Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Island in the Sun

So again I have to apologize for the pictures in the last blog. For some reason it's super difficult for me to upload and organize them so I just got super lazy and left them the way they loaded.

Anyway, yesterday morning we arrived back in Nicosia from our 4 day spring break trip to Ayia Napa. WHAT A FABULOUS PLACE. Kell, Dez, Lauren, Noora, Emma and I got to our hotel, Panas Tourist Village, Friday afternoon. Kell, Dez, Lauren and I shared an apartment-style room with 2 bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. Oh and there was a TV too, which was kind of nice because sometimes there were shows on in English (mostly euronews and Planet Earth). We traveled from our place to Nissi Beach (the best beach in Cyprus) to see our Spanish and French friends who rented a car and were there for the day. After hanging out with them as the sun set, we realized we were mega hungry and decided to try out the all-you-can-eat deal at Pizza Hut. We got never-ending orders of ham and mushroom (the "classic"), vegetarian, and plain pizza. It turned out to be a not so good idea because we all felt hella sick afterwards. We headed to a nearby kiosk to pick up some drinks and things for later, which included the ingredients needed to make sangria. We all headed back to our apt and Noora made the sangria and we taught her and Emma how to play Kings. After one game we played a bit of pool and decided to head out and see what was going on downtown.

We walked along the beach for a little bit and followed lights that looked like they belonged to some sort of carnival. We arrived at a park that could've been taken straight from the Jersey shore. After talking to some of the guys that worked the rides, some of the girls decided to attempt the sling-shot ride at an extremely discounted price (normally 20 euros per person, they rode 10 euros for two people). They were strapped into a ball and flung into the air in between two huge poles. They were video taped the whole time they were strapped in the ball and then we got the DVD fo free :) After wandering around the carnival some more we headed back to the hotel to sleep and get rested for our first real day at the beach.

The next morning we all woke around 10:30 and headed to Nissi. We spent the day romping around in the water and sleeping in the sand and it was phenomenal. That afternoon we stopped at another kiosk and ran into some guy selling tickets for the Cocoa Bikini Bar-apparently there was a BBQ dinner and open bar until 1 am all for 45 euros. Well that was way too much for us and we told him that we were students and unfortunately couldn't afford it, so he dropped the price to 25 euros a person and told us not to tell anyone. Of course we bought the tickets.

That night we headed to the bar around 9 for dinner along with a ton of other students. Not many places were open in town yet because the season hadn't really started, so everyone staying in Ayia Napa could probably have been found in three different places. While the place seemed a little awkward, we arrived to FANTASTIC music. The DJ played 2 Blink songs in a row and THEN Mr. Brightside, and I nearly died. We played a bit of pool and danced around, and met two guys from LA who were on vacation from teaching English in Prague. They were mega nice and mega funny. We all tried to take advantage of the "open bar", but they had a limited selection of drinks. After the bar closed around 1, we headed to the Castle Club-one of the biggest clubs in Ayia Napa (we got a free entrance pass at the Bikini Bar). It was super cool-it was a legit castle inside and out, and it reminded me of going to Medieval Times. We hungout with our new American friends there all night until close at 4:30. We left and introduced them to Zorba's (of course-there was one right down the street). We stayed out until the sun came up and went to sleep around 8 am.

We woke up around 12 the next day (or the same day, I guess) to head back to the beach. Again we stayed there all day, swimming and sleeping. We played it safe (and cheap) and made some pasta in our room that night, and then Emma and Noora came over, all ready to go out. Noora got some coupons to Senior Frog's Bar. They offered free transportation to the bar from our hotel, and had 15 euro fishbowls filled with cocktails. We got there and it looked like way more fun than the bar the night before so we stayed until it closed. They played wonderful music and gave us huge bowls of great popcorn and we danced and sang until 1 am. We got more free passes to the Castle Club and also to Carwash, a 70s and 80s club. We headed to Castle Club for a bit, but they were playing throwback R&B and sucked so we peaced out to Carwash. By that time everyone had gone back to the hotel except Dezi and I. We got to Carwash and were surprised by the lack of people. The music was so fantastic though that we sang and danced all night. We met two British guys that were there interpretive dancing who were in Cyprus playing soccer, and we walked with them to Zorba's when the club closed. They were funny but had a LOT to say about Americans and American politics. We went to bed late again and woke up the next day around 11 to head to a different beach, one near all sorts of rock formations and caves. It was kind of a hike but everything was so beautiful that it didn't matter. We made it to the rocks and the view was absolutely PHENOMENAL! We did some climbing down to a fantastic little cove and we swam in and out of some caves. I was absolutely terrified but I was pressured into it, and I had a great time. We swam around a bit and climbed out, and stopped at a few shops on our way back to the hotel. We showered and made more pasta, but this time we didn't remember to buy sauce before the kiosks closed so all we had was salt. It was a sad dinner. After we ate, Noora and Emma came over with our friends Stephan and Erik and we made more sangria before going back to Senior Frog's Bar. We got the free ride and had a great time there. I met two very nice Cypriot guys who were super fun. We left the Bar and headed to Carwash again, but this time it was packed and super fun.

The next morning we woke around 7 to catch a bus back to Nicosia around 8. It was such a wonderful spring break ;)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yes That's French They're Speaking, but These Children Aren't French-They're American

Now that I've had a few days to catch up on sleep and recooperate I'm ready to talk all about our week long vaca to Dublin and Paris. Last Wednesday (March 25) we hopped on a 4.5 hour flight to London, the first stop before one of our two intended destinations. We had to first fly to London because flying anywhere else from Cyprus is unbelievably expensive. We stayed overnight in a Holiday Inn near the Gatwick airport, which was cute and very near a grocery store (thank God, because there was NO food served on our Monarch flight). I found Dr. Pepper there, which was surprising and made me VERY happy since I hadn't had any since January. The next morning we got on a one hour flight to Dublin, where the weather was beautiful. We spent the afternoon checking into the Shining Hostel, eating at a pub along the river and exploring the city. We were very near the Spire, which served as a great landmark to help us find our way back. That night we traveled to Temple Bar, which was alive with music and tons of people. Within minutes of entering and buying drinks we were approached by some Americans who were very friendly. When they left we migrated to the live music area, where we met a few very friendly Irish guys, Collie, Seamus, and Robbie, who bought us another round of drinks. We talked with them all night and told them about how we were studying in Cyprus, and they laughed at us(everyone in Europe knows Cyprus as the party/vacation destination). Dezi told them that I could Irish dance so of course they made me, and took pictures. We had a fantastic night with them and made plans to meet up with them the next day so that they could show us around Dublin, since they were all natives. They were super funny and super fun. As we were leaving the bar, we met some fun Dutch guys who were on the Dutch water polo team and had played Ireland and lost earlier that day. We walked a bit with them and they told us about how they thought American football was stupid and about how we should go to visit Holland. We went back to the Shining Hostel and prepared our stuff to leave at 11 am the next morning. We had to switch hostels due to the Ireland vs. Bulgaria soccer game that attracted a huge crowd and caused most hostels to be super booked for the three nights we needed.

