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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

A portrait of the artist in Sevilla…


I love being surrounded by art! 

Be it music, painting, theatre, or dance…art fills you up and helps you to make new connections and to open up to the possibilities of creativity.

Last weekend I went to the inauguración of the new exposición de arte featuring the painting students in their senior show.  The gallery space, I had heard, was a sight to see…however I had never actually come across the space though I had class in the building almost every day…

I came to find out that the gallery was actually in the basement and to get there you had to take the elevator to floor (-2) labeled SÓTANO …a bit sketchy but al final I reached the space and it was bustling with art aficionados, family and friends who had come to view the impressive and imaginative works that were being displayed.

The show was breathtaking both in the sense of beauty and also in the sense of poignancy…each artist had his or her interpretation of several common works of literature (they were studying to be illustrators) and the show was organized thematically to reflect the various ways each text could be represented.

My friend Leticia’s work was quite remarkable because it was a blend of fantastic surrealism and dark tragidrama. Each painting contained within it a sort of vigor and passion that kept the viewers staring and thinking. 

It is refreshing to have such a thriving arts community here in Sevilla and I hope to become a part of it as the semester continues.  :)

más mañana...

Monday, March 22, 2010

¿¿Preguntas??

Ok so as many of you know Semana Santa is coming up so I thought I'd post some questions for you all about the week's festivities and traditions: (please feel free to post your answers I'd love to know what you all think)

How many Virgen Mary's are included in the Semana Santa processions?

How can you get a seat in the city center  to watch the processions?

What time/day do the processions depart form their 'home churches'?

What is the name of the traditional dessert made during semana santa?

bueno como siempre más mañana!!

The boys next door

:) lol so last night I came home a bit late because I had gone to see the Universidad de Sevilla's choral performance at the Catedral. It was a beautiful -un poco largo- but I really enjoyed seeing my friend sing and hearing the orchestra. 

Ps...apparently getting there early meant 'go to the preceding mass and then keep your asiento'.  ;) No one told me it was also the feast of St. Joseph- everybody was dressed to the nines and the church was packed!

So after the concert was over I headed back to my residencia. I walked up to my room but was having a bit of trouble with the lock on my door. I guess the guys next door heard me rattling the lock, because all of a sudden all three of them burst out of the room. I think they were expecting someone else because for a second we all just looked at each other confused.

But then we all burst out laughing and they were like where are you coming back from? I explained about the concert to which they responded -we should help you integrate more into the real Spanish culture lol I'm Manuel, Jesus, Julio ...etc, come on we will presentarte to the others.  So we then proceeded to meet 1/2 the building throughout the night as we shared music and YouTube videos while attempting but not quite successfully to go dancing at the nearby discotec. 

It was a funny and random way to meet the neighbors but I’m glad we have now been introduced. :)


mas mañana!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Culture shock...



A Few Notes From the Field:

1. So yesterday I needed to use the restroom during one of our descansos in art class. I followed the directions given to me at least I thought so...that is until I walked into the restroom to find two guys using the sink! 

Trying to recover I apologized saying "ay lo siento... me equivoqué..." but my attempted recovery was met with smiles and shaking of heads...confused- I stood in the doorway staring in bewilderment as one of the stall doors opened and a girl walked out!! Apparently it was a co-ed baño!!

I suppose it serves the same purpose and perhaps more economically...however socially it’s definitely different. But hey that’s why I'm here to experience and appreciate the culture...whatever that may mean.



2. I believe that all nations have their sacred foods...in Spain this high honor is held by two seeming simple things: 

CAFÉ Y PAN TOSTADO :)

The best part is that you can order them about 100 different ways and together the cost is about 1 euro.


Café: manchado, cafe con leche, cafe solo...etc 

Pan tostado: pan integral, tostado con aceite y tomate, tostado con jamón, mitad con mantequilla y mermelada...etc

Lol like I said everyone has their own order. It reminds me of the ridiculously specific starbucks orders in the US...except that here in Spain the more concise the better so you better know the distinct names the variation you like. 

