As promised, the Christmas decorations are up; no thanks to me of course. Though I did attempt to put up some stockings on the door (they just happened to fall five minutes later) I have to give all the credit to my mom. Simplicities like red table settings, ornaments hanging from the ceiling, a touch of poinsettias, and of course a Christmas tree (this year we got a whopping 1 footer) fill the room with the sentiment of holiday spirit. These holiday touches have officially given the apartment a homey feeling in a land away from home.
Monthly Archives: November 2010
I can feel the holidays coming. The weather is becoming chilly and the streets are illuminated at night with bright twinkling lights. The holiday spirit is a contagious, especially in my household. The idea of going a holiday without decorations is absurd. So, of course, with the knowledge of a Christmas store up a couple blocks from our apartment my mom and I took a gander at all they had to offer. We found absolutely beautiful decorations. Keeping in mind that we will only be here for one holiday season, we didn’t splurge too much. Nevertheless, our apartment will be festive and cozy for the holiday season. Pictures soon to come.
Some of my favorite moments during this International Thanksgiving consisted of cooking two turkeys in two different locations, (thank you Skype for keeping the communication alive), having pink, yellow, and white marshmallows on top of the yams (we later found out that they are called “nubes” in spanish, which also translates to clouds), managing to find relatively clean leaves in the streets of Madrid to grace our table setting and give some Thanksgiving decor, and finally, having copious amounts of wine ready and corked for the devouring of this huge dinner. We should all be thankful for that. It was a very bountiful and plentiful harvest; one I will never forget.
Missing Thanksgiving has not been an option over here in Spain. The tradition continues whether in the United States or not. With this in mind, there has been some pros and cons in preparing for this dinner. Pros: inviting people from other countries who have never experienced this tradition and no chaos in the grocery stores. Cons: lack of pertinent ingredients and no Black Friday. However, after lots and lots of searching, we did find the ingredients pictured (can you imagine not having these?). It was not easy. We had to buy the pumpkin in Germany to guarantee that we had pumpkin pie and luckily found ginger in a gourmet food store. This shall be the most diverse Thanksgiving yet!
If you haven’t noticed already, I love eating and taking pictures of the food I eat. La Boqueria was sensory overload. Located right off La Rambla in Barcelona, delicious smells of freshly baked bread, wafting aromas of chocolate, and sweet essences of ripe fruit flowed throughout the market as I sauntered up and down the isles drooling over all the delectable edibles. The quality of food is impeccable and the prices are reasonable. It is a great place to wander around and pick up a picnic lunch to enjoy in one of the many parks or scenic locations around the city. Make sure you go hungry cause there still won’t be enough room in your stomach for all the things you will want to try. So many delicious options.
The Spanish style of university learning has been a bit of a rude awakening for me. With 35+ hours of class a week, the university has become my second home, not by choice. This isn’t a complaint, more of an emphasis of this previously called “rude awakening” and its affects it has had on my social life. The perception of the term “dedication” especially when it is relevant to school has been newly defined these past 3 months. I know once this semester is over I will be so proud of myself along with my fellow classmates for finishing. Mostly, I will be glad to get my nose away from the books for a bit and out of that blue tiled classroom.
Nonetheless, I am still loving life. Hence the weekly appreciation.
I hope this is not the case, but if you haven’t heard of Shakira yet, I hope you take the time to listen now. She just came out with another latin pop album this October called Sale del Sol. It is and will be another album that I plan to obliterate and put on repeat. This video, Loca was filmed in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Check out a preview above. If you like it, watch the full version here or the making of the video here. For the entire album go to iTunes. Enjoy.