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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Clifford and the World Cup

Sunday July 11 was one of the wildest days I have ever encountered in my life because of the World Cup.

In the afternoon, I went to see the Arc de Triomf and Parc de la Ciutadella. Barcelona's Arc de Triomf is red, smaller, and simpler than Paris's Arc de Triomphe. It isnt as grand, yet I love the red bricks that just make it nice to look at. The Arc is right across from the Parc. This park is magnificent. There is this pond/waterfall thing that has golden horses and stuff. It is huge and just plain cool. In the park was also a big mammoth statue, the zoo, Parliament, and lots of trees and grass.

After the Park, it was about 2:30pm, so I started heading over to the Picasso Museum which is free after 3pm on Sundays. I thought I was going to be a bit early, so I was taking my time and sauntering down the street. When I got to the museum, bam, a freaking huge line that starts at the door and keeps on going. It was 2:40pm when I got there. So I go stand in line, and behind me, the line keeps growing and growing. Luckily, the line moved very fast, and I got into the museum at around 3:05. I didn't think the Picasso Museum was very good, and I would have been disappointed if I paid to go in. Picasso's famous works are either in Madrid or Paris. The Picasso Museum is going under renovations right now in Paris, so I didn't get the chance to go there. Barcelona's museum has a lot of his early works, and from his Blue and Rose Periods. It only took me a little more than an hr to go through the museum. It really isn't that big.

After the museum, I went back home, then left for Plaza Espanya for the World Cup final around 6:15pm. The city set up 2 giant screens for people to gather and watch Spain play. By the time we got there around 6:45, there were already a lot of people there. The atmosphere was just crazy, and got crazier when the game started. There were 75,000 people there in Plaza Espanya last night. No joke. Everyone was shoulder to shoulder. (In Madrid, there were over 200,000 people gathered to watch). It was impossible to move around if you needed to use the restroom or something. I went before the game started, and it took about 30 minutes to get back to my friends. When Spain scored in extra time, everyone went ballistic. We were all jumping up and down, screaming, people where slashing their drinks all over everyone, fireworks were going off. When the game ended, the fountains surrounding the area turned red. More fireworks went off. Some people are pretty stupid though. They set off the fireworks, it goes up like 10 feet, and comes right back down towards the crowd. Everyone just pushed everyone back to create a big circle for the fireworks to land. People started jumping in the fountains and such. It was just insane. After this was all over, people started throwing beer bottles, chairs, and tables at policemen who had shields ready, and they fired some rubber bullets at people. I didn't take my camera because I didn't want to have so much stuff in my pocket, so the World Cup pics above are Jenny's. The metro was insane too. People were pushing their way into the metro doors, even though no more can come in. I've never been anywhere so packed like this. It there was an accident, everyone would have died on the spot. It was body on body. This guy tried to fit into the metro, but the doors wouldn't close, so he had to get off. As he got off, the guy next to me pickpocketed him. Coins fell out of his pocket, so he knew he just got his wallet stolen. The metro doors closed right after he got off. The look on his face was priceless yet sad. That's why I always keep my hands in the pockets at all times. Lesson learned for him. I'm so glad I got to experience this here in Spain. I didn't think Barcelona would be that into the Spanish team with them wanting their independence, but they were. Some people we met said that they were Spaniards for just today. It was really fun, crazy, and wild.

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