Monthly Archives: February 2012

the doors to africa

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It was a whirlwind of a weekend to say the least. We departed from Sevilla on a bus full of rowdy americans and hysterical spanish tour guides around 1 on Friday. Three hours later we were on a ferry and after another hour and a half I was on a new continent. We bussed to our hotel in Tangiers – where we had a dinner of vegetable couscous, which was served family style in gigantic ceramic containers.
After brushing my teeth with bacterialized water (oops), we all fell into our beds until we were awoken by AFRICAN BIRDS CHIRPING. I died. Legitimately jumped out of bed and threw open the curtains, Carley and Stephanie were not to pleased with me. A continental breadfast followed (cornbread, cereal, crepe like things, Moroccan bread, biscotti, croissants, chocolate croissants, baguettes, I could continue…) and then we were off to Chefchaouen – the city of blue and white. The doors are painted such to keep flies and mosquitoes away, naturally I coordinated my outfit. After stuffing myself once again with vegetable couscous, we had time to waddle – I mean wander – the markets to shop and bargain and get henna!



Candy is just as magical in a foreign country.

As our hotel was located on the coast of the Mediterranean, we all woke up to watch the African sunrise before heading to Tetúan. All the green doors pictured above are from Tetúan which was, less charming than the previous city. Then we headed back to Tangiers for camels, caves, and another stamp on the passport!

After spending time in a country so foreign, you reflect a lot upon your own way of life. The insanity that is indoor plumbing, the need to eat a different type of food every meal, the concept of indoor grocery stores, the lack of wild animals, it astounds me how much of primitive life we Americans have lost. At the same time, the call to prayer, which has been called every day, 5 times a day for thousands of years feels so primordial. I scramble to capture these experiences with a lens every five seconds for fear I will forget them. They have, however, provided an eternal enrichment that will not fade any time soon.

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adios por un ratito

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I’m off to Morocco for the weekend! Email me if you’d like some rugs, spices, leather goods or hash (which I’m not supposed to take from strangers.)

I’ll leave you with this funny ad on the back of cigarettes and this fabulous song by Shakira.


“Fumar puede reducir el flujo sanguíneo y provoca impotencia”

a spaniard’s halloween

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this weekend we experienced a phenomenon that rivals mardi gras en Louisiana, football saturday in Michigan and halloween on McAllister Avenue.

Those in Cadiz know their costumes. No skimpy police costumes or guys who wear just a t-shirt. These men are cross-dressing pros. Also what they are pros of – eating street meat. After parading around and dancing through the night, reinforcements are necessary. I avoided the unidentifiable sausage and selected for a much safer churros y chocolate. I then stood and watched them make churros for longer than I’d like to admit.

Also Happy Fat Tuesday! I plan on eating massive amounts of crema de cacao (Nutella without the hazelnut)…so basically frosting.

girl power

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Olympe de Gouges

“En consecuencia, el sexo superior tanto en belleza como en coraje, en los sufrimientos maternos, reconoce y declara, en presencia y bajo 105 auspicios del Ser supremo, los Derechos siguientes de la Mujer y de la Ciduadana”

An so, the sex that is as superior in its beauty as it is in its courage through the sufferings of motherhood, recognizes and declares, in the presence of and under the Supreme Being, the following rights of women and the female citizen.

Full text of Declaration of the Rights of Women and the Female Citizen

because I have these two legs

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From caryrandolph

100 reasons why I run:

