Perhaps it was this line of thought that led me to believe that the Vampire Weekend album I discovered on my mp3 player the other day and have been grooving to all week at work, just had to come from an Indian band. Now before you jump down my throat and tell me they are from NYC and what I heard were more African influences than Indian ones, know that Wikipedia has already beat you to it so you can keep your musical snobbiness to yourselves.
The fact of the matter is I got an Indian vibe from the album and mentioned both how much I like the album and my theory about the Indian invasion to our guiri friends Martha and Philip the other day when they invited us over for a lovely meal of clam chowder. This sparked an unlikely conversation about ethnic heritage and who can claim to be Indian, whether you have to be born and raised in India or is it enough to have Indian parents or grandparents. Examples were made of Indian imposters such as author Vikram Seth and Cornershop, who had the nerve to capitalize on their Indianness despite being born and raised on British soil. My politically correctness was questioned and I was accused of not knowing the difference between an Indian and a Bangledeshi surname (guilty as charged), but we all laughed a lot and a great time was had by all.
Throw in a bit of boredom at work the next day and you can see how easy it was for this discussion to transition into a slew of emails on the subject the next day. Philip downloaded the Vampire Weekend album and defended its African vibes. I relentlessly googled Vampire Weekend + India and sent any and all obscure references to Philip as proof that I'm not completely bonkers (singer Ezra is apparently quite into the British colonial period in India so there). Despite my efforts, Philip firmly maintained that "musically there's no India for me (triplet based polyrhythms or not - and there are eight African references to one Indian in the rolling stone review....not that I counted)".
Then we brought things back around to the previous night's discussion about whether or not a person can claim a certain heritage if they've only lived a foreign culture and customs from afar, which led me to think of myself and my future children. Will my children be American even though they will most likely be born and raised in Spain? Will my efforts to speak to them in English, foster relationships between them and my US family and friends and share all sorts of American pop culture classics with them be enough to make them secure in their American heritage? Or will they be called imposters every time they do anything which could remotely be defined as American? And in today's globalized world does it really matter anyway? Will Martha and Philip ever invite us over for such a lovely dinner again after exposing them so vividly in my blog? Of course I am open to all your comments.
In the meantime a special thanks to Vampire Weekend for motivating me to blog again.
Since I have no way of knowing what awaits me in my thirties, the best way of going about this is to recap some of the highlights of my twenties. I graduated from college at 21, moved to
So while I technically still feel like the same person I was when I was twenty, I’m pretty sure that if I met myself at twenty right now, thirty year old me would probably beg to differ. I don’t mean that I’ve lost myself along the way or anything like that; I just mean that I have evolved as a person, which is pretty much the way things should be. Of course not everything has changed, which is comforting. While I now eat all sorts of things I never would’ve even looked at in college, I still love a good tube of raw cookie dough. Thankfully, in spite of the ocean that separates us, I’m still close with many of the friends I had in my early twenties, and I feel confident we will be close until way into our hundreds.
I’m still me, just a more evolved, mature and experienced version. I’m pretty sure twenty year old me would think I was way cool and want to be me at thirty, so I can’t complain. What more could a girl, I mean woman, ask for?
What more could a girl, I mean woman, ask for?
One of the top stories on any Spanish news website today is that Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, is doing his darndest to take part in the big G-20 financial summit on November 15th. The fact that Zapatero really wants
According to another newspaper article on the subject, the White House apparently already told you that “If Spain would like to present its ideas through any of the individual leaders attending the summit or through its representatives in the European Commission, of course they are welcome to do so”. Why don’t you dedicate all that time and energy to coming up with some constructive solutions for the world’s financial problems?
Man, Kermit sure knew what he was talking about: it really ain't easy being green. I try to do my best to protect our delicate environment, but I have to admit that I like my creature comforts and they often interfere with my good intentions. I do believe we human beings exploit and abuse our planet, and I condemn these things, but still I fear my carbon footprint is probably much more comparable to Bigfoot’s than that of the dainty little woman I am. Or is it?
While I was pondering this the other day, I began to realize with pride that living in
- Action: I love a nice, hot bath. Solution: The bathroom in my flat is too small for a bathtub; hence I am forced to limit water and energy consumption to showers.
- Action: I hate being cold, and I love to sit around my house in t-shirts even in the dead of winter. Solution: Heat is expensive here so I have to keep the thermostat at a more reasonable temperature and wear a sweater. Also it would be unthinkable to leave the heat on if you’re not at home during the day or while you’re sleeping at night bundled up under the duvet. I have tried to justify my heat addiction to Iñigo, but I finally decided to just suck it up and put on a sweater. I should also add that, due to a lack of space, it doesn’t take all that much energy to heat a 55m2 flat.
