29 November 2007

You know you´ve lived in Spain when....

I just joined this group on facebook titled you know you´ve lived in Spain when..... and they have a funny list about living in Spain which sums up quite well some spainisms, so I thought I would share my favourites.... (The italics are my explanations for the unexplained spainisms).

1) You think adding lemonade, fanta or even coke to red wine is perfectly acceptable. Especially at lunch time.

2) You can't get over how early bars & clubs shut back home - surely they're shutting just as you should be going out?

3) You've been part of a botellon. a drinking party held in the street/a plaza/anywhere

4) You think it's fine to comment on everyone's appearance.

5) Not giving every new acquaintance dos besos seems so rude.

6) On msn you sometimes type 'jajaja' instead of 'hahaha'

7) You think the precious aceite (olive oil) is a vital part of every meal. And don't understand how anyone could think olive oil on toast is weird.

8) You're amazed when TV ad breaks last less than half an hour, especially right before the end of films.

9) You forget to say please when asking for things - you implied it in your tone of voice, right?

10) You love the phenomenon of giving 'toques' - but hate explaining it in English. (Calling someone on their mobile and hanging up before they answer so that they see a missed call from you on their phone)

11) You don't see sunflower seeds as a healthy snack - they're just what all the cool kids eat.

12) You know what a pijo is and how to spot one. (yuppie)

13) Every sentence you speak contains at least one of these words: 'bueno,' 'coño,' 'vale,' 'venga,' 'pues nada'...

14) You know what 'resaca' means. And you probably had one at least once a week when you lived in Spain. (hangover)

15) You know how to eat boquerones. (fresh anchovies)

16) A bull's head on the wall of a bar isn't a talking point for you, it's just a part of the decor.

17) You eat lunch after 2pm & would never even think of having your evening meal before 9.

18) You know that after 2pm there's no point in going shopping, you might as well just have a siesta until 5 when the shops re-open.

19) If anyone insults your mother, they better watch out...

20) It's not rude to answer the intercom to your flat by asking 'Diga?' (Speak!)

21) The fact that all the male (or female) members of a family have the same first name doesn't surprise you.

22) You know that the mullet didn't just happen in the 80s. It is alive and well in Spain.

23) You know the difference between cojones and cajones (testicles & drawers), tener calor and estar caliente (to feel hot & to be horny), bacalao and bakalao (cod & a type of disco music), pollo and polla (chicken & penis), estar hecho polvo and echar un polvo (to feel exhausted & to have sex) ...and maybe (definately!) you learned the differences the hard way!

24) On a Sunday morning, you have breakfast before going to bed, not after you get up.

25) Floors in bars are an ideal dumping ground for your colillas (cigarette butts), servilletas (serviettes) etc. Why use a bin?!

26) You see clapping as an art form, not just a way to express approval. Olé (the flamenco clap)

27) You know ensaladilla rusa (russian salad) has nothing to do with Russia.

28) When you burst out laughing every time you see a Mitsubishi Pajero (thanks Stuart Line for reminding me of that one!) (Pajero means wanker in Spanish)

29) You have friends named Jesus, Jose Maria, Maria Jose, Angel, maybe even Inmaculada Concepcion...

30) When you make arrangements to meet friends at 3, the first person turns up at 3.15...if you're lucky!

31) Central heating is most definitely a foreign concept. In winter, you just huddle around the heater under the table & pull the blanket up over your knees...and sleep with about 5 blankets on your bed!

32) Aceite de oliva (olive oil) is 'muy sano' (very healthy), of course. So you help yourself to a bit more.

33) When women think that clear bra straps are in fact invisible.

34) When it's totally normal for every kitchen to have a deep-fat fryer but no kettle.

35) When you know what a guiri is / have been called one (slang word for foreigner)

36) When you add 'super' in front of any adjective for emphasis

37) Blonde girls actually start to think their name is 'rubia' (blondie)

38) When you accept that paying with a 50 euro note is going to get you a dirty look if you're buying something that costs less than 40 euros

39) If something is great, it's 'de puta madre'

40) You can eat up to 5 times a day - first breakfast, 2nd breakfast around 11.30, almuerzo, merienda, cena

41) You know the jingle for Los Cuarenta Principales...

