Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Way I Live

Whaddup guys! Hope all of you are doin' work.  It's crazy to think that I've already been in Spain for 10 days.  Entonces, we just wrapped up orientation and start our classes tomorrow (completely forgot about the “study” part of study abroad this past week) I could write a more-or-less itinerary of my first week here in Madrid, but as promised, that is not happening. Instead, I’ve decided to take a more creative approach. However, keep in mind that regurgitation has its purpose (I.e. three posts from now when I’ve run out of creative ideas) So, I ask you dear reader, why not metaphorically compare my first ten days in Madrid to a YouTube video?! This naturally begs the question as to what video: which video expresses my own personal lifestyle to the highest degree? Which video conveys feelings I’d like to be associated with? In short, which video depicts the way this newly crowned Madrileno lives?! I’ll tell you which one:

“The Way I Live,” by Baby Boy Da Prince

(Use this video as a reference to my comparisons to Da Prince)

Baby Boy Da Prince and myself have many similarities (we both hail from the South, have sweet nicknames: Brown Magic and Da Prince, and we both like to stack our money, lay low, and chill) This metaphorical likeness between myself and Da Prince can most be seen in his video for the song “The Way I Live” Through fantastic cinematography and literary insight, the New Orleans native highlights multiple aspects of my life in Madrid. So, without further ado, thiiiiiiiiissss is the way I live….

The Old Guitarist (0:07 mark, amongst others) Probably my favorite part of the video. He sits there, roughly four feet from the Prince, playing one of the tastiest guitar licks in hip hop history. The only men cooler than this guy are the old men of Madrid. Seriously, they are the coolest men alive. They all look exactly the same, and rock some excellent clothing, whether it be a trench coat, suit, or the like, these old men have that experienced swag.
(I can only hope to have this much swag one day...)

Cool Architecture (0:13, 0:23, etc) While the video showcases some great buildings, it compares in no way to the cultural significance that is Madrid’s architecture. I can’t get enough of it. Every building looks like it has a story to tell. Especially the ones in my barrio, La Latina. La Latina is one of the oldest, most vibrant barrios in Madrid. Just walking down the street, I see new, historic architecture everyday. Walking the streets will definitely be one thing that I miss most when I leave Madrid.

Playin’ Dominos with the Homeboys (1:24, etc.) While the good people of the West Bank of ‘Nawlins like to play dominoes during their down time, the good people of Madrid love to chill at cafes and take siestas. While Starbucks has found a way into the city (I can honestly say that I‘ve been to Starbucks in Spain, twice, more than I have in the States, once), what define Madrid are the numerous corner cafes. Each café has it’s own complex style, and even though I do not drink coffee, I will definitely visit more of these cafes in the coming months. Side note: the differences between American and Spanish cafes in general are interesting (One, unlike establishments in Spartanburg, SC, cafes stay open past 10; in fact, some stay open for 24 hours. Also unlike American cafes or our country’s 42nd President around a young intern, waiters in Madrid don’t give you the Bill until you ask for it.) #BOOMROASTED

(Got 'em)
Party at the B-Ball Court (1:50, etc.) As cool as pounding fried cajun food with Baby Boy on a concrete basketball court would be, I had perhaps my best night so far in Madrid partying on the streets with local Spanish students from our university. Recently, drinking/partying in the streets of Madrid has been outlawed. So naturally, everyone does it now. They even have a term for it, it’s called Botellón. It’s ten times cheaper to buy a bottle of wine and post up in a plaza or on a street with your group and have a good ass time. The group of Spanish students we were with were awesome. They were really nice, and generally interested in getting to know us. CIEE definitely gets the nod for setting up this network of students for our benefit.

Rollin’ with his boys, Town Moe and D-Wizzle (2:34, etc) Rollin’ with the boys is what we men do, and luckily, I’ve found a bro to roll with in Madrid. My host is a 30 year old actor/bar owner, who is an absolute boss. I’ve even started calling him “The Godfather.” Life in my homestay is exactly how I’d prefer it, chill. My host will do such things as make me amazing dinners, correct my Spanish, and wear nothing but a trench coat around the house (Two truths and a lie, I’ll let you decide which is which. WoCo O-staff for the win)

Chillin’ in the Club (3:00, etc) Club life is definitely different in Madrid. Firstly, there are typical American clubs and then clubs dedicated to Flamenco dancing (Note on the flamenco: it is one sexual, concise, fluid, amazing dance. Watching two people flamenco is probably the hottest thing I’ve ever seen in person, and I saw Hermain Cain once) As for the American style clubs, lets consult the Prince and his crew. He and his friends are having a great time (3:29 is the guy having the best time, copying a classic Patel dance maneuver) drinking, dancing, and then preparing to leave the club around 2 to do things I probably can’t write about. In Madrid, you don’t arrive at the club until 2, you leave around 7 to eat breakfast before you go home to sleep. One time, I was leaving a club at 3:45 and grabbed my jacket from the coat check. The person in front of me was checking his coat in. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m desperately trying to figure it out.

While all of this is true, my life in Madrid is about to change. So far it’s been Camp CIEE, but soon I will have my own schedule. I start my classes and volunteer work this week, and heck, I might even take a flamenco class. So, indeed, this blog post may not represent my life at all in two weeks. Let’s wait and see.


P.S. If you haven't already, add me on Skype: vpatel72
P.P.S.  You would think the song for this post would be "The Way I Live," but it is not.  I've had the pleasure of reintroducing myself to my boy John Legend.  A great pianist, this is one of my favorite songs period.  So well written and well composed, I can't stop pushing repeat.  Here's him performing it live, give it a listen.  You won't be disappointed:

*Shoutout to muh boy Todd for this idea

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