Remezcla blogger Juliana Nalerio recounts news and adventures from Salamanca, Spain while drinking too much caña, going to classes, writing a thesis on latin life stateside, and just trying to make sense of it all.
“Gin makes me angry.” My friends Bucci and Tessie are playing a game of poker on the bed across from mine. The soundtrack is Curtis Mayfield, playing on a record that belonged to Bucci’s uncle back in the 70s. We are discussing our reactions to various spirits and laughing pausadamente. “I got found lying on the ground, trying to get into my facebook.” Gin makes Bucci angry and Tessie super drunk.
We need to know these details because we have been playing como una pareja de tres all weekend; “Bisexual, trifásica y tridimensional,” as explained by Concha Buika, in an article en El Pais in 2006. Buika lived happily for a number of years with her son’s father and another woman in a three way relationship. For now, ours is more of a love triangle in which each is a bit girl-crushed-out on the other but we won’t say it. You know how it is.
Que se puede decir…oye, cariño, ¿que te parece si hacemos un trio? Dicho así, no creo que sea buena idea lo que tengo en mente. Hay que pensar en lo que cree la tiabuela María, que me ha dicho que casi todas las familias españolas, en parte, son la recreación de la familia sagrada…por eso que hay tantos Joses, Marías, y Jesús.
After a 3 hour trip from Madrid we arrived here in el pueblo Villanueva de Castellon two days ago, about an hour outside of Valencia. Valencia is a coastal city and province on the Mediterranean that is famous for two things: (1) La paella, from Valencia, the recipe prepared here is said to be the TRUE PAELLA, but I don’t really like that much, at least not the tourist version they give you without rabbit. And (2) being the site of Jersey Shore, Spain edition, which is actually happening.
Yes, for many Spanish, Valencia is the “Jersey Shore” of Spain, filled with tíos cuadrados, orange tanned girls, and vacationing foreigners (Italians). Also there is the agua de Valencia, which I would compare to a Long Island Ice Tea, and of course la horchata de Valencia, which no tiene nada que ver con la horchata de México, o al menos, muy poco, and is only fresh and available in the summer.
The three of us are not partying too hard. To be honest, we’re going all traditional with cabin fever for the holidays in the casa de la tiabuela de Bucci. Her family has been in the region for generations.
Now, Tessie’s family is from New Zealand and it happens to be that her mom is the youngest women judge in the country. Tessie speaks with that cute semi-british accent that Americans fall in love with immediately upon hearing.
Orange trees and little mountains surround the pueblo. In the distance we can see the ocean on the horizon. In the house, everything has been preserved from the seventies and we are here with our triangulo amoroso playing poker and complaining about stuffing ourselves with the turrón, marzipan, and polvorones popular here in Spain at Xmas time. To compensate we dip them in soy milk…eww, a little. Many of the sweets are of Arabic or Semitic origin, at least, this is what I heard from B.
María, the tiabuela is in the kitchen, as usual, preparing a puchero, which is Valenciano or Catalan for el cocido, more or less. I really can’t explain the cocido (or I don’t want to, because it would take too long), except that it is a very traditional Spanish dish that changes a bit based on the province and includes a lot of meat and some garbanzos that are transformed into a delicious caldo.
B. es el sobrino de María who comes for “Christmas dinner,” which is actually Christmas lunch in Spain (okay, okay there is both a celebratory dinner on the 24th and a big lunch on the 25th). He is about fifty. The day before we met up with him and he drives us to the chalet on the mountaintop, María is all like, he is a mariconcete, like a little gay by way of the gestures, but she assures us he has no friends, mientras comiendo el túrron and declaring that they just don’t make them like they used to.
At Xmas lunch all is tranquil, peaceful. I am happy eating el puchero (el cocido) while Bucci y Tessie stick with the vegetarian fare. After eating some chunks of steak and potato, B. opens up to us. He tells us how he tried to steal a Dali painting when he was 18 from a museum in Barcelona.
His own paintings are beautiful and abstract. By the end of the chat he decides to show us the music video below by Europop star Gunther…María is mumbling in Valenciano and cleaning the dishes…we are watching very muscular men swing their dicks in a music video from 1989. It is lovely. B. assures us there is nothing crude or vulgar about it and says we have to watch it to the end. Welcome to XXXmas in Spain. It is awesome.
Aqui puedes vivir feliz en trío.
You touch my tralala
More by Juliana:
Salamanca Dairies 1: Dubbed Movies, Chonis, the university, and Spanish teen rappers
Salamanca Diaries 2: Scary stories and ghosts from Spain
Salamanca Diaries 3: Porto, Portugal, losing 3000 dollar watches and sheet
Salamanca Diaries 4: Madrid, Strikes, Illegal Staus and Hipsters
Salamanca Diaries 5: Music Videos to Make You Rethink Spanish Rap + ¡Don’t Date El Rapero!