the rest is still unwritten

Monday, October 17, 2011

An UnBEETable Adventure 2: The Departure and Madrid

Earlier this year, Twin gave me an ultimatum:

"You are coming to my wedding by hook or by crook."

It was not a request nor a suggestion, more than an invitation. It was a fact. No if's, and's or but's. And Since the Twins and the Beets have a propensity for getting things done when we set our minds to it, I was 97% convinced that I was coming to the wedding.

Now, let's examine the chronology of events that occurred after that conversation. Keep in mind that my tentative date of departure should fall somewhere in the first week of October, with the 3rd or 4th being the prime dates.

July - scheduled an appointment with the Spanish Embassy for August 4th.

August 4 - missed my interview, annoyed the crap out of Twin, rescheduled another interview for September 7th.

September 7 - attended the interview, visa to be released on September 20

September 20 - Visa not released

September 20 - 27 - frantic anxiety

September 28 - Visa finally released, breathed a little easier

September 29 - finances start to tightrope, flights were filling up, no bookings were made

September 30 - October 2 - frantic anxiety

October 3 - flights were booked

Final Departure Date: October 4.

Yeah, that's how we roll.



With these in hand
Schengen Visa: Olé!
Ticket: Woo-Ha!
I finally came home and started to pack. Normally, it would take me an hour (maybe less) to pack two pairs of pants, four pairs of short short shorts, a week's worth of shirts and tops, socks, unmentionables, toiletries and other necessities.

It was probably the unbridled excitement; dancing to Beyoncé, Madonna, Katy Perry and Ace of Base; telling my dogs I'll miss them so much over and over again; and sending messages like this
Cuh-lick to enlarge!
that took me all night to pack.



After about an hour of sleep and a quick shower, I found myself hugging my doggies and kissing my parents goodbye as I stepped into the airport.

After the tornado of a process of getting my Visa and ticket I was worried that at some checkpoint before getting on my plane I was going to be stopped and told that I couldn't leave the country because my Visa was fake or something...

Luckily, that didn't happen.

I found myself dancing in my seat as the plane started to taxi, and eventually take off.

With another stroke of luck, I found that the seat next to mine was unoccupied which allowed me to put my feet upsomething I very much welcomed on that 13-hour leg to Amsterdam.

Those 13 hours were spent napping (but due to the excitement, I didn't really do much of that), eating (we were served two meals and three snacksalthough I asked for more almondsthrice... and an extra sandwich...), and movie watching. Ironically, the movie I saw was:
Quite hilarious.

Later on, I decided to watch some Sex and the City, and as luck would have it, it was this episode:
Carrie à Paris! Très apropos!

I also spent some time perusing the in-flight magazine:
Super cool articles which I'll save for another post.

After 13 and a half hours, I found myself navigating through the Amsterdam airport. Seeing the mix of different nationalities, cultures, styles and dress, I was immediately excited. My European adventure had officially begun.

The Amsterdam to Madrid leg was a blur.

What I do remember was sitting next to an elderly Chinese woman who looked confused as her gaze swept from my hair, my face, my numerous bangles and my obviously flat chest. Boy? Girl? Everything.

After a couple of hoursTouchdown Madrid!

Before I go on, let me just say that I flew with KLM and I really really liked the experience.
Pros: Wide selection of movies and TV shows you could watch at your own pace; lots of food; friendly flight attendants; blanket; pillow; interesting in-flight magazine, all the tomato juice you can drink.    Cons: Calling biscuits chips (fool me once, shame on you.) I wanted POTATO CHIPS! You realize how small the economy seats really are after the first three hours... But all in all, pretty good.
I am not in any way affiliated with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Back to Madrid.

I land at about 11:00pm and go through the airport as I had earlier planned with Twin.

The plan: After landing, take the Metro to Goya Station where Twin would be waiting for me.

The problem: My dad suggested I exchange my money once I land in Madrid. The foreign exchange counter closes at 11pm. I got there at 11:17. I had no Euros and no way of buying a metro ticket at what was now 11:30 pm. I also didn't have Twin's new cellphone number.