The next day we woke up and moved to Isaac's Hostel, one that was bigger and nicer. We then left to meet Collie outside of Trinity College. He is a security guard there, so he gave us a tour and got us into the Book of Kells exhibit and the fantastic old library for free. We walked some more and took a tour of the Guinness Factory, where we met up with Seamus. We learned all about how Guinness was produced and then got 1.5 pints for free at the Gravity Bar, which overlooks the city. There we met two girls from (surprise!) Pittsburgh that go to Penn State and ran into two guys from Boston that we had met the night before. Collie left us to run some errands, so Seamus walked around with us to see St. Patrick's Cathedral and St. Stephen's Green. He left us soon after that and we ventured off to find food. We ended up eating at an over-priced diner that was mega disappointing. It started to rain on our way back to the hostel and I struggled with my Pitt umbrella until the strong wind eventually broke it :(. We hung out at our hostel until the rain stopped, when we left to go souvenir shopping. We walked around the town a bit and bought some things, and then headed to Cassidy's Pub where there was more live music. We stayed there a while and met some Scottish guys who were visiting Ireland for a bachelor party. Even when the music wasn't playing, none of us could comprehend a word of what they were saying. Of all of the people that I've met on this trip, the Scottish are by far the most difficult to understand. We left after a while and went to bed relatively early to prepare for our long trip the next day.

On Saturday we woke up around 6 to get on a bus around 7 for our trip to the Cliffs of Moher. We drove for a few hours (with our HILARIOUS tour guide) and stopped in Limerick by the River Shannon to take some pictures near King John's Castle. We drove further to Galway and the Burren, where we stopped and took more pictures. Finally we jumped back on the bus and it took us to the Cliffs of Moher. It was a beautiful, clear day so it was easy to see the cliffs and the islands in the distance. Everything was uber green and uber pretty (we made a video! see it here). We spent about 1.5 hours there taking everything in before we left for our long trip back to Dublin. We got back around dinner time and went out for pizza. We made our way to a fantastic bar, where we hung out and drank Guinness and Bailey's and watched the soccer game. We had to be in bed early AGAIN for our unbelievably early flight to Paris the next morning. We woke up around 4:30 to get to the airport around 6 for our 7:30 flight. The cab driver that took us there was ABSOLUTELY HYSTERICAL and was a great start to our long day. The flight on Ryan Air was only about 1.5 hours long, and after the time change we landed in Paris around 10-10:30. We took a bus from the Beauvais airport into the city, where we met Erin, Lauren's friend from Michigan. She's studying abroad in Paris this semester and offered to let us stay in her dorm room and show us around while we were there. We took the metro back to her fantastic dorm at the International University of Paris. After settling in, Erin took us on the metro to the city where our first stop was Notre Dame. It was absolutely breathtaking-it was huge and all of the detailing on the outside was super intricate. We got to go inside and walk around, which was neat, and it smelled like incense. We blessed ourselves with the holy water and took some pictures before peacing out. We couldn't go all the way to the top because there was way too long of a line. After we left we headed toward the Louvre. The building was WAY bigger than I thought it was going to be and it was absolutely phenomenal. We went inside and walked around for about 3 hours and I still feel like we barely saw anything. We did, however, get to see a CYPRUS artifacts exhibit which was really exciting because I still feel like no one in the world has heard of Cyprus. We also saw some mega famous paintings that I learned about in my modern art class (who knew I'd be able to apply things I learned in school to the real world!) and the Mona Lisa, which was a ton smaller than I thought it would be. It was behind a fancy red velvet rope and (supposedly) bullet-proof glass. We walked into an ancient Egyptian tomb and saw some mummies and old Egyptian artifacts, all of which were better taken care of there than they were in Egypt. We walked around in the basement of the Louvre, which contained the original foundation from when it was a castle. We got kicked out around closing time, but contemplated hiding in the Egyptian tomb with the hope of seeing the museum come to life at night (Night at the Museum). After leaving, we took some more pictures and headed to a coffee shop. We then headed back to Erin's, where we got ready for dinner at a nearby pizza place. After dinner we went to Erin's again, but this time for bed. We woke up the next morning and headed back into the city, starting our day out with some crepes (they were absolutely wonderful and I don't know why they're not more popular in the US). We headed to Musée de l'Orangerie, where we saw some ginormous Monet paintings, and tons of other impressionist stuff (again, many that I learned about in modern art and was really excited to see in person). We left the museum and were hungry, naturally, so we headed to this super famous and super expensive cafe called Angelinas. Any time we passed it there was a long line outside, but this time the line was relatively short. They had THE BEST hot chocolate ever-it tasted like a liquid candy bar. It was expensive and so were the delish desserts so we had to split everything to cut costs. While we were there we saw Dita VonTeese, a super famous and super beautiful American burlesque dancer. Unfortunately Erin wasn't allowed to get her autograph even though she absolutely adores her. After feeling fancy at the cafe we headed to a book reading with wine and cheese at a little old book store called Shakespeare and Company. The author was an American wine enthusiast, so his book was a bit boring to me since I know nothing about wine. The event was set up through Erin's program so afterwards we got to meet some of her coordinators. It was getting dark as we left the bookstore so we finally headed over to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night. It was AWESOME. We really wanted to go to the top and see the city, but the line for the elevator was reallllly long and it cost 12 euros. We decided to take the stairs halfway since there was no line and it cost 3 euros :D. About 700 stairs later we found ourselves looking down at Paris all lit up. It was so amazing knowing that we had traveled that far on our own and that we were finally seeing PARIS! After the long trek down the stairs we decided to finally get some dinner. We ended up eating Chinese (there's NONE in Cyprus, so it was nice to switch it up a bit). It was entertaining to hear the Chinese owners speak in Chinese, French, and English. We headed to McDonald's shortly after for dessert, and then to a Sangria bar. All in all, a fantastic day.

