Valentine’s Day – why hate it?

The day is here that a lot of people dislike. Not because they are alone and have to be reminded of it, but because they think love is supposed to be celebrated every day and not just on one.

I understand their argument, but can’t fully agree. I wouldn’t say that I love Valentine’s Day or think that I will get lots of presents, but I believe that this day actually symbolizes something beautiful.

We have many different days that are celebrated during the year, but just because it’s on one day doesn’t mean that we don’t think about it any other day. Like World Peace Day – shall we only have peace on this day and celebrate it? No, it should be honored every day, but we continue making white doves and sing songs at school for that day (at least here in Spain). Or what about pancake day? I’d like to have pancakes more than once a year.

And it is the same when it comes to Valentine’s Day; it should be celebrated every day and the fact that we have a special day for love is something very admirable.

So keep on loving!

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Spanish sushi

I had a girls night yesterday with my friends and we went to an acquaintance’s restaurant that just opened. And listen to this: it’s a Japanese Andalusian restaurant!

It’s called La Hermandad de Sushi (the brotherhood’s sushi) and the dishes are an infusion of the Andalusian and the Japanese kitchen. The owner, Takashi, is a flamenco enthusiast and plays the Spanish guitar, sings sevillanas etc. Last weekend he had an event at his restaurant with sevillanas (Andalusian flamenco-like dance) to prepare everyone for the feria that is coming up in a few months.

The menu offers a variety of different types of sushi but also typical tapas. Something very Spanish is a flamenquin which you could get inside a maki at this place. We tried maki with salmon, avocado and philadelphia, maki with fried octopus, nigiri with tuna and rice croquettes with carrot and curry. Everything was delicious even though I’m not the biggest fan of sushi..

To drink I had some sake which was really nice. I thought it would be a lot stronger, but it was almost as flavored water (yes, that might be an exaggeration).

La Hermandad de Sushi. Worth a visit!

  

Shame on you, Betis!

As I mentioned many times before, I’m sevillista, a fan of Sevilla Football Club, and our biggest opponent is Real Betis Balompie. The teams are from the same city and Betis just came up to the first league after a year in second, so the derbies are back!

I went to one just before Christmas. I had a lot of fun walking with all the supporters to the other stadium and singing our song during the whole game, which unfortunately was really boring! We had just found out that we would play against each other in the Spanish cup too, so this was the first derby of three within a month. No goals, no attacks, a referee that blew the whistle for every tiny incident and killed the game. And well, I guess they were all nervous and didn’t want to make any stupid mistakes.

What’s worse is what happened after the game. For security reasons we had to stay in the stadium for another 45-60 min after the end of the game, which is understandable. What I don’t understand however, is how it can be allowed to play the hymn (of Betis) on broken speakers that were placed just behind us, on unacceptable high volume and they didn’t play it once or twice, but twenty-one times! I didn’t count, but apparently someone did and wrote it on Facebook the day after. It was absurd! We started making fun of it and every time the song came to an end, we all started shouting “otra, otra..” (more or less like saying one more time..) and we flashed our phones in the old lighter-style. The only thing that made it worth staying and listening to this awful hymn (I really hate it now!) was that our players came out and thanked us.

And that was the first out of three…

Yesterday the first round of the cup was played and we won! 0-2! I didn’t go but I went to a bar to see it with some friends. The game was better than last time, quicker, more aggressive, and of course, two goals! Betis had a penalty in the 81st minute, but Ruben Castro sent the ball up to the spectators behind the goal. Then they received a red card (after two yellow). I saw on TV how the Betis fans started to leave the arena, and I understand them…

And, after the game, another disaster! The Sevilla fans had to stay more or less 30 minutes in the stadium, once again because of security reasons, and what happened? Yes, of course! The hymn was played again! And were the speakers fixed? NO! Incredible.. In the video you can see how the fans are dancing and showing the light on their phones, and after one minute you’ll hear what it sounded like for them… But yesterday the players never came out to thank their fans. Why? Because someone had closed the gate to the field and they couldn’t go out there.

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After the first game the President of Sevilla FC only said that this isn’t anything that we will do at our stadium, because it’s just mean.

Shame on you, Betis!

Big fail

Today it’s dia de Reyes in Spain, the day when the three wise men came to Jesus with gifts during the night, and the usual is that the kids wake up in the morning and have a pile of gifts under the Christmas tree.

As you might know, I’m not very religious and I do not follow the bible. And yea, last night they had big parades in every city of Spain with th wise men handing out candy and other things. Big plus this year was that the president of my football team had be chosen to be one of the kings, as they say here, and he gave out flags and scarfs of my football team. Unfortunately I didn’t go see it, but a friend did and now she has a flag for me 🙂 The rain was pouring down when they were to set out so they didn’t start until an hour later, which meant that I couldn’t leave with my car when I wanted to, I had to wait another hour… Then off to see my sister and her family!

We usually celebrate and exchange gifts Santa style, but this year we haven’t had time, slit had to be on Reyes. First mistake: every gift said that it was from my boyfriend and me. Good thing the kids don’t know how to read! Second mistake: gifts are supposed to be handed out in the morning, we did it around 7 last night. How did the wise men have time to pass by our house? But luckily, as a 2 and 4 year old, you don’t have that critical thinking, even though my nephew is a smart ass. After meeting Santa at my academy he said “well, I think he was wearing a costume”. And talking about being critical, I just watched a serie of videos on the news of people and their kids opening their gifts. Why is no one thinking: why do all the gifts come in big bags from El Corte Ingles? Did the wise men really have time to go THERE before seeing all the children? 

  

  

Whiplash?!

