With only a month left in Spain, I am now more conscious than ever that my days are numbered and that I have to try and make the most out of every day that I have left here.

For this particular post, I will need to introduce a couple of “typical espaneesh” vocabulary words:

This week started with a new beginning. Not a new beginning for me, but a big, new beginning for FC Barcelona. After about a very rough year, Barça decided to fire Ronald Koeman (a club legend, for those of you who don’t know), and hire a new club legend, XAVI, as the new manager. Cole, Radek, and I attended his presentation at the Camp Nou, which was a really historic day for the FC Barcelona faithful. I thought I had seen Xavi as a player in person when I was here on exchange, but I just now realized that he actually retired the season before I got here. Cole and Radek, while they like soccer, are not super-fans like I am. They enjoyed the opportunity to go in the Camp Nou for free, but for me it was like being in the presence of a God. Xavi is undisputedly one of the greatest center midfielders to ever play the beautiful game, and has been one of my personal idols and references over the years. As a die-hard Barça fan, I wish Xavi all the luck in the world in rebuilding the collapsed footballing dynasty.

Monday was the only sunny day of the whole week. After that, it rained every day until I went to Madrid on Sunday morning. We sat around inside all day on Tuesday, watching the rain pour and pour. On Wednesday we decided to venture out of the house, as I wanted to buy some ping pong balls to eventually play ping pong. As we were walking out of the mall with the balls, it stopped raining just long enough to play ping pong for 15 minutes before getting rained out. After that we gave up on being outside and went back home to prepare for 100MON, which is a typical Espaneesh bar here in Spain. We ended up drinking 6 euros worth of booze, which left me more than just a little drunk hehe. Yes, I am a lightweight. And no, I cannot hang.

On Thursday the weather started clearing up a little bit. At this point, the rain was only intermittent, so we could sort of plan our days (and by days, I mean ping pong) around the rain. Me and Cole played ping pong in the morning until I got a call from one of the guys that I met at the skate park who works as a guy who hires substitutes at different schools. He told me that he needed a substitute for a futsal coach in two hours at a school that was across town and that if I could help him out he would make sure I get paid under the table. Since I love playing soccer and love little kids, I decided that I would go and do it. I ended up having a blast with the little kids, met some other cool people my age, and of course, made some tax-free money, just the way I like it. After that, I had to rush home, shower, and change to make it to a presentation about LinkedIn and marketing your own personal brand. I am pretty happy with my LinkedIn profile, but I got to meet some very cool people in a professional capacity, learn some stuff about formatting and the search algorithms, and got some pointers for personal brand marketing in general. I was feeling tired and lazy after the coaching gig, but I am super happy that I went.

On Friday I almost had a heart attack. Not really, but I had to spend 46 euros, which the guy at Decathlon had to basically tear out of my hands. In all honesty, though, I got a really good deal on the things I bought. I bought a super nice 2-person hammock for 20 euros, TWO pairs of thermals for 18 euros, and a buf for three euros. The non-name brand stuff here in Spain is so ridiculously cheap. After shopping, we went and played ping pong at the local park for like three hours. I beat a 12 year old kid, who I genuinely thought was going to throw a tantrum for losing two games in a row. He would have probably beat me if he could hit his spikes, but I played conservatively and won, twice. After ping pong, the boys went out to get dinner, while I went home to read my book club book until my 11PM soccer game. YES, 11PM! It was cold and rainy, and I was already in bed, all cozied up reading my book. But I managed to get myself up and go play. I ended up playing like a God for no good reason at all. We ended up winning 6-2 and I scored FIVE of the goals.

With Radek on Cole leaving super early in the morning on Saturday, I had a day to myself. I woke up and went to the skate park with Didi until Junior called me, telling me he was in the neighborhood and had some time to hang out. Of course, I had to make time to hang out with my favorite little brother. So me and Junior had lunch, walked around the mall a little, and then he went on his way. Right after Junior left, like clockwork, my friend Victor called me asking me if I wanted to hang out, suggesting a walk up to the mountains with some snacks and some beer. I brought my hammock and we ended up walking around, catching the sunset and an amazing view of the city, and talking about a ton of random things in my hammock for hours. After the mountain, we came back to my house, where I cooked us a dinner of men: potatoes and steak. Victor is a lot like me in a lot of ways, which allowed us to really hit it off from the beginning. I am really grateful to have a friend in him and I look forward to deepening my friendship with him as much as I can before I leave.

On Sunday I hopped on the train and went to Madrid, which I will leave for next week’s blog :)