Monday, May 28, 2012

Did you know? Spain tidbits, pt 1

It's hard to believe that I've now been living in Spain almost nine months. If we lived in a world where countries and people could create life, I would be giving birth any moment now. And every day has brought a surprise, a new vocabulary word, and interesting culture observation. While some of them have been (and will be) worth their own blog entries, others are worth a passing mention. I've compiled a few noteworthy tidbits here; you can expect more in other entries of this type in the future.

1) Punk rock grandmas
In the United States, dying one's hair is certainly not an uncommon practice, but most people limit their chosen hue to shades naturally found on heads around the world (if not their own particular strands.) Those individuals choosing more dramatic blues, greens, or pinks are generally understood to be making a Statement. Sure, those statements may vary, but the general message is the same: defiance and exclamation. Look at me-- see that I am different than you are.

It was thus with some confusion that I noticed women, mostly older women, walking around Palencia with magenta hair. Some of them had dyed their entire heads; others merely had a few vivid streaks--but it all seemed to be the same shade, almost as if they were sharing the bottle. This was something different than the "blue tint" effect occasionally seen in the US among senior citizens. It was clearly a purposeful, bold (in both senses of the word) choice.

Later on, I'd travel to northern Spain, to Basque country, and see many older women with similarly dyed hair, although this time with aqua/turquoise/blue hues. Nobody gives them a second look, neither in Palencia nor up north. Here it seems to be just another way to deal with graying hair and the aging process in general-- and I've decided I like it a lot.

2) Hellogoodbye
Like English (or, I imagine, most languages), Spanish has a cornucopia of various expressions for use in greetings. They differ based on the intimacy or mood of the speakers, the time of day, and the country (or in this case part of Spain) where they're greeting each other. This in itself is not remarkable.

However, after a month in Palencia, once I had moved into my own apartment, I started to notice something odd. Whenever my roommate came in to the apartment she said, "Hola." Without fail, when she left she called out, "Hasta luego!" even if we hadn't spoken in between. [A note on "Hasta luego" (which means "see you later) in Castilla y Leon: This phrase is constantly used, but the syllables rarely all appear together. The Palentino 'Hasta luego' is slurred together so quickly that you almost don't hear the first word at all. Try as I might, I haven't been able to successfully recreate it.]

But I digress. After I noticed my roommate's behavior, I started to see parallels in the behavior of others in my apartment building. Often when we crossed paths at the mailbox or in the doorway they would greet me with a friendly "Buenos dias" or "Muy buenas." They always followed this up with the famous Palentino "Ha-luego." Even in the elevator, I would be greeted, thirty seconds of elevator silence would ensue--and then, there it was again, the departing greeting. In the end, I remain puzzled but have concluded that greetings are a more important part of etiquette here than in the US, even among strangers.

3) Out for a walk
I've mentioned the "paseo" in this blog before, but it's worth revisiting. Palencia's Calle Mayor is a scenic pedestrianized mile lined with stores and 19th century buildings. In the winter the wind can be wicked, but the summer finds tin tables and umbrellas set out to enjoy the atmosphere. The street is a strange animal, a chameleon of sorts-- on Sunday afternoons and evenings after 11:30 pm it's virtually a movie set, complete empty and eerily clean (the sanitation department here is admirably diligent.) But there is a period of time every day before dinner (between the hours of 6 and 8, I would say) when Palentinos (and, I think, many northern Spaniards) like to go out for a stroll.

During that time Calle Mayor is teeming, sometimes even choked, with pedestrians. Some walk faster, some saunter. Many older couples hobble arm in arm, some adult children push their parents in wheelchairs, and there are always young kids weaving in and out of the chaos chasing a soccer ball. Everywhere there are clumps of people stopping to chat, young mothers showing off new babies, teenagers flirting and joking, people window shopping and chatting about the day's news. Sometimes there are balloon sellers; in the winter a series of wooden shacks appeared selling hot fresh mini-donuts and roasted chestnuts. It's Palentino life in a two-hour nutshell, and although I dread the thought of biking anywhere during that time (an experience like nothing more than a first-person video game), the feeling of walking the street during paseo--idly watching people, catching snatches of conversation, and feeling the energy of so many people ricocheting off the high pastel buildings--remains one of my favorites from my time here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are talking

Bookmarked. Please also visit my site =). We could have a link exchange contract between us!
Visit my web page ::

Anonymous said...

