Me gusta mi vida!

May 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

The last couple of days have been pretty relaxed.  On Saturday night, my aunt and uncle and I went to a Bollywood show at Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial.  The plot and style of the show were traditional Bollywood, which was a lot of fun.  I was surprised to discover that I recognized most of the songs used, for which I think I have my roommate to thank.  After the show, the male lead/choreographer/director, Sunny Singh (not to be confused with the female author of the same name) led an interactive dance lesson with the audience, which was a blast.  He got everyone up on their feet trying out simple moves, all the while turning the moves themselves into jokes and references to Asturian culture.  His Spanish was remarkably good (or so I’m told), but it was simple enough so I could understand the jokes and enjoy them.  He was incredibly fun and energetic.  We had a blast!

After the show, we went out for dinner at a local restaurant not far from my aunt and uncle’s house.  We had sidra, salad, bread, wild mushrooms, mussels prepared very similarly to the clams we had a few days ago only with a sauce using sidra instead of wine, and crab croquetas, which are not entirely dissimilar to crab cakes.  They are balls of crab and some sort of white sauce, breaded and fried.  Pretty delicious, if you ask me, although my aunt and uncle said they were not particularly well done at that restaurant.  I neglected to take any pictures. :(

Sunday was bright and sunny in the morning, so my aunt and I went for a walk along the coastal path that covers 15km of the Gijon coast from the center of the city heading to the east.  It’s a very hilly region, and the path takes you up and down these hills right along the shore.  It’s incredible!  I think if I lived here I would want to go for a walk there every day.

The view from the coastal path. There's really nothing quite like it!

In the afternoon, we had a totally non-Asturian meal of spaghetti served with delicious homemade pesto sauces.  For an aperitif, my uncle sliced up some ham, but not just any ham.  I’m not sure what the name of it is, but it’s a special type of cured ham that is made from wild pig rather than the pink, round things we might imagine.  It was very flavorful, the way other wild animals are gamey.  Paired with this was a good wine, although I’m afraid the subtleties of fine wines escape me.  My uncle intends to educate me in that, however, so perhaps in a later post I will elaborate.

Ham and wine as an aperitif. Delicious!

In the afternoon, I hung about, wrote some emails, and generally was a bum.  Later, my aunt and I rented a couple of videos for us to watch last night.  When we got home, she whipped up a fritata (again, I forgot to take pictures).  She also gave me a few of her recipes that I’ve enjoyed while I’ve been here.  I’ll be happy to make some of them for my friends and family back home when I get a chance.  As per usual, after dinner she and I got to chatting and wound up with only enough time (or energy) to watch one of the movies, which was just fine.  My uncle likened us to a couple of hens clucking away earlier.  “Happy chickens,” he amended, because we laugh so much.  I thought it was a rather apt assessment and a funny one at that.

Today has been a totally bum-like day for me.  I read for a while, ate a delicious lunch of roasted chicken and salad, did a little laundry, and now I’m online…  nothing too thrilling to report, but it’s nice to just relax for a while.  Right now, my aunt and uncle are out at a yoga class, and I’m just enjoying a little downtime on my own.  Once I finish this post and write an email or two, I plan to curl up with my book and not move until dinner.  Repeat until bed.

This whole trip so far has been really delightful.  Each morning we start the day with a “chufi chufi,” a smoothie of an orange and some strawberries.  “Chufi” is a completely made up word derived from “enchufar,” which means “to plug in.”  My aunt has a hand blender for which she had no official name, and so she dubbed it the “chufi chufi,” and now the beverage has the same name.  Anyway, it’s a delicious way to start the day.

One of my favorite things to do when I’m just filling a few idle moments is to stand at the kitchen window and admire the view.  Straight out the window is a row of roofs just visible over the hedge, which I find appealing, although I’m not sure why.  Looking to the right, you get a pretty good view down into the city and over to the hills on the other side of the city.

The view straight out the kitchen window.

The view to the right out the kitchen window... on a very foggy day. Usually you can see the hills and mountains in the distance.

While I hung up the clean laundry earlier, I couldn’t help but think that clean laundry is a really wonderful thing.  I know that probably sounds mildly ridiculous (and it’s not that I’ve been deprived of it or something), but I really think it’s something to be grateful for.  Clean laundry, fruit, and lots of good conversation.  What more could you want from a bum day?

We have a lot of fresh fruit!

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