Posted in Anecdote, Colloquial, Couch Talks, Daily Life, Foreign cultures, Lifestyle, Spain, Tales of My Adventures, Visiting Spain

Spring and Window Shopping in Spain: Malls and Fashion trends

Hola Cttbies!

¿Qué tal? (How are you?)

It’s spring! (At long last). The weather is great here (an average of 20°C). The spring breeze is so sweet here, and the birds chirp so beautifully during the day!

On the other hand, it’s also good if you’d like to have a quiet trip, because there is less touristic affluence and hassle. I must say, the best months to visit Spain are March to early June, or September to mid November.  In summer it’s too hot, especially in August the temperature goes up to 40°C , and there blows a hot wind from the desert that is completely unbearable; in December to January it’s too cold and windy, not the best time either. All year long, it’s like the god of fire and the god of ice fight all year long in Zaragoza.

Busking at Paseo IIndependencia, one of the main streets in Zaragoza’s town center.

From 24°C to 11°C on the same day,  Spring is the time of what I call “quitaipón de ropa” (remove and wear clothes). Temperatures in my town are very unstable, with very high differences in intervals. at one moments you’re sweating buckets and at another, you’re freezing. The wind here (the infamous “Cierzo”) is mortal so you can catch a cold if you let your guard off.  It’s advised to take a light coat with you even if you don’t end up wearing it. Yesterday on my way home, I couldn’t walk properly because the Cierzo kept pushing me from behind. That’s how strong it is!

When the weather gets warm like this, I feel like I’m reviving after a long slumber. I’m in a good mood nowadays, and so are many others, seeing how the streets are busy with plenty of people. The covid 19 incidences have lowered so the authorities lessened the restrictions.

What a better way to celebrate than to go to window shopping or visit a mall?

I am mostly working from home nowadays, so every chance to go out is fine. I met up with a friend and we paid a visit to Puerto Venecia, the most beautiful shopping center in Zaragoza. Built in 2012, it caught the hearts of thousands of buyers and even caused the death of one of its predecessors, Plaza Imperial Mall, which was deserted. Puerto Venecia is bigger, more beautiful, closer in distance and even has a pond with Koi fishes. Sorry, you can’t beat that. The other malls luckily survived because they’re close to the town center and, very importantly, because one can’t go to the same mall all the time. We humans need variety…

This time, I only went window shopping because the economy is kind of low (Ahem). My heart was breaking as I saw all those beautiful things from afar… But still, I had a lot of fun. Actually, I’ve never laughed so much at clothes in my life. The fashion here is a bit peculiar, usually a lot of colours with a touch of eccentricity. Trend wise here, youth clothing is gradually turning Kpop-inspired or anime-inspired. It seems kanjis and dragons are in season. and nowadays, teens here are into colourful bob cuts or “anime skirts” (my bad, I don’t know the exact name).

In the perpetual quest for creativity, some brands went a bit overboard this year. I took some pictures of the clothing I found the most bizarre… Ahem… striking (pictures below). After a long, harsh year, maybe they’re trying to lift our mood… I’ll just take it that way. I just hope they’re confortable to wear…

Is it Spring where you live as well? How is it in your country?

Warm regards, and wishing you a wonderful week!

Posted in Anecdote, Couch Talks, Daily Life, Life Moments, Story time, Tales of My Adventures

Change that one thing you don’t like about yourself: New Year’s resolutions

29th Dec. Recap. 

2021, 2021, we’re eager to see you. Like escaping a sinister maze, we’re running away from 2020 with the hope that you’ll be a better year…

I have always been amazed by that thing called hope. Even in the worst situations, we unconsciously believe that one day the bad season will end and that things will change. As one of our basic instincts for survival, hope is a powerful defense mechanism that keeps us going in life in spite of the daily difficulties we may face.

Funny enough, I suck at “hoping”. I have an extremely pessimistic personality that constantly imagines the worst case scenarios. Contrary to those super positive people who have a smile on their faces all the time, I have to make a HUGE, conscious, monstrous effort to avoid drowning into negativity.

As I paid attention to my life, I realized this. Every single bad event that I imagined would happen came to pass. Just like Job said in the Bible, “the things that I feared the most came unto me” (NPV: Nuna’s Personal Version, hehe). That’s when I began to be afraid of myself…. And of my pessimistic mind with gloomy imaginations that seemed to attract unfortunate events. 

Of course, it’s not just because you imagine something that it will happen. In the same way, it’s not because you’ve not thought about it that it won’t happen.  Our world doesn’t operate on fixed rules, and there are thousands of variables that influence every second of our existence. What’s bound to happen will happen anyway.  However, let’s not add fuel to the fire and make it worse with negative perspectives. If bad things can happen on their own, don’t make your life more obscure by worrying about what could occur to make your life miserable. At least, in your mind, try to dream about nice things. It might not make you control the Universe as you wish; but believe me, it will make your existence a whole lot sweeter. 

Life is difficult? Yes. But depending on your attitude, you’re one step away from making it better or bitter. Let’s call it “the improvement mindset”.

Challenge for the new year 2021: “Change one thing about yourself”. This year, it’s not only about going to the gym or learning a new skill. It’s about a change in attitude. Yelling, cursing, complaining, gossiping, backbiting, overworrying, we all have that little thing which we know could make a difference if we could just get rid of it. Are you ready?

As for me, this is my resolution: I’m going to change my life by changing my perspective. 

Warm regards from a fellow life warrior!

Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

Posted in Anecdote, Colloquial, Food, Foreign cultures, Identity and Culture, Kdrama, Memes

If Korean dramas were African Dramas (I): How to invite your crush to your house

After watching so many series and getting addicted, every hardcore fan becomes familiar with some typical scenes that make Korean dramas so peculiar compared to other shows, and so enjoyable as well: the funny drunken scenes, the piggyback ride, the kiss that takes 16 episodes to happen and… the unforgettable “ramyun” invitation. What would the equivalent be in dramas from other countries?

Today, let’s convert a typical K-drama scene and imagine what would happen in an A-drama.

*How to invite a guy to your house:

In Korea: “Oppa, do you want to come over for some Ramyun?”

In Ghana: “Honey, do you want to come over for some Banku?”

In Togo: “Tonton, ava dou Akoumé zozo déah?”

***

He accepts her invitation and drives her to her residence after work. The weather is hot in the tropical country and the meal is also steamy, so he partly unbuttons his shirt. She discreetly looks over her shoulder to take a glance at the nicely shaped muscles hiding under in his corporate suit. She then quickly turns her head, not knowing he had already caught her peeking. “Your eyes might fall off, darling”, he thinks, trying very hard to hide his smile.

I should add some extra red oil in the soup”, she ponders, her cheeks lifted up by the agreable sight.

She directs him to his seat and sets the table. He takes off his jacket, leans back comfortably and inhales the spicy smell of the hot soup. He takes a little bite, savors the taste, sits up and eats more rapidly.

“Hmm, this is delicious!”, he comments. Delighted, she replies: “Yes, we are all good cooks in our family. You could eat like this every day if you want…” she subtly answers.

He smiles but he can’t reply because the food tastes too good and he is focused on eating.

She goes to the kitchen to bring him some water but accidentally trips on her way. Startled, his hand twitches, and the red oil splashes on his spotless, blindingly white and impeccable shirt.

“Goodness! We have to wash it fast, if not the stain won’t go! Let me give you something to change into…”

(The episode then concludes on a typical cliffhanger, and the ending song starts playing in the background.)

Posted in Anecdote, Colloquial, Daily Life, Foreign cultures, Identity and Culture, Story time, Tales of My Adventures

In what language do you think?

Google Translate

This is a frequent question that we polyglots hear often. Some even go further in asking “In what language do you dream?”. Even if they learn many languages, people usually think in the one they use the most. However, after a certain time of being in contact with different languages at the same time, it’s no more as simple as that.

Out of many, here are some anecdotal examples in my daily life as translator and world citizen:

  • I was watching a video in French. What the original title was:  “21 recettes rapides”.  How my brain read it: “Twenty-one recettes rapides”.
  • On a wall, I saw a Bible verse in English (Joshua 24). My brain: “Joshua vingt-quatre
  • After becoming a hardcore K-drama fan, some little words have become inprinted in my mind. Whenever I hear something surprising, I exclaim “Daebak”. When I am heavily dragging my body to stand up, I sigh “Aigoo”. When I don’t understand someone: “Mwolago”. When I’m watching something and it gets too corny, I cringe “Hajimaaa… Geumanhae…” When I see a bug daring to fly in after I leave my window open “Michyeosso?!”. When I’m extremely pissed: “Aishhhhhh” (elongated or repeated depending on how annoyed I am). “어” (eo… = uh) and “왜” (wae? = why) garnish my colloquial conversations. The only interjection that is clashing in my mind is “야!” (ya! = hey), because in Spanish it means “already”, so my cognitive juices have a hard time processing both.

This has become a part of me, and I don’t really mind even if when the person in front of me has no clue what I’m babbling about (they sometimes have to remind me that not everyone understands my random expressions). I even saved some of my contact names transcribed in Hangul. The truth is, I can read a little Korean, but my level is 10%. I am mostly motivated by my love for my favorite actors and favorite Korean food – kimchi, jjajamyeon and ramyun.Chunseong!

Actually, I used to be more fond of Japanese (which I also enjoy learning when I have some free time – and remember to do so). But it’s harder for me to access Japanese content so the Hallyu wave has taken over. Apart from “Oyasumi”, the only filler word that has survived is “Moshi Moshi” when I pick up calls from my family. Sadly, it is also close to extinction. Sumimasen. Yeoboseyo is gaining territory rather. The heart of man is unpredictable, and love has changed sides…

Let’s continue.

  • When I’m speaking French: I start to gesticulate a lot and become extra conscious of my tongue twisting in my mouth.
  • When  I speak English: I mostly feel relaxed because over the years, the filler “you know” has somehow been stuck in my head and has a certain calming effect I cannot explain. Since I listen to various sources, my accent is neither British, nor American, nor Ghanaian, or anything registered. My English is mine. Still, I express myself fluently, as you can see in my post (boasting).
  • When I’m speaking Spanish: I feel carefree and lively, and end up raising my tone without knowing. Caliente.#Mediterranean effect.
  • When I’m speaking German: I become too conscious of the fact that it’s the language I am less proficient in and it makes me speak with a low, shy voice, almost whispering.
  • When I’m speaking Mina, I don’t have a problem. I don’t think too much and I’m comfy.
  • How I write my shopping list:
Jus de fruit
Carotte râpée
Tuna
Espinaca
Carne
Yaourt
Chicken
Water
Cortauñas
  • My dilemma as a writer

“Oh my, I’m having an idea about a story. But in what language should I write? English, French or Spanish, Spanish, French or English?”. I end up choosing depending on my mood. I don’t care much though; afterwards, I’ll end up translating it anyway.

Depending on who I’m talking to – whether we are close or not, I speak “Franglish“, “Spafrench“, “Spamina” and add some random words in Korean or Japanese (it’s my way of practicing them since I have no other means). I also speak in the correct standard language of course, if it’s for professional reasons.

And you, in what language do you think?

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