The next morning we woke up early to get pain au chocolate and coffee before we headed to the Musée d'Orsay, where even MORE famous works of art (including OLYMPIA!) are kept. Again, it was mega cool seeing in person all the works of art that I was forced to learn about. When we left the museum Erin had to go to class, so Kell, Lauren, Dez and I headed over to the Eiffel Tower again to hangout for the rest of the afternoon. We ate some crepes and napped on the lawn for a while, then headed back toward Notre Dame to do some souvenir shopping (not a short walk). We met back up with Erin after shopping around and we rode the metro to the Sacré Coeur Catholic basilica in Montmartre. It was huge and beautiful and it was on top of a hill with a fantastic view of the city. Apparently it is a huge tourist destination, because there were tons of people there. There were also these guys that Erin warned us about, the "string people". They would lure tourists over (and sometimes just grab them) and begin tying string around their wrists. Convinced that it was some cool bracelet, the tourist would let it happen, and after the bracelet was finished being made, the stringer would ask for an obscene amount of money in order to be cut free. The more the tourist refused to pay, the higher the price went. They were all over, but we successfully avoided them. Of course after the long day we were hungry again, and Erin took us to a phenomenal fondue restaurant. They served us each a glass of some fruity wine, then a baby bottle filled with wine (?) and some ors d'oeuvres, like olives and cheese. Then they brought out baskets of bread and a huge hot pot of fondue, which (surprise!) also had a ton of wine in it. I honestly don't know how any customers left the restaurant sober. Everything about it was very very cool, and I've never experienced anything like it. There was writing all over the walls (many Erasmus students had signed before) and it was in such a small place that all of the tables were lined up along the benches against the walls, and in order to get to the bench you needed to physically climb over the table (forget about going to the bathroom in the middle of a meal). When we left the restaurant pretty buzzed we decided to go and hangout at a cute cafe/bar place for a while to decide what we wanted to do next. We ended up walking through Paris' red-light district, which was very interesting. We walked around for a bit and watched some guys get arrested for being inappropriate and rude, and then we found the Moulin Rouge! We were all really excited. By that time it was late so we hopped on the Noctilien, a free bus that makes rounds late at night after the metro closes. It felt like being on a PAT bus in Pittsburgh late at night-there were some creepy old people and there were drunk people. We made it back to Erin's and had to pack up, because the next day was our LONG trip back to Cyprus.

We woke up on Wednesday around 4:30 am, said good-bye to Erin, and hopped on a metro. We messed up getting on our second metro so we were late getting to the bus that was supposed to take us to the airport, so we were forced to pay for a taxi. It ended up being an unbelievable 140 euros. We got to the airport in a hurry and had so many problems with our bags before even getting to security. Dezi's bag was "too big" to take as carry on (even though the same airline had let her through on her flight to Paris) so she had to take sweat shirts out of her suitcase for us to put on so that the bag would be smaller. After about 3 tries we all got through and then went to security, where Kell almost lost her passport and Lauren had to leave some souvenirs behind because they violated some kind of code. We made it through security and finally onto our plane to Dublin. We got to Dublin and went through passport control, and even though we were only there for a few hours it was nice to be in a place where people were overly friendly again. We then got on another one hour flight to Gatwick, then hungout in that airport for about 3 hours before we got on our final flight to Larnaca. We landed successfully in Cyprus at about 10:30 Cyprus time and took a taxi home. What a LONG day.
Overall, the trip was absolutely fabulous. Dublin was super fun because everyone was super friendly and Ireland is beautiful, and Paris had awesome food and fantastic architecture. Both are places I didn't anticipate myself visiting on my study abroad trip and I couldn't be happier that I got the opportunity to go. Now I've got a full week of classes (minus photography, which ends tomorrow :D) until we leave for 4 days of spring break in Ayia Napa and 1.5 weeks in Greece, Spain, and Italy :D.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pittsburgh Comes to Cyprus

Before I start rambling about this past week, I want to apologize a. for the Egypt blog being sooo long (approx. 4.5 pages in Word) and b. for the pictures being completely out of order. The internet is pretty slow here sometimes, especially when it comes to uploading photos, and sometimes it's out of my control where they end up. But you get the idea.

Anyway, Doug (Dezi's boyfriend) flew in last Saturday all the way from Pittsburgh :D (actually, he took a bus from Pittsburgh to Philly, flew from Philly to London and from London to Larnaca). It was his first trip overseas (how exciting!) and he was beat but starving when he arrived in Nicosia so of course we took him down the street for a gyro. We wanted to take him out to a club on Saturday night but he was too exhausted, so Kell and I went out FO FREE to 2 clubs because it was ladies night. On Sunday Doug woke up and was super anxious to do stuff, but since everything was closed we took him for a long walk. We walked to McDonald's (hoping he would be a little excited by the cleanliness or the Greek Mac on the menu) and then around some side streets and past a park. We made it back here in time for dinner, when we made grilled cheese. On Monday Kell and I skipped some class to walk all the way downtown (about an hour) with Dez and Doug so that he could see the old city. We showed him some of the cool old buildings and cute side streets that should be marked as one-way but aren't, and then we took him to another wonderful gyro place for lunch. Initially our plan was to travel to the Turkish side, but everyone realized once we were already in the city that they had forgotten their passports. So we walked around some more and made it up to the observation tower where we took some neat pictures of the whole city. We got lost walking back, even after asking for directions, and happened to stumble upon the American Embassy. Doug was so excited to see it that he took some pictures of the American flag outside, which turned out to be illegal (I sort of knew that taking pictures of embassies was forbidden since we had tried in Cairo, but for whatever reason I didn't warn Doug. Oops), so guards immediately called us over and made him delete the pictures he had taken. We had to give them our IDs and passports so that they could run a check on us or whatever, so we were forced to stand outside and make small talk with an armed guard for 20 minutes. It was all kind of awkward but very funny. We asked them how to get home and they provided us with adequate directions. Good job, US.

