Hola chicos, having got over a slight bout of technophobia and worked out how to add photos to my posts, you can all now look forward to jazzy full-colour entries in the future!
There’s not that much news for me to report this week, although I did have my first experience of churros (1st of the promised photos coming right up!). Everyone I know, be they Spanish, British or American, was appalled I hadn’t had them before, but for everyone as equally uncultured as me, churros are sugared,deep-fried twists of fatty dough to be dipped in a chocolate sauce. When you’ve finished, you pour milk into what’s left of the sauce and drink it. Coronary-inducing or heavenly, you decide!
I had a long weekend , which is not as much of a luxury as it sounds; in Spain there are one or two fiestas/bank holidays each month. To keep the coronary at bay, I spent Saturday walking part of the Camino de Santiago, a famous pilgrim trail which goes through Logroño. It was really nice to escape the city, which has its charms but aesthetics isn’t one of them (think sky high 60’s apartment blocks for the most part), for the beautiful countryside. As soon as you get out of Logroño you can see the mountains, and as La Rioja is Spain’s most famous wine county, there are vineyards everywaaaah (I’m allowed, this is kind of a gap yah!) and they’re just starting to turn red and brown. Just for my Dad, here is a picture of an ancient hospital we came across, just in front of a famous bodega.
Don’t worry, the Yorkshire girl isn’t getting too cultured – on Thursday I took a bus to the out of town shopping centre for a MacDonald’s, and almost cried with joy when I found McVitie’s digestives in the international aisle of a supermarket. I’ve got my appetite back, but I’m struggling to think of meals. The Spanish aren’t big fans of international cuisine so you can’t buy gravy or curry or stir fry sauces; in fact, any sauces other than ketchup, mayo or mustard. Britain is famous in Europe for having awful food, so I can get down from my high horse… all the more reason to go out for pinchos!
I’m still enjoying work, and I am now a legal, insured worker with an NIE… 4 weeks after I started the application process, good work Spain! I’m struggling to get used to the different pace of life, as well as the customs. I thought I’d got the hang of the cheek-pecking greeting but had a very awkward moment when one man leaned in – I presumed to kiss my cheek but he actually wanted to whisper something. He struggled to hide his surprise when I accidentally ended up kissing his ear!
I too am surprised, every time I see a trolley bag – which is frequently. Here, trolley bags are cool. Almost all of the children have them. They are in the form of oversized rucksacks on wheels, and you can retract the handle and wear it over your shoulders when you need to go upstairs. They come in all sorts of patterns, from FC Barcelona to Spiderman, and there’s no denying they’re practical, but they still remind me of old ladies!
For 40 Euros, you too can look this cool…
Ignoring all advice from the year abroad team, I’ve booked a trip home for this weekend. I’m already thinking this might be a bad idea because I’m not even home yet and don’t want to return, but having had this to look forward to has really cheered me up, which can only be a good thing – even if it is temporary! Thank goodness for Easyjet budget flights, a 4-day week and lovely family and friends!
Hasta next Wednesday/ the weekend – for anyone at home!