My mind began to sift through plans B through G, with each plan getting more ridiculous than the last.

Finally, through our unexplainable cosmic connection, Twin calls my cell phone. The extraordinariness of this occurrence lies in the fact that Twin has a Canadian line, and I have a Filipino line, and we were both in Madrid.

New Plan: take a cab to the hotel. Simple. Haha. Twin told me to scrap the metro idea (I was on a belt-cinching budget) and that she would wait for me on the street corner and spot me for the cab.

Finally, I manhandle my luggage into the back of a cab and tell the driver: "Calle de Goya estina Calle de General Pardiñas". Or at least that's what I tried to say... The driver shook his head and said around five sentences in Spanish to which I dumbly responded "Si". To this day, I still have no idea what he said.

During the cab ride, a huge smile was plastered on my face. After more than two months I was going to see my Twin. I was feeling barf-y and excited and happy to the point where I wanted to hug the cab driver. The driver would occasionally ask me questions in Spanish (which I don't speak) and to which I would enthusiastically answer "Si!" still with a huge smile on my face. I was super KADOOPER excited. Waiting at the end of this cab ride was the other half of my soul.

In about fifteen minutes, the old taxi driver gestured down the long quiet street and said: "Calle de Goya".

Ho.My.Gosh.ohmygosh.ohmygosh I thought.

I scanned every street corner like a hawk.
Not yet.


There was no need for me to tell the driver that we have reached our destination. My eardrum-piercing shrieks caused him to slam on the brakes and check the backseat for a dying cat. Outside the cab stood, no, jumped and flailed Twin, like a crazy person who had never seen a cab before. I could hear her shrieks from inside the cab, too. Behind her I could make out Iron Man's figure chuckling to himself.

With no regard for my belongs or the durability of the cab's door, I swung the door wide open and rushed up to Twin and took part in one of the bearest of bear hugs ever. There was definitely some body-slamming and lifting-Twins-off-the-ground involved.

After the Twin embrace, I rushed to hug Iron Man.

Now, as Twin is my other half, then Iron Man is most definitely hers.


Time for some Geo-Iron Man backstory.

Twin and Iron Man had been together for the better part of a decade, which meant they were already together at the time I met Twin at an "Indian" dinner at our friend Momsy's house three years ago. During the time I've known Twin, I've seen Iron Man a maximum of five times (once he was asleep in the passenger seat so that should probably bring the number down to four). But Iron Man's presence in Twin's life is undeniable. So despite the handful of times I've 'met' him I've always felt like I've known him for as long as and almost as well as I've known Twin. And throughout this trip, Iron Man proved that he is exactly who I thought he was: the perfect man for my Twin.


Back to Madrid.

After the cinematic reunion, the cab driver was finally paid, my suitcase was unloaded and we jumped into the usual Twin conversation as though we had never been apart. In about four minutes we were at the door to our hotel room.

"Twin," says Twin to me, "the hotel room's kinda weird..."

And it was.

I, once again, am kicking myself for not taking a picture. To some, the room could be called a honeymoon suite. To me, the words 1980's-Las-Vegas-Coccaine-Sex-Den come to mind.

I'm talking blood-red carpet, wood and green-itchy-fabric chairs, glass surfaces, gaudy brass light fixtures and lamps, and for the pièce de résistance, a wall of floor-to-ceiling mirrors.

After the novelty (horror) of the room subsided, Twin says, "Twin, get dressed, we're going out."

It was 12:40 am, mind you, and I had just arrived from a seventeen hour journey.

Naturally, I agreed.

After showering and getting dressed, I found out that two of our friends, Cammy and Captain Planet, were also already in Madrid. In no time, Twin, Iron Man and I were walking down Calle de Goya to our friends' hotel which was a mere two blocks away.

Once the group was complete, we looked for a place to have a round or two.

