Archive for the ‘bread machine’ tag

Tata for now

without comments

Alright, I know I said I would write about Madrid, and I will.  I still need to sort out the photos and things first, and then I can finish writing about it.  After all, a picture is a thousand words.

It’s come to the end of the first “cuatrimestre” here in Valencia, and tomorrow I’m about to jet back to the familial abode for, in theory, rest and relaxation.  In reality, it’s going to be two weeks of solid, horrible revision in preparation for the exams literally the day after I arrive back after the break.

The festive feeling is quite strange here.  For one thing, the trees are full of oranges (which are now starting to drop and be squashed and annoying on the pavement, adding to the instinct that you need to develop to avoid the dog shit) and there are no mince pies.  Christmas is not Christmas without mince pies.  Another thing is how it can still be 18ºC in winter.  I’m not complaining, but it’s strange!

Naranjos! Tarongers! Orange trees!

Naranjos! Tarongers! Orange trees!

Then there are the usual Christmassy things, like huge nativity scenes (see below for the one in my School) and humungous Christmas trees (like the one in the main square).  The one in my School is studded with notes to the Reyes Magos (Three Wise Men, or in the case of one, to “Gauss, Fourier and Laplace”) asking for improvements to the department building or for certain lecturers to improve their personal habits.  I should’ve noted them down, some of them were pretty inventive…a tradition that would be pretty cool to introduce in Bristol!

Nativity scene in my Escuela

Nativity scene in my Escuela

Christmas tree in Plaza del Ayuntamiento

Christmas tree in Plaza del Ayuntamiento

Another thing I encountered the other week in my School was this bizarre trophy, given for the traditional troupe of male singers, musicians and general merrymakers, called a “tuna”.  Apparently it’s “la Dama de Elche”, whoever she is, but to me she’s more like Princess Leia.  Decide for yourselves…

La Dama de Elche and/or Princess Leia

La Dama de Elche and/or Princess Leia

I meant to mention before about the concept of “botellón”, which features quite largely in the life of the yoof in Spain.  Essentially it’s a huuuuge number of people that take to the streets en-masse to drink between about midnight and 5 or 6am.  In Valencia it’s in the roads around one of the campuses of the Universidad de Valencia and there’s usually literally hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands over the course of the night) of students.

Botellón in Tarongers

Botellón in Tarongers

The idea is to get very drunk, very cheaply.  The streets quickly become littered with discarded Fanta bottles and the glass of vodka and rum bottles is smashed everywhere.  It’s not unusual at all to turn up with glasses and ice too, or the dedicated (aka boy racer chavs) bring their cars with pimped-up stereos for entertainment.  Fanta (or coke) with the cheapo 56-cent cartons of red wine to make “tinto de verano” (or “calimocho” with coke) is a surprisingly popular combination.

Oh, one last thing, here is the infamous 24-hour bread machine of Benimaclet.  So useful, practically right outside my door, and full of fresh baguettes baked the same day.  Why don’t they have more of these around the place?

24-hour bread.  What more could you ask for?

24-hour bread. What more could you ask for?

The last few months have gone as fast as anything, and I expect the next will go even faster.  So tata for now to Valencia, and see you in the new year.  ¡Felices Fiestas!

Written by Benjamin

December 19th, 2008 at 5:02 am