Friday, February 21, 2014

Expat Blogger Challenge: Day 21

Day 21:

Taste Like Home

I don't even play this game. This is the downward spiral of thinking how many unsanitary items you touch in one day. It will only harm the mind and spirit.
What I will tell you is the top five places I'm going to become a constant regular at when I return home, in no particular order:
My Grandmother's kitchen.
 To eat well and to learn. In a culture where eating out means small portion tapas typically or cooking at home I've been enjoying learning how much I like the process of creating a meal. Who better to learn from than my Nini!
A quick whip-up from my Nini!
Five Guys Burger.
 A real burger. A malt with a burger.
Chica- fi-la.
It's been so long I'm not even sure if I spelled it correctly and I'm so scared to Google the information then find myself drooling at a picture of those crispy nuggets.
My Dad's Meatloaf.
 I'll be learning this recipe also and then devouring it often. He makes it every birthday dinner and I eat the majority every birthday dinner. The poor guy always finds something wrong with the dish that he'll have to change next time, and if he keeps thinking this we're going to have to have his head examined.
My other grandmothers peach cobbler.
My family of fools. This lady is old school and didn't write down her recipes. Her recipe for her Peach Cobbler that caused a many of odd knowledge about my cousins and odd fights too- corner pieces are worth teeth marks in my shoulder for weeks and I'll stand by that until I die.
 Sadly, this sweet Texas-flower has suffered some old age memory lose and not a soul knows the recipe, but this summer while crashing at my parents again I plan to visit her often for story time. Hopefully one of those stories will even include the baking process of her peach cobbler that has caused an adult male to carry around a bowl full of the gooey dish for hours until his stomach had made room for more goodness.

Dear reader what are the foods that get your mouth watering and your soul in a mood for a feast. I love hearing about the comfort foods of others- please share.
 Remember if you want to participate in the blogger challenge feel free to answer in the comments or leave a link for your blog.
Until Next time, Adios, Hasta Pronto, Be Blessed . . .

Expat Blogger Challenge: Day 19

My Accent.

Whatever this means to you, how does it affect your life now?

Hey y'all! Spanish folk always say I'm easier to understand when speaking English until they find out I'm from Texas and then all of sudden I start getting statements along the lines of " I can't understand you" and " at least you aren't as hard to understand as British people". Thanks for the compliment.
As for my Spanish accent, I'm all over the place:
If the conversation is switching between English and Spanish it's difficult for me to keep changing the way I hold my mouth and turn my tongue correctly.
If the conversation is strictly in Spanish and I know all the words I'm using then I've actually received compliments for my accent. Most people know I speak no other language than my native tongue and that I only began learning Spanish in September. Outside of reading a few of my favorite authors in Spanish I have not interacted before in the language.
 Funnily enough I tribute my non-accent and ability to learn an accent to my English Language crazy parents and my Theatre background. Both require the mastering of a clear tongue so that people sitting in the "sneak-out of a high school play early unseen" seats can hear you clearly and no one ever gives you flack for a jumbled conversation.

But let's not just allow the Spanish speakers a free-pass. When I first arrived in Madrid and people from all over the world were finding out where exactly I was going to be learning Spanish everyone said the same thing, "oh they drop the end of their words AND chew certain letters, good luck!". I honestly just thought it was a patrotic stereotype passed down, but little did I know the joy of hearing the full word, "Adios" until visiting Barcelona.
 Then when visiting Paris I held three conversation with three different random folks whose main focus during the conversation was how difficult to understand the Andulcian can be the majority of the time. Honestly it's easy to find this frustrating, but after traveling north and being able to communicate way better I'm thankful for the trail by fire and know that all my hardwork has paid off.
What languages other than your native tongue do you speak dear reader? Was it difficult to learn or easy as pie?
 How about understanding others in a second language, how does that process work for you. Again if you want to participate in the challenge feel free to answer in the comments section or post a link to your blog.

Until next time, Adios, Hasta Pronto, Be Blessed  . . .

