Posts Tagged ‘Rota’


Fiesta de San Juan

June 25, 2007

The fiesta was out of this world. Thousands of people lining the beach, amazingly corny Spanish performers (comparable to the Wiggles), cheap alcohol, a giant bonfire and naked people jumping into the ocean. Puts any party at U of O to shame.

The prefunk was sweet. Marco and my room has become the bar. Everyone just comes over with their 5ths or wine and seems to leave their stuff there. Although our counter is lined with random, unclaimed bottles, we don’t seem to mind. We just work around them.

We made our way to the beach at 11:30ish. Stopped for a few tapas (appetizers) and bebidas (drinks) along the way. Got to the beach just in time to see this amazing band performing. They were a mix between the Wiggles and Red Hot Chili Peppers. You’re thinking I’m full of shit, but seriously, if you were there, and you had a few in you, you’d be loving this shit too. He had us dancing around, doing semi-perverted elephant walk conga lines, dancing like monkeys, waving our arms and even doing pelvic thrusts. The Gypsy kids loved the pelvic thrusts…

Best part of all was that we ran into the Gypsy version of Cory Matthews. I shit you not, the kid looked just like him. He had no rhythm, but our friend Ashley insisted on dancing up on him. It was probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. The kid couldn’t have been more than 16/17, but he probably had no idea what masturbation was, and it showed. When Ashley rubbed up on him, he bolted. Maybe he was running away from the trashed American, or maybe he was worried she would steal his tears.

Next, it was Joe Joe Bear’s turn to be the drunk ass and run into the water nearly naked. He kept his boxers on, but made sure to take them off and wave them around once he submerged his twins in the cold, cold water.

We ended up hanging out at the beach for 3 or 4 hours. We made friends with Marines, Army and some ambiguously gay Spanish dudes. Some people think butt darts is trouble, but these guys were pretty chill and showed us some cool soccer tricks… (that’s not some codeword.)

We ended off the night at our favorite bar in town, O’Grady’s: the only Irish Bar owned by an Irishmen within 100 miles. It’s a sweet little place, and the bartended, Pat, is the man. at 4:30 a couple of us decided to call it quits and head back to base (a brisk 20 minute walk we’ve made many times.)

All in all, we had a good night… a good prefunk, Spanish Wiggles, ambiguously gay Spanish Soccer stars and Gypsies everywhere.


Soldiers, Soldiers Everywhere

June 17, 2007

It has been a fun week here. Everyone has their own perceptions of the armed forces… rednecks, grunts, meatheads, giant putzes or people that really just believe in freedom. We just had 3 ships, carrying 2,300 soldiers, come into port on their way back home. It has been an eye-opening experience meeting these guys. First, these are the horniest people I have ever come across. I thought I’d met some horndogs in my day, but these guys take the cake. (Reason: The ships are about 95% guys and 5% women and are deployed for about 6-9 months at a time.) Let me note that I have a ton of respect for the soldiers. After hearing their stories, I see the armed forces in a new light, but that doesn’t change the fact that they walk around half-staff all the time.

In Camp A, we have 4 guys and 9 girls. That’s 9 pieces of eye candy for the soldiers and 4 obstacles to overcome. Funny thing is, they love talking to the guys. Every day this weekend, we’d walk back to our dorms, and soldiers would invite us over to chat and have a beer. They’re very generous when it comes to alcohol, probably because they’re already shitfaced by the time we get there (anywhere between 8 am and 10 pm).

Yesterday, I met Hodges. Hodges is a “fucking redneck from Kentucky” in his own words. Probably one of the most interesting soldiers I’ve met yet. He is a grunt, the lowest paid position in the military, and he loves it. He told me stories from Jordan, where he was just deployed, but he also made sure to add in some personal info:

Hodges: “So, you’re a fucking civilian, huh?”
Me: “Yeah. I’m a college student doing a program on base.”
Hodges: “Man, what I would give to be a civilian. You know we fight and put ourselves in dangerous situations so that you can get shitfaced and fuck back home.”
Me: “I do know that, and on behalf of drunken college students everywhere, we appreciate what you do. Thanks for letting us get drunk.”
Hodges: “Man, if I was a civilian, you know what I’d do? First thing is to pierce these (points to his nipples.) Pierced nipples are the fucking shit.”