- Action: Driving a car. Solution: This was an easy one for me to give up, since I embraced the no-car culture with open arms from day one in
. I do take the metro to work even though I could walk, but I almost never touch public transportation on the weekend. We live right in the middle of things so walking everywhere is easy. Madrid
- Action: I’ve always been a lazy recycler. Solution: This is still a tricky one for me because we actually have to take the recycling down the street to the recycling bins, which are almost always overflowing because the city doesn’t pick up the recycling nearly enough. But since I have to pass by the recycling bins on the way to work anyway, it’s no biggie. For the moment I can actually take credit for making this sacrifice on my own, but a new law will be enacted in the near future to fine those who don’t recycle, so once again I will have no choice in the matter.
- Action: I love fresh milk. Solution: Fresh milk is more expensive here, and it doesn’t last as long, so it’s milk in a box for me! In addition to being able to stock pile dozens of boxes of milk, thereby avoiding unnecessary trips to the grocery store, my American friends recently had an email discussion about the ecological benefits of good ol’ UHT milk, and I was pleased to find that it saves energy too.
So while I still think Whole Foods is a rip off and I wouldn’t dream of giving up meat, I’m unwittingly greener than most of my American friends who actually try to save our planet in peril. Take that global warming!!!
Some of you may not know this, but this guiri has participated in her share of pranks. Despite my current polished, sophisticated demeanor, I was once part of a team of master pranksters in my college days. My friends and I took great measures to make each prank bigger and more spectacular than the last, and I do believe there is a giant lizard painted on a rock somewhere near
One of our most popular pranks was “rolling” the neighboring houses, which consisted of stealing dozens of rolls of toilet paper from our dormitory bathrooms and creating breathtaking works of toilet paper art on and around
I was appalled to learn this morning that a
The fact that people distrust one another so much that one of the oldest pranks in the book can now get a kid shot is a very sad commentary on the waning sense of community worldwide. But what I find even more tragic is the fact that many irresponsible acts based on this mistrust remain largely unpunished in the
Against such a promising backdrop, I’m sure you can imagine how easy it was for me to slip into consulting this oracle of financial wisdom on a daily basis in order to determine, and therefore try to prepare for, the fate which awaits us on Revision Day in March. But yesterday a ray of hope (or so it seemed) somehow broke through this dismal forecast, and I promise you that I almost cried for joy when I heard that the European Central Bank had finally agreed to throw us a bone and lower interest rates by half a point. News reports all across the country promised that this decision would also produce a reduction to the Euribor, thereby saving millions of homes from foreclosure and families from subsisting primarily on rice and lentils. You could almost smell relief in the air.
You could almost smell relief in the air.
So can somebody please explain to me why the Euribor not only showed no signs of drastic reduction but, in a sick twisted plot against all that is right and good, the banks actually decided to kick things up a notch and raise the Euribor? I’m no financial expert, but I have been reading articles written by "top economists" for months, all of which swore by the formula: ECB lowers interest rates = Euribor goes way down. Some of these “experts” even went so far as to say that even insinuation by the president of the ECB that interest rates may be lowered would be enough to shave some tenths of a point off the thing. Well guys, at least in the short term, I guess you were wrong.
Well guys, at least in the short term, I guess you were wrong.
So that’s it, I surrender. For my own sanity, I hereby renounce the unholy oracle that is euribor.com. I will no longer set myself up for suffering at its cruel hands. As a concession to necessity, I will keep reading the headlines, but I will not even try to figure out why the global economy seems to be slipping and a sliding into a pool of disaster. He dicho.
Move over boys, there’s a new sheriffess in town and she is about to wet her pants. Like a fierce little puppy dog, she’s out to mark her territory, and she won’t stop until she’s spread the sweet perfume of her female urine all over the city. She will do her business on your street corner with pride and you men had better not get in her way. Confused? Allow me to explain:
A feminist group in
Pixing is a complaint against the most subtle forms of machismo, which cause women to feel ashamed of themselves for acts that men carry out with pride. It is a call to think about gender equality on a daily basis, in the smallest actions of our daily lives. It is a cry for free action, safe from the oppression of the patriarchal framework which smothers women’s identity.
Who knew that relieving your bladder on a street corner which has been carefully marked with a red dot could do all that? So come on ladies (Gentlemen, you’re welcome too. See we’re not like you, we don’t discriminate), check out the photos of Pixing’s publicity campaign and find yourself a red dot to pee on.
Note: My husband, Iñigo, tipped me off to this site. Thankfully, both our parents taught us to use a potty for our basic needs, but it's nice to know there are alternatives:)