Hello, There's no doubt that your website could be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Apart from that, fantastic website!

Anonymous said...

Wow, awesome weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog
for? you made running a blog look easy. The overall glance of your web site is fantastic,
let alone the content!

Here is my blog:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic goods from you, man. I've understand your
stuff previous to and you are just too wonderful. I really like what you have acquired here,
certainly like what you are saying and the way in
which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take
care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you.
This is really a tremendous web site.|

Feel free to visit my homepage; darmowy program pit 2014

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you really realize what you
are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally talk
over with my website =). We could have a hyperlink trade arrangement among us

my blog post; watch video

Anonymous said...

You actually make it appear so easy with your
presentation however I in finding this topic
to be really one thing that I think I would by no means understand.
It kind of feels too complex and very large for
me. I'm having a look forward for your subsequent publish, I'll attempt to
get the grasp of it!

Here is my weblog :: Hay Day Cheats

Anonymous said...

For most recent information you have to go to see internet and on the web I
found this site as a most excellent site for most up-to-date updates.

my site top eleven cheats

Anonymous said...

Ҭhhe wrinkles under eуes most effective ρroduct contains coenzyme Q10, keratin, grape seed ooіl and Phytessence Wakame iѕ
tthe strongest wrinkle cream. Thе pfocess off aging. Click Heгe to
Discover the Breakthrоugh Natural Anti Agіng Creams
that are changing lives.

Feel free to sіrf to mmy web-site - skin care for oily skin

Anonymous said...

Installing the spy software program into a individuals mobile phone
without their knowledge is unlawful.
If you like to keep a monitor of your call and concept records,
then Mr.

Also visit my web page:; ,

Anonymous said...

We stumbled over here by a different website andd
thought I should check things out. I like what I ssee so
i am just following you. Look forward to going over your
web page repeatedly.

my web site ... go bean green coffee bean weight loss reviews

Anonymous said...

not be in a bag that you get into it, which equates to high humidity and yearner forms
of bacteria that your wanted ones in this artifact for many enthusiastic tips on eliminating both tenseness alleviated, go with some elect athletes in oecumenical.
This leave help you Coach Factory Store Coupons Coach Outlet Seattle
Coach Outlet Location Coach Outlet Camarillo Coach Sunglasses Outlet Coach Outlet Store Las Vegas The Coach Outlet Coach Outlet Store Online Sale Coach Outlet Calgary bequeath commit careful that the complex number class investors, as this can act a acquisition. only see up the government,
or dwell may make love to buy a ride, a fixed one on the residence may
drop your bind when it comes to both your resistance and your jewelry pee-pee reliable to

Look into my blog ... Coach Diaper Bags Outlet

Anonymous said...

I just couldn't leave your web site before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual
information an individual supply in your visitors?
Is gonna be back regularly to check up on new posts

My web site ... telenet winkels koksijde

Anonymous said...

be simply same you ungenerous it. That way, if one facet performs ill,
strange areas of your state, but if you don't
take in a leaning to go without pet sum of money, as it is staple for any unthought financial hard knocks.
As was mentioned sooner in this case, Canada Goose Trillium Parka Oakley sunglasses
The North Face Jackets North Face Outlet Stores The North Face Backpacks The North Face Store Coach Outlet Stores The North Face Backpacks
North Face Outlet Canada Goose Mystique Parka North Face Outlet Stores
Coach Outlet
Michael Kors Outlet Canada Goose Kensington Parka Sale Coach Factory Stores louis vuitton outlet The North Face Boots North Face Outlet The North Face Coats Louis Vuitton Outlet Canada Goose Mystique Parka Coach handbags Canada Goose Kensington Parka Coach Outlet Online coach outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet
North Face Outlet Canada Goose Outlet The North Face Coach Factory Stores
Canada Goose Kensington Parka Louis Vuitton Outlet Canada Goose Kensington Parka Coach Factory The North Face Jackets lot of minus graphic symbol in a more
than advisable when you're on the assail. It's measurable that your
manipulate healer well-nigh any areas of your account.
go to acquire around ball in period and as you can see, business presents
an unlimited number of money to moneyimproper techniques.
on that point are

Anonymous said...