On Tuesday we didn't really do much except take Doug to the ESA (Erasmus Student Association) Bubble Party at night, which was his first (and only) experience with an open bar. We introduced him to all of our cool foreign friends and showed him a good time. On Wednesday we decided to go downtown again and cross the border, but this time with the necessary materials. We were able to cross the border with no problem. We walked around a bit and marveled at how different Nicosia was just over the border-less populated, more run-down, and dirty. There were a few streets that resembled a flea market, where all the shops had high-end designer merchandise for very low prices (I stopped myself a number of times from buying another purse, don't worry). We bought some chips and some super old post cards and called it a day. We traveled back into the legit city of Nicosia and took Doug for dinner at this fantastic meze place that we all love. It was completely empty (probably because we were eating at 5 and Cypriots don't normally eat dinner until 8) and they were playing Celine Dion's Greatest Hits, so needless to say it was a great dinner. Doug was pleasantly surprised by the Cypriot food :D

On Thursday we said goodbye to Doug and he and Dez left for Ayia Napa for the weekend. Kell and I went out with our Spanish and Cypriot friends and had a great night. Friday was pretty uneventful as well, until the girls and I decided that it would be a good idea to watch Titanic. WRONG. We were all crying our eyes out for the last 20 minutes and found it hard to recover. We were very pathetic. To lighten the mood we then watched Knocked Up and went to sleep.

P.S. I took my first Greek exam last week and got a 94%! And I went out the night before!
γεια σου! Μιλώ πολύ καλά ελληνικά!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Egypt in 4 Days

So two weekends ago, Dezi, Dana, Martin and I traveled to EGYPT. Originally, Lauren, Kelly, and Erin (Lauren's friend from home who was visiting) were going to come too, but the terrorist attack at the bazaar in Cairo shook them up a bit and they decided not to go. It stunk for them because they all really wanted to go but figured it wouldn't be worth the worry. So Friday afternoon Dez and I were all packed and ready to go, thinking that we would want to arrive at the airport about 1.5 hours before take off. I guess things are different in Cyprus, because the guy who was taking us to the airport (Martin's friend) showed up at our apartment around 5:30-our flight was at 6:50 and it took 45 minutes to get to the Larnaca airport. Surprisingly, we arrived at the airport with enough time to get checked in and everything. Our flight with Egypt Air went by so fast-we were in the air for a little less than an hour. They gave us dinner and told us we were landing just as we finished eating. We arrived in Cairo and went through some security before we met up with Abdoul, our tour guide for the weekend. We hopped in our tour van and it took us to the President Hotel in the center of the city. Seeing the Nile and the Cairo tower on our way was mega exciting-I never ever ever in a million years thought that I would make it to Egypt.

We got to our hotel around 9:30-10ish and were surprised to see metal detectors outside. Better safe than sorry, I guess. While the hallways on our floor seemed to be under construction (?), we were all pleasantly surprised to find that our rooms were super clean. We were all starving (even though we ate a full meal on the plane) so we moseyed down to the 24 hour(!) hotel restaurant. I had taken out some Egyptian pounds at the atm in the lobby, not really sure how expensive things would be. We ordered full meals and tried all sorts of new things-tahini, some random potato salad, tomato and cucumber salad, different dips, chicken, etc. It was all AMAZING. For the 4 of us to eat it was about 300 pounds (roughly 42 euros;1 euro=7 pounds), so it wasn’t a bad deal for the amount of food that we got. We woke up the next morning around 8 to shower and get breakfast before meeting Abdoul in the lobby at 9. The breakfast available was very interesting-there were lots of tomatoes and cucumbers, tahini, some cereal and danishes, bread, and other things that I couldn’t identify. Dez, Dana and I made it to breakfast and the lobby by the time we needed but of course Martin was 15 minutes late (still running on Cyprus time, where everyone is late for everything). We got in the tour van and drove to a fancy hotel to pick up Mr. Christos, the only other person in our tiny tour group, who happened to be the Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Limassol, Cyprus. It was cool having someone else from Cyprus travel around with us. We then drove for about 20 minutes on the busy streets of the city until we reached the pyramids, which are right outside the city. I have to stop here to talk a little bit about the traffic. I thought driving in Cyprus was awful-everyone speeds everywhere and hits the brakes at the last second, people are ALWAYS tailgating, and drivers always go through red lights (including taxi drivers!). The driving in Cairo was even worse. In a city of 20 million people (the entire island of Cyprus has 800,000!!) NO ONE drives inside the lines, and, when we were out at least, it seems like everyone in the entire city is always driving and going to the same place at the exact same time-we sat through at least 20 minutes of traffic to get to every place we went. Everyone was always beeping and weaving in and out of one another, but no one seemed legitimately angry about anything (unlike in the US), I guess because everyone drove the same way. Anyway, arriving at the pyramids was super cool-I had seen them so many times in books and in movies and now I was HERE seeing them for myself. There was security all around, and some of the guards were on camels. Abdoul warned us about the many tourist traps around the pyramids and very specifically told us not to buy anything. He also told us that there would be many men offering camel rides to us but that we should say no because they would rip us off-he knew someone who would charge us a fair price later in the tour. We had about an hour to walk around the pyramids and take pictures before we had to get back on the bus, and within 10 minutes of being on our own, Dana was riding a camel. Apparently the man had only offered to take pictures of Dana and the camel, and before he knew it, the camel was up and walking around. It was at the end of the ride that the owner demanded 200 pounds, or about 28 euros(!) Before I knew it, Martin and Dezi had gotten sucked in as well. After everyone else had lost some money, we continued to walk around. Some Egyptian girls on a school trip were very excited to meet us, and asked if we would take pictures with them. All sorts of people-other tourists and Egyptians-asked us where we were from, and since we were told not to tell people that we were American, we said New Zealand. Sometimes. Other times we said Australia, Dana said Sweden a few times, and I was asked if I was German. The worst was when someone would ask us and we hadn’t previously agreed on a fake nationality-we would look at each other like, “I don’t know, you make some place up.” After we saw the pyramids up-close and personal, we hopped in our van and drove a little further away to get a legit camel ride. It was relatively inexpensive . I rode with Martin and Dez rode with Dana, and we were led around by 2 little Egyptian boys who were happy to take all sorts of pictures of us. After our awesome camel rides we drove not too far away to the sphinx, which was a lot smaller than expected, but still extraordinary. A little boy tried to sell me some bookmarks with hieroglyphics on them, and I felt so bad saying no. His father eventually grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him away . After the sphinx we traveled to a perfume shop, where we sat through a small presentation on Egyptian perfumes. Of course they all smelled amazing but were out of everyone’s price range, so the owner of the shop decided to give us some “student deals”. We left the perfume shop to go to a government-run papyrus shop, where they showed us how to make the papyrus that ancient Egyptians painted on. Of course they had paintings hung all around the shop for us to buy, and of course we bought some. I forgot to mention that at this shop and the perfume shop they offered us karkade, a tea/juice made from the hibiscus flower, and it was awesome and unlike anything I’ve ever had before. After the papyrus shop we traveled to an indoor bazaar that sold mostly jewelry, but also other small trinkets and gifts. We happened to be the only people in there at the time, so the sales people were following us around so closely that it was uncomfortable. The guy at the jewelry counter lured Dez and I over and tried to sell us some charms, but not before he wrote our names in hieroglyphics and told us how beautiful we were. He ended up being too pushy and the charms too expensive, so we slyly walked away. Everything else was too expensive too, so we left the bazaar about 20 minutes after we arrived. Since we were in a rush to make it to the Egyptian Museum before it closed and we were starving, we stopped at a McDonald’s on the way. I was surprised and excited to see a McArabia on the menu (like the Greek Mac here). We took our food to go and ate in the van on the way to the museum. There were guards and metal detectors all around the entrance, and we weren’t even allowed to bring our cameras inside. The museum was packed with tour groups from all different countries speaking all different languages. We saw so many unbelievable artifacts, like beds and tombs of pharaohs, old papyrus paintings, jewelry, and statues of gods created to protect the dead-it felt unreal to be so close to things that had such a big place in history. I was surprised to find that the inside of the museum was a bit run down, much like the rest of the city. Most of the exhibits weren’t even roped off- they were available for people to touch and admire up close. Even the glass cases that contained relics and things had fingerprints all over them and could be touched and leaned on. It was hella strange. Anywho, after our short but fascinating visit to the museum, Abdoul took us to the open-air bazaar where the terrorist attack took place the weekend before. It was a bit eerie knowing that all that crazy stuff happened there so recently, especially since we were basically targets. It was super cool looking, because it was mega crowded and it was all lit up and there was a beautiful mosque across the street. Abdoul dropped us off and told us that we ONLY had 30 minutes there because we had a Nile dinner cruise scheduled and we couldn’t be late. Dez and I had already been cat-called many times in the day even though we always traveled with Dana and Martin, so we were very careful not to go into the bazaar without them. We headed in and were surprised at the amount of store owners that called to us and kind of harassed us into coming into their shops. They said things like, “I have exactly what you’re looking for!” or, “You are so beautiful, where are you from? I’ll give you a good deal!” At one point Martin stopped to look at some shishas, so Dezi and I decided to walk a little bit by ourselves. We walked in and out of a few shops that carried pretty much the same things, like souvenirs and other trinkets that were obscenely over priced. The hardest part about shopping there was that every store owner was trying to rip us off, and we didn’t know how high the prices were until we did our mental math conversions of pounds to euros (turns out 7 is an awful number to divide by without a calculator). We were almost sucked in to an awful sale when Martin found us and yelled at us for leaving him. He told us that we were getting ripped off by the shop owner and heckled the price way down for us (thanks Martin!). At that point it was almost time to go back and meet Abdoul, so the three of us headed toward the main street. We