Right then, my friend Kelley comes over to see what’s up.

Hodges: “Hey, where are you from beautiful?”
Kelley: (Rolling her eyes) “I’m from San Francisco.”
Hodges: “Oh, you mean Queer Town. (Laughs to himself and starts some incoherent mumbling about dildos as Kelley walks away.)”

This is the kind of stuff I get to experience. Some other great quotes…

In a bar, a Marine asks me what my heritage is since I’m already pretty tan. I tell him French, Russian, Austrian, Belgian and Polish. He goes, “Wow, you’re a mutt. I’m a mutt, too. I’m a McWop.” (In case you don’t get it, those are two extremely derogatory terms for the Irish and Italians.)

Walking back to the dorms with 3 of the girls, a Marine calls out, “Hey, you guys want free alcohol? Who the fuck passes up free alcohol? Bring your eye candy with you…”

Simple and to the point. A Marine tells me, “The Army is full of faggots. If you like taking it up the ass and want a G.I. Bill, then join the army. If you like pussy and fighting, then join the Marines.” I think I found their new slogan.

Well, it’s Father’s Day, so we have a brunch in the galley with Surf and Turf and some other great stuff, so I gotta go. Hope everyone is doing well. Happy Father’s Day to those that didn’t wrap up… especially you, Dad!


The Texan

June 14, 2007

Just a brief note on this one…

I hated Texas when I lived there. It’s the asshole of America. I still hate Texas. Sorry if you’re from there, but it needs to be gifted to Mexico.

The woman that we work for on base… I’ll call her Yahoo… is a great representative of the Sovereign State of Texas. Every time we hear her voice, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. I’ve developed a really good impression of her already, and I entertain the rest of the group with it, but knowing my shitty luck, I’ll be imitating one day to boost morale, and she’ll be right behind me.

It’s only been 4 days, and already, we’re all pretty sick of her. She has lived here for 2 years, yet she knows absolutely nothing about the town or the base. She told us to walk about 5 blocks for an ATM, but I refused to believe her. I did my own investigating and found one across the street. Right across the frigging street… Texas Intellect is what I like to call it.

We’ll see how I can put up with it. Right now, I’m enjoying everything here, except for the Yahoo from Tejas. At least it gives us something to joke about.

Que Uds. esten bienes!

Adios Amigos!


Scenes from Rota

June 14, 2007

It’s definitely a cultural experience here. You learn really quick about Machismo and Spanish chauvinism. Yesterday, we walked into town to get some groceries. One of the girls asked a guy about something in the market, so he turned to me to give the answer. In the US, that wouldn’t fly. You’d have some sort of law suit filed, but here, it’s the norm. Really crazy to see that.

(My roommate put it best when he said, “It’s amazing over here. In Spain, boys are better than girls.” He followed it up with, “I even bet you could pee on a girl and get away with it. R. Kelly would love it here.”)

It’s been a good first few days. Yesterday, we got a tour of the town, which is amazing. There is a lot of history here. I took a bunch of pictures for you all to see what it’s like here. It turns out that Columbus’ fleet set sail on the San Juan from Rota. Rota isn’t as famous as Cadiz, which is right across the gulf, but it’s still pretty well-known.

We took it easy last night after going out two nights in a row. It feels good to have 9 hours of sleep after only 4-5 hours/night. I’m definitely ready for the day ahead.

We went to breakfast this morning. I was expecting a mess hall with big tables and substandard food, but Rota delivered yet again. For $2, you get all you can eat buffet with made-to-order eggs, bacon, toast, French toast, oatmeal, cereal, fresh fruit and more. Fat kid heaven! It will be a treat every once in a while, but I got good ol’ Raisin Bran in the cabinet and just found out how to say Soy Milk, so I’ll be set most mornings.

Gotta go to work, but hope this post finds everyone doing well. Adios.


