Last week, I embarked on a free trip to Madrid paid for by the NYU Stern School of Business--filled with sex, drugs, y jamon con queso.

Got to the airport the requisite 2 hours before departure, and checked in-- the plane didn't leave until 7 hours later, thanks to the industriousness of government-owned Iberia airlines. I got my wallet stolen on the plane (this was the first sign of a doomed trip) with a few hundred in cash, credit cards, drivers liscence, and a Starbucks frequent coffee card (and I had 10 holes punched in it and was about to get a free one).

The wallet did not bother me too much. But I will personally fuck up-with-a-blunt-stick the person who takes my coffee.

Proceed to the Hotel Chamartín, and singlehandedly double the entire Asian population of Madrid. Sleep. Go out, and consume massive amounts of red bull vodkas. Fast forward through 4 days of exactly the same thing, basically being touristy, being hit on by only the strange spanish guys, going to museums.

I went with some ibankers to a suspicious establishment called 'Stripers' (with the 'i' in the sign in the shape of a naked woman), which was rather sketchy in itself. All I can say is that most of them had teeth.

A friend gets his drink spiked with date rape drugs at a gay bar, we get into a fight with the bouncers at Kapital, and I get offered a job in research at high yield bonds at DLJ because of my ability to hold my liquor and bullshit with the boys. (I found out that actual skill and education gets you next to nowhere on the job market). I lose my handspring visor and stagger around like a doddery old fool for a few days, until I adjust to life without information.

My attempt to lose weight was foiled by jamón, y más jamón. I got an internship, and can now drink without throwing up. I know what its like to be a filthy American tourist. I have refined my ass-kicking skills.

Got stopped at customs for my Davidoff cigars-- narrowly avoided a multiple-orifice strip search.

I was amazed by the preservation of history and architecture in Madrid-- Coming from cities like New York which has an impressive obsession to build rebuild and 'improve', and Taipei which has mostly risen in the past 50 years, the very concept of antiquity is rather foreign to me.

One afternoon I got away from the Sternies and wandered out to the hills of Toledo by myself. I got out of my car on the side of a cobblestoned road and walked through the countryside(because that's the only word I can find to describe it) among the olive trees. It reminds me of Tuscany but much cooler and greyer. It was cool and rainy. More subtle, less pretentious.

All of the drinking and stripers were then canceled out by this moment in Castilla.

I hope that bastard with my wallet is enjoying his free coffee.

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