Shut up, Spain is Better

This post title is harsh because I am angry. (Okay, not really. Just irritated. Sometimes.)

A lot of people romanticize Europe. It’s cool; I did it, too. I used to think of Europe as all cobblestoned streets, cafés filled with a low yellow light, and freshly baked bread carried under your arm. It paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it?

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But the reason why I’m – grrr – angry frustrated is that most people, when they think of places they want to go, do not think of Spain. I admit it, I’m jealous. Tengo celos. (I said it in Spanish so you know it’s goin’ down.)

When I say wine, do you think Italy? France? California?…Spain?

I think of Spain, now and forever. It has great wine, and heck, if you’re actually in the country, it’s cheaper than water (the house wine, that is). I never liked red wine until Spain and now I’m very partial to it indeed.

My dad, however, may never really get wine. And that’s okay. But he gets it – Spanish wine is tops.

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If I say delicious European food, what do you think of? Italy? France? Greece? … Spain?

You should. I mean that. I know, I know, it’s easy to go to a restaurant with the menu in English that serves you greasy fries and dried out pork. It’s not good. But guess what? That’s not true Spanish food. True Spanish food is fresh, delicious, made from the very best ingredients.

So sorry so yellow. Again, Dad looks odd. Sorry Dad?

If you want the good stuff, I suggest making a Spanish friend (boyfriend / girlfriend works too – ahem) and going to his or her house. Usually, almost always in fact, the food is good. My favorite meals were the simple ones – lentejas being one of them. It was hearty, delicious, and good for you. Cha-cha-ching!

When you think of a beautiful country, do you think of Spain? I do. Spain has it all – the climate in the north is like Ireland’s (rainy and green), the climate in the south is more like the southwest of the U.S. (dry and hot), and in the middle you have a temperate climate like where I’m from, the Midwest. Oh, and you also have beautiful beaches. And some islands thrown in for good measure.

Best Beaches  Canary Island Beaches

When you think of nice people…you should think of Spain.

Now, at first glance you may think to yourself, these people are not so nice (unless, of course, you are in Andalucía where they are a bit more, shall we say, exuberant). They don’t usually say anything as they shove past you in the grocery store. People don’t smile at strangers. Waiters don’t coddle you.

But, but, but…if you take the time to get to know – really get to know them – you have friends for life. I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through the past year without Mario’s parents to take care of me, feed me, worry about me. How would I have known about getting my hair appointment for the wedding? Who would have made me endless bowls of soup and worried way too much about me when I ran outside in the freezing temperatures? I am blessed. But there are so many Spaniards like Pepita and Jesús.

I came off as rather negative at times about Spain this past year and by writing this I wanted to clear things up – it was my problem, not Spain’s. Right now, Spain’s problems do not include any of the following: wine, food, beauty, people, or lack of stupid things to do with bulls.

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They do, however, include unemployment. Boo.

But back to the title – Italy is cool; France is all right; but shut up, Spain is better.