As challenging and fun as it was to be traveling on our own for the past couple of months, there is a certain je ne se qua having power in numbers while tackling new territory. With a larger wolf pack, albeit only by one, it allowed for more options and opportunities. The extra muscle was especially welcome and was conducive to the late night festivities we were yearning for. It is under these circumstances that we inadvertantly learned one of the most important lessons from our round the world journey: I don’t care how much you think you can drink, never try to drink with a German (or women from the Czech Republic). Or, more accurately, “know your limits”.
Even if you combined our collective collegial alcoholic consumption, there is no amount of practice that could have properly prepared us for a night out with people associated with Oktoberfest and games like the “air-craft carrier”. Imagine the intimidation we felt when our cluelessness was greeted with a thick German accent, “Oh c’mon! Surely you’ve heard of the air craft carrier!” The actual game is just as ridiculous as the name suggests, but we digress.
After spending the better part of our morning fully immersing ourselves in everything Barcelona had to offer, we quickly devised a plan for the evening as first dinner fast approached: only two pintxos each at Euskal Etxea (so as to prevent early onset food coma), back to the apartment for a quick siesta to recharge, refuel with some burgers at a spot recommended by Kitty, followed by an all out dance fest at Jamboree in the Plaça Reial in an attempt to “break even” after all the reckless eating.
Here’s the thing: there’s no such thing as leaving-after-two-pintxos when you actually arrive on time to witness the vastly fresh variety of food at Euskal Etxea. Around four dishes in (each!), our short stay stretched to nearly four hours the moment Kuya took note of the group next to us: “OOOH look, they got a bottle!”
We were sharing stories with a jovial couple from Australia, also traveling Spain for the past couple weeks, when suddenly a waiter delivered what looked like a bottle of wine to the people next to us. Wanting to imitate these lively Catalonians, Kuya Adler ordered us a bottle without hesitation—still not knowing what it was or (more importantly) how much it costed.
Much to our delight (or demise) sidra tasted a lot like dry champagne. It paired well with our pintxos, which were in the double digits by this point. So much for the “plan”. The best part of it all was that they were only 4 euro a bottle (#flashpackerfrugality)!
We were about two bottles deep when Kuya Adler made his second astute exclamation of the night: “Shots! I see shots!!” Delivered to a table behind us was a green liquid, (yes, in shot glasses). This simple observation forever changed the course of events to follow. Seated at the table was a guy from Germany, Patrick, and two girls from the Czech Republic, both named Petra. Upon overhearing Kuya’s sheer enthusiasm, they offered him a swig.
Instafriends for life—or for the evening at least.
Several shots later, it was clear that the night’s trajectory rested in the hands of these Europeans, for we were ready to follow them around to any and all of their favorite stomping grounds.
Desperately trying to go drink-for-drink with our friends, Petra strongly advised that we abort mission because they could all drink 8-15 liters of beer without getting sloshy. We on the other hand, were significantly saucy off of Sidra. As you may have suspected, many of the details are now a blur. Luckily for our pictures, its clear that we managed to close the night with some pizza. After all, regardless of where you eat it, it is the perfect late night snack.