Tag Archives: Oh Spain!


26 Apr
 I remember saying that El Escorial was the best girls’ trip ever, but I think my weekend in San Sebastian topped it. (O.K., bothwere awesome, so I guess El Escorial was the best day trip and San Sebastian was the best weekend trip.) San Sebastian is on the north coast of Spain and the beach is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen! It looks like a horseshoe made up of the two mountains on each end of an arch-shaped strip of sand and one more island mountain in the middle. We took a bright red cable car up to the top of one mountain got breathtaking views…and ice cream.
(From Left) Laura, Amy, Paige and myself in front of the beach.
From one of the mountains at the end of the beach.

Speaking of food, the cuisine in San Sebastian actually is the best in Spain. A friend of mine told me some of the best chefs work in northern, coastal cities because of the tourism and French influence. I didn’t fact check this, but I believe her because everything we ate was delicious! The food in Spain has just been O.K. I haven’t been blown away by much except for good paella, brava sauce and aioli sauce. SanSe is apparently famous for its pinchos, aka small servings of gourmet food, which were piled on every other bar’s counter. I loved anything and everything with mushroom sauce!

The old part of the city was great for bar-and-pincho hopping, which phased into just drinking at a pirate bar that was blaring hard rock music while playing Taylor Swift on CMT with Captain Hook’s look-alike as the bar tender and John Travolta’s look-alike as our new friend…??…whatever Spain. LOL! After that bar we went to a couple of clubs, neither of which charged a cover. (Thank you, SanSe!) Regardless of where we went, there were people all over the streets, lots of bars, the usual lack of an open container law, and everything was walkable.

Why not?

In addition to a beautiful beach and entertaining night life, the shopping was comparable to that of Amsterdam, which has had the best shopping of anywhere I’ve been so far! There are a lot of boutiques and shops in the old city of SanSe that are different from the usual Zara and H&M. (Not that I’m hating on either of those stores at all!) Basically, I highly suggest San Sebastian to anyone looking for an awesome vacation!

Last minute shopping. Not even the little bit of rain we got could put a damper on our trip!




19 Feb

I am still learning Spanish, but sometimes I think I’m not the only one around here that needs to be practicing! My slightly southern North Carolinian, very American accent surely doesn’t help me sound like a Spaniard BUT my name is actually of Spanish origin. It’s even spelled the same (sin the accent over the “i”). However, the woman at Starbucks last weekend managed to completely butcher it.

This is what my name turned into. Lost in translation?

Bripsa. That’s what the woman behind the counter heard when I said Marisa. I even said my name with Spanish pronunciation! I may not know a ton of Spanish but I definitely know my name, so this time I don’t think it was me. I didn’t even go up to get my coffee at first that’s how different it sounded! My friends experienced minor additions and subtractions to their names, too. Gabrielle was “Gabriel” and Stephanie was “Estephanie”, haha.


Buscas Trabaja?

12 Nov

“Buscas trabaja?”…that’s the question a random man asked my friends and I tonight while we were waiting to meet another friend at a metro stop. We were at the Opera house in a cute neighborhood off of Puerta del Sol. I wanted to sit down, but decided that I wouldn’t because real Spanish people hardly ever sit down as far as  I can tell. Instead, I leaned against the closest building and that’s when this man walked up.

For those who have not already put “buscas trabaja” into Google translator, it means “Are you looking for work?” Of course, my friends and I are here teaching English and all also teach private classes so we aren’t looking for anymore work. What a silly and random question, right? So, naturally, I answered this random man in English. “What?”

He responded, in perfectly clear English, “Are you looking for work?” We all answered no at the same time. After a pause my friend said, “Why do you ask?” To which this random man answered with a completely straight face and serious tone, “Because this is a whore house.”

OHHHHHHHHH…that kind of work.

Yes, I was leaning against the side of a whore house. (Did I mention that this cute neighborhood did happen to have a couple of brothels? We had already passed two by the time of this interaction and there was one across from the bar we ended up going to later.)

I think I said no 100 times in 1 second as I moved to the other side of the street. My two friends just kind of moved down the sidewalk and took a picture of the place. Since they were still close, the man tried coaxing one of them inside as a customer. (I guess he got the idea that work was out of the question.) The conversation went something like this:

Man: “You want to go in?”

Friend: “Oh, NO.”

M: “Why not?”

F: “I’m not looking for work…”

M: “Normal people come in too. Lots of Americans.”

F: “I’m not looking for a whore.”

M: “Normal people come in too…all the time, just to look.”

F: “No, thanks.”

Like I said before, prostitution is legal here. In fact, brothels are probably more likely to be more legal than the street. I know you’re dying to know why! Ha. Prostitution is only legal when you’re ‘registered’ and are paying taxes on the money you make. This is more likely in a place of business (whore house) than on the streets of Monterra and Fuencarral.




6 Nov

Monday through Thursday flew by easily this week so I must be getting used to my schedule (thank goodness!). There are, however, other little things about Spain that I am still getting used to…

  • Cheek-kissing vs hand-shaking. People probably think I am socially awkward since I always still stick out my hand for a shake. While I think it’s cute to kiss your friends on the cheek, it’s still a little weird to do it to strangers. (What if they’re dirty?!)
  • Crosswalks. In Madrid, the crosswalks are about 15-20 yards from the actual corner. This not only means that you have to walk down the street to cross, but also that if you don’t a car will probably hit you since they pull all the way up to the crosswalk before stopping for the red light.
  • Coca-Cola Light. It just isn’t good at all. Thankfully, there is always Coke Zero.
  • Lack of tall people. I’m still not used to people looking at my feet all the time. No, they aren’t looking at a cute pair of shoes I have on or noticing that I haven’t gotten a pedicure in months, they think I must be wearing 6 inch heels. Dear people on the metro and in the street, yes, I am just this tall.
  • Unrefrigerated dairy products. Milk and eggs are not refrigerated and I don’t know why. There is cold milk at the store that comes in a plastic container, but it comes at a price. There is boxed milk on the shelf that doesn’t expire for a year, and, naturally, I buy it because it’s cheaper despite the fact that it doesn’t taste exactly the same…


Weekend Highlight

24 Oct


He is drinking an energy drink and, yes, it is called Pussy.


I had to make this picture a little bigger, ha!