A Spanish Thanksgiving
25.11.2009 20 °C
Apart from the classes Matt dedicated to teaching his kiddos about Turducken, Thanksgiving would likely have quietly come and gone without as much as a glúglu (gobble, gobble) being uttered here in Vera. Since the Spanish obviously do not celebrate Thanksgiving and Matt and I aren’t planning on stuffing a turkey or searching for a cranberry bog later this afternoon, tomorrow will likely be a normal day (maybe we’ll at least eat a turkey sandwich or two). Still, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we thought we’d share a few things we’ve found ourselves to be most grateful for while we’ve been living in Spain.
* Mercadona- Mercadona is the grocery store in Vera that Matt and I frequent at least two or three times each week. The store is relatively smaller than most grocery stores in the U.S., but if you can’t find the food item you are looking for in Mercadona, you won’t find it anywhere this side of the Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains.
* Döner Kebab- Vera’s only “fast food” option. You choose a pita with meat from either the giant hunk of lamb or chicken rotating in front of a burner which is sometimes lit, and sometimes not. When it’s not lit, we chat with the only two employees who always work there while the meat slowly warms up. They are from Pakistan and speak limited Spanish, so between our Spanish and theirs, conversations are always an adventure. A highlight of my last visit was getting a High-Five from one of the workers when he finally understood what I was attempting to explain. All in all, trips to Döner Kebab are always a treat!
* Los Simpsons- Overall, I’ve come to the conclusion that Spanish TV is pretty awful. The options are typically strange game shows, cheesy dramas or telenovelas, or hours of the news on every single channel. However, The Simpsons are on during lunch time every day so we always take advantage of this opportunity.
* 15 Hour Work Weeks- We have a good job.
* E-Books- Since we tend to read books or novels in Spanish at the rate that turtles run marathons, it’s nice to be able to access books in English too. Matt’s Kindle doesn’t work internationally so it currently functions as a great paperweight, but my less hip Sony E-book reading device has allowed me to read quite a few good books since I’ve been here. In light of the fact that today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, I have to plug a book I recently read by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn called Half the Sky. It’s an excellent book about the role that women’s empowerment needs to play in international development so seriously check it out!
* The Detroit Lions- Every Monday Matt and I watch an online delayed broadcast of the Chicago Bears game. For the most part, it’s been a pretty rough season for the Bears. However, even though the Lions are off to a strong with their two wins, they still remain in last place behind the Bears. So, we are thankful for the fact that the Lions maintain a solid hold on that position.
* theofficefree.com- Aside from Matt’s infatuation with reality TV shows like The Bachelor, we’re not huge TV watchers. Still, we’re faithful followers of The Office and could not find a website that worked here until the season was well on its way. Thankfully, we now watch each episode only a day or two late and with minimal pauses as the videos load and buffer their way through each 22 minute program.
* Spanish fútbol- Everything in Vera is closed by 10pm. We work 15 hours a week. Spanish TV is pretty terrible. In other words, we get really excited when a soccer game is on.
* Choc D’ors- Matt and I have come to love these pre-packaged cookies. They are small crackers with a mini chocolate bar on top, kind of like a S’more without the marshmallow. Sounds simple, but they are magical.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!