Archive for the ‘tea’ Category

Hey lovely people! Bilbao has been treating me well.  Yes, classes are getting better as we speak….

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Hey lovely people! Bilbao has been treating me well.  Yes, classes are getting better as we speak.  The Spanish 4A (there’s a B class) class is tougher than I thought, but pray for me because the woman talks faster than what I’m use to.  Sorry if I am reiterating this, but there is a guy in my class that speaks French, Spanish, English, German and Arabic… tell me again how I got into this class. Well, he’s not the only one.  There are about 4 other people who are bilingual and are learning spanish as their 3rd language.  Also, it doesn’t help that my host family congregates in the living room and we don’t have dinner together because there isn’t a place to eat meals together.  That’s part of the experience I guess!?  I try to speak to them often, but I feel secluded in my room.  But it hasn’t been a whole week yet either! On the other hand, María complimented me this morning and packed me a lunch for the siesta! (:  And I discovered these beauties during lunch today.  America or UMW needs to step it up. It makes you coffee for like €0,60 (or not even $1) and gives you a good size.  The other machine has sandwiches and some other good options!  Why go out to eat when you can buy a while siesta here?! image

image

This International Business class is getting really interesting.  Since I am the only person that is not majoring or minoring in business, everything they say is so interesting about how globalization effects people.  It’s just different than what I’ve been learning with math and science.  So I enjoy that aspect of class.

Then, I was walking down the hallway with Brittany and I saw this man that looked so familiar and realized it was Dr. Jose Sainz (the program director for study abroad to spanish speaking countries I believe, I could be wrong?!)  !!!! I didn’t know what was going on but I was so excited to see him.  I gave him a hug and we talked for a solid 10 minutes.  He was saying that he thought about me when he was at the airport because they were about to miss their flight to Bilbao but they made it in time.  But we will have a UMW meeting tomorrow.  He is just a great person and I was so ecstatic to see him. Haha that was a great and happy moment!

Shopping again?! Psshhh yes, we (Brittany and I) went shopping in Moyua!  They had so many sales.  I think I might be broke by the time I get home?! Yeah, ehh WHEN IN SPAIN…  !

Yesterday, I meet this girl from Norway, Ida, and I asked her if she was with a group like CIDE or something at Deusto. She say she found this program online and doesn’t know much spanish but is in Spanish 3.  She knows the basics like hola and adios.  The point is, I saw her today and we had coffee at Café & Té (which is an awesome place to chat and/or do homework!) after class. While in this coffee shop, I talked to Erin B!!!  We were planning our trip to Rome (:  YAY!

Ciao for now! ("bye" in Italian)!

Words to live by: “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign." — Robert Louis Stevenson

Song of the day: Love and Happiness by Al Green

Sir Lancelot and Clotted Cream Mania

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

So after three months in Bath, I finally sampled the famous clotted cream I’d been hearing so much about. My roommate and I went to a quaint tea shop, “The Bath Bun.” After being warmly greeted, we were ushered upstairs to a room straight out of the Victorian era–oddly reminding me of Madame Puddifoot’s in Harry Potter. Classical music was softly playing, the tables draped in floral tablecloths, china dotted with ultra-girly florals. Christmas lights were strung up for the impending festivities, and tables were filled with only women chatting amongst themselves. There’s something so loveable about seeing old British ladies chatting over their afternoon teas and cakes…

I got the classic afternoon tea spread—a tea of my choice (jasmine), biscuits (cookies for you Americans), a sandwich (tuna/cucumber), clotted cream and a slice of cake.

Lovely little spread

 

Clotted cream is huge here, and the best way I can describe it is a warm flaky biscuit which you cut in half, then spread it with a light, airy butter and strawberry preserve. It’s refreshingly tasty! The Victoria cake I ordered was basically light vanilla cake with cream cheese and strawberry jam in the middle.

 

I sincerely believe I need to start a Clotted Cream Awareness group for America. How were we not aware of this delectable dessert? And afternoon tea? It’s served between lunch and dinner, as the perfect way to wind you down after a harrowing day and have a little chat amongst your girlfriends.

We felt insanely classy as we sipped our teas and daintily nipped at our cakes.

Worthy of a cupcake show. Notice the edible little jewels!

 

Clotted Cream!

 

 

 

It was so nice and relaxing to just sit down after a day of essays and work to enjoy a cup of jasmine tea in an environment that promotes relaxation amongst ladies. Not to say it was exclusive to women, but you get the feeling men only come here if they’re dragged by force or guilt-tripping. Dolores Umbridge would be proud to have tea in this utterly pink-plastered, floral tea shop!

