Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Euro Life

I thought I should shed a little bit of light on the contrasts between California life and Spanish life.

When you eat at a restaurant, or sit in a cafe for a coffee or beer, you have to ask for the check. You sit as long as you'd like and then you grab the attention of the server and ask for the bill. You pay, and if it's a full fledged meal, you leave a tip.

Lunch begins at no earlier than 1pm. The Spanish can barely fathom the fact that I would want to eat lunch at noon. If I ate breakfast at 10:30am everyday I would be a bit perplexed too.

Butter, oh butter. It's hardly used. You don't get butter with bread at restaurants, and even most of the croissants are made without butter. Once again this is only in Spain, when we were in the Netherlands this last summer, it seemed they put butter on everything.

Also free water is not offered at restaurants and in fact most "don't have" tap-water. It's a luxury that most of us take for granted back home.

The trash is collected at 3am in the morning. When you live on the corner of two busy streets with bins nearby expect to hear the hydraulics a few nights a week. I understand that they don't want the trucks to block traffic but 3am?

When sharing an elevator with someone they may or may not say hello but they always say good-bye.

That's it for now...it's 12:10pm I think I'm going to eat a butter-free croissant.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Holy How the Hell Did I Pull this One Off Batman?!

Talk about kharma. Well I'm not keeping tabs but to pull this off I must have done something right. Last night, Jessica and I attended the Spanish premier of Batman: El Cabellero Oscuro. How do you ask? Jessica had connections. Now mind you this wasn't just the first showing in Spain. It was red-carpet, papparazzi, polemic Christian Bale with an overtly happy wife by his side. We arrived at 9 thinking the show would start at 10. Wrong! The big shots: Chris Nolen, Maggie Gylanhall, Aaron Eckhart all arrived at 11ish. Add 30 minutes outside signing 'graphs and looking angelic for the razzis. Finally the big shots made it in for a round of applause. It was a special treat to be there, but I was losing patience. It's not like Morgan Freeman and Michael Cain were in attendence. For them it'd have waiting happily for at least another 30 minutes.

I thought the movie was good. I'm loath to judge a movie by the first look. Yeah I know if I have to watch every movie at least twice to see if I like it I won't have time for much else. But I feel I can't fully understand the message, or some of the humor, or the little details directors of Christoper Nolan's caliber through in. I feel the same way about music. I have to listen to a CD at least three time to make an informed judgement. (Just so you know the new Coldplay is weak.)

Heath Ledger was amazing. He stole the screen everytime his scared face graced it. That says a lot when you've got the freakin bat bike screaming 150 MPH down Main Street gunning for the Joker. Oscar? I have no clue. I don't wanna act like an LA snob creating Ledger Oscar buzz when I've seen maybe 6 new movies this year. My brother helped me learn that.

What I'm Doing:

Reading: Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

Eating: Paella Mariscos

Watching: Keith Olbermann's Countdown

Listening to: Jens Lekman

Peace and Love to all.