were almost out when Martin got lured into a shop selling watches. We stood by him and waited because we didn’t want to leave alone, but even while we were waiting there with him men came up to us and touched our arms as asked us questions and told us we were beautiful. Some asked to kiss us, while others just asked where we were from. One man told Martin, who he assumed was my boyfriend, that he would trade him five watches for me. Another man asked me how many camels he would have to trade to make me his wife. We just laughed at all of these guys, assuming they were joking. We had no idea. After about 15 minutes of pushing Martin to pick a stupid watch, Dez and I decided that we didn’t want to wait anymore and that we needed to go and meet Abdoul. So we left the market alone, which turned out to be an awful idea. For some reason every man in the market saw us and harassed us, saying inappropriate things and telling us that they wanted a hug and that we were beautiful-many men also grabbed our arms or touched us in some way. Up until this point on the trip we hadn’t made much eye contact with any strangers, because it caused them to follow us or shout things at us. Leaving the market we both held each other’s hand and looked only at the ground. I’ve never felt so degraded in my life. We made it out of the market safely and met up with Abdoul, Dana, and Mr. Christos, who were all mad that we were so late. We told them that Martin was buying things and lost track of time. When he eventually emerged from the bazaar we took the van to the Nile River Cruise, which we for sure thought we were going to miss. We ended up making it on time and everything was fine. On the cruise there was a buffet and entertainment, which included traditional Egyptian dancing performed by a man in a costume embroidered much like an Irish dancing costume and belly dancing. It was kind of cheesy but all in all it was very entertaining and the food was good. Just the idea of cruising on the Nile River was absolutely mind-blowing to me. When the cruise ended around 10 we were taken back to our hotel. The next day we left the hotel around 8 to head for Alexandria, which was about 3 hours away.Alexandria was supposed to be one of the stops on the Semester at Sea voyage that Kell and I were originally going to take, but because of the terrorism in Egypt the program changed their route. It was really exciting that I was still going to get to see it. After 3 long hours in the van we arrived at Pompey’s Pillar, which is one of the few Classical monuments still standing. It stood amongst the ruins of the rest of the monument, and was the only part still left in one piece-there were also two sphinxes hanging out in front of it. It was super old and super cool so we took a lot of pictures. We went underground to a cave-like place that they said was a super old library. While the preserved monument area was clean and very well taken care of, the entire rest of the city was very dirty and run down, much like Cairo. There were stray dogs and cats everywhere, and goats even ran out in front of our tour bus. After the Pillar we drove to Fort Qaitbey Castle, which sat right on the Mediterranean Sea. The castle was hella majestic-looking and the waves crashed right up against it. It was such a gorgeous, sunny day that the water looked sea-foam green. While Dana, Dez and I were taking pictures by the water, Martin was off buying a stuffed shark (?). He was so impressed that he bought it for only 7 euros. He claimed that you couldn’t buy things like that in Cyprus because there are no sharks in the sea around Cyprus (?). We laughed at him and made fun of him all day for it. After leaving the castle we drove to the Library of Alexandria (now Bibliotheca Alexandrina), which was built in 2003 very close to where the historic old library once stood. It resembles a UFO almost, with crazy cool architecture, both inside and out. It sits right along the sea, which must be uber distracting to students trying to study there (I know I couldn’t do it). We took a scheduled tour and wandered around for a bit, then looked around in the museums inside the library. We left the library to go eat at a Greek buffet restaurant which of course was good. We drove for a little bit and ended up in the Royal Gardens, where the summer home of the President of Egypt is located. It was huge and awesome. It was absolutely gorgeous there, and of course the gardens sat right on the sea. We took lots of pictures, some with strangers that wanted to remember us (I guess), before getting in the van and going back to Cairo. It took way longer to get home than we thought because there was an unimaginable amount of traffic going back into the city. We got back and were pretty hungry, so the four of decided to get some food at a hookah bar a few doors down from our hotel. Everything was super cheap, so we got a bajillion courses. Dana and Martin smoked a bit, and even though Dez and I had never smoked anything before we decided that it would be cool to smoke shisha for the first time in Egypt. While we were hanging out, the waiters all wanted to take pictures with us, so we had to pretend that we weren’t completely creeped out by them. A bit later we met a group of American girls in the hookah bar who were studying abroad in Athens, and had decided like us to come to Egypt for the weekend. They told us all about how they didn’t have internet or a tv in their apartment, and they also didn’t have a washer or a dryer. They also said the nightlife wasn’t so good and that one of them had already been mugged. We asked about classes and stuff and they said that since all the classes at local universities were taught in Greek, they could only take classes with the other Americans in their program. It made me so happy that I decided to come to Cyprus. We hung out and smoked with them until pretty late, and then we went back to our rooms for our last night in the hotel. We woke up early Monday morning to go to the Cairo Mall, the first mall in the Middle East, before our flight. It was by the biggest and coolest mall I have ever been in. We said goodbye to Abdoul at the Cairo airport and hopped on a plane back to Larnaca.
Overall I had an absolutely amazing experience in Egypt and I would definitely do it all over again. Cairo and Alexandria were both surprisingly dirty, but it was still so cool to get to experience such a completely different culture. Seeing and hearing everything in Arabic and learning more about the Islamic religion was also very neat. Honestly, living in a place like Cairo for 4 days made me appreciate EVERYTHING in America (and even Cyprus) soo much more.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You Can Have Whatever You Like

