I am going to try and sum up November in a nutshell, and that does not include Thanksgiving. This is because I’m having THREE Thanksgivings. The first was yesterday, the next is tomorrow and the final one is on the 30th. Overkill I know. I am going to rewind to a few Saturdays ago when at one of the local bars a friend of ours prepared a lunch for about 50 people. It was a fantastic Peruvian dish! Even better was the spiciness; there isn’t much food here in Spain that is as spicy as this dish was. After eating a fantastic meal with friends, we participated in a “poetry” contest…to be truthful it was writing something down on a piece of paper and then going up to the microphone and reading what you wrote. The catch was that it had to include the word “eco” somehow. So, we wrote a “poem” of course! After the poetry contest we listened to flamenco music. I am always enthralled when it comes to anything flamenco, especially the music. It is difficult to understand the lyrics, but I love it!!
On November 14th, there was a nation-wide strike protesting ALL of the cuts the government has made. It was called the Huelga General or the General Strike. All around Spain, stores closed refusing to sell items, people rode on bicycles with bullhorns, there were multiple marches through the streets at different parts of the day, city buses were running on minimum services…it was pretty powerful to see Spain more or less shut down all at once to make a powerful statement to the government. I looked on the internet later to see what the situation was in Mallorca. Their strike looks like it was just as large as the strike was here. There have been extreme cuts in public education, so many of my coworkers didn’t go to work and nor did the children….so I couldn’t go either. I had to cancel my private classes because I take the city bus to other towns to teach and that was nearly impossible. Logroño is a small city, so a friend and I decided to head downtown to watch the BIG march at night. There were SO many people. Many of my coworkers said they didn’t expect so many people to come! When I went to watch, I saw many of my coworkers. Afterwards, I just couldn’t get over how many people protested that day! The next day everyone was talking about the strike.
The picture of Gran Via from the local newspaper the day after
Last weekend for a friend’s birthday, we went to a town called San Vicente to tour a family owned bodega. My friend Andrea works in San Vicente and so we were able to get a free tour of the winery and try a few wines for free! We had a great time. After the tour, we went to get a pintxo with Andrea’s friends from San Vicente. The weather was poor, it was cloudy and sprinkling all day not to mention, it was COLD. For at least the past four weekends it has rained. We haven’t had a nice weekend in a month. Hopefully, that changes this weekend. Andrea’s friend José then gave us a tour of the small, quaint town. In San Vicente there is an old castle perched high on a hill with a wonderful view for miles!! With the bad weather we couldn’t see Logroño from the castle, but according to José when the weather is perfect you can see all of La Rioja from that spot. We asked José’s advice for a nice restaurant to have lunch for Emma’s birthday. He suggested a nice restaurant, which turned out to be a Michelin recommended restaurant!! It was decently priced, so that was a relief! We ate VERY well. Later, we went back to Logroño to take siestas before going out that night. All in all, I think Emma had a very successful birthday.
And finally, I’ve taken on a new private class in Arrúbal, one of the towns I work in. The town is 20 minutes away, but on the bus it takes about 50 minutes. I now give a private lesson to one of my students. I catch the bus at 7:10pm, get there at 8pm, give the lesson from 8-9pm and then I eat dinner with her family! It’s a nice set-up, this past Monday was my second class with her. Both times I’ve gone, MANY students from my school were waiting for me at the bus stop! I was shocked! Why are all these young kids in the street at 8pm?! Apparently, it’s normal in small towns. So, as soon as I step off the bus, all I hear is “Hola Estephanie!!!!” It’s cute. J
I stop this post here and I will write all about Thanksgiving after all three dinners have come and gone. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!