The list goes as follows:
1. Every day, in reality, gives the impression of two days because of the whole siesta thing. I wake up early to run, go to school for two or three hours depending on the day, walk around and explore until around 2:30, which by that time means the day has ripened to be blazing hot, and it’s time to eat lunch. Immediately after lunch everyone falls asleep and hibernates until around 5 (usually I don’t sleep that long), and then it’s as if there’s a whole new day ahead of me because everyone stays out until 1am or later. As we were talking at school today, we came to the conclusion that hours feel like days and days feel like weeks. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing, but it’s definitely a different change from the states. My mom should probably come to live here because this is how her perfect days are anyway 🙂
2. There’s no such thing as a gallon of milk. Moreover a plastic container of milk. Or even cold milk, for that matter. Everything is boxed here (which tastes exquisite, by the way), and half of the time, people just keep the boxes on their counters and drink it lukewarm. Due to the fact that thick lukewarm milk (I’m not sure if there is even such thing as skim milk here…but if there is, I have yet to find it) is the most repulsive thing ever, I always drink it scalding hot for breakfast.
3. McDonalds is a hotspot for wifi, gypsies, and adorable little black babies that have an impressive amount of swag. Yeah – his collar is popped.
4. Aside from tapas bars (not to be confused with the topless bars), there are tons of churrerias, panaderias, and shops labeled “frutas secas” (which I recently learned does NOT mean “dry fruit”, but rather “nuts”, such as in trail mix. These wonderful little stores are equivalent to the US gas stations and are where I frequently go to satisfy my diet coke addiction because it’s just so dang good. The churrerias are absolutely delicious and the drinking chocolate, robust, decadent, flavorful, to-die-for drinking chocolate, is way to tempting as I walk by. I swear, all of the bakeries here must have fans that waft out the tantalizing smell of homemade bread and sweets. Weirdly enough though, actual chocolate is relatively hard to come by, but gummy and hard candy is all the rage. (below is a picture we took at a churreria right outside of our school that we stopped by this morning)
5. Speaking of bread, it appears either as if wheat bread is almost non-existant over here, or that I am just blind, although I’ll have to argue against the latter because I haven’t walked short-sightedly off of a cliff yet. Everyone meanders around carrying freshly-made baguettes (extremely slowly, might I add – there’s no hurrying around here) that are sold everywhere you look, but even the bakeries and grocery stores don’t carry wheat bread as far as I’ve seen. Well, aside from this one “diet and nutrition” store we walked by that was selling the most delicious warm loaves of whole wheat nut bread in THE WORLD. Also, baking soda, peanut butter, chocolate chips, Reeses, root beer, amongst other things, are no where to be found. Which means no baking cookies for me over here in the easy-bake-oven-sized kitchens. Not that I want any of these, but it’s just an observation.
6. Spaniards are social butterflies from the time they are wee little bebés. Seriously even the tiniest children stay out later than I do – and there are a surprising amount of them. It’s like the back row of sacrament meeting out here on the streets every night! Mothers and fathers alike push the most ADORABLE baby carriages all around town. I need to take more pictures of the strollers because they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, both modern and vintage looking, and are very far from your typical American let’s-go-to-walmart-and-buy-an-ugly-plastic-contraption-that-we-won’t-care-about-being-stolen-when-we-take-it-to-disneyland stroller. It makes me want to have a baby just so I can push it around in one and have it wear cute little baby TOMS at the same time. Except…oh wait, not really. I like sleeping at night. Yesterday we went to the Sergio Dalma concert (amazing by the way…imagine crowds of people in a huge open field surrounded by ancient walls built by los musulmanes…) and there were several couples who set out blankets and had their tiny children sleeping in the middle of the field so that they could drink, smoke, and listen to the music.
7. Couples here have no shame, either. Dating someone? Let’s let everyone know by making out in the middle of the plaza. In all honesty, seeing all of the old people dancing in the plaza and holding hands whenever music starts to play is incredibly endearing, and it makes me wish that I saw more of it in the States. PDA (public display of affection) here is no small matter, and it appears as if often, there is no shame in showing love (or rather, awkwardly deep passion) for one another. I’m not going to lie, for the most part it’s pretty disturbing, but there are some cases where it just makes my heart melt.
I guess the takeaway message from this is unless you’re old, it’s gross and the rest of us single people don’t like it rubbed in our face. Just saying.
So instead of lamenting, we just go shopping. Because we’re cool like that.