Andy’s Birthday and Mallorquin Nightlife

First things first, on Saturday night we found ourselves wandering the streets of Mallorca intoxicated off a combination of local gin and lemonade trying to find a mystery bar that one of the guys we were with had been to previously. Unfortunately, he had been in a state of deep(er) drunkeness when he last entered the bar in question. And little did he tell us that this was an “underground” illegally operated bar. When he finally got to where it was, I almost yelled “Stop!” when he reached up to ring the doorbell. The place looked like an average apartment and I wanted to avoid a confrontation for ringing a random Spainard’s doorbells in the middle of the night. But then the door swung open and we were ushered under a black curtain into a dingy bar. It was a dirty bar – and I only say that because really did have a lot of dust and grime from the lack of ventilation – and it was full of people I probably would not trust on an average day. That might not be fair but it’s the truth. There were some shady characters in attendance. But we were welcomed in by several of the locals and after another drink, I started to feel somewhat at ease in the strange location. The music was dim as to maintain a level of secrecy. People played foosball and a few of them chatted with us. We even met a DJ who works in Mallorca that spoke great English and Andy and I had a lovely chat with him. I remember distinctly laughing at his stories of living in the US while simultaneously searching for a non-sticky spot to rest my elbows on the bar. Other things I do not remember quite so clearly but it was great people watching. By 4 am, Andy and I said goodbye to the nameless bar and walked home, just missing day break.

Yesterday was Andy’s 23rd birthday and we celebrated by getting a bank account and going out to dinner. The bank account wasn’t so much a celebration, but it felt great to finally get it done. Now whenever we are paid we have a place to deposit it. We’re going to try using a joint account to simplify things since we share most of our expenses at this point and if it doesn’t go well, one of us will just open a different account.

Bea told us about a yummy Paella restaurant in Can Pastilla that we wanted to try out for Andy’s birthday. For those of you who don’t know, Paella is a rice and saffron dish that is cooked with a great variety of meats and/or seafood. And the Spanish are crazy about it. So we went with the roomies out to Can Pastilla on the bus only to discover that the restaurant was locked up and dark. So we backtracked to an Thai restaurant we saw on the way and ate there instead. I should have known it would be strange by the name: Cha Pra Pa. Hmmm. I will set the scene. First off, we were eating at about 7:30 so no one else was there because most Spanairds eat much later. So when we entered the waiter/owner/? was smoking and watching the TV. Secondly, the waiter didn’t seem to speak Spanish or English and he had us write the number of our orders down on a piece of paper. I wrote that I didn’t want spicy curry and he took one look at the paper and said, “Only numbers, only numbers.” So we explained to him that the curry should not be too hot. Ok. Then he just disappeared. It seemed like maybe he was the one cooking our food but Nikki saw a cook so I have no idea what he was doing since there was no one else in the restaurant. And there was that TV that played crazy music videos from the eighties. What an absurd situation for dinner. Anyways, the food finally came and it was pretty good although not very “Thai” Thai food. Nikki, Joseph and Eric gave Andy a Mallorquin flag for his birthday which he greatly appreciated. We walked across the street when we finished and scored some super tasty gelato and then went home to the cake I attempted to make earlier in the day. To preface this, it is not easy to make a cake with an oven that functions like a stupid broiler so the whole top of the cake was originally scorched until some handy knife removal action cut the damn top off. So the cake turned out ok although I couldn’t find vanilla or baking soda at the grocery store so I used baking powder and cinnamon in a little science experiment to see what would happen. Not too sure about the impact of the baking soda but the cinnamon was yummy combined with the generic brand Nutella I bought as a frosting. I scraped the idea of paying for a trip to Paris after finding zero cheap flights and instead bought a nice wool sweater for when it cools down here and told Andy that I will pay for the train ticket to the other side of the island when we finally make that trip. It’s supposed to be quite beautiful for sightseeing so it should be nice.

Today I worked with the kids at Joan Miro and finally felt like I had a bit of a breakthrough with the sixth graders. I think it’s easier for the little kids to warm up to strangers in their classrooms because all the younger kids reacted great to me after the first meeting but the older kids have been slower to accept me. But today in class they were raising their hands and signaling me over faster than I could keep up with. Their questions were good and they made a serious attempt to speak to me in English. It was great to feel like I am carving a place for myself in the classroom and I really hope I can learn names as soon as possible because all of them have got mine down pat. “Jessica, over here.” “Jessica, please.” “Jessica, jessica.” Their friendliness and acceptance makes my day that much. And I had a coffee break with the teachers at the bar near the school and was able to follow bits and pieces of the conversation in Spanish so I’m also making some progress on that front as well. It’s going to be work to learn Spanish though since I only speak English in the schools and I live with English speakers but I really want to make it a priority while I am here.

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