The "Cheer-Off"

Last night there was a cheer-off, although I’m not sure I can quite call it that. Based on my two years of being a froshie (each year at a different school), I can say that usually a cheer-off involves another party who cheers/insults back. This time the insults came in the form of eggs, water balloons and buckets of “water” (honestly, the content of those buckets was quite questionable in my humble opinion.)

At 10, right after dinner, which was at 9 (as it is every night because the Spanish seem to believe in  unreasonably late dinners), all the “novatos”, or froshies as we call them in Canada, were to go outside. We had to wear a piece of paper taped to us that said our names, where we were from and what we were studying. And then we got our cheeks marked in permanent marker with an N. The “verteranos”, or veterans of the residence had V on their cheeks, or overlapping Vs or V+s to symbolize they were more veteran than the others.

We all gathered in the cold outside while they taught us cheers. We took an oath, not that I understood most of what was being said, and then proceeded to cheer and taunt the residence across the street. Bear in mind that this is now between 10:30 and 11 and we allllll have class the next day. As we were standing outside the res singing songs at them, they come out onto their balconies and start throwing eggs, water balloons and buckets of stuff. I was never directly hit, due to pure luck and extreme tactical skills on my part. Apparently I can dodge like no tomorrow.

Eventually we left the res grounds and ventured en masse towards the city centre. We are approaching midnight at this point. There are a few hundred of us, in a very disorganized group, crowding the street (like the actual road, where people are trying to drive) singing and chanting what, we’re not quite sure – or at least I am not. All the while the veteranos are armed with permanent marker and maintain the right to draw as they please where ever on your person or force you to do ridiculous things. You know, the usual. But I can tell you that getting “Chinflu” (someone’s name apparently) written across your head in permanent red marker ain’t the greatest. Neither is having some random creepy 18 year old lick whipped cream off your neck or having to propose in a mix of English and Spanish to some one, ain’t that fun either. But watching other people do it is quite enjoyable, I admit.

After a while we ended up at a club. Honestly I didn’t see it coming. If I had I would have dressed better, like not in some old hoodie, flared jeans (NO ONE in Spain wears flared pants. No exaggeration), and the oldest flats I own. I might have put on some make up too. When I left after dinner I thought we were just going outside and would be back in about an hour. Silly me. But it was fun. Alcohol is crazy cheap. And between the euros my roommate and myself could muster up we were able to get a few drinks each. And then we danced, she smoked, we danced some more. At about 2 something in the mañana we took the 20 min walk back to res. And that was last night.

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