Monday, June 30, 2014

Un viaje al supermercado

Today I spent a long time stocking up on some groceries.  First thing that I noticed?  The fruit and veggies are so much cheaper here in Madrid!  Check out my photos below.  Included are the flyer, photos of the store, and my receipt.  

As you look through the photos, note that all periods/decimal points are commas.  For example, in the ad below, it says that the peaches cost 0,89 cents/kg.  Pretty crazy, eh?  

I was most excited about the price of avocados - one avocado cost me 55 euro cents, which is only about 70 cents in USD! Not too bad :)

Lunes de lenguaje!

One of the main reasons I decided to live in Madrid this summer was to improve my Spanish - sure, I know "text book" Spanish, but I would love to sound more native and use phrases that Spaniards use in every day conversation. Luckily, the couple I'm living with and all of the friends that I've made here have been really helpful in teaching me some new phrases and vocabulary!

Here are some of my favorites so far:

quedar = to meet up 
Quedamos en la estatua en la plaza. 
-->  "We'll meet up at the statue in the plaza."

flipar = to flip out/go crazy/freak out
Estoy flipando porque acabo de ver a un actor famoso! 
-->  "I'm freaking out because I just saw a famous actor!"

"Es una locura." = that's/it's crazy!
La educacion cuesta muchisimo en EEUU. Es una locura! 
--> "Education costs a lot in the US. It's crazy!"

"No cuentes conmigo." = Don't count on me!
--Quieres ir al cine con nosotros?  -Ay, no se. No cuentes conmigo. 
--> "Do you want to go to the movies with us? -- Ay, I don't know. Don't count on me."

"amar con locura." = To love something A LOT! (literally "with craziness," like obsessively)
Juley, el gato, ama el raton con locura. Lo ama muchisimo. 
--> "Juley, the cat, loves the rat A LOT.  She loves it so much."

 "Me meto contigo." = I'm messing with you.
Tu eres muy feo. Ay! Me meto contigo ;)  
--> "You are very ugly. Oh I'm just messing with you!!

la cuna = the wedge (of cheese, women's high heels, doorstop, etc.)
Le pedi una cuna de queso manchego.  
--> "I ordered a wedge of Manchego cheese."

el pomo = the doorknob
Cada puerta tiene pomo.
--> "Each door has a doorknob."

la banderilla = a sort of tapa, on a toothpick (like a mini shish kebab)
Mi tapa favorita es una banderilla de cebollas, aceitunas, pimientos y atun. 
--> "My favorite tapa is a banderilla of onions, green olives, peppers, and tuna."

la chuleta = the cheatsheet
Ay no recuerdo mucho de este barrio. Necesito escribir una chuleta. 
--> [On a walking tour] "Ay, I don't remember much about this neighborhood.  I need a cheatsheet."

castizo = old, untainted, antique, genuine (mainly culture-based)
Este barrio es lo mas castizo de Madrid - mira las calles de guijarros y la iglesia bonita. 
--> "This neighborhood is the oldest/most genuine in Madrid - look at the cobblestone streets and the pretty church."

el chulapo/la chulapa = the traditional garb of Madrid
Durante las celebraciones, muchos madrilenos llevan los chulapos y las chulapas. 
--> "During the celebrations, many people from Madrid where chulapas."
photo credit:

Hasta luego!! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Moda Madrilena #1

For every week that I'm in Madrid this summer, I will be posting a photo and lesson plan to show and discuss the street fashion in Madrid.  This is my first photo and lesson plan - of a young woman named Sara who is from Madrid.  

You can find the lesson here! $2.00.  An answer sheet is included.

Un horario diferente

A lot of other countries have different eating schedules.  Some are the same as the US - others, like Spain, are very different.  

Here is what I've experienced so far: 

1) because I'm on summer vacation and have nothing to wake up early for, I usually sleep until 10.  I cook breakfast in my apartment sometime between 10:30 and noon.  Then I head out and walk around/explore Madrid.

2) between 3-5, I eat lunch.  Sometimes I'll buy something at a store or go to a restaurant, but sometimes I cook in the apartment.

3) now here is the craziest part: dinner.  It's very typical to go out for a drink and/or "tapas" (light snacks) between 7-10 with friends.  Then, at some point after that, you may find yourself eating a real dinner.  This may be grabbing a slice of pizza para llevar ("to go"), sitting down at a cafe or restaurant, or cooking in your apartment.  You can call it a night after that, or if you really want to have some fun...then you can go out to different clubs or hang out in the plazas until 3-4am.  Last night I tried going to bed at 2am, and I heard people outside on the streets and plazas until 4ish!!  Do Spaniards ever sleep?

Anyways, it's been crazy adjusting to the new eating schedule, but I'm shocked to see that less than a week after arriving, I don't even think about lunch until 3/4ish and dinner till 10ish.  Dios mio!

Having a delicious cup of coffee helps to combat the vicious jet lag early on!  This is Toma Cafe in the hip neighborhood of Malasana.

Las plazas de Madrid

As we've talked about in class, plazas are very popular in most other countries.  Yes, there are a few in the US in big cities such as New York City or Boston, but plazas are essentially everywhere in Spain.  I have been to maybe 1-2 dozen so far, and I know there are dozens more to visit!  Some plazas are really big, and some are a lot smaller.  

