Travels
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Juan Night Only

We spent our last day in Seville (“Sa – Vee – Ah” for those who want to sound a little pretentious, but also correct) melting in the palace gardens drinking wine we smuggled in…well, I guess you can’t really call it smuggling when the security guard smiles and waves you in as your wine bottle(s) slowly pass through the x-ray machine. Ahh Spain, I love you.

After two weeks in this beautiful country, we had the Spanish lifestyle – the Tapas, Siestas and Vino(s) part – down to a fine science. We were really starting to feel like locals, so it seemed fitting to spend our last night in Spain doing something local. Plus, you can only go to so many pub crawls before you find yourself walking home with one shoe saying things like, “techno is life.”

As the sun went down the wine drinking continued to our hostel’s rooftop where we met Juan; he had a smile that reached to his ears and a single dreadlock that reached to his waist. Born and raised in Seville, a true local. Juan would show us the way, like Gandalf, but with one dread, Juan dread to rule them all. We raised what was left of our lukewarm drinks β€œto adventures!” we chimed and off we went on our journey into the night.

Our tired feet took us a solid twenty steps from the hostel’s front door before we needed a much deserved rest.

The first stop of any smart explorer is to locate a viable source of water. I know this for a fact, I’ve seen Lost. And I still have questions regarding episode 3, 26, 45, the entire series that keep me up at night. Jack never made it off that island and we never found that water, but we did find a wine bar, so close enough.

Okay, now we were really ready to start the adventure. Second stop, the giant mushroom thing. In the middle of Seville there is this huge, modern, mushroom-shaped sculpture that towers over the ancient city. It’s loud, it’s obnoxious, it’s essentially the Kanye West of architecture. And as much as I want to hate it, I can’t, because it’s cool and I like its music, dammit Kanye.

Under the mushroom, I was no longer human, but a tiny bug, a tiny drunk bug dancing in the moonlight. What a time to be alive – Drake.

SCREEEEEEEECH

Suddenly, the sound of skateboard wheels on pavement brought me back to 2007.

And there they were, my teenage dream come true, a gang of Spanish skateboarders, heading right to us, at an alarming pace, they should slow down, “JUAN!!!”

But it was all good, they were friends of Juan, and any friend of Juan is a friend of mine. Plus, they were sk8erbois and I’ve wanted to be friends with them since I was 13. i<3sk8erbois@hotmail.com

After we left the mushroom, Juan took us through the quiet Sevillian streets, along the winding cobblestones, by the Gothic Cathedral and all the way to… a dirty garage door covered in graffiti (which bore a sticking resemblance to the 24 hour pharmacy back in Barcelona).

“We’re here!” Juan announced.

His words were met with silence.

“We’re where?” I asked.

“The club!” He pointed to the garage door.

Sorry, what? What club? I don’t see a club. All I see is a sketchy garage door. Where are the sweaty guys in baby Gap tank tops invading my personal space? Where is Pitbull screaming at me in Spanish? Where are the shots on fire?

Insiiiide.” Juan whispered with the same caution as someone whispering “fuuuuuck” in church.

Inside? There is nothing to get inside except for murdered. No thanks, bye.

But it was too late, Juan was already knocking on the garage door. A tiny hole in the middle of the door slid open revealing a pair of eyes squinting at Juan (again, just like the 24 hour pharmacy in Barcelona). 

Words I could not understand were exchanged, then Juan pointed to my friends and I (shit, we’re the first to die), turned back to the eyes behind the door – WHAM! …that slammed shut. Silence.

Ahh shucks, guess we have to go back to the hostel now, bye! As I turned around, ready to leave, the garage door slowly creaked open, and one by one we were transported into the Sevillian underground.

You know when you watch a scary movie and there’s always at least one dumb ass who follows the creepy noise or enters the dark room, well I can totally empathize with those idiots now. Dark rooms are enticing. And man was this secret club ever dark. All I could see was the blue haze of cigarette smoke circling around the glowing red lights hanging from the ceiling. I thought about using my iPhone flashlight to see, but soon realized that would expose my lack of cool.

I reached out my arms like a zombie and felt my way though the dark labyrinth to the bar…only the bar felt like a mop…a mop with a heartbeat and two glowing eyes staring up at me. What the f – is that a dog? Yes, it was in fact a dog casually sitting on a bar stool. I’m used to men in clubs behaving like dogs, so this was nothing out of the ordinary, only this one didn’t try to dry hump me. I stared into his eyes and asked him for a glass of sangria, but he wasn’t the bartender, the bartender was the human standing behind the bar, weird.

We spent the rest of the night drinking copious amounts of sangria, swaying to the deep house music and smoking hand rolled cigarettes from these two french girls. Occasionally I would sneak away to get my face licked by Steve –  the dog who I named Steve. Man, I miss him, he was such a good listener.

Some people look so effortlessly cool when they smoke, like they’re straight out of 1950s film noir. Those french girls, they looked cool. Me, not so much. At one point, I put a cigarette in my mouth backwards and attempted to light it.

We left the bar at around 4 in the morning because I kept trying to light cigarettes backwards and was starting to embarrass my friends. On our way back to the hostel, Juan stopped this beautiful, tall, blonde guy carrying a guitar on his back. They talked and laughed with the same comfortability as old friends, but they had only just met. The beautiful blonde took his guitar off his back, handed it to Juan, and the two of them began a spontaneous flamenco in the streets. For those of you who don’t know what flamenco is, it’s that dancing lady emoji in a red dress. It’s passionate as fuck. We blessed the morning by singing Spanish love ballads at the top of our lungs and took home the title of Worst Flamenco Dance Troupe, a real honour. I’d like to thank Steve, for always believing in me.

Climbing into my top bunk bed proved to be the biggest journey of the night. One does not simply ease into a top bunk wasted. With the grace of a new born calf I pulled myself into the tiny bed and as my heavy eyelids came to a close, so did our time in Spain. And what an adventure it had been. From being homeless in Barcelona, to seeing Ronaldo kick around a soccer ball in Madrid. From the nights that turned into mornings to the strangers who turned into friends. J.R.R. Tolkien said it best, not all those who Juander are lost.

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