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Friday, 20 December 2013

A Weekend in the Life of a Spanish Girl

Day 103: 16/12/13

So the weekend of the 13th-15th was all in all a great weekend :)

A few weeks ago AFS sent around an email saying that they had organised a non compulsory get together for all the students in the morning of the 14th of December and then our families too in the afternoon. All we knew was that we had to be in Barcelona at 10.30am to meet with the other students and volunteers and that we had to make a typical snack from our own country to bring to a shared "merienda" or picnic sort of thing. 

So I spent quite a long time trying to decide on what I could possibly make for this "merienda" that was either common in New Zealand or a typical kiwi favourite. After deciding and then un-deciding I finally chose Anzac biscuits! They seemed like a good idea as they have such an awesome meaning behind them! I had never made them before but I knew that they were easy enough... As long as you had the right ingredients and utensils. Problem being... Spain seems to lack ingredients and cooking utensils! I found this out previously when I had wanted to make lollie cake and couldn't find any sweets similar to eskimos or wine gums or malt biscuits. Plus in my house here, we don't have measuring cups, measuring scales, cup cake tins or cake tins. Meaning that I have to guesstimate the amounts of ingredients to use. I guess this is strange for me as I've grown up with baking being a regular thing in my family.
 So when the time came to buy ingredients for my Anzac biscuits, I found that they only had raw brown sugar for one and no golden syrup. We asked around for golden syrup and did some searching on the web and finally came across some in a store ... But it was $13 and I only needed two table spoons! So I ended up substituting the golden syrup for normal honey. 
I made the Anzac biscuits the night before (because i hadn't had time during the week) which turned out take a lot longer than I thought! We only finished dinner at 10.30pm and so i started baking at around 11pm. Though I was sure I had followed the recipe exactly, something was not quite right as the biscuit mixture was just crumbling so I took a lot of time trying to fix them and including all the cooking time and waiting for the biscuits to cool before dipping them in chocolate, I ended up getting to bed at 1.30am! Nearly died. 

So in the morning (8am wake up) I caught the train with Emily, exchange student from USA, and we skilfully found our way through stations to meet the other students expecting it to be a pretty chill, catch-up kind of activity... But no. We were paired off for a city wide scavenger hunt involving clues, Spanish, cello-tape, an Afs poster, taking photos, an apple and an egg. The main point of the activity I believe was having to ask people, in Spanish, for directions to these places that we weren't familiar with, but I also think that embarrassing us was something they thought would be fun! 

At each destination we had to take a picture with our Afs poster and collect a new clue from the Afs volunteers who were waiting for us. Usually we had to complete some task or just take off to the next place. 

At our first destination we were told that we would have to walk three legged (stuck together with the cello tape mentioned) whilst asking random people for directions to this plaza. This was very difficult and we got some very strange looks...

At some point some of us  removed the cello tape on our legs for a while and put it back on again before arriving at the next place because it was seriously sore haha. At the next stop we were given an apple and had to swap it with anything from anyone we could find, which sounded pretty strange. My partner and I decided to try out our luck in a chino store and she simply asked and the guy in the store let her have a cigarette lighter off the shelf. I was so surprised that we were just able to walk in and he was so nice about it! Im sure we would never be able to do the same thing in NZ. He really didn't want the apple though... 

The next time we were allowed to remove the cello tape from our legs but we had to get our arms taped together. We ended up being first to our next destination but there were no volunteers waiting! So about 14 of us students (exhausted and bored) sat down in a group in the middle of the street. We all whipped out our lunches and starting having a wee picnic. Quite nice really but I think we were in the way and people must of thought it was strange to see a group of kids all speaking English, but whom all looked completely different (being from different countries all over the world), eating sandwiches on the dirty street. 

Finally the volunteers found us and we had the task of finding someone that could fluently speak our language.  English! Easy! And my absolute favourite part of the day... We found a group of 4 young English boys in Spain on a trip, and of course I love English boys! <3 

There were a few more clues and tasks after this but that's enough of that.
After, we all had the shared merienda with everyone in a building and it was really cool trying food from lots of different countries! But the next part was not so cool... We had to speak in front of everyone, and there were heaps of people, about what we did in our country for Christmas (in Spanish) and sing a Christmas song. Gosh I could have died. Me and my friend both sung the wrong lyrics to our song, good one. 

So Sunday, was a nice way to finish off the weekend. I spent Sunday with a nice south african family, who lives across the road from me, in Anec Bleu (shopping centre) looking for Christmas presents and they shouted me lunch at an Italian restaurant where i had pasta, (it was not great, unfortunately) which was very kind of them :) They speak English and there is a boy my age, so it was a nice change being able to talk about whatever I felt like! I managed to find presents for my host mum and sister but still have to find one for my host dad with only days remaining! After, I returned to their house and watched a movie before heading across the street back to my house. It's very nice to know I have friends living just outside my gate :) 

So that's a summary of my lovely weekend! Crazy, embarrassing but overall, I really enjoyed it! And I must say that my biscuits turned out really well! 
Oh and I mentioned an egg in the scavenger hunt... We had to carry it round, but I have no idea why. Absolutely none...

Until next time!
(Which will probably be all about Christmas!)

Merry Christmas everyone!
Much love,
Victoria :)

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