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Expat Blogger Challenge: Day 17

This Sunset Brought to You by Cazorla, Jaen NOT Texas.

Day 17: If I didn't leave home I would have never seen . . .
Sunset in Cazorla, Jaen on Friday, February 14th 2013

Expat Blogger Challenge: Day 16

Let's Just Pretend I didn't Miss 7 Days.

Right just as it says in the title, I'm going to pretend I didn't miss seven days straight ( even though I did run around with my camera like a turkey taking photos for last Monday's topic.)  Moving forward . . . . . .

Day 16:   “It is a bitter-sweet thing, knowing two cultures. Once you leave your birthplace nothing is ever the same.” ― Sarah Turnbull

Again, I related to this quote as a mover. I know that some folks spend there entire lives in the same city. I'm close friends with a young lady in Texas who has only ever lived in the same metropolis, traveling often to other states, but maintaining the same area code for home her entire 36 years of life. Or, I've even met people living abroad with whom this particular living situation never occurred before and have only lived at home and away at university. Then there's me, I've moved more times that I've told people the phrase, "I moved a lot growing up". My dad is a coach and  my mom is an administrator they both have this ability to rebuild suffering schools and people caught on to that early.
This moving often resulted in me living in every region of Texas, but the Corpus Christie area. If you consider that the country of Spain fits inside the state of Texas you can then maybe understand better the notion that every region of Texas has it's own culture, accents, food, names, phrases and traditions.
 Don't believe ask someone from the Brazos area to throw a crawdad boil for someone from West Texas and play only Zydeco music the majority of the time. Your beloved West Texas pal will spend the majority of the time perplexed over the cooking process and ziesty music and why exactly this Brazos person sound so similar to someone from Louisiana. The comparisons are never ending. Growing up adjusting, living and socializing all over this great landscape of Texas has taught me more things than the times I've moved.
When people ask where my home is, I always respond that my home is where my loved ones reside. Whether that be beside me, two towns over or across the pond the people who hold my heart iare exactly where you can find my home. Because of this idea my home is always growing, changing, and adding new places to call home. So no I do not consider leaving my birthplace bitter sweet, only sweet. Sweet like a mothers milk, wrapped in comfort and nutrition to the soul.

Dear travels how do you relate to this quote, does it speak to you in a way that I could never understand. Just provide a link to your blog and answer in the comments section, I am truly interested.

Until next time, Hasta Pronto, Adios, Be Blessed . . .

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Expat Blogger Challenge: Day 9

Topic: "Expat Syndrome" is a condition whereby many expatriates see mostly either the best of their own nationality and the worst of the locals, or the opposite." - T. Crossley

Honestly, I cannot help, but think that this is the easiest mind frame to maintain when living in a different country. Remember the three definitions provided when introducing this here Blogger Challenge, the word "immigrant" was used.
 A natural process that goes along with being an immigrant is "assimilation" and in the process of assimilating to your new country it is natural to compare and contrast.

Finding the differences of each country is a natural thought process, but at some point a person must move forward from comparing and understand that the differences are what make cultures their own. The differences are tied to the history and the landscape, to the people's belief system and without them the geography would be different, but your new place would be just the same as the old.

A long winded analogy ( oh my this is actually a completely different literary element that I cannot remember at this time that answers to the definition: An extended analogy. Someone please help this English Major and Educator out with the answer, please):

Moving to a different country is the start of a new relationship and at first it's natural to compare the new to the old, but after some time you start to realize the comparison is only harming the new relationship and all that you could be enjoying from the experience. So then you simply let go of the past, not forget, but place in your mind attic to reach for in the form of memories.
 Occasionally you bring up the past relationship in times of frustration, but then you quickly realize this is helping none and move forward with a non-judgmental solution.
And just as many real life relationships end because wants, needs and expectations are not being met so can a persons time of living in a different country than their native land.
 But it's important to make sure the time ends not because the current could not compare to the past, but because the current is not what you need at the moment. What is that phrase people often say when referencing grass that has grown old, "Comparison is the theft of joy", remember this travel friends, remember this well.

