Posted in Daily Life, Foreign cultures, Identity and Culture, Lifestyle, Spain, Tales of My Adventures, Trips

Spanish ravishing strolls: discovering the city of Zaragoza

Hola CTTBies!

I hope we are all doing well, and that we’re all safe!

In today’s post I will be sharing more about an important aspect of Spanish social life: the art of taking strolls. I’m also taking you on a visual tour of Zaragoza, the town were I live!

In a previous post, I mentioned that Spaniards spend a lot of time in social interactions, and therefore, it’s very common to come across “improvised hangouts”. It does not necessarily refer to parties or meetings over meals. Spaniards also spend a lot of time outside their flats, walking, chatting or just having fresh air. Their cities are designed for that purpose. For example, in my town Zaragoza, there are a lot of public spaces of various sizes: parks, squares, green spaces or playgrounds between buildings. There are always public benches on every street. You can see families with kids, lovey-dovey couples, young people chatting with their friends, eating snacks or listening to music, or old people getting fresh air. It was really funny for me to that even the University’s park is visited for the same purposes and even to walk their dogs. 

They also go for “tapeo” which is going from bar to bar eating “tapas” (snacks or hors d’œuvre) and having a drink.

On weekends, after church, I like walking home. I sometimes take a detour to enjoy the view. There are days when my  friends tag along. We walk, enjoy the view, sit or squat somewhere for a while, there continue wherever our feet lead us too. If we’re hungry, we go to any supermarket nearby and grab some snacks to keep us company. My town is small and very safe, so we stay out until our legs give out (before Covid-19 started, sometimes till 1 or 2 am ).

There’s always something new to discover, or things that capture our attention… We have a local saying here: “Zaragoza te enamora” (Zaragoza makes you fall in love). Indeed, I have been here for years, but it is constantly fascinating.

After the Filomena snowstorm left us covered in white, San Valero’s strong wind gushes nearly blew us away, and now… Valentine came with love in its wings. The weather is pretty more merciful these days. We’re transitioning to spring so the average max. temperature is 14°C.

As it’s getting warmer and warmer, talking strolls around the city becomes even more agreeable. It is pure goodness to see the trees bloom and to feel the sweet rays of the sun slowly warming up… I love Spanish Spring very much, I feel like I‘m reviving after the harsh winter.

I know it’s still far, but as the tropical bird that I am, I can’t wait for summer to come.

Warm regards,

Nuna Blomevi.

“Expo” Zone

Valdesparterra” and “Arcosur” residential areas

I recorded traces of the Filomena snowstorm on my Youtube channel
Posted in Character reveal, Identity and Culture, literary updates, Original Stories

Black Heroes: Character artwork for the miniseries “Three Expats and A Winter”

Hola CTTBies,

I hope you’re doing well!

Not so bad on my side. Except that winter is starting here in Spain and I’m not so excited about it. I hate the cold weather … Anyway, it doesn’t cut down my enthusiasm! Now, let’s get to the topic.

Except for my diary “A Writer Behind The Scenes”, I plan to have all my stories illustrated. Although I select and design the traits and physical features of the protagonists, I’m a terrible drawer. I use an app to create a simulation, then I ask a friend of mine to complete the drawings for me.

Today I wanted to share with you the characters I created for the miniseries “Three Expats and A Winter”. I’ve heard a lot that there were not enough black heroes, or drawings of African characters that people of black lineage could relate with. I agree as well. The main protagonists (Johnny, Martins and Malaika) each portray a different aspect of situations faced by people of color. In the future, I’ll design more characters to go with the episodes. I hope to not only raise awareness, but also to generate a positive impact that will bring out a positive change.

The complete Season 1 is uploaded on this website (click here to read).

First sketching

First poster

Second sketching

Second poster

Take good care, and see you in my next post!

Nuna Blomevi.

Posted in Foreign cultures, Identity and Culture, Lifestyle

The story behind my webseries: “Three Expats and a Winter”

Hi CTTBies!

Three Expats and a Winter” is the first webseries I posted on CTTB. At the beginning, I wanted to talk about some cultural issues that I observed or faced as I travel around the world. Since all those experiences were too numerous to discuss one by one, I decided to turn it into a story.

The episodes of “Three Expats and a Winter” are published in a webnovel format, just like for my diary “A Writer Behind the Scenes“.

The purpose was to raise awareness about some sensitive topics such as cultural discrimination. For that reason I chose to create neutral characters to portray the story. Johnny, Malaika and Martins may be fictional, but the situations they encounter tell about the challenges that many expats face in real life. I got the idea as I started a promotional project called “Imagine Africa” to show the continent in a new, positive light, and not as a miserable, pitiful place struck by poverty, war, hunger and a cursed destination to a be avoided as the foreign media tend to display it. While I lived abroad, I realized that Africa has so many beautiful aspects (for example, its delicious food, its weather, the warmth and hospitality of people, the social culture centered on solidarity etc). I wasn’t quite content with how the foreign media seemed to always focus on the negative parts. That tendency has generated stigmatizing effects that greatly penalize Africans on the international scene. The good side is, things are changing for the better and many nationals from this beautiful continent have taken up on themselves to correct that label and foster change in people’s minds. I’ve decided to also join that great initiative, and I hope that my series will have a positive impact.

Until we meet again in my next post, take care! 😉

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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