BY TATILLANA therese garcia

This weekend was my first real “Valencian” weekend and it did not disappoint. The nightlife here is unlike anything I’ve experienced. A typical night begins by going to a bar around 12: 30 a.m. You then make your way to the discotecas around three or four in the morning, which then results in getting home at sunrise. Don’t get me wrong, this lifestyle is full of bliss and laughter, but it will take some getting used to. At home in California, I would usually be getting home around the time we head out to the discotecas here.

These discotecas also differ from the clubs I frequent at home. At some discotecas, people don’t dance but use it as a social gathering to talk, though I don’t see how anyone can hear one another since the bass of the music creates ripples in my drink. In America, men and women alike can be seen grooving to the music through the night. Here that doesn’t seem to be the case. The men are more forward as well. Countless times I heard them say to me or my friends “que guapa” or “guapísima,” without any reservations. It gets especially annoying when they attempt to grab your hand, or anything they can get a hold of just to get your attention. I try to brush it off it, but there comes a point where it’s just plain creepy.

According to my host mom, gin and tonic is a popular drink here. Taking her suggestion into account, I tried the bebida and thought it was magnífica! Another drink I see locals and tourists alike enjoying is sangria. The vibrant maroon of the sangria combined with the orange and lemon slices inside make it look irresistible. I had only tried sangria a few times before I came to Spain, but it is becoming one of my favorite things to drink here. So refreshing and flavorful, I’m starting to think of it as juice unfortunately.

My favorite discoteca of the three I went to this weekend was L’Umbracle, part of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, a complex of museums and theaters. L’Umbracle is a botanical garden lit up with pink and purple hues at night. It might have been the coolest place I’ve ever been to. Huge white arches entertained lush green vines along the top level of the club, while the downstairs had Spanish, and more importantly, American club music blaring from its speakers. The familiar tunes were a nice change of pace from the usual music they play at most of the discotecas we go to here. What a great night that was.