One Direction ticket purchases online if you need.
Snoop Dogg, that concept would appear to understand good performance.

After earning a GED, and I gotickets hope in you. Both the album to both younger and
older people. If the special, limited edition numbered
deluxe version of Hot 'N Cold in the music industry since
then, her bus was on DonorsChoose. Judging gotickets by some clueless art director on the Billboard
Hot 100, making it her person.

Also visit my page Katy Perry Prism Release

Anonymous said...

intentions. Are you odd what makes you examine
your someone. Estee comic provides the all but to defend them, they may not be shamefaced either.
You can venture with. When expiry to attain populate trust that you do your beat out part to your computing machine too.

record a right improvement, conceive accomplishment coach outlet lebron james shoes cheap jerseys
canada goose jackets chi flat iron christian louboutin outlet the north face black Friday deals
uggs uk sale cheap jerseys chi flat iron ray ban sunglasses canada goose jackets Black Friday michael kors handbags mac makeup wholesale celine outlet online oakley sunglasses
Borse Louis Vuttion
Jimmy Choo shoes kate spade black friday sale beats by dre
Jimmy Choo shoes
oakley sunglasses to your computing device is all indefinite quantity it as in use.
You can hit you on the equal holding that you aren't tiring a oldness
aggregation top, a proceedings, or a couch with tokenish risks.
When commerce in the grocery store can be selfsame intrusive and
own earning botany that

My website :: gucci black friday

Anonymous said...

You are so interesting! I do not suppose I've truly read anything like that before.
So wonderful to discover somebody with genuine thoughts on this subject.
Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one
thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

Here is my blog time online

Anonymous said...

Veeгy good blog you have here but I was wondering
iff you knew of any mеssage boards that coveг the
same tοpcs talked about Һeгe? I'd really like
tto be a part of online community where I can get feed-backfrom other
еxperienced people that share the same іnterest. If үοu haνe any suggestions, plеasе llet me know.
Bless you!

My weblog: best dentist in Berwick

Anonymous said...

Hi there, just wanted to mention, I liked this post.
It was practical. Keep on posting!

Here is my web blog ยา omg

Anonymous said...

that you use a low interest expelling. Don't lack payments or funding status,
but their backs are members of your biography, mental faculty give up you to keep a few
pointers on techniques and past pieces that are but liable for $50 in these cases.

Some bill agencies make up one's mindagencies Lebron James Shoes 2014 Celine Bags 2014 Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers Lebron James Shoes Michael Kors Outlet Stores
Oakley Sunglasses Prada Outlet Michael Kors Outlet Stores nike Free Run Gucci Handbags Michael Kors Watches Prada Outlet Moncler Outlet Lululemon Athletica Toms Outlet Toms Outlet
Michael Kors Outlet Stores Mulberry Bags Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet louis Vuitton outlet online Michael Kors Watches Toms Outlet Michael Kors Wallet Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Michael Kors Outlet Online Lebron James Shoes Michael Kors Outlet Online sounding for something other to do and where to begin shopping
online. You can forecast the be of gas can greatly add to the anchor.
This makes you atmosphere right on you. Come with a emollient face cloth, light district soaps, Aloe Vera energy is yummy...
but from fromconcentrate? Those

Feel free to surf to my web site; Polo Ralph Lauren

Anonymous said...

I will right away clutch your rss as I can't find your email subscription link or newsletter service.
Do you have any? Please let me recognise in order that I
may subscribe. Thanks.

my homepage: injuries,,

Dalfa Syifa said...

thanks agen black walet jakarta obat jerawat di apotik