A few days ago I was in a minor car accident. We were on our way back into Seville when we stopped for a red light. One second after we got hit in the back. I was with my boyfriend, my sister and her two children, and luckily the kids were sleeping the whole time, they just opened their eyes the second we got hit, but then they got back to sleep. And how do I know that? I was probably looking at them in that exact moment, or my natural instinct was to see if they were okay just as we got hit.

My sister was the one driving, and we were both very surprised! She pulled over and the other car parked behind us. Our car was hardly not damaged, but the other…! His whole front was pushed in and I wonder if he could even open his hood… We filled out all the papers and took off.

While in the car I started to feel a bit stiff in my neck, but I thought it might have been for me having a look at the back all the time during the trip (it was a three hour trip). Today, three days later, I’m noticing more things that are different: I’m tired all the time, I have a headache every day and my vision isn’t very good. I get very tired from sitting in front of the TV or the computer for a long time.

So I looked it up, and it might just be that I got a whiplash… Let’s hope it’s light and will pass soon!

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Things you learn about yourself from bringing a boyfriend back home

My boyfriend is from a country far away from mine and our cultures are very different. We both live together in Spain and our daily life works our quite well there, no big issues. Maybe we question some things that the other person does, either by asking about it or silently thinking about it in our heads. I know I do many things that for me are absolutely normal, and the same for him, but in eyes of others it might look weird…

This Christmas I brought him back to my country to celebrate and to introduce him to my whole family. He has already met my parents and my closest family, and even some friends, but now it was time to see my granny, my aunts, my cousins, and some more of my friends. Nothing can go wrong, right?

And we’ll, “wrong” is probably not the right word, but many “secrets” and old habits popped up and the questioning really started. Same for me about his customs. For me Christmas is a very intimate holiday, every family, religion and country celebrates it in its own manner and there is no right or wrong theoretically, but it’s a tradition that you’ve had for your whole life and that you’ve always had in one way and want to keep in that certain way. Christmas is a weird holiday because many things that we do can look a bit strange for someone on the outside. For example, I read an article the other day about Swedish and Scandinavian Christmas, they are not the same, and I know that most traditions in Sweden are strange, but when you see it written down, black on white, it really makes you think about how dorky you are… Read the article here.

And how do you explain for your better half why you sing and drink shots during dinner? Why the food must be eaten in just that order and not the other way around? Why you watch Donald Duck at 3pm? Why you rhyme on all the presents? And so many more questions… And there were many more things that were qustioned and also found answers to, like why I take off my shoes at home, he finally understands!! For those who don’t understand: in Sweden the floors are warm, as the whole house, and there’s no need to wear footwear, if you want to, there are plenty of slippers that you could choose to wear. And without shoes, the house stays cleaner and the wooden floors won’t be destroyed by dirt and small stones that are caught in the sole of the shoe. And another thing, my boyfriend got to experience full recycling! I’m used to recycle everything in the house, from food going to the compost, newspaper and other paper, glass, cans and even beer bottles and cans that you get money for when recycling! But, to keep animals, insects and bugs away everything has to be clean when recycling. You can’t let an greasy old can or pizza box lie in a bag for weeks before throwing it out. My boyfriend commented on it to my parents that he finally understands why I do certain things and he also said that he sometimes didn’t understand the logic of it. 

  
He told us about his traditions and they are quite different from ours. First of all, he’s from a tropical country, close to the Caribbean, so the temperature is one big thing. They usually meet up with friends during the day, on the streets outside the houses, and when they’re hungry they just go inside (it doesn’t matter if it is their own, a friends or a neighbors house) and get themselves some food. Later at night they meet up with their families and they have a huge turkey. My boyfriend asked if we could have turkey too at our Christmas dinner, but I was sorry to say that turkey is not part of any Christmas table in Sweden… We eat everything but turkey (or chicken and duck). But I convinced my mother to make some for the 25th. One thing our two countries have in common though is that we both celebrate Christmas in the 24th.

  
In my family we give out the presents after dinner even though it’s quite common to do it before. I had to grow up and learning the fine art of patienc. In my boyfriends family they don’t really have any presents, only for the kids, up til you’re 12, because apparently after that you don’t believe in Santa anymore, so why should you get a present?  The sad truth about my boyfriends Christmas traditions…

Inside out

I spent the night at the airport and since I find it impossible to sleep when having my bags and being afraid of being robbed or miss my flight for sleeping in, I watched the film “Inside Out”. I’ve heard from many that it is a good film, but I’ve never taken the time to watch it.

It’s about the voices in our head, our emotions and memories that control us. He film takes place inside a girls mind but we also follow the girl, Riley, in her life. In her mind live Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness, which all control her life and thoughts. Riley just left her hometown with her family because her dad got a new job, and I guess we all know more or less what it’s like to be new at school, finding new friends etc. Riley is only 11 years old and because of the new changes and some “accidents” that happen in her mind, Riley becomes a different person and Joy needs to find her way back to the real, happy Riley, with good memories and happiness.

  
I like the thought of how Disney Pixar has created about our mind. In this film Joy is in charge, but when she goes away to make everything right, Anger takes over and Riley isn’t the same old happy girl anymore. 

When it comes to people that I know and meet in my every day life, they are all different. I see myself as a very happy and optimistic person but I know many that are more critical or angry, and also some that are sad. And what if this is how it works? Let’s just play with the thought, it could explain a lot of our outbursts and why we react in certain ways when we see and hear things. And the storage of memories! The ones that we never use, like in this film, she never used her piano skills she got from her classes as a child, so they faded away and were removed in the end. 

I love Disney, they have so much fantasy and I love how they work with the imagination. If you haven’t seen e yet, please do. It is an amusing thought that it actually would work like that in real life.