The following writing sample is a blog post I wrote for University of Washington’s study abroad blog.
1. After not eating peanut butter for two months, I gave in and bought the overpriced Spanish version called Capitán Maní. I finished the jar after four glutinous sessions consisting of me spreading it on anything I could find. Cookies, bananas, fingers…que vergüenza (what shame).
2. I have a bidet in my house. That is all.
3. My host family had never heard of pancakes. After my extremely informative description sounding something like, “They are like um, a crepe but big. They are like a dessert, but are a breakfast food. They are sweet and soft and delicious. You must eat them with a lot of butter and a sauce (didn’t know the word for syrup). This sauce is really sweet and the pancakes are in the shape of a circle….” they still of course had no idea what I was talking about. That is when I had to whip out my cell phone, because you know, it is completely normal and necessary to have a plethora of pancake pictures in your pocket at all times.
The conversation following their first time seeing a pancake:
Host mom: You eat that for breakfast?
Me: All the time.
Host mom: But that is a dessert.
Me: Not in America it’s not. 🙂
These are the photos they saw of pancakes. Yes, I made them. They were caramel apple pancakes. Here is the recipe I used: http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2012/09/11/caramel-apple-pancakes/
4. The people in Cadiz, including my host family, love to eat shrimp with the heads and eyes still on them. They don’t actually eat the heads or eyes, but they do rip off the tail, head, and body before popping the shrimp into their mouths. Then (best part), they suck out the goodies from inside the head. My first time watching this I imagine my face looked something like 😦. I never really ate seafood growing up and always avoided it before I came to Spain. I promised myself that once in Cádiz, a very seafood oriented place, I would try it all. So when my host mom handed me a shrimp for the first time I was more than willing to try it, but sadly unknowing of how. I whispered to her at our table full Spanish relatives “I don’t know what to do.” She giggled and grabbed the pink body back from me. In a mess of slimy, seafood fingers she slid off the eyes, cracked off the head and tail, then peeled off the outer shell of the body. I sat wide-eyed, wondering what the next step was as she placed the shrimp into my hand. My host mom motioned with her hand for me to put it in my mouth. So that’s what I did. The whole family had begun to watch and burst out laughing, as my lips pursed and my chewing became slower and slower. My host mom gave me a napkin. And that is where my first time eating shrimp came to an end. I told her it tasted like the sea and they all nodded, flicking black eyes off their fingers “obviously”.