43) If you see someone wearing a T-shirt with something written on it in English, you can almost guarantee it won't make sense. (Pebble Night was a personal favourite)

44) When you go into a bank/bakery etc, it's standard practice to ask 'Quien es la ultima?' Who´s the last one?

Now I am going to add a couple of my own.

45) You no longer crave fresh milk

46) You actually start to believe that you might catch the cold of death if you go barefoot in inside the house.

47) You no longer put the plug in to wash the dishes.

48) You bring a toothbrush/toothepaste to work to brush your teeth after lunch.

49) You think its normal to drink champagne at the end of the meal instead of at the beginning (or all the way through for that matter!)

50) You love lentils

51) You know what a pressure cooker is and how to use one

52) The idea of blood sausage or pigs cheek doesn´t make you dry retch but lunge for the plate with a salivating mouth.

53) You know how to tell by taste if the jamon (iberian ham) you are eating is pata negra (black foot)


23 November 2007


Being that most of my english speaking friends here are American, last night I celebrated my first ever Thanksgiving. It was held, most obviously at an Irish bar call Flaherty´s who put on a pumpkin soup, turkey baked dinner with cranberry sauce and apple pie (complete with the american flag as seen above) feast. In Spain, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, we usually just eat a salad for dinner, so I was midly concerned that I wouldn´t fit it all in, but as often happens, I suprised myself with my eating powers and polished off the whole lot including mopping up all the gravy with bread to leave my plate looking like it just popped out of the dishwasher - sparkling... TUBS! I thought there may have been some special Thanksgiving songs that I could learn but that was just little ol ignorant me who thought it was kinda like Christmas with jingle bells cheer. They said that some people say one by one what they are thankful for but most there seemed to think that was a pretty daggy thing to do. Bummer, I was gonna be thankful for the american dollar being so weak so that when I go there next year my euros will be like pure gold.

Here we all are at the table, being thankful for yummy food and digital cameras. Viva America!

21 November 2007

El Campo & The Blog Premier of the new hair!

On Sunday we went to a friend of Marcos´s family (Valentina & Isidro - I LOVE the name Valentina!) house in the country to eat Migas. Yes the main purpose of the day/trip was to cook and eat Migas. (Eating is just about as important to spanish culture as drinking outside on a hot day is to aussie´s (or probably just drinking in general)). Their country house is in the village of El Pedroso, where Ms Mum grew up. 60kms from Sevilla. Marcos´s family also have a little house in the same village, though its best not to enter it in case the roof falls on your head which is very likely considering its state. They also have a property, that Ms Dad spends alot of time on, though it doesn´t have a house on it yet, it has what we call "the ruins" which will one day be turned into a house when/if Marcos gets off his fat ass and designs one, we are unsure which will come first, his drivers licence or the house, probably neither. Anyway, Valentina & Isidros house is on a beautiful big property and they grow lots of fruit & veg, lots of which gets passed on to us.

Migas are a traditional country meal, cooked on an open fire using stale bread, lots and lots of garlic, sometimes potatos and chorizo. The sheep hearders eat this for breakfast because with this in their bellies they could be out without having to eat again all day. (It sits like a brick in your guts!)

Of course it can be made just by one person but its much more fun in a group with everyone gathering around the fire to take turns in stirring it. The bread goes in, pre soaked, so its wet, and you have to mix it until the water evapourates and the bread gets dry and crunchy like breadcrumbs. This can take over an hour so taking turns stirring is easier on the old arms.

I was given a turn stirring for photographic purposes, (look new hair!) but was quickly kicked out by the bossy spanish types saying that I stir too slow. Bah! Don´t worry though, what I make up for slowness in the stirring stakes, I give back in the eating stakes. After its done we set up a table outside and all stand round digging in with spoons, no double dipping rules here. The plastic bottle in the foreground of the pic that looks like petrol is actually mosto, a young red wine also drank in the countryside particalarly for its cheap and nasty attributes. Yummy! Tastes like Benadril! Marcos warned me to eat slow cause I had no idea what I was waiting for if I ate too much. Of course I didn´t listen to him and then at home at 7pm I had to go lie down cause I felt like I was carrying triplets and couldn´t stop thinking (and feeling) about all that bread in a big triplet lump in my belly.
And I leave you with a pic of me (with new hair!) cracking open almonds (taken from Ms Dads property) with a hammer, which was suprisingly fun, and at which I was suprisngly good at.