So it was a pretty normal school week, except that partying started on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. On Tuesday night our GLS friend Dana helped to organize a huge international party with the Erasmus students at a club. Since the club was normally not opened until Wednesdays they were able to rent it out for our group of kids with an open bar. They even organized a bus so that we wouldn't need to take a taxi. It was lots of fun! There were a bunch of Americans from our group and a TON of international students from the Erasmus program and everyone had a great time. On Thursday we met up with Nitza, whose brother works in the United States with Mr. P and Kelly's dad. It turns out she lives within waking distance of our apartment and she's super nice! She picked us up from outside of our apartment building and drove us to her apartment where we met her young grandkids who were learning to count in English. She bought us some baked goods from Zorba's and made us American (filtered) coffee which was wonderful. She told us about herself, about how she was in her 20s when Turkey invaded her hometown of Famagusta and forced her to abandon her home and move to the unoccupied side of the country. Famagusta is still a ghost town-all of the homes that were abandoned remain that way, untouched since the invasion. We told her about how we had travelled to the Turkish side twice already and she said she could never go back because she refused to show a passport to go home. She was very hospitable and told us about museums and things downtown that she could take us to on her days off, and how she wanted to take us bowling. She also told us that if there was anything else that we needed she would gladly help us out. She dropped us back off at home around 7 when Dez had Greek class. Meeting her was a wonderful experience, and it was so nice to be a guest in her home. That night Dez and I went out to Fusion, a club we had never been to before. Martin went home to Paphos for the weekend and Kel and Lauren didn't want to come out. It was neat-there was house/techno, international, R&B, and 80s music. We met our Erasmus friends there and then when the place closed went to Antonio and Carlos' place for an "afterparty"-we basically sat around and talked for a while, while Carlos criticized our Spanish. At the crack of dawn Carlos walked us home (which wasn't far) and we made him his first-ever grilled cheese. He also told us about how the Americans he met last semester made him try peanut butter and he absolutely hated it.

When we woke up around 12 on Friday we all packed for our weekend adventure to Paphos. We originally planned to take a bus, but when we called Nitza for directions to the bus station she said that it would be better for us to call a service taxi. We called a service taxi, which ended up being a big van, and it came to pick us up around 3ish. It picked up a few other kids around Nicosia and then we headed south. We rode in the taxi for about an hour to Limassol, where we got out and picked up another taxi that took us to Paphos. It was about another hour or so until we arrived at Paphos, where the taxi dropped us off at the beach so Martin could pick us up and take us to our hotel (thanks Martin!). We arrived at a completely empty hotel, where we had to call the owners to come and let us in. I guess it's the off-season, so it was pretty empty. The owners let us in to our 4 person hotel room which was super nice and super clean. After settling in, we (along with Martin's British friend Rochelle, who is FANTASTIC) went to get food at a tavern next door. When we arrived the owner (who was Greek and had a very thick accent) told us that since it was the off-season there wasn't much of a variety of food-specifically 4 lamb dishes, 2 chicken and 2 pork kabobs. We took everything and it was great. As we were eating some live entertainment showed up-a singer/guitarist. He was very nice and very good. When the owner discovered that we were American he got SO excited that he gave us rounds and rounds of drinks, starting with 2 shots of brandy. We graciously accepted them all (it would have been rude to turn them away!). After a few rounds, we were all up singing and dancing and getting everyone else in the tavern up singing and dancing. At the table next to us was a family from Ireland who was happy to help us entertain. Of course my friends encouraged me to Irish Dance for them, and they were super excited and asking me where in Ireland I was from haha (I guess I didn't look Greek). We continued to dance and sing all night, and the bartender contnued to make us fancy drinks and amaze us with his mixing skills. It turned out that the owner's 17 year old son was a traditional Greek dancer, so we showed us some moves and we all danced together. At around 3 am we decided to call it a night and we headed back to our hotel. We decided that we needed some eats for the next morning, so Martin drove Rochelle, Kell and I to the nearest kiosk that was 3 km away. Rochelle actually drove us there, but Martin was nervous letting her drive his car so on the way back he drove. We ended up getting pulled over by the fuzz at a checkpoint, where Martin had to blow into a breathalizer. It was very strange being in the backseat listening to him and the cop speak Greek to eachother and not knowing what was going on. Everything was fine though, and they let us go on our way.

