Eat, drink, and be merry . . . the Spanish way of living

Posted on March 26th, 2008 by BreAnn

Since my last post was pretty lengthy and I know I have a tendency to be pretty descriptive/thorough/word-y/choose-your-own-word-here, I’m going to make this next one more bullet-pointy.   I don’t think that’s really going to help me reduce the massive amount of words I use, but I’m trying!   😉

**So I posted some new pictures …. mostly pics of friends, going out, etc.   You can see them HERE!

Rachel and BreAnn at an Irish pub**My new fun friend, Rachel—from Ireland, is already gone 🙁  booo!  Two weeks flew by fast!  She approached me at school on her first day (which was the start of my second week) and we chatted on the way out of school, right into a nice little cafe, and signed up for a 2-week membership at the gym the very next day.  We became fast friends and went to the gym almost every day together, out for dinner twice that week (one night was her birthday), out partying/dancing at the bars both weekends, and had several fabulous typical-2-hour-Spanish-lunches together.  She just turned 23, is finishing up her degree (in Spanish and French) at the University in Ireland, seems to come from a pretty well-off family (but doesnt act like she does), and is a bundle of fun.  I was sad she was only at Lacunza –that’s the name of my school– for 2 weeks, but happy because she plans to come back to visit in the next couple months, plus I now have a friend in Dublin who is my ticket to visit the country!  Ireland, here I come! 

**Speaking of the 2-hour lunches here:  Man, those lunches could get me in trouble if I went every day!–we discovered this cute little outdoor cafe near a beautiful fountain in town that is only 10€ for a full 3-course meal which includes: primera (first course), which is more of an appetizer for each person, segundo (second course) which is usually a piece of meat with veggies or potato, and postre (dessert). In addition, included in the price you can get any bebida (drink) including a pretty good size mini-pitcher of vino (wine), aqua (water), pan (bread), and after dessert you can have un café (a coffee) or (tea) if you’d like.  All included in the price, and you don’t have to leave a tip! Pretty good deal!  Normally, that will run you 15-25€ in other cafes here.  Surprisingly enough, you are perfectly full when you are done eating and not overstuffed, not only becuase it took you like an hour to slowly eat it all, but also because UNLIKE THE OVERWEIGHT UNITED STATES, European portions are good, “normal” sizes. I have to say, it’s pretty nice having a nice, long, filling meal and you don’t walk away feeling like a blimp and wanting to throw up because you are so full and sick. I have to note: to this day I still have not really seen an “obese” person in Spain. I’ve seen a couple overweight people, but I’m pretty sure they were tourists.

**In case you were wondering: yes, it still has been raining almost every day (I’m sure you’ve been holding your breath wanting to know, haha!)  And its been in the 40s and 50s.  I’ve broken two umbrellas from the wind. Sonny doing the “scoot-across-the-rug-to-get-the-water-off-his-fur” has become a multiple-daily activity.  I’m still waiting for this fabulous summer everybody raves about and I keep seeing the 80 degree weather forcasts in LA and sigh.  Yes, I’ve realized I’ve been spoiled in LA with the weather. But I’ve also realized I never again want to live in a place where the temperature dips below 45 for more than a week or rains more then 2 times per week on average . I’m not compaining . . . I’m just discovering my preferences, and after 22 years in bittercold Wisconsin, 6 years in perfect-weather Cali, and now in a fair-weather city….. I’ve realized I’m definitely NOT a cold/wet-weather-person! 😉

Spanish Tortilla**I’m going through Mexican-food withdrawl!! 🙁   For some reason, a lot of people have the assumption that Spain has the same food as Mexico, but the two countries are COMPLETELY different in every way including culture, food, people, way of living, etc. The only things in common they really share are bullfights and the language—but the language is somewhat different too.  The cheddar cheese here is disgusting. Tortilla shells are not really existant—if you ask for a “tortilla” here, you’ll receive something like an omelette with potatoes and onions. Spanish tortilla is a common staple in every restaurant in Spain and IS pretty damn good, too!  I’ll write more about my “issues” with the food and the fun grocery-store-adventures I’ve had another time in a seperate blog.

**My sister, Michelle, is currently in Germany for a little over a week. She will be flying to Barcelona, Spain this Saturday and I’m taking a bus to meet her there for the weekend. Afterwards, she will come back with me to San Sebastian for 4 days, then we are off to Rome, Italy for an extended weekend.  Not sure how much time I will have to write, so this may be the last blog for awhile.  We’ll see . . . 😉

**This past week was “Semana Santa” – a long holiday in Spain. Instead of just having Easter Sunday and maybe Good Friday, they have a whole darn week dedicated to family, relaxation, eating, and worship.  Wednesday was some St.-something day (I know, I’m bad I dont know the name!), then Friday is Good Friday, and then Easter of course—-so most people had off work Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun, AND Monday!  Yes, this includes all the regular and grocery stores. In preparation, I had to “stockpile” a ton of food on Tuesday night in order to make it through 6 days until this Tuesday without running out.  Fortunately, restaurants and bars were open (not all of them, though), so there was Something to do. Eat, drink and be merry, of course! . . . The Spanish way!

Night out at a discoteca!**I have finally experienced a typical party-in-Spain night. And twice!  We had no class Friday morning, so Thursday night I cooked for Rachel and then we met up with some classmates out at a bar, and suddenly 3 bars later we are at a discoteca and I’m stumbling home to discover it is 6AM!!  Wha??  Yep.  Then Friday we meet up with this cute guy that works at our school for dinner, then he proceeds to buy us drink after drink, bar after bar, club after club, and before I know it the time is like 5am and the guy and I are dancing up a storm in this cool little discoteca near the river.  Sadly, he chooses this time to tell me he is GAY, what?? which is sad because I was interested in him and now I’m totally confused (and can’t believe it because he sure acts like he’s interested in women), but fine because he works at the school anyway and if we ended up dating it could get “messy” if we had to see each other day-in-day-out at school.  Anyway, I DO like the fact the bars are open to 3am here and other clubs are open until 4/5, and discotecas until like . . . 8, 9? (especially since LA and its stupid 2:15am-bar-close-time is pathetic)— but I just don’t know how these Spaniards do it every weekend.  If you go out that late one night, your entire next day is pretty much wasted.  You go out both nites, you spend the entire weekend partying and sleeping.

Which is –I realize– the Spanish way of living!

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