27 March 2010

Saturday Morning at the Market

I went to the market this morning with Antonieta. I had been told Saturday morning was the time to go, but so far I've only seen it during the week, and it's true that everybody goes on Saturday. Basically the market is a lot like the Nashville farmers' market on steroids and with medieval structures to house it. It's set up in several long buildings open on both ends with vendors set up all around. You can buy meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and anything else that you might want fresh from Galicia.

We bought some shellfish that were probably still living their lives in the ocean less than 24 hours ago, fruit, and bread (from one of the oldest Panaderías in Santiago). It's amazing how fresh the food is here and the way Antonieta does the shopping for our meals. Rather than buying everything she will need to cook for a week or some other set time, she goes shopping several times throughout the week and picks up the main part of the meals. Everything we eat is fresh.

I provide you with an example of just how fresh: The vendor who sold us our shellfish was set up inside of one of the buildings with all kinds of fish laid out on ice. People choose a fish and the women working take a knife to it and prepare it to be taken home and cooked today. It's amazing.

The other thing I like about the market is that it's such an alive place. It seems like all of Santiago has a chance to interact and live their separate lives more together. I will have to make it a point to go to the market more often just to people watch.

15 March 2010

Springing Forward and Watching Soccer

I haven't written in a while, and I can attribute that to the incredible weather we've had here in Santiago. Spring is in the air!

Yesterday I went to the park after breakfast to read. I came home for lunch and immediately went back to the park to do homework with friends. Not only is the weather incredible, but Santiago has incredible parks. There are multiple places to go, all with a different take on green space.

One of the things I love about living here is that we're never in the house. I spend the majority of my day outside, walking around and getting to know the city, coming home to eat and sleep. And watching the seasons change is proving this place only keeps getting better!

When the sun left us yesterday, I experienced a little more Spanish culture (or the culture of the rest of the world, minus America) and went to a bar to watch a soccer game with some friends. It was fun to watch everyone in the place getting excited at the same time. I'm still not completely clear on all the rules, but I enjoy watching the games and the fans. I'm planning to incorporate more soccer into my Spanish life. If I don't, I'm resisting immersion.

06 March 2010

Un Dia Redondo

Today was un dia redondo, which translates literally to a round day but means a day where everything went well. I spent the day in A Coruña with friends doing basically nothing but having the time of my life. We walked a lot, visited the Tower of Hercules again, and ate lunch at a great little place with a house menu that was cheap.

It feels more like home when you can spend a day doing things that aren't particularly touristy with people you consider friends. We're getting to the point where we go back to the same places because we know we like them. We're finding our niches!

Of course, there is still much more to see! We aren't so comfortable that we're content to spend the next three months in Santiago. I'm working on a trip to Dublin during holy week, and it looks like I'm headed to Madrid before that. There's so much to see here, but it feels more like home every day.

Whether we're residents or tourists, we'll always take pictures. You can find them here.

01 March 2010

Toblerone McFlurry?!

While going to McDonald's in Spain would seem to be reverting back to my American ways, I'm glad I walked in today. They have the basic chicken nuggets and hamburgers, and the french fries were absolutely equal to (and as delicious as) the ones in America. But in Spain there are a few different things on the menu. My friend Brandon got a happy meal, and with it came a banana sundae--a creamy banana substance (probably just mashed up bananas, but I can't verify that) topped with ice cream. It was pretty good, but what I got was better: a McFlurry made with Toblerone! I don't know why we do not have this in the states, but I'm considering heading up the campaign to share this delicious dulce with America, or bringing in my own crushed up Toblerone and asking them to make my McFlurry with it. It can't hurt to try.

Galician food is definitely good enough that I don't want or need McDonalds, but even going there is a different experience than I would get at home. Plus, the trash cans say GRACIAS instead of THANK YOU.