Thursday, April 10, 2014

Travel Break

Hello to my very few faithful followers! I want to let you know I will be taking a short break from the blog these next two weeks. It is Easter/Spring Break/Semana Santa, and I am excited to be doing a bit of travelling. Fill you all in very soon! 

Have a wonderful Easter holiday and see you in two weeks!

Evening stroll in Retiro Park

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tapas Tuesday: Pulpo a la gallega

This weeks tapa: pulpo a la gallega/pulpo a feira
English translation: Galician style octopus/fair octopus

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Extroverted España

I have always sort of reveled in my introversion. While I am quite social and enjoy interaction with my friends and other people, it is during alone time that I gather my energy, process my thoughts, and feel totally comfortable. Being an introvert has enabled me to write, to read a ton and to be able to live on my own with happiness and peace (relatively speaking..). I have always relished in my alone time, and for me it is necessary in order to live out my busy, interactive days successfully here in Spain. If I ask many people back home, they will agree with me that introversion is an essential component to a functional social life. 

I have noticed slightly different behaviors and attitudes towards introversion here. In English, there is an expression, 'still waters run deep.' I was explaining this idiom to a fellow co-worker recently, and they right away said that this expression would never exist in Spanish. A person who is quiet and calm would not be regarded as someone interesting or intellectual or thoughtful, rather, only strange. When I held parent-teacher meetings for some of my students, I was advised NOT to use the word shy (timido/a) to describe the student, even if in the nicest way. This, I was told, would probably be taken as an insult to both the parent and the child. I found this kind of strange.

This got me thinking, are there any shy Spaniards out there? I realized that everyone I know is quite extroverted. Even among the high school students there doesn't seem to be anyone who is on the introverted side, more reserved, quiet, etc. Has the negative connotation with this personality type in both language and culture affected how people act? Have other aspects of the country molded extreme extroversion? Or am I overlooking an entire population of introverts?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tapas Tuesday: Jamón Iberico

This weeks tapa: jamón iberico
(My) English translation: "thinly sliced pieces of heaven"

Once upon a time I was a vegetarian. Back in 2011 I made my first trip to Spain on a crazy whim to get to know this Spanish man I had met in Turkey a little better; hours of skype just wasn't enough. In hindsight I'm happy to have acted on instinct, however spontaneous it was. It was during these wonderful two weeks that I was introduced to jamón. This salty, silky, cured and incredibly thinly sliced piece of meat called me out of my vegetarian state, taunted me with its rich aromas and acclaimed amazing-ness. From the moment I tried my first piece, there was no looking back, and I have been a content meat-eater ever since.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mercado de Motores

The Mercado de Motores is held the second weekend every month at the museo de ferrocarril (railroad museum), about a 10 minute walk from my apartment (metro Delicias). This flea market is held inside the museum as well as the surrounding outdoor area. You can find a plethora of vintage clothing, art, and amazingly yummy food and live music.. and admission is free! Check out their flyer!