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National Bovine's European Vacation: Facebook Status Edition - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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October 3rd, 2010


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09:54 pm - National Bovine's European Vacation: Facebook Status Edition
I have returned! And I haven't checked LJ in over two weeks, so if I have missed any Important Life Events or any Interesting Posts, please link me to them! It may be a while before I can put together any proper LJ posts about Budapest and Barcelona, but, in summary, here are my Facebook status updates throughout the trip.

spectralbovine bought a ticket to see Tosca at the Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest next Saturday. For five dollars. Too bad the supertitles will be in Hungarian.

spectralbovine bought a ticket to see Carmen at the Gran Teatre del Liceu for 14 dollars (at which he will watch a video screen on his seat or something) and a ticket to see an opera/flamenco concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana for 27 dollars (featuring arias from Tosca and Carmen, among others). He is going to have culture coming out his ASS when he returns.

spectralbovine is in Budapest. His luggage, however, is in Paris. Way to go, Air France.

spectralbovine almost got scammed. How could he possibly believe some cute Greek girl on holiday wanted to have drinks with him? This was described as the most popular scam on Wikitravel, and he was specifically not supposed to fall for it! Now he feels both stupid and unattractive.

spectralbovine had fried broccoli and French fries at a Hungarian vegetarian restaurant for lunch. Because that is how they roll here, apparently. (He also had vegetarian goulash, which seemed much healthier. But then he had sponge cake for dessert.)

spectralbovine went out with two cute Dutch girls and a French guy from his hostel. He did not get scammed! He did, however, get chicken paprika at a place called Marquis de Salade. Also, one of the girls has the same birthday as him. It was fate!

spectralbovine was confused by the fact that the opera performers came out after each act to receive applause. And then they went back in and came out and back in and out because opera audiences sure love applauding. Someone even threw a bouquet at the end!

spectralbovine saw a crocodile mummy in the Museum of Fine Arts. A CROCODILE MUMMY, you guys. With little baby crocodile mummies. He also cranked a nuclear bomb siren in a Cold War bunker. In other news, how the hell is sour cherry soup so amazing? Well recommended, [Soni]!

spectralbovine spent the day hopping on and off public transportation, even taking a tram just because he hadn't been on it before. He helped an old woman with her bag and opened the window for another woman, and now he knows how to say "Thank you" in Hungarian. Also, he went to a random Chinese restaurant and had "Exotic Duck." In other news, he saw butterflies and a slug on Margaret Island.

spectralbovine went to a fancypants restaurant where they made him wear a jacket and a violinist came around playing for tips. He had iced honeydew soup, mushroom-stuffed mushrooms, scallops in caviar sauce, and chocolate cream, which came out to about 14,000 HUF, or a little over $60. He still misses those scallops. Mmm.

spectralbovine made it through the half-hour presentation he was sent to Budapest to give, perhaps because he saw the Dalai Lama this morning. That's right, the Dalai Lama was staying at his hotel.

spectralbovine visited a tricked-out McDonald's with Internet stations, Wi-Fi, a cafe, flat-screen TVs, and a security guard who wouldn't let him take pictures. Anyway, it turns out the Hungarian McChicken is "bigger," and the $1 sandwich is the "csibeburger." On the way back, the guy at the bakery gave him a free orgazmus.

spectralbovine arrived in Barcelona after a delayed flight and got right into the spirit of things, having a dinner of sea bass ceviche and giltfish loin, whatever that is, from eleven to two.

spectralbovine thought the Magic Fountain was clearly the coolest fountain in the world. It was so cool, in fact, that he didn't even notice his wallet was being stolen. Well played, Barcelona.

spectralbovine prefers eating shrimp when he can't see their legs and eyes and antennae, but he must admit that their insides do taste good with rape tacos. In other news, he randomly attended a Spanish wedding.

spectralbovine attended opening night of a modern production of Carmen featuring a random phone booth, lots of cars, and a completely naked man for no apparent reason. The audience applauded the cast of dozens and the orchestra but booed the director. They sure are honest in Europe. Also, he viewed the show on a little videoscreen with English subtitles. All hail opera technology!

spectralbovine discovered that La Sagrada Familia is not in the Gothic Quarter, where Google claimed it was, but Mark Waid clearly thinks that's where it is, as that is where Batman fights Killer Croc in Batman: Barcelona: El Caballero del Dragón, which he discovered to his great amusement in the Parc Guell gift shop. Best souvenir ever?

spectralbovine thought Casa Batlló, the roof of La Pedrera, and La Sagrada Familia were totally badass. Walking into Sagrada Familia almost literally took his breath away and made him tear up. In other news, it sure is an interesting time to be in Barcelona, what with the La Mercè festival this past weekend and the transit strike today. There were fires in the street.

spectralbovine is posting from inside the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona. You should consider this Facebook status to be ART.

