Thursday, March 16, 2006

Burning Down The House

Tonight I stayed at school working on a team project until 7:30, then raced home to change for soccer and raced back up the hill to practice with the IESE ladies. On my way home on my bike I thought, "Yessss! I will definitely get home before Marco and George and get the first shower!" George and Marco had driven to the guys' football practice in George's car.

As I got closer to the house, I noticed a lot of smoke in the air, and as I turned on to the street perpendicular to mine, I saw three fire trucks. I thought to myself, "Gee, I've never actually seen Bomberos around." As I turned the corner, I thought, "Hot damn, our building is on fire!" And so it was.

I had left the house without a wallet, without money, without my cell phone. I didn't even have a lock for my bike because I just rode up to the field and left the bike right next to where we played, so there was no need to lock it anywhere. Even though the smoke was coming from a different building from ours (there are four in our little complex), it was coming from the garage, which connects all four buildings, so they wouldn't let me up to the apartment. I wondered how George and Marco would get back with the car since the streets were all blocked off.

Eventually they found me, standing out on the street. The amount of smoke was unbelievable and only got worse. Dozens of families were standing out on the street, waiting for the fire to die down, and we heard that someone had been "fixing" his moto in the garage and it somehow caught fire. (I think you're not supposed to smoke while fixing vehicles for this very reason.) Three more cars and two more motos eventually burned before it was all over. After standing outside in our sweaty clothes for an hour - George and Marco were even wearing shinguards! - we decided to get something to eat.

We went to the bar around the corner, which I'm sure has never seen so much action since it opened. Two kids in bathrobes were there with their parents, along with several other families from the building. We laughed and joked and finally Juanra from my team, who happens to live around the corner, found us there and offered for us to come up to his place. He had passed us in the street earlier when we were waiting outside. We checked on the building and heard we'd have to wait at least another hour, so we went over to the house of Juan Ramon, Juan Revuelta, and Ramon Roqueta - the flat with the most Juans and Ramons per household.

After an hour or so there, we figured we could probably go back home. On the way downstairs, George made a joke and moved too quickly and the elevator got stuck momentarily between floors. We went from laughing at George's joke to nearly crying over having to spend the night in the elevator in our soccer clothes. Fortunately it only lasted a minute.

Now we're back home and the flat is full of smoke and everything is covered in very fine ash. I have read the cases for tomorrow, but I haven't had time to really prepare anything. And I'm getting sick and had planned to go to bed early tonight! Who knew I'd be prevented from an early night by a kid setting his moto on fire. By the way, fire fighters in Spain don't give you blankets when you're standing outside of your house freezing in shorts and shinguards. So I would advise against getting caught in such a situation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, 4 things you should always remember;
1. Do not eat yellow snow
2. Do not dry your hair while still in the bathtub
3. Do not tank your gas with a cigarette in you mouth
4. Do not fart around the camp fire (I've done it after finishing a massive burrito...)