We find Bar Barleya quaint little pub run by an elderly man and his wife. We order a round of drinks: 3 glasses of wine for the Twins and Iron Man, a Rum Coke for Cammy, and a beer for Captain Planet. After we finished our drinks, Iron Man got inspired and ordered a round of chupitos (translation: shots).
Cacique Rum = poison.

After forcing down our shots (I had one and a half, Twin refused to finish hers), we decided to head to a livelier establishent: DISCOTEKA.

It was lively in the sense that the music was really loud, classic disco hits, I'm talking Cher's BelieveSpanish version, and people were dancingall four of them. So as our merry group of five walked into the club, the customer count was raised to nine. Also, I'm guessing that the average age of the four customers already there was 43.

After getting the rum and cokes that came with our entrance fee, we settled at a table by the dance floor, did a few toasts and joined in the action. Already cutting a rug was a man in an orange shirt who takes the phrase "dance like nobody's watching" to a whole 'notha level. Twin, Cammy and I were super entertained when Iron Man and Captain Planet showed us their extra special secret dance moves. Captain Planet may or may not have also been dared to dance with one of the more mature female patrons.

After we finished our rum and cokes, it was unanimously decided that we needed to change locations and so we took a cab to the main square. As we arrived, we were almost immediately accosted by numerous club promoters.

We were sold on one of the promoter's pitches: free entrance for the ladies.

Naturally, I got in for free, too.

Now, before I take you into the dark dank depths of the Palazzo, let me introduce you to a term that T3 (who unfortunately was unable to join us on this trip =( ) and I use: ang blusang itimthe black blouse. The black blouse was a magical garment that makes its wearer irresistible to men. T3 and I would joke about which of us was wearing it on certain nights we'd go out.

Right, the Palazzo, let's go in.

We grab our complimentary mojitos. After which, Iron Man orders a round of Patron chupitos. Then we hit the dance floorwhich is when the crazy hit the fan.

In about five minutes of us dancing in a circle like middle schoolers at a clambake, we notice that a handful of guys start hanging around our little circle.

"Twin!" says Twin, "Those guys are totally checking you out!"

"Yeah, whatever!" I say trying to brush it off, even if I sorta knew that she was right.

And oh, how right she was.

Before I knew it, Gropey McFeelerson was dancing up on me. I try to play it off mouthing "Sorry" as I try to go the other side of our little dance circle. Let me tell you, those Spanish guys are not only aggressive, boy are they persistent!

The most persistent of the bunch most easily had to be Beni. We called him Beni because he reminded me of the character from the movie The Mummy.
Meet Beni.

I had no intention of entertaining any suitors that night.
HELP ME! Yep, that's Beni behind me. Watch your hand, Beni. Gross.

Twin, on the other hand, had other ideas. She and Iron Man had this crazy idea to use the powers of my Blusang Itim to get us free drinks (i.e. Pimp me out).

The plan backfired. Instead of getting Beni to buy drinks for the group, I was merely successful at being forced to take even more Patron shots with him. Mission failed.

Realizing that Operation Drinks-4-All was a bust, it was time to cut Beni loose. Problem was he wouldn't let go. I even had to introduce Iron Man as my brother so he'd leave me alone. In response, Beni asked Iron Man if it was ok if he came home with us. Gross.

Finally, under the ruse that we were going to use the bathroom, we Frenched Palazzo.

As most nights out inevitably end, we were starving.

We ordered some pizza slices and ate them at the fountain in the square.

Then lo and behold, Beni has found us again. Unfortunately for him, our little group's itinerary no longer included Patron shots and aggressive suitors, he was snubbed.

The blusang itim worked a little bit too well that night...

After finishing up our pizzas, we headed back to our hotels and made plans for the next day.

Bedtime: 5:00 am.

Aaaah. Just like old times.


We were woken up at 9:30 am, by Twin's sister, Penny. She came into our room to tell us that Twin's mom, and Iron Man's mom and two brothers were downstairs. We quickly showered and in no time, Iron Man's two younger brothers, Q and X, were standing in our hotel room.
Q, X and Iron Man (not our hotel room).