To see the sun rise.
To blow off steam.
To eat whatever I want.
To raise money for good causes.
To avoid people.
To spend time with friends.
To hear my favorite song.
Prime daydream time.
To remember my ex-boyfriends.
To feel better than my ex-boyfriends.
To compete with my ex-boyfriends.
To forget my ex-boyfriends.
Window-shopping.
To figure out Brooklyn. Sevilla!
Because the ocean is at the end.
Because I know I can.
Because sometimes I think I cannot.
Because runners love to talk about running.
Because I bought these new shoes.
To justify buying the Nike Legend pant.
To run errands…literally.
To beat my old PR.
To break a six-minute mile…again.
To feel like I did when I was 19…two whole years ago
Marathon training.
Corporate challenges.
Because I like the taste of vanilla Gu.
To sprint up the boardwalk at Coney Island.
To feel long and strong.
Because my hair is long enough for a real ponytail.
Because I have these great spandex shorts.
Because the weather is gorgeous.
To say I’ve crossed all three Manhattan bridges in one day.
New socks.
Because I’m between the not hungry and hungry stages.
Because I am going to eat so much food tonight.
To cure this hangover.
To prevent this hangover.
To fit into those jeans again.
To sweat out the impurities.
To warm up for another workout.
Because it’s Saturday morning, and I have nothing else to do.
Because it’s Monday morning, and I have a million things to do.
Because he doesn’t think I can.
Because I no longer know if I can.
Because I said I would.
To get a tan.
To see the sights.
To get my bearings.
To get lost.
To pick up coffee.
Because I don’t have a hangover.
Because nobody else is up.
To catch the sunset.
Because all my friends have other plans.
Because we’re all going out tonight.
Because I have not listened to Usher in a while.
Because I have not showered yet today.
Because I want to shower but should justify it first. a personal favorite
To sweat.
To bring a sexy flushed pink to my cheeks.
Because it’s laundry day, and I have all these clean bras.
Because my friends are waiting for me.
Because nobody is expecting me.
To get some alone time.
To get some face time on the main drags.
Because I feel skinny.
Because I feel so fucking fat.
Because I just painted my nails and they need a breeze to dry.
Because if I don’t, I might die.
To save money when I feel a shopping impulse.
To kill time.
Because I never have any time.
Because my legs feel fresh.
Because my legs feel so tired.
Sun’s out, guns out.
To visit a new neighborhood.
To test my mettle.
Because we’re on vacation.
Because sometimes I need to talk to myself.
Because I am so incredibly happy.
To avoid killing myself.
Milkshakes and cheeseburgers. chocolate chip cookies
Because he said he wants to run with me.
To justify not smoking cigarettes.
Quick and easy getaways.
To look cool.
To have something to talk about at all times.
Photo ops.
Because it is such a good excuse to travel.
Because it inspires other people.
Because it inspires me.
To get angry.
Because it is the only time I ever cry anymore.
To earn tee shirts and win medals.
Because it gets me out of bed in the mornings.
Because it makes me happier than any man ever has.
To rehab my broken limbs.
To believe in God.
Because I have these two legs.

perfection

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It is said that America has no culture. I’m in the process of determining if this is indeed true, or, if our culture is simply less stellar than that of the europeans. For instance, we have happy hour in the states. What we don’t have, however, is happy hour outdoors. Nor do we have it standing up at antique wooden bar tables. And it’s also generally not held in an outdoor plaza filled with people from all walks of life outside a catholic church built in 1674.

My friend Stephanie and I experienced this snapshot of sevillian culture last night. We met up with our “intercambios” at Plaza el Salvador for una cerveza y un poco de conversación before dinner. Speaking and joking in spanish with people our age was an inexplicably elating experience. Juan is an environmental engineer in Sevilla who totally got my jokes and also says he may have a job for me once I graduate! There are times when people ask me how my Spanish and Environment majors go together. No friends, I’m not going to be a gardener, nor do I plan on tending to hispanic bees, real careers exist! They need me!! Hopefully Juan follows through with his other promise to clean our apartment in a maid’s costume (which he swore to once he found out how many girls live here) – if he does I’ll do my best to snap a pic.

My roommates and I then sampled the #1 rated restaurant in Sevilla (by Yelp) called Taberna Coloniales. check it out!
The wait is so long that everyone stands outside around bottles of wine in ice buckets before dinner. Once you sit down, the food comes out in a flash – before we knew it we had fried eggplant drizzled in honey, caramelized goat cheese on toast, chicken in almond sauce, octopus salad and patatas bravas (french fries in something akin to in n out’s special sauce) in front of us. The sampler tray of desserts comes with tiramisu, raspberry cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake and some marzipan something along with a black licorice chupita. It was simply perfection.

Siestas have become a necessity for various reasons. Chiefly, our shades don't work and my bedroom window faces the sunrise. It’s a beautiful thing except for the fact that it's not. I’d appreciate sleeping past 8 am every once in a while. Also, my feet are about to be tougher than a gorillas from all the walking we do. There is simply too much history to absorb, too many restaurants to sample, too many small cobble-stoned alleyways to lose yourself in…
For instance today we toured the Catedral de Sevilla – the largest gothic cathedral in the world. More historical info here.
Inside we found some amazing artifacts that I’m tempted to replicate in my future home. Antique books and candelabras, not to mention a plaza overrun with orange trees and a fountain filled with oranges.





I am so not a tourist. Spaniards totally wear pink button downs and blazers and pose next to trees, right? Hablo espanol I swear!!!

Aside

my poetry teacher is trying to make us more cultured and thus will post a modern poem for us at the end of each class. The one from today is American! She had me read it out loud to hear how it sounded in its native language. It is a bit graphic, but beautiful.

Sex Without Love by Sharon Olds

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other’s bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health–just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

poema de la semana