Monday, August 31, 2009

Mi casa es su casa

Suddenly it feels like everyone is house hunting! The topic keeps coming up...first with my bestest across the ocean, then with some of my friends here, and finally yesterday at a family meal when the parents started asking me if Diego and I were thinking of buying now that it's a buyers market...que estres! No home shopping for us yet. But if we did a little place in Santiago, another in the US (Chicago/Detroit areas), and maybe another little spot in Margarita and another in Paris would be perfect. Better really start saving.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I was on my way to a class today, when I heard a car honking it's horn...I looked to see what the problem was -here in Santiago you usually hear honking only if there is a problem or you are mad and in a hurry-and what to my wondering eyes did appear...but a regular car honking at the police car in front of him because the traffic light had turned green. Is this normal?! What a different reaction from what we would see in the US.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How my garden grows!

I've been aquiring quite a few plants this summer- picking up a cheapy plant here and there to add to the succulents D's mom gave me in the fall. Today the mom of one of my students gave me an aloe plant! One window is filled...working on window two and three!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Miss Universo

I'm going to miss Miss Universe tonight,they don't show it in Spain. I know it's not the most PC entertainment, but come on, I'm Venezuelan, and we always win...and I have some very special childhood memories attached to Miss Universe-I learned quite a bit about geography, culture, and language as a result. Anyway, I was looking through preview shots of the national costumes-my favorite part of the competition-here are a few that caught my eye. (I'll include Spain and a shot of miss Venezuela-yes, she's beautiful. Hope she wins!!) See more pics here. Miss Panama-winner of the best national costume.
Miss China
Miss Bolivia-how did they get that hat to the Bahamas?

Miss Spain-she's Galician!

Miss Venezuela-La perla del Caribe

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pincho party

We celebrated my birthday this year with a little dinner party, Spanish pinchos to begin and Venezuelan style lasagna as a main course. The table looked lovely with the flowers D sent me, and the food:tortilla, olives, jamon serrano and manchego cheese, bruschetta with goat cheese roasted red peppers and anchovies, and bruschetta with camembert cheese and granny smith apples. I love to snack and pinchos are perfect and delicious.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One year!!

Wow...I didn't realize it when I blogged yesterday, but yesterday marked one year since I moved to Spain! How quickly the time has gone by! And it has been filled with so much happiness! I came to be closer to my man and take advantage of the chance to live in Spain with no real plans...and God has blessed me with marraige and an incredible husband, wonderful family and friends, and no lack of job opportunities. I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vamos a la playa oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

It's so nice to have visitors! One of my best friends from college and her husband stopped into town on their 10 day tour of Spain. Tired from their many communication struggles, and not realizing that in Spain you really don't have to leave a tip after they were leaving 20-25% tips everywhere, they were very happy to be in Santiago and ready to just hang out and relax. Luckily they had beautiful weather the entire trip, and even here in Galicia summer has officially arrived with about two weeks straight of hot sunny weather. Craving relaxation and the beach we headed to A Coruña on their last day. We took the bus, a 6.90 euro trip from Santiago (one-way), and arrived in the city sunny, green, and with surprisingly uber friendly citizens who kept wishing us a wonderful day and to enjoy the city. A Coruña is most famous for the Torre de Hercules a Roman lighthouse that sits on it's coast...quite a lovely place. But mis amigos were tired of sight seeing, so we headed to the city beach-Riazor. Walking a quick paseo past street performers and rebajas from the plaza de Maria Pita, we started to see heavy fog funneling into the streets...and in the close beyond that was supposed to be the beach-a thick, cold cloud. We decided to stick it out, and go to the beach-which we didn't realize was just down some stairs from where we were-seriously visibilty was terrible. Surprisingly, the beach was full. We could hear the Atlantic in the distance, so we decided to act Coruñes and start "sunbathing". Well, there was some magic to it (Galicia's weather is a bit unpredictable), because less than an hour later, the fog started to lift, and the city that surrounds the beach appeared like a cartoon image and the ocean was suddenly huge before us...and before we knew it, there was no empty spot of sand and we were slathering on the sunscreen like no one's business. It turned out to be a perfect day and a perfect ending to their first trip to Spain. Gotta love the city beach.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

La maravillosa vida

On a hot afternoon just before a simple lunch waiting for Diego, here is a little reading update.

