Friday, October 15, 2010

Trophy Moms, Tacos, y La Marcha

I have been wanting to write about these topics for some time now, but I was not sure how to make it PC and totes appropes. These certainly are not horrible topics, but for the good people in this world that do not judge... I am apologizing in advance for the scandalous verbiage that follows.

1. Trophy Moms

As I have mentioned before, Spain is chalk-full of beautiful women and men. They parade the streets in their cute clothes and awesome shoes. Because people walk everywhere here the "parade", as I will call it, starts rather early in life. It is amazing the amount of money that goes in to the strollers here. Most of these bad boys are the Rolls Royce of strollers. Take this example below...I kid you not, this EXACT stroller was featured in a recent flight I took from Mallorca to Granada with a very stylish baby drooling in it.

However, the stroller is only one piece of this magnificent sight. The stroller pusher, generally a woman, is clad in an outfit suitable for anything but a woman pushing a stroller. I would like to call these women trophy moms. It is almost as though the baby purposefully chose a stylish mom to cart them around in. I am very impressed by the stilettos and skinny jeans these women can pull off. I am thinking the men should get out there some days and try to do what these women are doing. Macho, macho, macho...

2. Tacos

I am not talking about those delicious concoctions of beans, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, and pure sloppiness that the USA calls Mexican food, but the dirty south, dirty, dirty vocabulary of the Spanish people.

Curse words, swear words, bad words, C-word, M-word, J-word, P-word, and the list goes on...

These beauties, ahem...I mean, these naughty, naughty words are used in daily conversation. Most have lost all meaning over the years, but they still seem to hold a very special place in the heart of many Spaniards.

3. La Marcha

As I come to my last theme of this post, I feel a strong sense of guilt at the words I will write. A few things to take note of:

a. I am not participating in illegal Spain.
b. I have not subjected myself to peer pressure...much.
c. At no point did I have loss of memory or guilt of actions that occurred.
d. Sincerely, truly, sorry Mami & Papi.
e. For my UST readers, I did not run from Public Safety at any point (not that I support that idea).
f. I am only writing about this ¡escándalo! for a purely cultural view of my time here.

I have debated putting this topic up on my blog because of the controversy and illegal-ness in the USA. Most importantly, I do not want to come across as a boozer...that is NOT at all what I am doing here.

So, here goes nothing...

First a little background information:

"La Marcha" in Spain is the night life of the young adults (over 18 years old). It is something that I would even say is encouraged for Spanish youth. People here encourage these activities mostly because it is such a prodigious part of the culture.

There are various activities that can be considered "La Marcha". One of the main activities is the Botellón. The purpose is purely social. People gather at the Botellódromo to drink and chat. The Botellódromo is a converted skate park and it does not have bathrooms. Not the classiest of places, but it is the only place in Granada where it is legal to drink in the streets. People buy their poison of choice at a local "Chino Mart" (which is an Asian owned business) and cart it over. Generally most groups stand in a circle with their drink, mixers, and ice in the center. I must say, it is pretty boring, but because it is not solely an American pastime, I chose to attend.

Another activity is going out for tapas. Tapas is a long tradition in Spain of giving and appetizer with the purchase of a drink. My Señora explained that the tradition started with Alfonso X de Castilla. He was called El Rey Sabio because he was very wise. He knew that some people passing through towns usually only had enough money for a drink, but not food, so he ordered inns and eating establishments to offer food with the drink. Most places would cover the drink with the food. In Spanish, to cover something is called "tapar". Tapa is the derive from that old tradition. Granada is the last place in Spain that still offers FREE TAPAS!! It is fun to go out with friends and get some sangria and have a full meal from the tapas.

There are also many bars scattered around Granada. Most are for the older crowd, but it is still fun to go and socialize. Below is me and my roomie Katie (middle) and my friend Sara (left).

Hookah, or Shisha (not to be confused with Hashish) is another common "marcha" activity. Because there is such a huge muslim influence in Granada, there are many hookah bars. When we go to these places, the hookah is free if you purchase a drink. I always get the Pakistani tea with milk. DELICIOUS! Below I am making smoke rings (thanks Donnie Kneepads).

The biggest "marcha" spot of them all is the club AKA LA DISCOTECA! These are not places for the weak. No true Spaniard goes to the club before 2am. Only the American hotspots have people in their clubs before 2am. The night does end until the sun comes up. I still have not been able to shut the club down here. One of these days....

Below me and some of my friends are at the club Mae West. The few times that I have been there we have left around 6am and the club is still packed and people are still dancing. I think it will be weird to go back to the States and having to start and end the night so much earlier. The night owl in me is loving the late nights.

I truly hope I did not offend anyone with this post. My life has changed so much being here and this is just one part of the change that I want to share with people. Spain is amazing and different and a completely new experience for me. I am looking forward to further immersing myself into this culture.

Word to your mother.