Hey, sorry it has been a while since my last post. I got into a routine and then nothing felt interesting enough to mandate a whole blog post. Right now I’ve just finished some extensive note-taking for my final tomorrow and I’m super wired on coffee (it is way stronger over here, and I may have just drank the equivalent of a triple espresso). It is basically bed time, but clearly that’s not happening… So now we’ve established that: 1. I’m procrastinating. 2. This post is completely caffeine-fueled and will probably read that way too. 3. I don’t have a specific topic to write about. So here’s a run-down of a lot of topics from my life in España that I find mildly to extremely interesting!
1. Charo (as is customary) always leaves the skin on the fish and the fish never comes de-boned. She doesn’t feed me fish heads, but I do get the tail and fins and scales and such. This is pretty radical compared the the perfectly rectangular lump of pure fish meat that Rastal offers. To all you seafood haters out there, this whole-fish concept probably sounds like the worst possible situation… but I’ve truly grown to love having my fish prepared this way. The texture of the fish skin used to freak me out, and the bones usually are a bit tricky to eat around. But I’ve had a change of heart! Now I picture myself as a wild Alaskan bear plucking the fish out of the river and chomping right in. (I’m so serious… I actually think about this every time I eat fish now and it’s pretty entertaining.) The fish in Spain is guaranteed to be super fresh and it’s a welcome change to be eating food that is less processed and manipulated.
2. I’m currently learning all about the kings and queens of Spain for my spanish culture class. (It really should be named “spanish history,” but that’s OK.) Anyways, my favorite queen is Juana la Loca. There’s a Hollywood film about her called “Mad Love.” I watched it dubbed in Spanish, but with English subtitles. The combination was odd… Regardless, if you like that kind of thing I would recommend it. And there’s one scene with horseback riders crossing a stone bridge that I’m pretty sure was shot in Toledo! I cross that bridge frequently when I take walks through the valley.
3. In Spain it is completely acceptable to stay at a restaurant for hours and hours. In America, the waiters bring you the check as soon as they can, but here you must always request it. The other night we stayed at dinner for over three hours and it was no big deal. The spanish really are more relaxed. “No pasa nada” is a very common phrase basically meaning “It’s all good.”
4. Two more food items I’ve grown fond of are: Membrillo and pickled shredded carrots on top of a salad. Membrillo is sort of like apple butter in the solidified jelly form except it’s made from quince. I’d never had quince before, but it’s basically half pear, half apple, completely delicious and weird. Membrillo paired with goat cheese or sheep’s milk cheese is so amazing and is super common in Spain. As for the pickled carrots, what I like most about them is that the pickle juice seeps down into the lettuce and whatever else is in the salad so you don’t even need salad dressing. Yummmm.
5. I’m not sure if this is regular street art, or part of a decorated wall for a bar or something, but it’s pretty awesome. I found it in a little hipster neighborhood of Madrid. “Amo lo que haces” means “Love what you do.” I set it as the background to my phone and I think it is a good reminder to spend your time wisely.
6. If you’ve got the time, check out these fun/funny spanish songs I’ve recently discovered!
To dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rymcs0918ag
To wonder why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cluZlU3bIf8
For spring break: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96JXevtCjiY
For love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHWhbwWX7_g