December 18, 2005

Christmas Time in BCN

The adventure here is so big that it's difficult for me to incapsulate every last little bit. For some, just being around some of the GP stuff I've seen or done would be enough. Others would simply enjoy the experience of being in another culture, and not as a tourist! I'm experiencing the "local" life, the nightlife, and more. Finding work in the paddock is frustratingly difficult and as more time passes I'm forced to consider alternatives. I really didn't want to be thinking so hard about my future over the holidays, but that's what has been going through my mind the last few weeks, i.e. should I stay planted or head back to the U.S.? Should I move somewhere else in the world? Part of my problem stems from a roomate leaving our apartment next month, which throws everyone's finances off a bit to compensate. With my own plans I'm not sure I should agree to commit to anything long term. Factor in my lack of comprehension with the language (which for some reason isn't progressing as fast as everyone said it would ), and the possibility that I might have to move for job related reasons and I feel very "unsettled" these days. In some ways I'm definitely a creature of habit. Having such an uncertain future is exciting and dangerous, but I sacrificed so much to leave California and chase this dream that I'm not sure I should return anytime soon. With my world all aswirl with potential successes and failures, I have to consciously choose not to get too wrapped up. I never really thought of food as a comfort item, but after living in Spain I can honestly say that I think red meat is the BOMB, and it's my best friend!

They do such an amazing job here making complex flavors and delicious meals from such simple, natural ingredients! From garlic and tomato mixes over raw Cod, to the endless variety of Flans, it seems like I am constantly trying new dishes. When it comes to meat, I find that one of the best ingredients is the same everywhere. Hawaiian Rock Salt! Well, here it's just Rock/Crystal salt. But it's big and burly and will make your steak pop!

Ahhhh, Crema Catalana! This is one of my favorite Flans, a little softer than Creme Brulee, but in my opinion, tastier! Carmelized brown sugar topping and the requisite fresh fruit somewhere, and you have a recipe for awesomeness! I think I'll get myself a flan book one of these days, because this is a great way to get yer daily eggs!

The Christmas Spirit hasn't really hit me yet. It's probably because I'm away from my friends and family. There have been signs, lights, and tree's up since November but it just seems so odd to think that Santa exists outside of the US. Here, he's known as Papa Noel. I was out this weekend starting off at a bar called Glacier in the Placa Reial. The level of smoke was normal but I noticed this display hanging from the ceiling above the bar. Merry Christmas from Wolverine!

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