Let’s Link—Week 3

Let's Link!

And we’re back with another link list! Sorry for the delay, but last weekend I was visiting Zamora and Mario’s family for the November 1 holiday, Todos los Santos, or All Saints’ Day in English. In Spain, families tend to visit the graveyards to put flowers on relatives’ graves. We had a merienda consisting of chocolate a la taza (basically melted chocolate, thick and delicious), chorizo, Zamoran cheese, fried bread, two kinds of cake, wine, and liqueurs. Other, more-widespread culinary traditions include eating Huesos de Santo (Saints’ Bones) and buñuelos de viento, which are filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, or chocolate.

Here are some of my favorite links from the past two weeks:

Do Different Languages Confer Different Personalities? Ah, a great question. I often feel more eloquent as well as funnier in English. In Spanish, I’m much less likely to express an opinion, because I find that it’s easier to quash. I also have a fear of looking silly, so this leads me to say less.

For Mind and Body: Study Finds Mediterranean Diet Boosts Both. For those of us living in Spain and consuming loads of olive oil, good news! The diet boosts both cerebral and physical health! I’m always happy to hear what I’m already doing is good for me.

The American Smile. I found this article, by fellow expat blogger (in Germany) Alex, to be hilarious and mind-opening. I never thought of this! Do Americans have a distinct smile? I know we smile a lot and especially on cue. But most of the time my smile is genuine; I’m not faking it. Also, I agree with Alex that flossing is not just made up by dentists. Flossing is totally important!

Recipe: Chorizo Burger with Paprika. It seems the UK has gone “mad” over chorizo, and this recipe just adds more evidence to the pile. A chorizo burger? Has the UK gone too far?

The Guiri Complex. What is really like to live in another country? Sometimes I get the picture that people think we live in a constant vacation world, that our lives are only filled with sunshine and rainbows. What is it like to miss things from the US? Should we always be searching those things out or treat them as what they are—a treat? Cat explores this question.

And now in Spanish …:

Esquelas curiosas publicadas en ABC. Esquelas are like death announcements, in which the family of the deceased puts a notice in the newspaper. The Spanish newspaper ABC recently published this article for Halloween of some of its more curious notices, including one that lamented that the deceased forgot to pass along a recipe for “pickled paella”!

Una docena de los nombres de chica más puestos en España. Recently I read about some of the most popular girls’ names in the US, and this article supplied what I’d wanted since: a list of the most-popular Spanish girls’ names. Obviously, María leads the list.

Thanks for reading! Any links you’d like to share?

In 49 States, It’s Just Basketball…

But this is Indiana.

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Darren Cummings / AP

I once wrote an entry about the things I’ve had to explain to Mario. It included things like tailgating, “that guy,” and 4-H.

There are plenty of Spanish concepts that Mario’s had to explain to me – la matanza, “¿Quién es la última?”, wedding etiquette, how Spanish high schools used to be structured, and why Spanish women are so intent that I not catch a cold.

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One thing he never had to explain was soccer. It was obvious.

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In some ways, I hope that basketball is the same for him. Hoosier basketball, that is. Is there any other kind?

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When you grow up in Indiana…

  • Football is fine, baseball’s okay, but basketball’s king.
  • The movie Hoosiers is mandatory viewing.
  • People like to complain about the good old days, before class basketball.
  • There are high school gyms that seat over 9,000 people. High school.
  • James Naismith said Indiana’s the center of basketball and you know, without a doubt, that it’s true.
  • There are two seasons in Indiana. They are basketball season and getting ready for basketball season.
  • Players cite their reasons for coming to IU as “This is Indiana.” As they say in Spanish: “Y punto.”
  • You may not like sports, but you have to appreciate the magic in the atmosphere, the feeling that anything is possible, that hard work can get you anywhere – even to a national championship.

When I first informed Mario that people in my state like college ball better than professional, he was surprised – I mean, isn’t the level higher at the professional level? And obviously it is. That’s why they’re the pros.

But what he came to learn (what we all come to learn here) is that there is nothing like the cream and crimson, the squeak of shoes on the court, screaming your fight song, watching the last minute three-pointer fall softly in the net, rushing the court with 30,000 of your closest friends…

In short, there’s nothing like IU.

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Truth.

Disclaimer: I may be a bit biased.