Travel buddies, what is your opinion, do you agree with me or disagree? Or maybe you have  a more personal experience to convey and less broad? Share away, whether in the comments or with a link to your own blog.
Until Next Time, Adios, Hasta Pronto, Be Blessed . . .

Blogger Challenger Plays Catch-Up

I honestly planned on writing all of the blogs I missed and then due to events outside of my control I was unable to work on my laptop this week and became even further behind. I just don't have it in  me to write all the blogs I've missed, but I still want to participate in some form, so I've developed a challenge of my own: Complete each of the post I've missed in twenty words. No more, no less. Twenty on the dot. Hopefully this keeps it interesting while also keeping it simple.
If you too are participating remember to post a link to your blog in the comments, let me know your thoughts on the topic if you aren't participating on your blog- the more the merrier.

Day 1: The View from Where I Write
Café view.

I write everything at my desk or the teachers lounge at work or a nook at my favorite Jaen café.
Café seating.

Day2: "Not All Those Who Wander are Lost"- J.R.R. Tolkien

 I was, and many others are in the same boat. Thanks for the help travel, change always heals the spirit.

Day 3: An Object that Makes Me Feel at Home

Technology. Cell and Computer.  I can write, record, snap a picture or hold a video conversation with loved ones anytime.

Day 4: My 5th Post, A Look Back

Was education based and personal. I was definitely trying to figure out what type of blog I wanted to write.

Day 5: I Was at The Airport, and . . .

Met a fresh out of college National Geographic Travel Writer, who wants to return to India for a political career.

Day 6: I would/ would not move to another country after this . . .

Unless I was moving for my passion. I now know that my passion must always be at play in life.

Day 7: Since moving abroad, my pantry looks different because . . .

I have no frozen food. Food in containers in the fridge yes, but no frozen California Pizzas or dinner meals.

Day 8: I will never get use to . . .

How much I miss loved ones. Here, there, everywhere the amount I miss those folks could fill a black hole.

Please don't hold against me the lack of a full length blog and take into account that full length Barcelona blog that more than makes up for any loss. Remember I would love to read about your own adventures and opinions on the topics.

Until Next time, Adios, Hasta Pronto, Be Blessed . . .

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Expat Blogger Challenge . . . Let the Games Begin

The word "Expat" is an abbreviation for the word Expatriate. The definition for the word:
noun: expatriate; plural noun: expatriates
  1. 1.
    a person who lives outside their native country.
    "American expatriates in London"
adjective: expatriate
  1. 1.
    (of a person) living outside their native country.
    "expatriate writers and artists"
    synonyms:emigrant, living abroad, nonnative, foreign, émigré; More
    "expatriate workers"
    antonyms:indigenous, native
    • archaic
      expelled from one's native country.
verb: expatriate; 3rd person present: expatriates; past tense: expatriated; past participle: expatriated; gerund or present participle: expatriating
  1. 1.
    settle oneself abroad.
    "candidates should be willing to expatriate"
For the next month, the entire month of February , each and every single day I will be blogging about this here Expatriate life under a microscope.
 Below I'll include links to the daily blogs along with their topics, so you can pick and choose. I've also included a photo of the calendar for you snapshot folks and links to the Lady whose idea this writing frenzy belongs along with two of my fellow Spanish Language Assistants Holly and Madelyne who are also participating.
If you are a fellow expat wanting to join in feel free to do so and please post a link to your blog in the comments. So many experiences and different people blogging about the same topic for 28 days straight.
It could get interesting, I hope you'll follow along, you may learn some things about The Teacher.
Until Next Time, Hasta Pronto, Adios, Be Blessed . . .  
*Disclamer: I only found out about this Challenge today please allow me a week to catch up on the previously written blog challenges.
Click to Enlarge

Blogger Challenge Daily Blog Links
Days 1-8
Day 9
Day 16
Day 17
Day 19
Day 21