Check out some of the plazas below.  While you look at the photos, notice what people are doing in the plazas.

A small plaza within el Parque del Buen Retiro

The main plaza in Madrid - Puerta del Sol

(human statues!)

La Plaza del Dos de mayo
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Dosde Market (el mercado del diseno) in Plaza del Dos de mayo where the Spaniards sell handmade crafts/jewelry

Plaza de Oriente - right in front of the Palacio Real

Plaza Mayor - the other main plaza in Madrid

Plaza de Santa Ana - the smaller plaza two blocks from my apartment

So what did you notice the people doing?  I saw people: hanging out and chatting with friends, walking dogs, eating at cafes, talking on the phone, eating ice cream or other snacks, riding bikes, walking around, and more!  

I'm sure I will upload more photos of plazas as I encounter more and more each day :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Churros con chocolate en Madrid

What are churros? Well, the short version is churros = heaven.  There are lots of different variations, but in Spain they mostly appears as above, or porras which are a little thicker.  Sometimes they come in rings.  Either way, they are heaven on earth.  They're essentially fried dough that you dip into thick, hot chocolate.  This is not quite "hot chocolate" as we know it in the states, but rather a thick, dark chocolate - almost like more of a pudding.  

The exact origin of churros is disputed, but some say it came from the Spanish nomads who wanted an easy dessert to create over fire (see: Huffington Post's history of churros).  It then migrated to Central and Latin American (like many things...uh, the Spanish language for one!) where it took on even more variations.

The undisputed churros spot in Madrid is San Gines, which is where I went.  This place as been around for quite some time (think 100+ years) and I could see why.  Check out their simple site here: Chocolateria San Gines . The decor was very neat, and it was pretty quick service.  The only downfall were the billions of tourists who were taking photos while eating churros (oh wait - I was one of them).

I wasn't able to finish all 6 of the churros.  I think I got through only 2.5 :/

Of course los madrilenos debate who actually serves the best churros - my friend, Emilia, shook her head when I told her about San Gines!  Here's a list of some other options: Other places to find churros\

Anyways, I bet they're all pretty equally heavenly.  Check out some more photos of San Gines below!

The lower level of San Gines 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

La sidra asturiana

La sidra asturiana = cider from Asturias, a region in Spain. 

This cider is unlike typical American cider - this stuff is less sweet, and almost tastes crispier and more natural. Sidra dates back to ancient times and is still popular today.  

People can go to sidrerias where they serve the cider. Traditionally, sidra is served all the way up in the air into a glass in order to create more carbonation.  

Check out my two photos below:

You can watch a video of the process here: 

Without the spectacle (no, really - the whole bar was laughing at us), it is normally served with a tap that shoots the cider into your glass (see photo below of me).  You traditionally only drink about 1 inch at a time because you don't want it to get warm.  You are not supposed to let it sit at all.  

Here's a photo of a guy pouring sidra in the traditional garb of Asturias. 
So go find some sidra asturiana - es deliciosa!

Photo credit: 
Practice Spanish with the World Cup schedule and statistics!
A bar in the Barrio de las Letras, Madrid

I created a two page worksheet with basic questions about the World Cup games and statistics.  Students need to answer basic questions such as, "A que hora juegan EEUU versus Alemania?" by looking at the schedule.  This is a great exercise in reading dates and times that are written in Spanish and answering basic questions.

An answer key is included.  Buy it here! Mundial 2014 - Practice Spanish with the World Cup schedule!

Forgetting old flames...with flames?

It appears that I have arrived in Spain 1 day too late - I missed the exciting "Noche de San Juan" (the night of June 23rd into the 24th) where towns and cities all over Spain celebrate the summer solstice by lighting bonfires and burning things that they want to get rid of.  In a sense, the festival is about purifying oneself to destroy all things bad.  People can burn old classwork, photos of ex-lovers, etc. To seal the deal, you need to jump over the fire 3 times and then your past is wiped clean (if only it were that simple?).  Oh, and water helps to purify things as well.  The festival is most popular in Alicante and Galicia (con las meigas = witches) but also all over, especially on the coasts. It also exists in lots of other Spanish-speaking countries around the world. 

There are also lots of legends associated with this magical night.  Read about some of them here: Legends of San Juan (in Spanish only)

Here are some photos of the festivities:

So what do you think?  What things do you want to purify this summer?

Photo credits:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Getting ready for my trip!

Now that the school year is finally over, I can focus on preparing for my trip to Madrid!  Figuring out how to use my iPhone 5 abroad is trickier than I thought.  After talking to most people, I heard that getting a local SIM card in Madrid will be easiest.  Does anyone have thoughts on that?  Gracias!

This is from my trip to Bilbao, Spain a few years back!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Welcome to my blog!

Hola! In this blog I will post about my Spanish classroom, cool current events in the Spanish-speaking world, and most upcoming trip to Spain! I will be living in the heart of Madrid for 7 weeks this summer. Please follow my blog to see what I'm up to, view my beautiful travel photos, and grab any freebies that I post throughout the week! Welcome to Senorita's Spanish Class Blog :) 

Please visit my TpT store as well: Senorita's Spanish Class TpT Store

I studied abroad in Granada, Spain some time ago. Here is El Mirador de San Nicolas which overlooks the Alhambra.