La Vida es un Carnaval…

Hello! I haven’t written in forever and for that I am sorry. I wish I would have been more vigilant about documenting the past month because I’m sure at least a few noteworthy things have happened but now I can’t recall them. Honestly, the past month has been a little rough for me… but I guess the good always comes with a little bad, right? I’ve been feeling really bored and lonely (perfect circumstances for blogging, no?) so I haven’t really felt the urge to do much of anything. Once you’re stuck in a rut, it’s kind of hard to get out.

Anyway, I feel the winds of change a-blowin’. Because it’s Carnaval season here in Arcos (and Spain, in general) and I just happen to live in the province that is the Carnaval capital of the world, Cádiz. From what I can tell so far, Carnaval is about: men cross-dressing, singing scathingly punny songs riddled with local and cultural references, and drinking, sometimes all at the same time. This weekend was the premiere of the Carnaval groups (chirigotas) in Arcos singing their songs, though the professional groups in Cádiz started performing and competing a few weeks ago. On Friday when I was out a saw a group of men in bathrobes and sparkly bathing suits with rubbery wigs on and I was confused. Then Saturday I saw them singing and realized that they were one of the chirigotas and it all made sense… kind of. Though I can understand some of the words to their songs, I don’t “get” it. Oh well, I’m learning new vulgar phrases every day and some of those tunes are damn catchy.

Yesterday was a/THE chicharrona. I don’t know what the direct translation of that is, but it mean lots of day drinking and lots of chirigotas. We went to watch the main performance around 2:30, but it was cold and we all wanted lunch so we went to eat at a new place that just opened up. By the time we had finished eating, the chicharrona was over and tons of people had gathered outside at the nearby bars. We all had beers and migrated around with the sun, which evolved into darkness and migrating towards heaters and switching from drinking beers to cubatas. I ended up staying out later than I should have on a school night, but when there’s a party in Arcos, and by party I mean more than 10 people at a bar, one must take advantage of said opportunity. My head is not happy about the fact that I was sippin’ on dranks for 11 hours yesterday, but my heart is.

This week should be pretty low-key. Valentine’s day is tomorrow, but meh. No matter how many times people try to convince me that V-day is a day about love, not just for that special someone, but for friends and family too, I don’t buy it. I love my friends and family every day and I don’t need an exclusive holiday to prove it. Anyway, menos mal that I don’t have anyone to buy a present for, because I’m broke as usual and need to save my money for the next two weekends. I’ve also got to find some felt. Why is it so hard to find craft supplies in this town?? I’m making my Carnaval costume and felt is essential. I might have to journey to Jerez this week or ask one of my teachers to find some for me. I’m also resolving to write in this blog more often. I want to remember all of the little details of Carnaval season and I want you to experience it with me! So, more soon, I promise.

P.S. Check out this chirigota! I watched this on TV the other day…


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