me though, because it was a bunch of students who usually don’t hang out all together, but nobody even mentioned it and we all just had a blast together. like within the kids from uni, we’re all in our own little groups, but we never really hang out all together like that weekend. even more interesting, almost everybody got pretty drunk. so it’s a bunch of kids from the same school who don’t normally hang out all together, drinking a lot of alcohol and interacting and having a great time. just interesting dynamics between everybody. i can’t even explain it any better than that. it was just interesting. lots and lots of fun.

in three hours i leave for bilbao, and after a five hour bus ride and a two hour wait in the airport, i fly to paris in the morning. exciting. until next week.

-jon

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