Yuletide Greetings (and a mix of everything else)

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It’s that time of year…

The Hobbit

THE HOBBIT IS FINALLY OUT IN THEATRES! [Fun Fact #398: movies premiere on Wednesdays in France.] Lucky me, I got to watch the midnight viewing on Tues…2 days ahead of home! What I really wanted to say is I could dedicate an entire post to my experience…I’ll save that for next time “Christmas” is here!

Lights!

You know it’s the season when the tower puts up some festive lights…

Cards

and, I’m procrastinating from studying by justified “Christmas”-card-making while surfing the internet for some lustful window-shopping.

Seriously, ’tis the season when your Spanish roomie, Paola, decorates the kitchen with a homemade Christmas tree!

Christmas Tree

Let me tell you something about Paola…she is one of the most amazing/creative/energetic/blunt/generous/intelligent/fashionable/organized people that I have ever met and I am so privileged to have had her as a roomie. She comes from the small town of Moreda de Aller in Asturias (North of Spain) and is always showing me Youtube videos of the Fiesta of San Martin. She’s currently studying Art & Design and sadly, her ERASMUS (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) exchange is ending this term. Why not end it off with a fiesta? And so, the lights were lit…

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…the decorations put up…

ERASMUS 2012

Now, let the fête begin! Except, on my terms, a sensible party starts promptly at 6 or 7pm…which is not at all what happens in Spain. Our gathering would commence at 10pm if on time.

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Being Paola, everything was thought-out and well-organized. Each person prepared a dish…and let me tell you, it was definitely a good idea that I waited to eat dinner at the party.

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The dish that stood out the most was this tomato dip, which Paola then explained to me to be Salmorejo (click for the Wikipedia recipe) – a dip consisting of left-over bread, lots of tomatoes and garlic.

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Even though I was the only non-Spanish (sauf the one honorary French guy), I definitely felt the love – I feel española! I was included in their award ceremony and awarded “la risitas” (google translate: the giggles; thank you, Paola).

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After an unforgettable night of experiencing an authentic fiesta and dancing my butt off to Spanish music,…it was just the first of many soirées. Our other Australian roomie, Dilini, is also heading home. In Australia, the school year starts in January (which makes sense since it is the first month of the year) so she’s already been in Bordeaux for the year. We went out for a nice Christmas dinner. And if you’re wondering who that other guy is, well, that’s Omar. He’s my fellow Canadian roomie and also a York student who comes from Glendon! Glendonites unite!

Roomie Dinner

The next fête was to celebrate an early Noël chez moi with my classmates. The most part will be staying next term but there are a few who will be heading home for good and that night was our last encounter…for the time-being. It was a bittersweet night filled with turkey, tiramisu, dance music, tears, and laughs.

DUEF 3 Noel

This all happened before Noël…now what am I going to do for the holidays? To be honest, I kind of hate dislike Christmas; the past few weeks have been depressing despite all the fun parties. I’ve always found it hard to accept “goodbyes” and on top of that, I’ve been feeling the slight pangs of “homesickness”. Also, watching sad foreign insurance commercials on Youtube is no ailment (it just adds to the blues). My parents graciously offered to fly me home to spend Christmas with my brothers for my 7-week break (no typo intended). It was so tempting…but in the end, I declined. I know that I am happy here and I am having fun so I need to cherish it. And indeed I will because my dear Paola invited me to go home with her to Moreda for Christmas and New Year’s. After that, I’ll be traveling to Morocco with 4 other classmates to enjoy 2 weeks of vacationing in the sun. There is definitely no time to be sad. Enjoy today. Cherish your memories and just know that there is no definite “adieu”, only “à la prochaine fois”!

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