Guest Blog: Overseas Adventures in Spain!
Blogger Biography: Court F.B. is seeing Spain through the “glass half-full” lens of a newly minted military esposa (spouse).
They say that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, right? Being on one side of the fence (the fence being the Atlantic Ocean), while exciting and an adventure, was scary and intimidating at first. I was not only getting used to being married and a military esposa, but I now was living in an unfamiliar land where I BARELY spoke the language. (I REALLY wish I had paid more attention to Don Quixote senior year of high school, instead of talking to Renata about guys we thought were hot… actually I don’t regret that.). I’d love to say that when we first got here, I rode in on a glittered unicorn with angel wings and spun around Sevilla singing “I’m going to make it after allllllll!” before throwing my pillbox hat into the air, but it wasn’t quite that magical. I missed my family. I missed my friends. I missed my students. I missed teaching. I missed my local coffee shop. Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOVED all the traveling we got to do, all the opportunities we had, and the new friends we made, but dang, I was starting to bring myself down with all that “I miss” thinking. I was focusing so much on the stuff that I was “missing” that I was missing out on all the wonderful sights, smells, and sounds here. I mean, how could I have possibly overlooked the natural beauties of this country, like the Duchess of Alba????
Pessimistic thinking has never been my thang; always have been a “glass half-full” kinda gal. So when I started thinking about all the things I was missing and DIDN’T have here, I realized it was time to change my attitude. So I did. Instead of thinking about all the stuff from the States that wasn’t here (and let’s face it, we have a LOT here thanks to the Nex and Rota…shout out to Doddy), I started focusing on all the Spanish things, experiences, and people that I wouldn’t have or know if I were back in the States. I also came to the realization that we’ll eventually be back in the States, but I won’t always be twenty-seven and living in Spain with my Boo. I had to grab the toro by the horns and take a slice out of that crackerjack Spanish culture.
To keep me focused on the here and now, my new year’s resolution was to come up with one thing that I appreciate/is unique about Spain every day. I record them in my phone, and will publish the final list on the blog-o at the end of the year. Some days I get stumped, but I’ve been keeping with it, and come January 2013, I’ll have 365 Spanish memories tucked away. Here’s a sample:
January 1, 2012: the delicious freshly-baked bread
January 5, 2012: the Three Kings parade (complete with free cookbook)
January 9, 2012: the orange trees that line the streets in the winter and spring
January 15, 2012: the guys who show you empty parking spots on side streets
January 17, 2012: the Tio Pepe and Osborne cut-outs on the side of the highways
January 21, 2012: flamenco dresses
January 25, 2012: tinto de verano
February 22, 2012: the Spanish use gloves to handle produce (Yay hygiene!)
February 24, 2012: the Los Cuarenta radio jingle
February 26, 2012: being called champions by the Estambul kebab guy
March 3, 2012: being known as “Brouse Brouse” at the dry-cleaners
March 14, 2012: the sparkly Ramón from Morón
March 16, 2012: cheek kisses
March 24, 2012: alcohol is cheaper than water at bars/restaurants
March 30, 2012: the amusingly awful rollerbladers
April 2, 2012: bullfights
April 5, 2012: the Ed Grimley-like haircuts that the Spanish teenage boys like to sport
April 6, 2012: looooong Spanish lunches and socializing with friends
April 11, 2012: Carmen (the sassy dame from dance class who calls me ‘guapa’)
Today’s appreciation: Spanish jam
Spain’s not perfect, and I’ll still occasionally crave some foods from back home, but my glass of Spanish wine is back to being half-full. And it’s delicious.