And when foreigners enter a bar for the first time and order a "café" they are most often met with a quizzical expression and extended pause.... well what kind????


So for me its usually 'un manchao co' la mita' d'pan integral' lol we have been studying dialects in class so I thought I would try to simulate the cuban-in-andalucia accent ;)



3. Did I mention that when u walk into said bar you better be prepared because as soon as you squeeze in you hear "¡Dime!" which means 'tell me!' (the 'what you want' part is implied) and if no hay una carta you just have be ready to probar algo nuevo..."¡¡Buen provecho!!" 

¡Bueno... más mañana!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Birds of a feather...yup we stick together


So yesterday I attended a few new classes at the university...and first off lemme just say that I love my Arabic teacher! We learned all about Iraqi culture and how their dialect is very tied to their history and cultural values. haha apparently if you breed palomas people do not trust you because sometimes after you let them out to fly around you end up with other people's palomas asi que your word is not the most trustworthy or so society thinks. I imagine it’s a similar phenomenon con any language...take español por ejemplo: in Spain there are a million expressions that have to do with bulls and bullfighting. 

And then after dialectologia de arabe I was looking for my next class and ended up asking these two students if they knew which direction the room might be. lol so far I have learned that if you ask a Spaniard for directions chances are that if they begin with "ah si me suena... " it will be followed by "todo recto todo recto" which is great but how long should you go todo recto?? No one ever seems to clarify this but that’s another story...As far as I can tell Sevillanos are born with an innate sense of navigation via plazas and zonas peatonales.

Anyway although I was expecting to be told to just "keep going straight" the girl thought for a second and was like "dijiste aula 241?""Si" "Creo que estoy en la misma clase! :) So we walked all around the facultad til we found the classroom. We still had some time to kill so we decided to go for some tea at the tetería before class started. :)

lol I think the owner should hire me as a marketing rep hehe because each time he sees me come in with a new group of first-time-baklava-tasters ;) 

Apparently foreign exchange students although not quite birds of a feather indeed flock together ;) lol it was a German girl a Moroccan boy and me but 'la lingua franca' was español por su puesto. 

I felt like I was back in the International Pavilion at Elon lol but dubbed in Spanish...it was a strange phenomenon but definitely cool that we could communicate through a common language. 

After class the Moroccan dude invited us over to make crepes :) He went to cooking school and had worked in a restaurant in Paris for 5 years! lol so we were like ok!! And lemme say that crepes are one of the simplest cheapest and tastiest snacks you can have. 

The Recipe: 
8 huevos
harina
leche
azucar
sal
mantequilla
and you need a stove of course ;)

He taught us how to make the batter flip them and everything...and with a bit of nutella they were quite delicious!

We also met his flatmates who were really amable and they tried some of our crepes too. So despite the rainy day we were quite content with our snack and our earl grey tea.

well bon apetite y mas mañana!

Monday, March 1, 2010

¡¡Una Noche Cubana!!

In Mallorca we happened upon a litle Cuban cafe- and they were hosting a live salsa band Saturday night. So we decided to check it out :) and it was a blast! We met some other Cubans nd many other great characters...including the mojito lady who was dressed as Celia Cruz!

They played "Besame!" and Buena Vista Social Club and all that good stuff.

The singer came to our group and had us join him on the stage for a few songs, and later we all danced and learned some new turns and tricks. Lol who would have thought that we would have had to travel all the way to Los Beleares to find a taste of the Caribbean. :)

We also visited the cathedral in Palma, which has an altar piece by Gaudi and a contemporary mural by Miquel Barceló. It has a really modern look and it was fascinating. We stayed there trying to figure out all the meaning he tried to includ in his work. I think we all related better to that piece than to the older parts of the church.

Besides that we checked out the beaches and some of the smaller towns around Santa Ponca.

Bueno mas mañana...

¿Que es la lengua?

Un debate muy interesante...

El País:
http://blogs.elpais.com/papeles-perdidos/