14 November 2007

Stupid Job.

Can´t I just get a job, that I like, that is stable, that pays me decent money IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK???????

SO it seems that Kristy/Spain/October always brings the latest job debacle... its not 100% yet, but things are grim at the mo. At my work, since I started here there hasn´t been much work to do, I don´t even know why they hired another designer, (there are 16 of us) but its been quiet for ages, in July they fired one guy (well didn´t renew his contract), then last week they fired 2 other people, told them one afternoon and the following day was their last day. They said there will be more to come so the atmosphere here is really dodgy, everyone wondering who will be next. My contract finishes in Feb, so it makes sense that I will be one of the next ones to go... It will really fuck everything up for me here cause I have to renew my visa in Jan, can only renew it with a contract - which they probably won´t give me....that means I have to start looking for a job NOW to start in Feb - but to who will give me my contract by Jan!!!!

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Oh the stress!! Stupid fucking Spain.

So who knows what they hell is going on. I don´t even know if I want to be a designer anymore. I am sick of it. I hate people.

I applied for a job as a tour guide - they said people with mortgages shouldn´t apply cause the pay was too unstable. What about people who pay rent? What about people who need to eat regularly? Stupid jobs. It has been suggested that I teach english full time, (I do 3 classes a week with people who don´t seem to know yet that my english is terrible and I don´t even know how to recognize a noun). I think this will make me want to neck myself. I was asked what the difference was between, alot, lots of, many, some. I didn´t even know how to explain it. Stupid english.

On a brighter note (not) I went to the dentist today and my tooth really hurt while they drilled a cavity so they gave me craploads of anesesia (can´t even spell that see! crap english teacher!) and one side of my face is paralized (temporarily) up to my eye! It feels weird. Only half of my face can smile and not until I feel spit on my chin do I realise I am dribbling.

Stupid dentist.

8 November 2007

Welcome to the world little baby Isabelle

Carrie´s sister just gave birth to this cute little alien! Look at its freaky funny wrinkly hands! So cute!

6 November 2007


A full set of all my photos can be seen at this web link....




Back on Spanish soil & VIVA España! Everything become cheaper and in a language I could impress Tula with. In France we were trying to throw a few french words around, Tula becoming amazingly good at saying Merci in a perfect french accent and everything. I was quite jealous. Italy was totally impossible cause we hardly came across anyone that spoke Italian anyway. In Barcelona the catalans were tre impressed with my spanish, especially the fact that I spoke with an andalucian (southern) accent! I have an accent!

First night out and we had a lovely dinner, all that I had been telling Tula about how Spain is Oh so much cheaper came true when when we order a set menu for 18 euros that included a jug of wine, then we spot champagne on the menu for a mere 6.50! Viva España! Of course we decided to celebrate this and order a bottle to have with our entrees! Viva Hangover! Here is the Tula with said champagne.

Next day out and the champagne continues to flow during our day doing all the Antonio Gaudi sites. We stopped for a picnic in Park Güell with cute little mini bottles of champers to keep us suitably tired (good idea at the time) whilst seeing La Sagrada Familia afterwards.

After a champagne induced siesta we were ready for a big night on the town, dinner, red wine, more red wine in a local bar whilst waiting for the absinthe bar to open, (the spanish start late). The absinthe bar is quite cool except for the people who run it. Nasty bunch, I am sure Picasso would have bitch slapped those a-holes. It is supposedly kept in its original state from the days that Picassso and the cool art crowd used to get loopy on absinthe there. "original state" here means really bloody dirty - cobwebs and all. You get a big glass of absinthe, a spoon, sugar cube and a bottle of water and you gotta pour the water over the sugar cube placed on the spoon.

Here is Tula before she realised SHE WAS VERY VERY DRUNK, still happy, smiling and able to remember what she was doing.

We moved on from there pretty quickly, to another bar that is decorated inside to look like you are in a forest - here we realised Tula was VERY DRUNK from the absinthe. Tula doesn´t not remember even being here, (and the vodka wasn´t helping this) nor does she remember the impromtu photoshoot in the bathroom of the bar. Drunky Drunky!

The next day she suffered from a nasty absinthe hangover, and had to ask for a bag to vomit in while we were in topshop. I was buying a a really cool belt so left her outside to suffer the shame of dry retching on a spanish street on a weekday. Poor Love. Cool belt.