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Mis cosas favoritas

2 April 2008

After an intense bout of homesickness this evening (spurred on by bdmc saying “wouldn’t it be nice to be sitting on our front porch with a beer right now?”) I arrived back to the apartment to find a full jar of olives, an almost full bottle of wine and some jamon serrano awaiting me. All helped to assuage the homesickness and also got me thinking about my favorite things in Spain. So without further ado, mi lista de mis cosas favoritas (in no particular order, and to be added to in the future):

01) Jamon serrano: kicks the crap out of prosciutto. Sorry, Italy.

02) Olives: they just taste better in Spain. (And there’s my white person statement for the day).

03) Walking through Retiro Park on my way to class: I doubt I will ever again have this beautiful of a walk to “work.”

04) And, oh yeah, “working” for three hours a day: okay, granted, this is specific to our trip and not completely about Spain, but not working beats the crap out of working.

05) The Spanish Language: it’s just so much more descriptive and flowery than the English language. Everything is just a little more beautiful/funny/interesting in castellano.

06) Four hundred verbs meaning “to lay down”: so you know how Inuits have about a thousand words for snow? The Spanish have about a thousand verbs that all basically mean “to lay down.” No wonder this is the country that created the proverb, “How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards.”

07) El Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Reina Sofia: We live in a city with three fantastic museums, not to mention other galleries and exhibits dispersed throughout Madrid.

08) The satisfying “thunk” of a cork being pulled from a €3 bottle of wine that kicks the living crap out of a $15 bottle of US wine. Now that’s the sound of progress.

09) Sitting in a bar or restaurant with friends and suddenly looking up and remembering that I’m in another country: it’s strange how quickly you start to feel like this foreign country is your own. That is, of course, until you try to pay your bill and the bartender asks you something in Spanish and you completely misunderstand him and it all goes downhill from there and then somehow you find yourself washing dishes for the rest of the evening. But for a short period of time, it almost feels like home.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Spirit of 73 permalink
    2 April 2008 9:14 pm

    I love the smell of Madrid. I think it’s the Olive Oil. When I returned for a short trip after the year I spent there, the first thing that hit me was the smell.

    After a game in the Bernabeu, I know you’ll be adding another to your list. That stadium is the most impressive and intimidating that I have ever seen.

  2. hoolaha permalink
    3 April 2008 10:27 am

    I read your list and nodded affirmation: the no working part (!!!), the parks, the galleries, the food, and, yes, those olives and the wine!

    ….and then the resting. ; )

  3. conison permalink
    3 April 2008 3:24 pm

    Spirit of 73, WTF?!?!??!!!!

    I’m completely aghast that you would put some sissy soccer field above the stately stadium on the Olentangy, the temple to all that is temporally holy on this good green earth—the singular reason we have the months August thru January—on the list of imposing sports venues.

    That YOU, above anyone, YOU who dressed up as Woody Hayes for every Halloween between birth and the age of 15; YOU who, every November, shaves his head and subsequently recreates the hallowed Buckeye helmet on it; YOU who uses the obscure screen name of “Spirit of 73” in reference to your favorite OSU team, would dare such a cultural, nay, patriotic, nay, fundamentally offensive transgression astounds me. I might actually go to the aeropuerto tonight just to get a ticket so I can fly home and beat some ever-loving sense into you!

  4. Countess of Cava permalink
    3 April 2008 5:39 pm

    This is all too much fun!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE the list. Spain does have that incredibly distinct smell of olive oil. I remember asking both Matthew and Alison when they had arrived in Madrid (at different times), “Does Spain still smell so wonderful?” I really need to get back to Spain…A.S.A.P!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just ordered four jars of olives from La Tienda.

  5. Spirit of 73 permalink
    4 April 2008 9:13 pm

    Ah, the 1973 team. Two All-Americans on offense, two others who would be the following year. Two All-Americans on defense, three others who would be the following year. Virtually the entire starting squad drafted into the pros and/or All-Big Ten. Four shutouts, three of them in consecutive weeks. Only twenty points surrendered through the first eight games, and seven of those were against the third teamers in a blowout. Three players who ranked in the top six in the Heisman balloting, a LB at #6, a RB at #5, and… drum roll… AN OFFENSIVE TACKLE AT #2!

    I fear we shall never again see the likes of the 1973 Ohio State Buckeyes, may the hymns of their praises never cease.

    But MC, your threats of physical violence against my person, coming as they do from such a distance, have all the courage and menace of George Bush sitting behind a desk in the Oval Office telling the Iraqis to, “Bring it on!” I shall undertake, starting this night and lasting through to next Friday, every evening when the clock sounds out seven rings of the bell and the sun nears the western horizon, to present myself on my front porch. There I shall lay a meter ruler out on the ground, drop my pants to my ankles and present an exposed expanse of skin which you may freely wallop for a period of no longer than five minutes. But if after a week your threat proves an idle one, know that I shall expel in your general direction a vile cloud of such despicable flatulence, that it can only take the name MC.

  6. conison permalink
    5 April 2008 11:45 am

    That sounds reasonable.

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