Sunday, December 13, 2009

Done and DONE.

Lasarte is officially in my past. WOW.

My last day finished rather uneventfully, with a relatively slow nite at the restaurant, different from other nites only due to the fact that we had to scrub down the giant grills and hoods in the carne and fish partidas. It took an extra 45 minutes of manual labor to end the shift, but I couldn't have cared less, as I knew each aggressive move of the sponge on the grease-caked steel brought me one moment closer to freedom. As everyone filed out, I said my goodbyes to various cooks, bosses, dishwashers, etc. Then I walked out the doors and breathed the most delicious breath of cold, Spanish nite air that my lungs have ever tasted.

There was an informal and impromptu 'mini-fiesta' at my apartment to celebrate the end, and while I thought it would be three to five people with a couple of beers, it ended up being more than 15, which was fantastic. We drank, smoked, laughed, and recounted the restaurant's stories, both mundane and absurd, into the wee hours of the morning. Some time before 4am, I declared that it was time for bed, and the last few stragglers made their way for the door. Saturday I woke up nice and late, feeling rested and ready to get the hell out of dodge. I got a haircut and some lunch, packed my bags (with some difficulty), and caught a ride to the train station in SanSe from Giovanni. By the time the clock struck five, I was G-O-N-E, gone.

The train ride passed quickly enough and by 10 I was in Madrid. One overpriced cab ride later and I was at Ceci's apartment. We made a quick trip down the street for two bottles of wine and two pizzas, then returned to her apartment to finish all of it, naturally. When there was nothing left to eat or drink, we put on Land of the Lost, starring Will Ferrell. Definitely not Oscar material, but there couldn't have been a better cap on the nite. Wine? Check. Pizza? Check. Cheezeball American comedy? Check. I was a happy boy.

Today we woke up around 1 and headed to a restaurant for comida with a bunch of Ceci's classmates. It ended up being around 20 people, which was a blast. Tons of food (octopus, calamari, bomb croquetas, best tortilla I've had in Spain), Sangria, pitchers of beer, and lively conversation. It also didn't hurt that most of the group was beautiful women, which was a welcome sight compared to the troll population that inhabits Lasarte. Everyone was super nice and warm and welcoming and the meal was absolutely perfect. We weaved through the city to a bar afterwards, and then, realizing we were tipsier than we'd intended, Ceci and I made our way back to her apartment.

While she napped, I prepped my things for my upcoming travel plans and enjoyed some much needed rest and downtime. Tomorrow I wake up at 7 for the trip to Morocco. Going solo is definitely a little intimidating, but after the last few months, my adventure confidence is high. I plan to see as much as I can, eat the most bizarre street food I can find (mmm, camel), and just go for broke, figuratively and literally. Thursday I return to Madrid for half a day before my departure to Pisa to see Julia. It's approaching midnight, so I should probably start thinking about sleep.

Africa, here I come...

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