The next morning we woke around 1130 to a cloudless sky and headed down to the beach, which we could see from our fantastic balcony. We laid in the sun for a little while before swimming in the lagoon. The water was cold, but probably about as cold as the Jersey shore in the middle of the summer. The water was super clear, and even though there wasn't a lot of sand there were lots of rocks to jump off of. There was only one other person in the water, and he must have been on vacation from somewhere because all of the Cypriots we saw were walking around dressed in black with their winter coats on. Anyway we all made it in successfully and were just so happy to finally be in the sea. We got out not too much later and dried off in the sun, and hungout on the beach until the sun set. Since it was Valentine's Day we made dinner together and got some champagne, and Dezi picked a mini bouquet of flowers for our dinner table. Martin showed up a while later with his traveling hairdresser who came over to cut Dezi's hair for 5 euros (and it looked good!) and then we drank a bit of cheap rum and headed out to bar street. Martin drove us around and showed us some bars in Paphos, many of which were closed, and we decided to head to a place called Robin Hood's which was shaped like a CASTLE! Inside it was very medieval too, and drinks weren't expensive. We stayed there and drank and requested songs for a while, and then headed over to a karaoke bar. Turns out I LOVE karaoke. We stayed there for a while and our friend Stephanos (the traditional Greek dancer) bought us some drinks while we sang Pretty Fly (for a White Guy) and I Want You Back. Dezi did the Devil Went Down to Georgia solo and Martin and Lauren did a duet of Summernights from Grease. All in all it was a very fun filled evening. We went back and Dez and I jumped in the pool at our hotel (much colder than the ocean) and showered.

Yesterday morning we woke up and checked out, and got lunch at a brick oven pizza place (which was awesome and inexpensive). We carted all of our luggage down to the beach again and ended up hanging out in a resort lobby with hot chocolate and chocolate cake waiting for Martin to arrive with his mom so that we could discuss our trip to Egypt. She was very nice and very informative, and said she would be finalizing the details of the trip today. We packed Martin's car nice and tight with all of our bags and headed home to our Intercollege Apartment, stopping at good old McDonald's on the way home.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Trips to the Mar and the Turkish Side

Hello! Wow I can't believe that I have not updated since the Superbowl. Since then so much has happened. Last Monday and Tuesday were normal school days, and last Wednesday we went out to a club, Ithaki, with an open bar and that was super fun. Last Thursday Anwar knocked on our door around 230, and I opened it to see that he was sitting on the ground in pain. I immediately thought he was messing around but he proceeded to tell me that he was hit by a car while riding his bike. I guess he was riding near Carrefour and some woman driving roughly 70km/hr (he thinks) hit him and he flipped over onto his back. She didn't stop or anything and he didn't get the license plate, unfortuantely. I guess that's how they do things here in Cyprus. Anyway after rummaging through websites and phone books we figured out where the closest hospital was and Martin drove him while the rest of us went to class. He's fine now-it turned out he tore some muscles and has been pretty sore, but nothing major. After class Martin took Kell and I to the Mall of Cyprus, which was neat but pretty much the same as malls at home. We ate at Pizza Hut and helped Martin pick out some shoes, then we spent some money at the department store where there were sales. Later that night Martin, Dez, Lauren and I decided to go to this new club that had just opened and had free admission. It's a long story but it ended up not being a good idea. After 20 minutes we peaced out to get some late night food (no $5 pizzas here unfortunately, just burgers and fries and sometimes kabobs) and went back to Martin's room where Dez and I got caught up on the Office.

On Friday we made our first voyage to the Turkish side (yay!). Martin drove the girls and I and his friend Zenobia (who is from Ghana and fantastic) in his tiny Volkswagen Polo to the border. We were originally going to do what most tourists do and drive to the center of the old city of Nicosia and park, and then show our passports at the Green Line and walk over. Well Martin (who has lived in Cyprus for 10 years) did not know where to park downtown so he stopped and asked for directions. Whoever gave him directions gave them as if we were driving, and 5 minutes later we ended up at the border in a line of traffic in his car. Everything at the border was very disorganized-in a 2 lane street people were expected to park their cars and get out to show the UN guys their passports etc. While the rest of the line of traffic waited behind with no where to go and no where to turn around. So we did as everyone else did and parked pretty much in the middle of the street while Martin got out to get all of our passports approved and a little white piece of paper stamped. They cannot stamp our passports legally because the Turkish Republic of Cyprus is not recognized as a country, so techincally we never left Cyprus. Anyway, Martin came back to the car a bit later telling us that we needed to go back to the apartments because he was informed that he too needed his passport to cross, and he hadn't brought it. So we drove back and forth and were finally at the border and stamped by about 330 pm (our excursion began around 2) and we successfully ended up in Northern Cyprus. It was a bit more run down than here. We stopped in a few shops and took some pictures in a park that looked mildly important. None of the signs were in English (or Greek even, which Martin would have been able to translate) so we had no idea what the statues and monuments represented. We got some chicken kabobs at a cute place and stayed until the sun set and the Turkish flag on the mountain lit up, and then we decided to head back. It took a while, but we had made our first successful trip across the border. When we got back we went out for dinner at a traditional Greek restaurant for Kendra's (a girl in our program) birthday. Most of us ordered the traditional Meze, a gajillion course Cyprus meal. It started out with bread and salad with tzaziki sauce and other sauces that looked like hummus and it was PHENOMENAL. The rest of the courses included rice and pasta, chicken kabobs, minced meat balls, grilled lamb, mushrooms, and other fun things that I can't remember. Also, all of the courses had traditional names that I can't remember either. We also got wine with our meals which was great. Anyway, the meal was wonderful and worth the $15 euros it cost. And they were playing light rock in the restaurant and the Backstreet Boys came on and it was great. We didn't go out that night because we were all beat but we stayed in and played bullshit again. Lauren and Kel went to sleep earlier than Dez and I who went over to Martin's again to watch Thursday's episode of the Office (which was AWESOME) and also Two Men and a Half as Martin says. I also showered over there which was FANTASTIC because his water pressure is significantly better and the water stays hot for way longer.