During the past weeks of August siestas I finally finished a few good books, first The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao or as I read it in Spanish La maravillosa vida breve de Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I first heard about Junot Diaz after hearing one of his stories featured on The NewYorker fiction podcast-a jewel in itself where prominent writers choose a story that has been featured in the NewYorker read it and discuss it with the host. Diaz's story was perfect, real, fresh, vivid. When I heard he had a novel, a Pulitzer prize winning novel, I had it read it. Oscar Wao is a perfect example of Latinamerican literature at its histories coming back to haunt the present and magic mixed with reality. Junot Diaz made it new with his style, at least in the Spanish translation it was very coloquial street language mixing American slang with Dominican slang, and going between English and Spanish throughout the vocabulary. A perfect way to represent the Latino reality in the US. The novel was also filled with footnotes providing the history of various family members and important figures in Dominican life...providing the reader not only with a family history of Oscar, but also of the Dominican Republic-identity is so marked by where we come from. This will surely be on a few reading lists for Latin-american studies in the near future-you should add it to your list too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Siiiii siesta.

Mmmm...another joy of summer in Santiago...between 3:30-5:00pm the world is still. In August most businesses-like the mechanics shop next door-close for the afternoon-even if you wanted to go somewhere your options are limited. Lunch time is between 2-4pm and from 3:30ish until 5:00 it sounds and feels like the entire world is on siesta. During the rest of the year by 3:45 the mechanics start pounding, the traffic passing, and I had to be out of the house most days. But, ahhh, summer. The blinds are barely open, the light of the hot sun is soft inside, the couch feels perfectly cool, and one can read, sleep, relax, in complete peace until at least 5:00

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I heart Cuore

What is better in the summer than spending a lazy day at the beach, on the pool, or even on the couch with a juicy gossip magazine? Doing the same with a magazine that is not only funny for the ridiculous stories but more for the ridiculous comment bubbles that adorn each of the parazzabulous "guau" (wow) ar "aarg" (ewww) photos. I'll admit, the first time I bought Cuore, I wasn't impressed-I didn't get the pop-up video quality about it. But, eventually I bought it again...and again...and again. It's become the top of my Spanish summer guily pleasures. Cuore is so great becuase it makes all the stories into jokes. Pictures are filled with comment bubbles detailing what each celebrity or extra in the shot is thinking, and quite frankly, the comments are hilarious-and sometimes terribly rude. The language is also super colloquial-super slang-and I can say that finally after years of writing college papers while watching VH1 specials wondering why I couldn't just get a master's in pop culture commentary- I've found an excuse to validate keeping myself up to date on el cotilleo-gossip- I'm learning real-everyday-street-slang Spanish. Ahhhh, summer delights!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Silver lining in every cloud

Summer in Galicia has been very grey. Today it is humid...bochorno...but it's a bit cool. Summer dress with a cardigan weather. I've also had quite a decrease in classes, everyone is on vacation. Or sitting in their apartments watching tv series on DVD like me. I started watching Lost. I'm on season one. A little behind. Diego is crazy about it, and with this upcoming fall being the last season. I figured that with so much time on my hands, so little money in my pockets, and so many clouds in the summer sky I will get caught up so we can watch the finale together. I'm almost finished with the first season, Sawyer just got his glasses.

I took the opportunity to get out of the house today, taking a resume to another private school today, looking for a gym that ended up being just too far away to walk to, and looking for distance learning programs to get a translation certification. I hope to start a program in the fall. I still feel like I'm getting started in the city sometimes-summer makes me feel it more. With all this down time again the need to get a real job and make more friends is even more evident. So I really need a job with co-workers or I need take a class and meet classmates...or I can keep my hours, read, walk around, watch tv, and Diego can change his work schedule so the afternoons aren't so long. Haha...thats probably not possible, so we'll stick to plan A. Hope to have good job news soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I caved in...

and went to rebajas today...and it was amazing. Lovely leather sandals, the cutest summer shirts, shorts, leggings, sweater dresses and sleeveless vest...nothing cost more than 9 euros (sandals) the average was 4 euros. wonderful. Zara was round one...Bershka an unexpected round 2. I left my phone at my student's house today so between trips to the portal of the building to buzz their house I took little trips into the mall across the street. :) Only problem now- the family must have left for a vacation- no answers to the many buzzes and many phone calls-and I have no phone numbers to call anyone. Yikes. But it's ok. I took the opportunity to chill out one night alone (D's out at a bachelor party for his boss) and finish watching "On the Road Again in Spain" a perfectly delightful, inspiring way to spend a day and an evening estilo pre-cellphone. And we have class again on Monday, so I'll have the phone back in dos dias.
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