 

Oh riiiiight, and to throw something else to make all my fellow nerds back home jealous:

I saw John Cleese turn on the Christmas Lights throughout the city! John Cleese lives here in Bath, at The Crescent. There was a little concert given, with a bunch of singing acts filmed by the BBC last Thursday. A troupe of women sang the infamous “Halleluah.”  The Stockingtops, a group of older ladies decked out in red coats and fur hats, sang carols  too. 3000 people came out to see Sir Lancelot turn on the lights.  I just happened to see him from THIS close:

Ask me the questions, Bridgekeeper, I am not afraid!

John----friggin---Cleese!

“Mr. Cleese, is there a character you’ve played in the past that you particularly identify with?”

“No.” *cue the laughs* “I’m shocked all of you came out to see this, you should be at home eating.”

“What are your plans for Christmas?”

“Well I’m going to visit my daughter in California with Jenny (pictured, his girlfriend), that is if we’re not broken up by then. Christmastime is expensive for presents, you know.”

Jenny “That’s a very real possibility.”

 

Very dry sense of humor, but I suppose you don’t have to try to be funny when you’re Sir Lancelot. We went to an Irish pub afterwards and celebrated with the locals. And of course, the Christmas tree is up now too! I live in the most beautiful city :)

 

‘Ello England!

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

The Hurricane was a whole bunch of hype back home but a good bit of turbulence on the way to Heathrow. And that’s right kids, I’m in merry ol England! (Hum “Rule Brittania” with me). After I landed in England I was greeted with seeing my breath in the air and oh those adorable accents. Hopped a bus to Bath and here I am! I feel like I’ve stepped into a different century here. Buildings are still here from the Roman era, Bath Abbey was built in 1499 and everywhere else is Georgian architecture. Stores are tiny and utilize basements and attics rather than a wide space, which I think makes the experience a bit more quaint. Tourists are rampant, but that’s expected with a gem like Bath.

I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced any culture shocks just yet, although here it does seem socially acceptable to be a bit ruder to strangers. I saw a bus driver yell at a woman for cutting in line, telling her “The world does not revolve around you, Madam!” I’ve also seen pedestrians yell at motorists to move over and let them by. It’s somewhat refreshing, actually. I guess I’m allowed to do it too, granted I’ll adopt a faux British accent. As with most cities, the roads are treacherous, but moreso here. A car will not stop for you, even if you make eye contact with the driver and give them the polite “Thanks” wave. Our program director told us they’ve only had three or four incidents where students are hit by cars (only, eh?) so we need to be careful. Although people at pubs are more than welcoming, and I don’t mind being teased for the Yankee accent! And I also witnessed a girl getting arrested and trying to fight the cops, and they were very polite to her during the whole ordeal. So perhaps rudeness only applies to annoying pedestrians or drivers who are ego-centric, who knows.

 

     The first week has been orientation with other students, a private tour of Bath Abbey, and diagnostic essays to give our professors (they call them tutors) an idea of our ability to crank out a good essay jetlagged. We’ve done a lot of exploring as well! Here I am at the Royal Crescent, so named for its status as a royal residence for some past important people. Now there’s a mini hotel there and the rest is residences. I definitely attempted to see Bath from an upperclass 18th century perspective and napped on the Crescent lawn. What can I say, I’m truly dedicated to reaching these historical instances, including sitting in a cafe all day with tea. Oh, and subs are served on baguettes, not sub rolls. :) The bacon is much better here too.

 

 

 

      I definitely took advantage of little things back home–like water pressure in the shower, a convenient drive to get groceries, lots of sunshine. You walk everywhere here. And while it’s not a particularly long walk, I’m sure it will have its cons when the weather drops to below freezing. I’m convinced that’s why the English are so fond of tea. It’s the perfect accessory when it’s bleak outside!

Here I am with one of my roomies in front of Bath Abbey. You can see the woman in the background singing and dancing, she was doing an opera version of “Scarborough Fair” if memory serves me correctly. As for my bucket list, nothing is accomplished yet. However, I signed up to play touch rugby (I only want to get push tackled, not actual tackled) near the end of September. So we’ll see how many injuries I’ll be able to avoid when everybody’s gunnin for the American :) It looks like Oktoberfest isn’t in the cards, because study trips and our Oxford trip coincide with the dates. I may have found a suitable alternative however–Prague! I’ve been working on the anti-Austen conversion, but so far the girls here are diehard Jane-iacs. Just give me time, I’m sure I can wrangle something out of them. We go to Stonehenge, Salisbury and Lacock tomorrow. Expect amazing stories!