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Jared's Travel Blog » *Flashback* Spain - Classe Preferente - The Only Way to Ride
Venice, Italy

So I’m way behind on articles, but I am making an effort to catch up :)

I arrived at the Madrid train station about 30 minutes before the next train to Sevilla was set to depart. At that time, all “tourist” class seats were bought up. I had to choose between waiting an extra hour to save a few bucks or splurging on “classe preferente.” It was only 24 euros or so, so I decided to hop on the next train. Great choice!

It was a short ride, so the comfort factor of the seats wasn’t a huge deal, but they were definately plush. I didn’t care to watch the lame in-ride movie, but the in-ride meal was quite nice. Chorizo, some other type of ham, quiche, crab salad, good bread rolls. All on the house!

Fresh off of having to pay for coffee on Easy Jet, I opted for water the first time the drink cart passed. Soon after I started talking to the portly gentleman next to me. Daniel was from Sevilla and spoke excellent English. He was a professor who focused on issues of church and state and made a very interesting single-serving friend. After some basic introductory conversation, he informed me that all booze in first class was FREE. The next time through, he helped me pick the best Spanish red wine.

The next time the cart comes through he’s all “You want spirits? You like Jack Daniels?” Suuuuure.

Sipping our JDs on the rocks, we get into politics. I gather early on that he’s conservative. He said something like “Everyone hates George Bush, I dont know why.” He also makes interesting comments such as “Environmentalists and Gays have alot of power in America, right?”

We start talking about Global Warming and he indicates that he definately believes in the problems it will continue to cause. More than once he said “I am interested to know what you think about Global Warming”. Each time I started to respond, I would get out a word or two and Daniel would interrupt and tell me how he felt. This was a theme of our conversation. Daniel is a smart man, but he also loved to hear himself talk. It got so bad that eventually started to sigh or look my away and roll my eyes with each interruption. Oblivious to my reaction, Daniel kept talking.

The conversation got a bit akward when he started coughing hard and then puked up a little of what appeared to be the red wine we had just downed.

I arrived in Sevilla with a nice buzz and fresh memories of egotism and puking. As I was putting my day bag in my big backpack in preparation for the hike to the hostel, Daniel approached me and gave me a partially consumed bottle of water. When he turned away I threw the bottle in the trash.

Thanks, but no thanks, Daniel.