Tuesday, January 29, 2013

not actually a representative list

Sorry it's been a while since I've updated, y'all! To be honest, I've been colossally boring--lots of "going to work" and "planning lessons for my private classes" and "buying groceries" and "walking the dog in the rain." Not exactly the stuff of dreams here. My January slump has been compounded by Lugo's awful weather. It hasn't been bad for the last few days, but there was a good two-week stretch where it rained every. single. day. This did not inspire me to get out and explore. Shocking, I know.

So. What have I been doing? I'll share a few highlights.

1. I have been eating Mexican food.

My friend K. and I made an expedition to La Capital Azteca (The Aztec Capital), Lugo's one and only Mexican restaurant. Turns out it's pretty delicious. Even if they don't put ice in their margaritas, because Spain is a bizarre, bizarre place. We chatted with the owner for a while, and it turns out he loves American football. His favorite team is those good ol' Washington Redskins, the team I would support if I liked football even half as much as I liked tailgating for UVA games on the Lawn.

you can be 99% sure I tailgated, then went home instead of going to the actual game.
Football aside, it was really nice to be, for a few minutes, transported from gray, rainy Galicia, back to one of my staple activities in the US: drinking margs with my best girlfriends. La Capital Azteca even smells the same as my go-to Mexican place back home, Guadalajara (colloquially, the Guad).

2. I have been playing in the snow.

It snowed, on and off, for most of last week. It never accumulated in Lugo city, but out in the provincial mountains, things were a bit more serious. Basically everyone I know, including the dude who works in a school a whopping 10 minute-drive away from mine, got at least one snow day...except me. No, instead, I got to go running in the snow with Gwen. Which was fun. But still.

3. I have been becoming cultured.

No pics (guess it didn't really happen), but on Sunday I went to see a musical with two friends. It was called La Verbena de la Paloma, or The Party of the Dove, and was put on by a local amateur group. (Not the pros in the video!) It tells the story of a lecherous, elderly apothecary, who is pursuing a pair of beautiful young twins. As I'm sure you can guess, it was very serious.

And that is that. I can promise you that I have done absolutely nothing else that is even remotely interesting with my time. I mean, I could tell you about how I filled out a grad school application, or the ongoing headache that is my renewal for this program...but I'd rather talk about margaritas and dancing apothecaries.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I love surrealist art. It's one of my favorite artistic movements--I love the sense of whimsy and caprice that most surrealist pieces have. I've never studied modern art, so I can't talk about the whole "Surrealist Revolution" thing, or do more than quote Wikipedia on the philosophical underpinnings of the movement (if I had to take a guess, before reading the Wiki page: humanity's disjointed relationship with reality in the wake of the Great War and industrialization?). (Verdict: arguably? Read more here.)

But even if I am embarrassingly unversed in major themes of modern art, I still like looking at it.

On my most recent trip to Santiago, my friend A. and I stumbled into the Eugenio Granell Museum, which is dedicated to--you guessed it!--the surrealist movement in Galicia and abroad. It had been a while since I'd meandered through an art museum (still waiting on that branch of the Guggenheim to open in Lugo...), so it was an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Well, a part of an afternoon; it's a pretty small museum. Can't exactly spend eight hours there like in the Prado, not that I know anyone who would do that (cough, cough).

My personal highlights included checking out some lesser-known works by Miró, and taking a tour of surrealist movements in such such disparate places as Central America and Scandinavia.

hanging out in the "relaxation garden"

In conclusion, I miss living someplace with actual art museums. I'm planning another trip back to Santiago just so I can go to the Galician Center of Contemporary Art. Wish me luck finding a puppysitter for the day.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Here are some snaps of graffiti in Barrio da Chanca, a neighborhood that G. and I walk through sometimes. Not too many words today.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

...y santiago en sol.

 I ended up in Santiago again, a few days after I went with my family. Even though it was January, the sun was out and the weather was balmy and soft. It felt more like April than the depths of winter.

locks on the gate: the sunshine edition.
"always and always"

My friend A. and I strolled through the old city, snapping pictures, eating Döner kebab, and bugging the lady in the tourist office for off-the-beaten-path suggestions. Her inside intel resulted in us making two visits to the Alameda Park, one of Santiago's most renowned green spaces.

The first time, pre-tourist office, we wandered through the old trees, marveling at the palms and enjoying the breeze. An old Galician man saw us taking pictures, and told us that we could take some really nice ones down one particular path. We looked at each other, laughed, and joked that the trees looked just as nice in the direction we were already going.

indeed, these trees are lovely!
However, when the nice lady in the tourist office was marking our map with Santiago's must-sees, she told us about the incredible views from Alameda Park. "You can see the cathedral facade and all of the old city," she said.

Um, what? Missed that part.

 So back we went. And sure enough, there it was:
definitely not as nice as our trees

So sorry, dear old Galician man, we should have listened to you. It's not like you've lived in your city for 75 years, while the two fools in the picture have spent a combined 12 hours there. God. Sometimes I am really appalled by my surety that I know what's up.

We also found my new boyfriend. He's only a little bit skinnier, with barely a squidge more facial hair and marginally less ironic glasses, than the guys I usually date.

Then we took a ride on the tourist train, because we're cool as crap. It was awesome. Don't judge.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

santiago en sombra...

A few days after my family arrived, we climbed onto the bus to Santiago de Compostela. It was the third time I've been there, but the first that I felt like I got any sense of the city itself. While my family was checking out the souvenir shops, I wandered around, poking my nose into corners and courtyards.

the courtyard of one of the pilgrims' organizations, with apostolic-era Coke machine
one of the original buildings of the University of Santiago de Compostela
It was dripping a slow, Galician rain for the entire time we were there. I'm adapting to the drizzle for sure, but I'm still not much of a fan. However, something about the cool sky and the moss spilling down the bricks seemed--right. Everything was quiet and calm. Even meditative.

the cathedral

locks on the gate

wrought iron