On Saturday we woke at 915 to get on a bus to Kyrenia at 945. I was up late the night before so I was BEAT on the bus. We rode the tour bus to the border where we did the whole passport thing again, and Lauren and another girl took pictures of the UN guys at the border so a guard rushed on the bus and made them delete their pictures. It was kind of nuts. So we drove right on up the mountains (the ones we can see from our apartment) which was SCAAAAAAARY because our bus was huge and the roads up were all narrow with 20 degree angle bends in them. It felt like we were going to drive right off the cliff and roll down the mountain. Anyway, once we were at the very top we stopped at a castle and took lots of pictures, and we could see the city of Kyrenia which was gorgeous. It was also a super pretty, clear day so it made all of the pictures look awesome. We drove down to about halfway down the mountain to an old abbey that has remained unused since the Turkish invasion. It was a great town-mountains to the left and the Mediterranean Sea to the right. The abbey was super old but super neat. After spending a bit of time there we drove down to the harbor where we saw the Kyrenia Castle, which again was super old but super cool. We saw the remains of a ship that crashed into the castle way back when and all of the things that it carried. Then we got lunch at some cute outside place on the harbor but it took SO long to get our food it was ridiculous and we were all late for the bus. We all got home from the trip and napped for about 3 hours and made pasta (of course). We ended up at club Teez that night for free, and Martin drove us there and back so we spent no money for a fantastic night out. Afterwards I went with Martin and his friend Divine to a Jack in the Box that was opened til at least 6 am (that's when we went home). We got back and Dez and I hungout with Martin again until the sun came up around 7.

Last week Martin pinky swore that he would take us to the beach yesterday. Even though it took 12 rings of his doorbell around 1:00 he finally got out of bed and was happy to drive the 4 of us to Larnaca. He didn't understand why we would want to go to the beach in the "winter", so I explained to him that a. we had never been in the Mediterranean and b. the chances of the water being colder than the Jersey shore were slim. When we got there, even though it was off season, there were many people walking around and all of the shops and restaurants were open. The sea looked wonderful so of course we took off our shoes and ran in. There weren't any other people in the water-actually they were all bundled up in their winter jackets and scarves. We ran around in the water for a while before we got too wet and decided that we needed to eat. We walked around a bit and took some pictures and then took Martin to TGI Friday's-he had never been and we owed him for keeping his promise, and we all needed a big American meal. It was expensive, but sooo worth it. We drove home after the sun set on the last fantastic day of our 3 day weekend.

We're working on going to Paphos this weekend, where Martin lives, so that we can talk to his mom about our Egypt trip (that will hopefully happen next weekend). Dez found an awesome cheap hotel online right near the beach, so hopefully things will work out and we'll travel somewhere new yet again.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Catching Up and the SUPERBOWL

So I forgot to mention that last Tuesday night we (Martin, the girls, our friend Dana from downstairs, and I) went out to a Jazz Bar. It was a very hip, classy place-tables needed to be reserved ahead of time, and everything on the menu was expensive. We all got dressed up and Martin drove us (woohoo no cab fare!) and we hung out at our reserved table and listened to jazz music. We thought we would be cool and order a drink and some dessert, since we haven't had any dessert really since we've been here (Zorba's does not count). We all ordered a vodka espresso drink that was 10 euro and FABULOUS and some chocolate dome dessert for 6.50 euro which was also to die for. It was a pretty expensive Tuesday night, but it was money well spent.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night we went out clubbing again and had a good time. On Friday my roommates and I played kings and made Malibu and pineapples and it was great. Saturday we decided to try shopping for more going-out clothes, for both clubs and nice places. There's a discount store similar to TJ Maxx down the street that we decided to try out and it was everything I expected it to be. There were cosmetics and perfumes and things, toys, decorative lamps and other decoartive things, and then a level for discounted clothes. I bought some conditioner and 2 cute shirts for 10 euro-probably the best investment I've made since I've been here. We decided that we really needed a huge, awesome American meal and there was a Bennigan's right next door to the discount store so we decided to treat ourselves. We haven't had real meat in a while since it's so expensive and we only buy chicken, so hamburgers sounded like a great idea. Three of us ordered cheesburgers and we were unbelievably disappointed when they sucked harcore. The meat was NOT like American ground beef, it was some sort of processed crap with seasonings or whatever and it was gross. Dezi ordered chicken so she was in the clear when it was GREAT. We figured that since our dinners were so awful we would order a fantastic 3 euro dessert. We all got milkshakes with cheesecake blended in and it was the most amazing thing I've ever had and it totally made up for the burger. Later on that night Dezi, Dana and I headed out to a club where our names were on the list so we got in FO FREE. It was a good time, except on the way there our cab driver had no idea where the club was so he drove all over the place and the fare ended up being 11 euros. WAY TOO MUCH FOR A CAB. And Dana thought he would be a nice guy and tip the driver (?). Anyway, all in all it was a good night.

Yesterday we woke up late and walked around outside and explored the area around our University. We saw some fancy houses and watched the sun set, and it was wonderful. Dez and I decided that since it was Superbowl Sunday we should be American again and order som fried chicken, so we ordered some SFC (Southern Fried Chicken) and it was ok. The delivery guy got lost on his way here-trying to give directions to somewhere you're not familiar with to a guy who barely speaks English is a very difficult task. Either way, our chicken came in a timely fashion so it was fine. We hungout after dinner with Martin and Anwar and taught them both how to play the card game Bullshit (also not an easy task). It was pretty entertaining :D. We waited around for a little bit and then left for Ivanhoe's to watch the Superbowl at 130 am. Anwar didn't come and Martin made it 15 minutes before getting tired and going home. There was a surprisingly small number of Americans from our program there, and there were two huge tables reserved for an Asian family that didn't speak English. They had someone translating and explaining everything that was happening in the game which was funny. Anyway, Steelers fans were the minority in the bar, but not by much. We all bought beer and were super disappointed when they showed NONE of the famous Superbowl commercials. There were mostly commercials for Air Asia and sometimes they would show commentators. Most people in the bar left at half time, but Dez and I stayed the whole time and I'm so glad that we did-what a great game. I have never ever ever been so excited about American football (that wasn't a Pitt game) in my life and part of me wished I could have been in Pittsburgh for the win. Unfortunately Dez was rooting for the Cardinals so her spirit was pretty crushed when they lost. I promised her I wouldn't rub it in too much that she sucks and that she should have just joined the winning side from the beginning.

Anywho, the game ended around 530 am our time so afterwards we left and came back to go to bed since I had class at 1030 am.