Hello there all darling readers (mum),
I apologise first of all for the cheesy title of this post and secondly, for how long it has taken me to update you all (mum). Well good news, if you are reading this, I now have internet in my lovely Spanish flat and have been living and working in Spain for a whole entire MONTH!
I have decided that each blog post I will give you all a cheeky tip on how to be Spanish:
#1 Put ‘qué’ – pronounced [kay] – in front of any Spanish adjective when claiming how delicious/cold/handsome/tired/hungry/angry (you get the picture) someone or something is… e.g. “qué guapo” – “How handsome/sexy/cute!” (depending on tone of voice); “qué frío!” – “Golly, it’s frightfully chilly!”; “qué rico!” = “OMG this is delicious!”
Anyway, back to the nitty gritty…
So far, my time here has been pretty great and I feel like I’m getting into the lovely, laidback rhythm of life here. Since my last post (3 weeks ago, I know, I’m sorry) I’ve become a fully-functionally Andalucian: I have a bank account with real euros in it; I have my Certificado de Empadronamiento (basically a piece of paper from the Town Hall saying that they know that I live here) which resulted in me realising that I’d been giving my wrong address to everyone; I have a Carrefour Spain loyalty card (it’s the small things in life, people!); I’m a fully-paid member at our local gym and a frequent participant in spin classes; I’ve braved a trip to a Spanish cosmetician; I’ve reverted my mealtimes to the following – breakfast at 11am, lunch at 4pm, dinner at 10pm-; I’ve eaten and drank my body weight in red wine, hams, tapas, paella and olives; I’ve developed the mentality that a night ending at 4am is early – think going to bed after breakfast, people!; and I’ve dropped all of my ‘s’s to speak as the Andalucians do (think gracia rather than gracias), although what certain professors will think of this on my return, I do not know…
Although I don’t have nearly as much time (I’m now part of the 9-6 daily grind) or money to travel here, I’ve still managed to get around to see quite a bit. Each Wednesday evening of this month our boss kindly took us to Málaga with her so that we could research, shop and generally be tourists while she did a course. In this time, Andreea and I explored all the little backstreets of the city, including some tapas bars where they actually give you one free with a drink (hallelujah!) and Pimpi, the famous bodega frequented by Antonio Banderas when he returns to his hometown (definitely worth a visit).
This past weekend, my friend’s family have been in town so I’ve managed to do lots of touristy things. Saturday we went to Ronda, one of the pueblos blancos (white villages) up in the mountains, and thus freezing (6 degrees!). It was absolutely gorgeous with amazing views across the countryside, plus I acquired a new leather handbag (being British and too polite to ask, Andreea’s Romanian mum, who speaks no Spanish may I add, and my Spanish friend bartered the price down from 75euros – 30euros for me – thanks, guapas!) and we met a REAL-LIFE BULLFIGHTER. Ronda is famous for its bullfights, so we will definitely be returning in the summer!
Sunday was spent with the family of my colleague (and friend) Ana. Her family have a house in the countryside near Estepona, so we spent a blissful afternoon riding the horse, picking oranges and being fed with amazing Spanish food cooked by her mum! I also realised that I hadn’t actually heard the full extent of the Andalucian accent until then…I’ve never heard such speed and so many words squished into one! I was having to translate from Andalucian into Spanish for myself, then into English for Andreea’s parents, so it was a pretty tiring evening. Ana’s sister’s boyfriend is also a bullfighter so he got out his cape and sword and was showing us how to torear. Hopefully he will be organising a fight in Estepona for the summer, which should be fun! [N.B. I do not condone bullfighting in anyway, but am merely curious to watch it, especially as here in Andalucia, they do not kill the bull.] Ana’s family are such an amazing example of how welcoming and friendly the Spanish are, and how important family is here in Spain. They made me feel so welcome, so thank you, my little apples!
I think you’ve probably gathered by now that I’m a little bit madly in love with Spain, and I have to say (soppily), being here has made me feel amazing, so happy (and healthy) I will definitely be making the most of seeing the sun everyday before 4th year rolls around 😦
Okay, enough of the soppiness. This weekend I’m off to Granada to see Rachel (and discuss our upcoming trip tp….MOROCCO!!!) so I’ll have plenty more to write about next time…
PS. I completely apologise for any spelling errors – I’m too used to typing on a Spanish keyboard now (and I also weirdly felt the need to type this in the HTML code…)