Sunday, November 22, 2009


Santiago becomes mecca for all independant/international movie lovers in Galicia every November for the film festival, Cineuropa. We've been wanting to go for weeks, but with our new late work schedules we can never make it to any of the movies we want to see that are playing at 6, 8, or 10. This weekend we finally had the chance to make it out. We were between getting tickets to see Yann Tiersenn in concert or going to the movies...we ended up at the movie, getting last minute ticktets in the nosebleed section of the old theater in Santiago. hehe...Diego was double checking that I wanted to go, telling me we were going to be really high up...I didn't realize we would babsically be above the chandelier on benches leaning over the rails to see the movie! In any case we saw Looking for Eric directed by Ken Loach. It was an enjoyable film about a man overcoming difficult circumstances with the help of Eric Cantona retired a French soccer player. Definately worth seeing. And going to cineuropa was so nice. I wish we could take advantage of more of the fantastic films they are showing-and see some of the local Galician diretors' debuts. We always have next weekend too. Cineuropa lasts until December 2-if you're interested check out the website.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Modern Beer

On a rare weekend that Diego wasn't working we had a leisurly lunch at a new restaurant next to the contemporary art museum CGAC and the Museo do Pobo Galego and while ordering our drinks we decided on a new beer. It arrived in a fancy bottle-without a price tag but with a little tag describing how it was developed by Ferran Adria of elBulli- the most famous,expensive, gourmet restaurant in the world basically-located where else, but in Spain. We decided not to worry about the price and enjoy. And we did. It was lovely. Soft, delicate, fruity, wheaty. Perfect. When we got the bill it was much less expensive then we had expected. Look for it: Estrella Damm Inedit. You'll love it. Avantgarde beer. And...check out the video about how to serve it-it's seriously the champagne of beers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

en el mundo...

There is a great show on Spanish television called, Españoles en el Mundo. The show goes to cities all over the world to see what it is like to live there, following a Spaniard who lives there around for a day seeing the important sights, and going into their houses. It's a pretty excellent idea. You have a travel show and you get a bit of reality seeing what life is really like and hearing about how these average people left Spain to explore some new place...maybe for love, maybe for work, or maybe just for the adventure. One of the most interesting to date was Alaska. It was pretty incredible that they could fill an entire program with Spaniards living in Alaska...who knew?? And, they were all very happy making a new life there. We keep saying they should make the same kind of program for Americans living around the world. Would you watch it? Here's a little clip of a city I love, Athens. Enjoy (if you speak Spanish...sorry no subtitles).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Out to dry

Wintery weather has arrived here in Galicia. It's rainy and humid and cold. Not nearly as cold as it will get, but it is as rainy as ever, and the realities of living in an old apartment that doesn't have central heat or insulation are back to being as uncomfortable as before. I've started to let the dirty clothes pile up, not due to laziness, but because I don't want to have humid clothes hanging around the house for a week. The last laundry we did was wet for about a week until we dedided to turn on the heater and put piles of clothes on the heater...not the safest choice. So, we have decided it's time to buy a clothes dryer. We have the space and we really need it. I am sad that the romantic ideal of the clothes hanging on the line will be lost, but really in the winter the clothes are just hanging in the house. And, I am sad that the eco friendly ideal of not having a dryer will also be lost, but we'll get a eco friendly dryer, and once the rain stops we will go back to hanging the clothes on the line. But, alas, mildewy clothes are gross. A house with clothes hanging all over it is annoying. And soft, warm, dryer fresh clothes are soo nice. We're off to start shopping tomorrow.

And another reality that is setting in Spain isn't all siestas and tapas. Working hours are a bit crazy. Last year I started to see how it was with Diego's late schedules, but now I have the same schedule-coming home everyday at 10:30pm working in the morning and the's a bit pesado/heavy. We do have a long lunch break, but between getting back home, making lunch, eating, and then getting back out by 4 pm, the break winds up being quite rushed and exhausting. What are the options? Well, classes until 10pm are totally normal here. The daily schedule is so different from the Anglo-saxon world, but, not everyone is working mornings and rushing back to work in the afternoon. In order to have a normal 9-5ish (9-3 here) schedule you have to become a funcionario-a public servant. In order to get this job, you must study for a year, pass the oposiciones tests, and then wait for the government to give you a job placement. This is how the public school system works, or any other normal job. We've been thinking about doing oposiciones-Diego would need the time to take a class and study (usually one year to prepare) but I would need to homologar (translate, literally and educationally, all my degrees which can take up to two years to complete) and prepare oposiciones. What are we going to do...not sure just yet, but at least we'll have dry clothes while we work out the details!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

on paper...

Diego recieves many comics to review for the bi-weekly culture extra he writes for and of all the comics he's received Ciudades de Papel by David Pintor published by the Galician editorial El Patitio is my favorite. It's a small book, with no text except for the names of the cities in the drawings, but the images are playful and imaginative and relaxing and evoke the perfect memories of the cities included. I leave the book out on a table to inspire my future travels and remember the old. Click on the link above to see more of his work.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

there's nothing like...

starting the day with a warm cafe con leche and a crunchy tostada with olive oil and salt. It's even better when you share it with the one you love. What a perfect way to start the day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Speaking of dates...

It's our six month anniversary today!! I figured it's the only time we'll really ever celebrate 6 we're going to celebrate as much as we can! I got Diego a few little things and he surprised me with a weekend in Ourense-getting lost in mountains, eating grapes in canyons, and watching the sunset from a castle. Then, to top it off we went to a halloween party! Not a house party, a real whole town in the plaza for the pumpkin carving and queimada! Fantastic! The town Rivadavia just south of Ourense celebrates October 31 to remember the celtic roots in Galicia-after all Halloween suposedly comes from the celtic celebration Samain. I can't get the party pics we took off my phone, but as soon as I figure out how I'll put up a few of them. Until then, bask in the hidden treasures of Galicia. Canyons of the river Sil, Ourense/Lugo
Ribeira grapes-not albariño, but the other famous wine of Galicia comes from the grapes grown on the river. A bit more earthy than the sweet, oceanic albariño, it's mostly known as a white wine, but can be a red wine too.
We tasted some of the grapes that we left after the harvest from these vines-one of the best parts of getting lost is finding hidden treasures like these quiet vines right off the river. A statue on the top of one of the hills pays tribute to the harvesters who climb up and down the hills to gather the grapes. It's chestnut season!
And, the sunset from a window in the remains of the castle Castro Caldelas.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


It's November! We need a new calendar! This one found on little brown pen found care of Cup of Joe is great! Diego and I have a new pet project.
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