There are far and few between who are reading this, but I owe it to someone (maybe just 1 someone) to explain myself. Internet just isn't as reliable here and blogging everyday will probably never work. However, I still love spain so lets get on with the countdown.
thanksgiving has passed, Thank the Lord, and I no longer need to remind myself that this would be my first thanksgiving away from family, friends and that perfect Texas fall weather (haha). But actually, I had a really fun thanksgiving with the group of students here in Zamora. Everyone brought something unique to the table and to realize at 4am that I had spent the nearly the entire night in Castellano was a fabulous feeling. (lets work on saying it correctly: In Spain, they speak Castellano. Not spanish. There is a very nearly invisible line between the two, but its there.)
Anyways Mom, thank you so much for calling me from turkey day lunch! It meant so much to pass around the phone and talk to everyone. Thank yall for thinking about me!
Refent discovery: EuroGrill. Fries and mayo (dutch style), texas-sized burgers (rhode island sized patty) and its is located next door. literally i went in sweat pants and a pea coat.
Another thing, this weather is GREAT! blue skies and sunshine. Loving IT. LOVE LOVE LOVe.
So you know what is so great about Spain? Unsolicited help. Everyone here in Zamora is so nice! I always buy my produce at El Cid -- a little store front on Calle Amargura. They are usually pretty packed with old folks but if you can get there before the crowd hits, it is so lovely to just walked around in circles and read labels and oogle things you've never seen before. This week however, I walked in with a goal: I wanted to make a pot of beans. I asked where the beans were and voila I had a personal shopper and recipe book at hand. The lady (I've got to get her name!) explained every type of bean, their origin, and how they cook. We settled on Pintas and as I checked out, she began to tell me the best way to do it. Then, the two ladies in line behind me chimed in and within minutes, I knew what to do, what to avoid and a request for me to return with my results.
And to let you know, the beans turned out wonderfully. They are the perfect meal for the fall-turned-winter weather :) Here, friends and family, is some unsolicited help for you:
Soak beans overnight in water.
saute garlic, onion, red and green peppers, carrots in a large pot. cook them down until the carrots are almost tender. rinse and add beans. add WARM or HOT water (never cold says the El Cid lady) and add chicken broth until everything is covered. add cumin and bay leaf. bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours until everything is tender, and desired juice is left. Add salt only at the end to prevent the beans from breaking.
loving the wind and rain tonight. cold weather and clear skies. the promise of hot coffee and good shopping tomorrow make me a happy giiirl :)
harry potter in Spanish also made me a happy girl tonight! I understood most of it with the help of a good bottle of wine. In spain, 'botellon' is when a group of friends get together in a public place (in the park, by the river, in the square etc.) and pass the bottle. We did our own little botellon in the theater :) I really think wine, dark chocolate and the theater are some of my favorite things ...
Today as I was walking home from a private lesson, I decided to forego my usual route and chose a road I never take. I walked for a bit, enjoying the cool weather and fading sun, when I turned the corner and suddenly was "on the other side of town" (or so I thought my head.) I couldn't stop laughing at my mistaken shortcut! It was so great to feel completely part of the city. I linked together every section of Zamora in my mind and realized, "I really do live here."
Today I was serenaded by a group of guys as I stood and ate peas on the balcony. They were walking in the park and at first sight of me, broke into song. I smiled and enjoyed the attention until I realized 12 guys instantly new where I lived.
Everyday for my last 36 days here, I will publish something spectacular about Spain. Even though I am ready to come home and see you, Im learning to live in the present :)
So, #36: I don't work until 7 p.m. on Mondays, so I have wonderful me time all day. Laundry, cleaning, painting my nails, you name it. Today I bought new grading pens and notecards (seriously it is so exciting to buy teacher stuff. I decided I am going to marry rich so I can have the best classroom at my school!!) Now, I am refreshed and ready to spend an hour with English learners! Tonights topic: describing people! we are working on details!