Bienvenidos a Rota

June 14, 2007

I’ve always had somewhat crappy luck… it runs in my family… and there was no exception when I arrived in Spain.

Let’s start from when I got to PDX. The clerk at check-in had my bag going only to Madrid. Luckily, I caught that mistake and directed it to Rota.

Fast forward to about 27 hours later. I’m tired, sweaty, and I smell like a bum’s ________ (you fill in the blank). Needless to say, I’m in desperate need of a fresh pair of shorts and a nice t-shirt. Fortunately, after getting some advice from Cathcart and my parents, I packed an extra pair of underwear, shorts, and a shirt.

We arrive in Jerez de la Frontera, a small airport about 20 minutes outside of Rota. I’m sitting there with 7 other people from my program, watching the bags zoom by on the belt. Ever since PDX, I had this gut feeling that my bag would not show up in Jerez, but I also had hope that I wouldn’t be scatted on this time. One by one, they’re picked off until there are just three bags. Ha… wouldn’t you know it… mine wasn’t on there. I had the urge to start going nuts, but I had just met these people and wanted to make a good first impression, so I just started laughing instead. Everyone couldn’t understand how I could be so calm about it, but I knew it was just my luck.

So, everyone packs their bags into a van and we’re greeted by a nice, but overly-excitable woman from Corpus Christi, TEXAS! YAHOOO! Needless to say, I wasn’t in the mood for her redneck, inbred banter. She’s a nice woman, but she talks to us like we’re 3 years old sometimes, and if you ask a question and she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll just ignore you. (She likes me though, and she’s in charge for the most part, so I have something going for me… as long as she doesn’t find out that I had Bar Mitzvah)

We get to the base.. which is beautiful… 12 square miles of a small, naval city. There is everything you could need on here… a golf course, driving range, several restaurants, Naval Exchange and retail stores and even a drive-in movie theater. They even have slot machines in certain places, and I’m definitely going to hit them up.

We get to our dorms, and I’m dreading walking into a quad or double with twin sized bunk beds and a fan in the corner. This time a little good luck came my way… we each have our own separate sleeping quarters complete with extended twin, ceiling fan, air conditioning, desk, wardrobe, dresser, mirror and a TV with a DVD player. It’s a hotel suite. Plus, we share a kitchenette with free washer and dryer and a really nice bathroom. Oh yeah, and we have maids come in every day to clean our bathroom and make our beds. Basically, we’re living in the lap of luxury for a Camp Adventure program…. Or any program for that matter.

I’m paired up with Marco, a really good kid. We have similar senses of humor, and I can tell we’re going to get along just fine.

Our first day, we toured around the base a little bit with the Texan and were allowed to shop in one of the Military Personnel Stores. We also went out into the town and checked out the night life.

It’s pretty cool. Restaurants don’t open until 8 or 9 here. Restaurants are bars, and bars are restaurants, so no matter where you go, you can get a drink. We hit up the different bars and walked around the city for a few hours. The biggest difference I’ve found is how generous bartenders are with alcohol. In any drink… say Jack and Coke… they’ll pour 80% Jack and 20% Coke, then they give you the rest of the can to carry around with you. Stiff drinks for cheap is a great thing and only adds to the experience. The beer here is about 3 times stronger than the beer back home. It tastes a hell of a lot better, too, so I have no complaints with the night life here.

The locals are totally friendly to Americans, and especially love the American girls. We had two guys buy us all shots at a bar last night (and there were 9 of us) just so they could get to 2 girls in the group. I busted out my Spanish and told them the girls were lesbians (without the girls knowing). The guys backed off, the girls thanked me, and I just laughed to myself because I’m an asshole.

Turns out local women look for American guys, too. We are their passport out of here. If they can get with us and get us interested, they have a good chance of getting married (moreso with Marines than Camp A people) and they can come to the states. The women I’ve encountered here are very attractive, and we haven’t even ventured past the city limits. I’m excited to see what the rest of Spain has to offer… in a curious sort of way.

Well, we’re about to go out again, but I’ll write soon. Hope you all enjoy the pics. Adios amigos!