Let’s talk about New Year’s Eve: Madrid Edition. It is now one of my life goals to spend NYE in a different location every year. It sure as hell beats my other two resolutions, which are 1. Go to the dentist and 2. Start moisturizing my face. Big plans, people.
2014 ended as it should have and by that I mean, my fellow American had her phone pick pocketed on the metro. All I could offer in response to this was, “at least it didn’t happen in 2015.” You’re welcome. Maybe my third resolution should be compassion? Fortunately, she’s a champion and put her game face on bound and determined to ring in 2015 with some style.
Because we had just arrived in Madrid sans any plans (typical), and because I’m a pushover, we let some strange man in hipster glasses convince us to go to some backpacker’s party to celebrate. He made no effort to hide the fact that he was a huge tool bag, but I decided we should follow him anyway, because tool bags generally know how to party.
Along the way we met up with overeager 20-somethings and middle aged men who were clinging desperately to their youth, but honestly, probably just wanted to curl up in their 12 bed dorm with a cup of tea and a classic novel to ring in the new year.
I’m not going to say I wasn’t extremely irritating in my early 20s, but these girls were something else. I could’ve filmed them and turned it into a documentary called “Alpha Beta Zeta Abroad”. Is that a sorority? It should be. I also think the country of Greece should petition against having their alphabet used as a representation of the monstrosity that is Greek Life in America. Perhaps I’ll bring this up to my Greek friend.
“We actually don’t have geography classes in the US,” I overheard one say as we walked to the club.
I immediately grabbed the open bottle of champagne from my friend and started chugging in hopes I could erase that memory. It clearly and unfortunately didn’t work.
I then turned to the 40-something Turkish born, New York residing man my friend was talking to in hopes of gaining some wisdom and culture.
“Have you seen the US embassy in Istanbul he asked?” after I made a comment about the riots from several years ago.
“Well just imagine the most beautiful and grand castle you’ve ever seen and multiply that by 10. That’s the US embassy. It’s like a fortress on top of a hill,” he informed us, not impressed.
I let a brief moment of pride and horror wash over me and from that point forward decided to ask loudly, “is this the US embassy?” any time we came across something beautiful and obnoxious during the rest of our journey.
Once inside the club, we glanced around at the 12 other patrons, put on the New Year’s Santa hats and ninja turtle masks we were gifted—because the only person I planned on romancing that night was the 60-something man in all black shaking his hips like Shakira up on stage—and promptly started drinking champagne. Midnight struck and we immediately shoved 12 grapes in our mouth (because that’s what you do), then I ate like four more for good measure while my friend choked on the seeds. ARE WE DOING THIS RIGHT???
Apparently in Spain, midnight is like a casual, sober kickoff to the New Year and once everyone has eaten their 12 grapes for good luck, they start pounding booze hard and rage until like 7 am. I was confused by this, but I was also super into it. It was a pleasant departure from the American tradition of “try to make it to midnight.”
Hours later, I found myself slightly intoxicated and talking to a 43-year-old man from Mexico while my friend was chatting/dancing with what appeared to be a 20-year-old Indian boy. I was entertained by them for all of 45 seconds until ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” came on and I literally lost my shit on the dance floor. Club can’t even handle me right now.
Me being a dancing queen.
At some point, a blonde girl came up to me and asked where I was from and when I said California she yelled, “Oh my God, west coast for life!!” and tried to high five me, but I’m pretty sure I just chugged my gin and tonic and pretended I was hard of hearing.
The night ended with my friend repeatedly announcing how drunk she was and me responding by saying, “I think I’m going to throw up, but not because I’m drunk, but because I drank too much alcohol.” At least I knew what I was talking about. It was a volume issue.
In conclusion, if my evening was any indication of 2015, my year will be filled with a lot of booze and apathy.