Current song Im listening to: Charmer by Kings of Leon (find it, listen to it)
We threw a really great party with tons of food (chorizo-in-a-blanket, caramel apples, apple cake) and our BYOB request resulted in great local and Portuguese wines. I made friends
with a Portuguese guy named Sergio and he is just fascinating! His family has a farm on this side of the pond and he was telling me that wind energy is an emerging industry in Portugal. He said it is really popular for people to drive down the highway and stop and burn tree farms because they block the wind from the wind turbines. Interesting act of arson, isn't it? He also has fabulous lips that could be their own character on Housewives of Orange County. He might have actually been the muse for the original collagen infused lips!
Allie and her boyfriend (Wisconsin) came as Adam and the Garden. They were sinfully hilarious.
Misha (Atlanta) dressed as a crazy housewife (apron, flour head, coffee mug, the works.) I think she actually was crazy by the time the party began. She had slaved away all day cooking and decorating!
And Alyssa ... well I was a rabbit with light up ears (3 speeds) and naturally my new fur jacket and scarf. Both resale, both real rabbit fur. I was a bundle of furry fun!
I only wish I hadn't been quite so furry ... I later found out my costume wasn't THAT great, it was just that conejo (Spanish for rabbit) is another word for Vagina. I was basically a resale vagina this year. Halloween 2011? I'll be an upscale vagina ... that way when people laugh, I can remember I paid good money for their pleasure.
Oh and the apron that makes me look really hot? Yeah, that was just me post costume change. the apron and the rabbit made it out to the bars that night :)
Here is a pic of me and David my roomy. His nickname is Kyle.
In Spain, nicknames can have NOTHING to do with your real name. I've named his ticketmaster because he is always selling something. He is about to take nude photos with friends to make a calendar. He is selling them for 5 euro each. He also asked me to be the photographer.
Maybe it is this years new theme? One of my biggest fears after graduating from college was that I would somehow quit learning. What was I thinking?! I am a crazy person. Moving to Italy and then Spain has proven to keep me anything but idle. Every day presents me with a new challenge; sometimes I know how to answer that challenge and sometimes I run from it, but most of all, I learn from it.
I have loved living in a new apartment with three new people. It is always exciting to watch people and find what they are fickle about. And me ... well it is still weird to live with a boy I'm not related to. I mean, it takes a LOT for me to be conscious about not being naked, picking my nose .. you know. I don't have to name all of my flaws -- you get it. Thank goodness girls don't poop or things could get really uncomfortable in our pistachio green bathroom. (It is by the way, a charming little color and reminds me of summer gelato, salty and sticky and that perfect sweet-in-your-mouth treat.)
Currently I am reading (in the bedroom, not the bathroom) EAT PRAY LOVE (come reza ama) in Spanish. Slow and self-indulgent ... it is really exhausting. However, the narrator/author is currently living in Roma and I rejoice in knowing the few Italian words that I picked up this summer. I realized that no matter how challenging this summer was, I loved so many elements of that world -- including the language. Italian has to be my next goal. Part of me feels like I am so deeply connected with the language that I may hurt its feelings if I go on without it. So, I've decided that this year is Castellano. Sometime in the future is Italian. You know I don't make plans, so this time is strictly up to the good Lord.
Speaking of Him, God is good. Thats all I have to say. Sometimes I catch myself singing 'To God be the glory great things he hath done .." You know, its the song we sang during the benediction at church and we would all join hands. I think somehow the music in my head links me to Him, home and being in church on sunday and eating fried chicken soon after. So much comfort can be found there. So, to God be the Glory. He constantly challenges me, keeps me learning and growing, and always reminds me of how blessed I am.
What else ... my students are fabulous. They say the F word too much and are at the stage where everything requires physical touch and flirtation, but I'm having a blast. I like to shock them as much as the do me and it always creates a fun environment. Since I am mostly here to teach conversation and pronunciation, not much is off-topic (or off-color.) But hey, that doesn't surprise you, right? We always learn how to properly pronounce the tough sounds (like x .. as in sexual -- it's not seshual. it's sexxxxual.) We are all really learning a lot. I also learned not to wear my black DVF skirt mom. It was too short. Just too short .. even with tights and flats .. its just too seshual.