Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 4: Why didn't I pack an umbrella?

Guest blogger--LuAnn (Rebecca's mom)

After a few hours of misleading sunshine, the rain returned for most of the day.  We began our day at Gran Via--an upscale shopping street located in central Madrid.  There were many kiosks, too, with more crafts and things to buy.  I purchased some souvenirs for the family and a few post cards for my scrapbook.  It was fun to look at all of the jewelry, scarves, and crafts.  

Then we took the metro to the Prado Art Museum.  Bernice loved looking at all of the paintings.  She could have spent all day there, I think.  Rebecca and I looked at the paintings, but without the appreciation Bernice has.  The Prado has many famous paintings by many famous artists.  There were lines of people all over.  Rebecca said that one day she saw the line a block long waiting to get in.  We picked a good day, with not much of a wait.

On the metro ride back to Rebecca's apartment, a man played the accordion.  I was entertained by the song "Fernando's Hide Away."  I clapped when he finished, but I was the only one.  I guess he only wanted euros--not applause.

Rebecca made us a stir fry supper.  There were five people in the small kitchen while Rebecca prepared the meal. Gregorio and his friend Alex were crammed in there, too.   What's that expression about too many cooks?  ha ha

A few odds and ends about Spain...
When you pass people on the street or in the metro, they do not smile like we do in Wisconsin.  They are very serious.  Yet, they greet people they have just met (like us) with an air kiss to both cheeks--much more personal than a greeting in the U.S.

Christmas is celebrated, but Santa doesn't play a very big role as he does in the U.S.  The big day is still to come--January 6, Feast of the Three Kings.  Every store is decorated with its own nativity set or statues of the three kings.  I know Rebecca will blog about that day, as a big parade is planned as part of the celebration.

I learned that when you say "gracias," the "c" sounds like "th."  It sounds like my second grade students who are missing their front teeth! :)  

What appears to be a carton of "chocolate" milk is really thick chocolate that is used to dunk churros (a pastry) in.  I bought a carton, thinking it was chocolate milk like we have in the U.S.  Was I surprised when I tried to pour it!  I now mix the thick chocolate with regular milk.  Rebecca's roommate laughs, but it works for me. 

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