Monday, April 13, 2009

Random Commentary

I’ve noted that I have gone far too long without commenting on the regular happenings of Sevilla, which is quite the injustice since it is really a wonderful place to “study” abroad. Some of the latest and greatest:
Food: Food here has been interesting to say the least. Since this is such an important subject to me, I will note a few of the phenomena.
1) I have the exact same breakfast of toast with garlic and oil every morning. Bread is also present at EVERY meal of the day. I’ve never had a single meal here without bread.
2) I have some sort of bean soup two or three days a week for lunch. Spaniards must have the strongest digestion systems ever.
3) Lamburgers. No explanation needed.
4) Dessert=fruit or yogurt
5) You always drink water with the meal, which is good because I think I’ve broken my addiction to diet pepsi.
6) Mexican food is rationed. The portions are TINY compared to the U.S. Also, no free chips and salsa.
7) Burger King and McDonald’s are always very crowded. While they don’t have the breakfast menu because they don’t open until oneish, both BK and McDonald’s serve beer. So I guess they kinda counter each other.
8) Donor Kebap is the greatest thing to happen to Coop and I. So far the city with the best DK has been Madrid…Although we did find one on the other side of town that was pretty good…
9) I am not a fan of fish here. But my Spanish family tries to get me to eat it because it’s good for me, which of course is very nice. However, their last attempt of frying fish and saying it was chicken was unsuccessful.
10) The best sandwich to get is a Spanish tortilla (potato omelet) on bread. But it does need ketchup.
11) If you go out for breakfast, the best thing to get is either churros con chocolate for obvious reasons or bread spread with oil and tomato juice. Sounds gross but it’s very good.
12) TGIF is alive and happening in Sevilla. Our group frequents happy hour but unfortunately only drinks are half off so we just sit there salivating over all the American foods we wish we could order.
13) Drinks here are MUCH stronger than in the U.S. A mixed drink is about half alcohol. On the flip side, the coffees are MUCH smaller. But of course, Starbucks is ever present for anyone’s caffeine fix.
Off the food subject…
• So everyone is getting ready for Semana Santa—except the large majority of UNC-Sevilla students are traveling to Morocco. The Moore family, however, is coming to reconquer Spain. We’re hoping to make it to Morocco for a day at some point, but on the whole we’ll be spending our time in the tourist hotspot, Costa del Sol. I’ve very interested to see how they will like Spain…..the only disappointment about the upcoming trip is that Cosmo couldn’t come. Similar to his twin Baxter, he can speak Spanish.
• I read For Whom the Bell Tolls. It’s a good book, especially to read in Spain. Spain has an interesting history…
• Spaniards are obsessed with game shows. Everything that is on television: game shows, reruns of Smallville, a few reality shows, CSI and the news. And then the other fifteen channels are dedicated to palm reading/fortune telling.
• I went on a class trip to see the churches that have pasos leave from them. Pasos are like foundations with the Virgen or Christ on them that are made of gold or silver and are carried through the streets by 40 or 50 strong men on a specific day of Semana Santa. Then they are surrounded by men who wear costumes similar to the KKK except sometimes in different colors: black, purple, etc. Everyone in Spain is Catholic so this is a very respected ceremony and the whole city pretty much shuts down for it. They even turn the stoplights off at night to avoid any distractions.

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