spectralbovine went to an opera and flamenco concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana on his last night in Barcelona. The flamenco singer was terrible, and the opera singers were good but not as impressive as those he's just seen in actual operas, but the flamenco dancers were great. Flamenco dancing is like a combination of tap, salsa, and...Bharatanatyam.

spectralbovine is safe at home in America, where finding English-speakers is not a comfort or relief, he doesn't consider everything he sees worth taking a picture of, and if someone steals his wallet, he will have the common courtesy to use a gun.
Current Mood: sleepyjet-lagged
Current Music: Shelby - The Golden Boy

(41 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:sabra_n
Date:October 4th, 2010 05:33 am (UTC)
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La Sagrada Familia is not in the Gothic Quarter, where Google claimed it was

Wha? Google must have been drunk that day...
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 4th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
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There's a Sagrada Familia SCHOOL in the Gothic Quarter, but Google labels it like it's the actual Sagrada Familia, picture and everything. It did the same thing with the Buda Castle, labeling the entrance to the labyrinths as the Budai Var.
[User Picture]
From:loopychew
Date:October 4th, 2010 07:00 am (UTC)
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Ah, pickpockets. Nobody asked you for the time or helped you with directions, did they?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 4th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
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It was a straight-up bump-and-grab.
[User Picture]
From:latropita
Date:October 4th, 2010 07:46 am (UTC)
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While you were gone, I had a baby! Okay, not really. But I'm glad you had a good time! Despite the tragic loss of your wallet! Which I assume worked out okay, since you were still able to catch your flight home.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 4th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'd taken a lot of precautions, so it was more of an annoying inconvenience than a major tragedy (though I did lose my old student IDs, woooooooe).
[User Picture]
From:ashfae
Date:October 4th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
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Whooooooooooooooooooa.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 4th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
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"Marquis de Salade"? Really?
Really.

Sour cherry soup sounds awful.
It's so good! Almost like melted ice cream.

Do fish even have loins?
Part of my confusion!

OMG, what happened with the wallet!?
I'd taken a lot of precautions, so it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, but it was really annoying, and I lost my old student IDs and my ticket stubs from Budapest and that day in Barcelona, among other things.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
From:wee_warrior
Date:October 4th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
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On the way back, the guy at the bakery gave him a free orgazmus.

O.O *Must refrain from making completely obvious joke*

and a completely naked man for no apparent reason

That's completely normal. European theatrical productions always feature plenty of naked guys, whether they're needed or not. That's why European actors always feel okay with getting naked in US productions - they are used to it, anyway.

I'm glad you mostly had fun! Were you able to get substitutes for your wallet's content?

[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 4th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
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There is no substitute for my old student IDs! *cries* I had deliberately taken most of the usual wallet stuff out at home just in case, thank goodness, and I had also left my check card in the hotel room, so I still had plastic to make it through the trip, although I almost ran out of cash and barely had enough to pay for the cab to the airport.
From:dotificus
Date:October 4th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
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Wow! And Whoa! You totally lived a Choose Your Own Adventure. I love reading this. You make me almost want to join FB.

But what did you think of the operas?

So the Crocodile Mummies were art?

[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 4th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
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The crocodile mummies were in an Egyptian exhibit in an art museum.

The operas were good! Although I was really tired during Tosca and had to fight to stay awake. The singing was very impressive.
[User Picture]
From:etherealclarity
Date:October 4th, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
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Wow... that sounds like a truly epic trip!

Oh, random update, I ended up taking that job... the one that's going to send me to San Francisco for a week long training! Not sure what week yet, but I'll let you know when I know and hopefully we can meet up :)
[User Picture]
From:etherealclarity
Date:October 4th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
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(Although looking at the training website I'm guessing they might send me for the first week in November.)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:behindpyramids
Date:October 5th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
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you saw the Dalai Lama....
*Faints*
[User Picture]
From:the_narration
Date:October 5th, 2010 05:06 am (UTC)
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Welcome back! Glad you enjoyed your trip. Sorry to hear about your wallet. (Which pocket was it in?) Also sorry to hear about the Greek girl scam (what sort of trip is it where you can't even flirt without watching your back?) but at least you dodged that one.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 5th, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
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I knew not to keep my wallet in my back pocket, so it was in a front pocket, but on the leg of my cargo pants. I even had flimsy metal buttons fastened. It should have been in my actual front pocket, but that's not as comfortable a place to keep a wallet.

(By the way, did you see my post on Paranoia Agent? You are the target audience for my anime posts!)
[User Picture]
From:bspalek
Date:October 5th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like fun! Did you take any pictures in Budapest??
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 5th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
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No. I took no pictures at all.*






*This is a lie of incredible proportions.
[User Picture]
From:thetheatremouse
Date:October 9th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
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I've missed you.
[User Picture]
From:soleta_nf
Date:February 2nd, 2011 05:41 am (UTC)
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You have the best Facebook travel statuses ever! Sounds like a great trip, other than the scamming and pick-pocketing.

if someone steals his wallet, he will have the common courtesy to use a gun.

Ouch! I think I prefer the European way.

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