July 2014 Vignettes

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There is an argument to be made that we are very much turning Spanish.

Like many of the Granadinos around us, we too have taken the month of August off (at least where this blog is concerned).  I do appreciate the handful of emails from complete strangers seeing if everything is all right and asking how we are carrying on.  It’s flattering to know that some folks are trying to keep up with us.  Some sound rather disappointed there haven’t been posts lately.

We have subjects of numerous posts planned, but life has been so busy traveling for 3 weeks in the UK, meeting new friends, opening bank accounts, procuring phones, and all the other tasks needed to settle a family in a new town that I’m so exhausted by night’s end to be able to muster up a blog post.

With that said, here are some snippets from my wife’s personal Facebook account that you may enjoy.  In a nutshell, we’re getting along stupendously (a popular word here in Spain – estupendamente!).

June 30

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So how exactly do you pack for 1-2 years in Spain?!?  Why with 6 checked bags, 2 tablets, 2 laptops and 1 ukulele….Travel day is here!  Going well so far, A&V are playing Minecraft on the tablets at the airport bar with some random new friends, Radhi and Jed are drinking beer and watching some World Cup soccer.

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July 4

In Spain, but the morning routine is exactly the same.  Get up, find the iPads, and veg out for a while.  Jet lag is kicking our butts.  Fortunately the time zone change works in our favor here.  We’re staying up later, sleeping in, and taking siestas.

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July 9

Let the boys stay up past midnight so we could go down to the plaza to watch the World Cup outdoors near the bars and restaurants. Jed did this last night and sat next to the same older guy on this park bench. He is totally the Spanish version of my dad!

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July 10

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Productive day today!  Jed got the boys signed up for a week long fútbol camp next week. I’m signed up to try out a Spanish language school tomorrow morning.  V read two more ebooks, making a total of 6 books read over the last two days. A did some sketches of the flowers in the neighborhood while I took some photos.

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July 12

Started the day nervous about taking Spanish classes after 20 years.  Reminded myself that our year in Spain is precisely to push all of us out of our comfort zone.  Ended the day with some incredible paella at our neighbor’s house and a preview of the super moon over the Alhambra!

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July 19

Found a store that sells Indian spices in Granada.  And guess what? It’s owned by a man from Gujarat, India, same state as myself!  I spoke to him in a combination of Gujarati, Spanish, and English.  Quite hilarious.

July 20

Working on flash cards to practice Spanish verbs today. Seemed kind of nerdy at first, but got to “caer”, “crear” and “creer” and decided that the flashcards are absolutely necessary!

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July 21

Another lovely dinner party at a neighbor’s house last night.  Yep on a Sunday night from about 10pm to 2am.  They hosted an international dinner so I had to come up with another Indian dish besides my cousin’s Chicken Makhani recipe which I already made for neighbors two nights ago.  I’m a one trick pony when it comes to Indian food, this could be trouble.  I went with Channa Masala (Chole) since it looked like a pretty forgiving dish.  One of the ingredients is ginger/garlic paste which would be easy with a food processor, but ended up being rather time consuming when I had to finely chop the two ingredients since our house does not have a food processor.  Everything turned out fine and the dish tasted pretty good.

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Jed and I got some great practice listening to the quick Spanish of our neighbors. We even managed to ask some basic questions of everyone. We learned that one neighbor was French and ended up in Granada 25 years ago when his car broke down on the way to Africa.  We met a woman that was half Egyptian and half Austrian.  Our late dinner accommodated her fast for Ramadan.  She has two beautiful sons that are also part German and make me think of our sons in a few more years.

A&V are learning to keep themselves entertained with the other neighbor children as the adults interact and talk.  They sometimes look bored but when asked if they want to go home early, they always refuse.

Parties like last night make me realize how much further I have yet to go in my Spanish language ability, but it also reminds me why the work will be well worth while.

July 26

Snails?!?  Sure, why not.  A has been bugging me to try snails since I had them a week ago with friends from my language school. V&A both tried them which was excellent.  Though I can’t say that either ate more than 2 or 3, nor do I think they will be rushing back for this particular tapa.

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July 31

Need a haircut before you leave for vacation? No worries, the stylist will be at your house tomorrow morning! The benefits of living in a walking community. Our stylist was tired of working in salons so she now makes a living cutting hair at home for much of the neighborhood.

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10 thoughts on “July 2014 Vignettes”

    1. Yeah, it was great. Unfortunately most of the neighbors we met in July have been gone for at least a portion of August (as were we) so unfortunately it feels as though my Spanish has regressed. Hopefully everything picks back up again in September.

  1. We were thinking of getting the same size paella pan!!! We have a little courtyard space, but l have a fear of upstairs neighbors dropping things..lol! We will stick with the 30cm one l think for the stove. Snails!!! Yum! He doesn’t like them, but l love it. We are working on the bank opening now..insane how complicated they make things! 🙂 . He got so frustrated, he’s like..let’s leave this place!!! Umm..no! He’s so anxious to get it so we can get cable (it’s always about football..lol). I’m fine with the regular tv. I like the little snippets of life and can’t wait to hear about your adventures In the U.K.

    1. You’ll have to let me know if they make you buy life insurance with your bank account. Seems to be a thing down here. Definitely no such thing as “free” checking here.

      1. No..they didn’t. I was halfway expecting them to though…lol! At least La Caixa didn’t. You’re right, no such thing as free checking! Not even ING direct ..One more thing crossed from the checklist. Now, hopefully our stuff will arrive first week of September and will feel settled surrounded by our stuff.

        1. Weird. We setup a La Caixa account as well and I couldn’t talk my way out of it as it seemed mandatory. Oh well. I suspect you’ll feel a lot more settled once you own “stuff” arrives. All the best, Kemkem.

    1. I don’t know how to say ‘mohawk’ in Spanish, so it ended up just being a regular cut. Oh, and he already has a twin…you’d be triplets! It’s the other one that actually likes to rock the ‘hawk more often.

  2. Looking forward to August updates. BTW, are you guys following the Vuelta? I suspect people must be pretty excited with Contador on top, redeeming himself.

    1. We’re not actively following the Vuelta, but did get to see the end of one of the stages as it passed through a portion of town. My wife and kids got waylaid on a city bus on the way to swim lessons one evening and they got out and saw the peloton go whooshing by. I’ve actually heard more chatter amongst the locals with regard to the World Cup of basketball, which is being hosted by Spain (of which Granada is one of the hosting cities of the early group stages).

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