After finally exchanging my dollars into Euros, we grabbed some quick breakfast and soon headed to the Parque Retiro for a birthday picnic with Iron Man's friends, Futbol and Soccerhontas.
One of the gates into the Parque Retiro.
Upon entering it's massive gates, one has to walk down a long promenade lined with dozens of stone sculptures and chestnut trees.
At the end of the walkway, one sees this:
Talk about picturesque...

Finally we find Futbol and Soccerhontas and enjoy a leisurely picnic in the park. Moments later another friend, Barca, drops by and joins our munching.

Futbol and Soccerhontas provided such a complete spread with cheeses, meats, sandwiches, fruits, crackers, chips, water, OJ and wine. Unfortunately, I was unable to get my butete on since I was struck by a slight Schizo-Hangoverfine for ten minutes, then head spinning the next. By mid-afternoon, though, I felt much better.

After the picnic, Twin and Iron Man took Q, X and I on a tour of Madrid.
The fountain where we ate our pizzas and got rid of Beni from the night before.
The fabled center of Spain.
Plaza Mayor.
The facade of the building is COVERED in these paintings. Reminds me of the Tarot. Super Cool!
Philip III, another statue of another guy on another horse.
I am obsessed with walkways, hallways and tunnelsand animals, babies and old people.

In about an hour or so, as is natural with the Beets, we got hungry. The answer: Churros! Twin then led us to what she believes is the best churroria in Madrid.
The churroria is just behind Twin and X. I love how Madrid is full of these little walkways!
Name of the courtyard on tiles. Too cool.

Finally, it was time for churros.
Q just about ready to pounce on those churros.

The churros were SO good. X ended up drinking the extra chocolate. He's a growing boy.

After a quick bathroom break
which was located in the basement
we decided to do a little more walking.
La Vie Bohème

Now that we'd had our sweet fix, we were in the mood for something salty. Lucky for us, Twin led us here:
The Mercado de San Miguel is a foodie oasis. Filled with stalls that sold everything from jamón ibérico to sushi, sangria to cosmos, one could easily get their fill. I sampled the mushroom, shrimp and beef croquettas.

After our snack, Q and X decided to head back to the hotel to freshen up and rest up a bit (I forgot to mention that they had just flown in that morning from Canada) while Twin, Iron Man and I (more like just Twin) would take a little shopping sidetrip.

Soon, it was time for dinner. Iron Man had dinner plans with his family and so I had dinner with Twin and her family.
Yep, that sign says Nebraska.
We had dinner at a place called Nebraska. Twin described it as the Spanish equivalent to Denny's. For some strange reason I still don't understand, I ordered the spaghetti alfredo...

After dinner, we went to find Iron Man who was having dinner with his family at a restaurant just down the street.

After two pitchers of sangria and an order of gambas, Twin, Iron Man, Q, X and I decided to make the most of our Madrid sojourn, but since we were leaving for Malaga the next morning, we decided that the Palazzo was probably a bit much for that night. Luckily for us, we stumbled upon this place:
Boracay Bar in Madrid!

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that Boracay has a special place in the Beets' hearts.

After a round of drinks (Q ordered a nasty-tasting drink that was so bitter, but he finished it anyway) we headed back to the hotel to pack and prepare for our 11:50am flight to Malaga.

Bedtime: around 4am


We wake up at around 7:30am, do some last minute packing (shoving and heaving) and scramble to the Madrid airport where we groggily check in.

In about half an hour most of the bridesmaids and their partners, various family members and friends arrive at the Madrid airport and check in as well.
Tito Madrileño; Tita Mallorcina; Iron Man's Mom, Tita Honey(moon); Iron Man and Where's Waldo (Twin).

After the giddy giggling and chit-chat that usually accompanies the reunions between girls and women, we were all ready to board our plane for Malaga.

Next Chapter: Nerja Pre-Nup.

Stay Tuned!!!


Bridesmaids poster from:
Sex and the City Image from:
Image of Beni from:

1 comment: