Archive for March, 2010

Add Homonym

March 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Spanish

duckyToday during bathtime, I was trying to teach my daughter to say “hola“. I’ve decided that “hello” is more complicated because of the H sound, and a Spanish salutation is going to be more useful around town, so we’re starting with Spanish. Her big problem is that the O vowel sound still eludes her, so I make a special effort to exaggerate the O, showing the shape of my mouth when I say it. OOOOO-la!

I was repeating, “Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola…”

Rather than repeat after me, she made a big movement, pushing her body out of the water and letting it fall back, sending waves up over the edge of the tub.

“Not that kind of ola,” I said.

For, you see, the word for a wave in water is “ola“, which sounds just like the greeting with the silent H, “hola“.

Monte Real Castle in Baiona, Galicia

March 11, 2010 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel

Harbor from castle wallsTo take a break from the 517th Annual Arrival Festival, we walked up to the Monte Real Castle that looks out over the Baiona harbor and also towards the Atlantic Ocean. It houses the Parador de Baiona, which is a ritzy four-star hotel and restaurant. A double room with a view is only 266€ per night! Their marketing video is very well done. What had been an overcast day opened up and shed sunlight on most of our visit to the little peninsula fortress. Once we got up to admire the view, we found a stone bench to sit, and then lie, down on for a short siesta in the sunshine. All that walking, wine and octopus really knocked me out. So I can honestly say that I slept at the Parador de Baiona. Cat nap over, we continued all along the castle walls. Medieval castles are a lot of fun.
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Fiesta de la Arribada – Baiona

March 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel

Bayona 1493On Saturday, March 6, 2010, I attended the 517th annual Fest da Arribada (“Arrival Festival” in the Galician language) in Baiona, Galicia. In the port of that small town, 517 years ago, on March 1, 1493, a boat called La Pinta returned to Spain bringing news of a New World to the west, filled with bizarre mostly naked humans, corn, potatoes, peppers, tobacco, tequila and cowboys. It was the first of Christopher Columbus’ ships to return, and, should your childhood textbooks be believed (they absolutely should not!), the first proof that the Earth was not round. Normally Spaniards need little to no provocation to have a celebration, so there’s been no stopping this party for half a millennium!
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Vigo

March 09, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Spain, Travel

Octopus PlateThis past weekend, we went to Vigo, Galicia, on the Atlantic coast of Spain near the Portugal border. On Thursday morning, we got up early, left The Wee One with my in-laws, and drove seven hours west to the province of Galicia. That afternoon, I worked like normal, feeling extra worldly burning a charred spot on a hotel desk with my laptop, while Marga studied for a test about Project Management or some such thing. On Friday morning, she went to take her test and I worked all morning, except for when I when I went out for a brief cafe con leche and a palmera pastry for breakfast. Friday afternoon, I worked some more and then went out to meet Marga and walk around the city.
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Patética Fonética Debut

March 02, 2010 By: erik Category: Colindres, Funny, Spain, Videos

Native Speaker of U.S. EnglishLast month, I was asked to participate, as a native English speaker, in a videocast from the local language school, Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Laredo, about English pronunciation. The man who filmed me and is the brain of the whole videocast, Rodolfo, is really annoyed at his students’ (and, in general, all Spaniards’) lack of care when pronouncing English words. Rather uniquely, Rodolfo has specifically chosen American English as his pronunciation goal; he has worked really hard, and his pronunciation is superb. This is the third installment in his videocast. Here are the first and second.
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