My last month in Valencia was a busy one. Squeezing in last minute trips, finishing up exams, and saying goodbyes kept me occupied as the month flew by and this whirlwind European experience came to an end.
My first week of June was primarily exams, followed by a random bout of insomnia that lasted for a few days. I felt like I had a really good grasp on Fluid Mechanics, but seriously had no business taking Heat Transfer. Oh well, again, I have a completely free semester so don’t need to actually pass anything – thank goodness. The next weekend, I headed to Barcelona, as discussed in my previous post. I returned in time to go see the Neuqua choir perform at a church in the city center and to see Mrs. Rupert (AKA my white mother) and Austin. I also ran into Dr. McBride, which was unexpected but nice. Seeing Mrs. Rupert completely made my week though (and not just because she brought me chocolate, hehe), and it was great to see someone from home. For most of the rest of the week, Maddie’s mom and Dan’s mom were visiting, so I hung out with them, heading to a few lunches and dinners, as well as touring the Lladro factory together. Lladro is a company that makes amazing porcelain sculptures and it was incredible to see the painstaking process by which they are crafted.
Amidst this all, I got to deal with some fun roommate drama upon my return from Barcelona. Both Michael and Philippe were out of town when I left and returned, in Morocco and Madrid, respectively. My fourth roommate, Robin, was gone when I left but had returned by the time I got back, and had some friends visiting. Him and his group of friends were hanging out at our flat, drinking and playing music – fine by me, I was just in my room, and even though the flat was a bit messier than when I left, it wasn’t the end of the world. All of a sudden, I heard a loud crash, the music stopped, and there was a LOT of yelling in French, presumably scattered with profanities. This continued off and on for about half an hour; it was all in French so I had no idea of what was happening, but it was loud enough that I thought the neighbors might complain. I abstained from going out to investigate, as I was in no mood to deal with such shenanigans and just pretended I wasn’t there. After a while, I heard the group leave and carefully ventured out of my room, only to be pissed – the entire flat was a mess. I went to the bathroom and there was blood all over the floor and on part of the seat, in addition to a cigarette (one of many strewn throughout the apartment). The table on our terrace was broken into several pieces and the airs was heavy with the smell of smoke. I decided to speak to Robin the next day and have him clean things up. In the meantime, I returned to my room and whined about the situation to friends online before going to bed. I woke up the next morning around 9 am to a loud knocking on the door. I thought it was Robin or one of his friends, so I didn’t get up. Eventually, however, the door opened and I realized it had been the police, and I came out of my room. It turned out that the only people in the flat were me and two of Robin’s friends; he must have been at his girlfriend’s place. The police starting asking “¿Quien roto el cristal?” (Who broke the glass?) and started talking to the two friends, who seemed very oblivious and confused. I went out and one of the several policemen in our flat asked me what happened in last night. I explained – entirely in Spanish! – my understanding of what had transpired and was informed that the police were notified because apparently the was a bunch of glass outside in the street and children had been playing in the area. Apparently, one of the windows had broken in addition to the table, though I can’t imagine how. The police were merely checking that there wasn’t some sort of domestic violence occurring, so left after writing down my passport details and having me sign a witness sheet saying that they had to force the door open. In the meantime, our landlady made her way to our flat. She made sure that the police knew I wasn’t involved but was soon angry instead, regarding the state of the flat. Granted, it wasn’t spotless when we left, but it was way worse since Robin had returned (even though he denied it). I spent much of the rest of the day cleaning. At one point, Robin came back and he and his friends sat there talking and laughing and doing nothing. Elena too returned later to speak with Robin. Her husband accompanied her and they asked me what had happened and essentially came to the conclusion that Robin was full of it (he blamed us for the current condition of the flat and denied breaking the table outside). Aside from being instructed to clean thoroughly if we hoped to see any of our security deposit again, that was, thankfully, the end that ordeal. There’s really nothing like waking up to the police knocking on your door and blood, glass, and cigarettes all over your flat.
My last week in Valencia was full of goodbyes & sadness & packing & the beach & sadness & kebabs. My last three nights were spent with my closest friends, first at Brendan’s flat, the next night at the beach, and my last evening at 100 Montaditos with Laurin, Valentin, Lennart, Michael, Maddie, and Johannes – these were some great, great nights and I really hope to see some of these people again. In the meantime, I had a kebab, took a bus to Madrid, and hopped on a plane, Japan-bound!