Can you see this lady’s glasses?
Traditional Galician food: boiled octopus seasoned with salt, spicy paprika and olive oil. So so good!
Yesterday we enjoyed a delicious home-cooked lunch by Jose’s mother. This ham leg casually sitting in her kitchen is entirely for her!
Potato salad with tuna, egg, olives, tomato and green beans.
The white asparagus were delicious!
Homemade pickled capsicum. This was my favorite dish! Amazing with bread.
For dessert, fresh cheese with honey and walnuts. Seriously, I can’t even!
The preparations for melon gazpacho. Ingredients include: melon, green tomatoes, cucumber, water, olive oil, some white bread, salt and pepper.
This bakery bakes ham and bread in the same giant oven.
A traditional sweet bread:
These kids are always asking for bread!
Spain has turned me from a wannabe vegan to a full-blown carnivore. I’m afraid there’s no going back.
The most amazing roast vegetable salad. Never tasted anything similar. YUM.
Tuna and capsicum empanada. I asked Jose why the dough is so orange and he explained that the juice from cooking the capsicum and onion filling is added to the empanada dough mixture. Also, that each area of Galicia has their own style of Empanada. This specific one is from here.
For dessert, the sweet bread from earlier and a diabetes inducing ice-cream sandwich cake made from Nutella, margarine and melted chocolate.
I can’t believe I’m living here. I want to cancel all of my future travel plans and stay here forever. Seriously, how can such a place exist? It’s so romantic it hurts.
The black dish is used to make a giant paella.
In Japan, it was vending machines, bicycles and noren. In Spain, it’s doors, cats and benches.
Jose and Bea insisted I photograph this bench. They love how it has been levelled to fit the slope of the street.
Just like the Before Sunset series.
This is Noah, Hector and Sara’s cousin. Their mother and Noah’s mother are sisters. In the short time that I have been here, I’ve noticed that they do everything together. I hope to be the same with my sister in the future. Babies, picnics, outings, all of it, together.
Jose says that is a whale’s head.
These rods were used to hang nets – redes in Spanish and the name of the town today.
Wild berries everywhere!
Veal hamburger with garden veggies and fresh bread for dinner at…10pm! Yes, so I have to tell you this: Jose says the times in Spain are different to that of the rest of Europe. The days are much longer here. These guys typically eat lunch at 3 and dinner at 10! I can’t believe it! But I am starting to enjoy and appreciate how much adventuring one can pack into a single day – though of course, I am a little tired. Maybe it’s jet-lag, still. Also, I cannot tell you enough how great it is to be living with a family again. My mood and overall health is so much better. There’s only so much solitude and mountain life a girl can take. Humans are meant to connect. Also, I am loving the endless hugs and kisses – again, and sorry to compare or not sorry to compare, a huge difference to Japan.
Dreams come true and imagination is key. I want to introduce you to my new family: Jose, Bea, Hector (6) and Sara (4). I will be staying with them in Redes a port-town in Galicia (Northern Spain) this September, teaching the children English. I am so incredibly lucky because Jose is a seafood chef, he cares much about food quality and organics, their house is literally a palace and their town, absolute paradise – a place I have imagined visiting since I was a little girl. Believe me when I say it’s breathtaking. But don’t worry, you can live vicariously through me (hehe).
And for those interested, I found Jose and family through workaway.info. It’s an organisation with hosts and volunteers from anywhere and everywhere and it’s relatively safe. I Skyped Jose and his family several times before coming here. Also, do you remember my friends Hiromi and Olivier (the yoga instructor/baker)? They are also hosts on Workaway. Actually, why don’t you go and stay with them? They live in a completely different paradise and they have fresh bread!
Sara has kindly lent me her room.
Having fun playing with Japanese magnets. Jose says I am a world citizen because I get to teach him and his family about Iran, Japan and New Zealand.
A typical breakfast: squished cherry tomatoes, salt and olive oil on bread. Jose tells me the best olive oil comes from Spain and that most of the olive oil advertised as coming from Italy is actually from here.
Spot the Japanese (hehe).
On my first day, the children had a birthday party so Jose and I hit up their town and its Friday market.
Just on the street! For free! Same with lemons, apples and oranges. In Japan, a small punnet of these is 800 yen! About 10 New Zealand dollars!
Baguette delivery is a thing and we all need it!
Isn’t Spain just gorgeous?!
Trying my best to photograph the locals.
My first view of the market :O
Spain is food heaven!
Jose made a phone call to order his fish. He said if we go early we will have to wait an hour for the old ladies of the town to finish their business. Sure enough, as we walked by, this was exactly the case! The locals here are priceless – such strong characters. I really hope my pictures can capture their brilliance – I’ll do my best.
This frightening thing is a sea spider! I don’t know about you but I will never swim again.
As I said, their house is a palace.
Jose says the Spanish locals find it funny how people are so into kale as a “superfood” these days because its simply chicken food in Spain! Also, I posted this image on my Instagram and a regular follower commented this, which I found hilarious: “That chicken is peering into my soul and judging my ambitions.”B E A U T I F U L desu ne.
Before I show you more pictures that’ll make you want to quit your day job and move to Madrid, I will just say that there are a lot of pigeons and homeless people here. Pigeons, I can deal with but the mass number of homeless people breaks my heart. Of course it also makes me further appreciate my freedom. Why do I get to travel and enjoy the world whilst others are so so unfortunate? It’s not fair. I must actively work for a change. Which is why I love my religion.
As Jose told me today and I myself first-handedly experienced, a lot of these homeless people are airport dwellers. This is because the airport is comfortably cool (in the summer) or warm (in the winter) and safe. Also, they can beg from travellers and/or eat from unfinished plates. When I was passing time in the food court, waiting for my flight to Santiago de Compostela, I was approached by three different beggars. What are you supposed to do in such a situation? Do you help? It’s so tricky. Anyways, I am telling you this because I think you should know the real Spain (or the real Japan) especially when such things are seldom talked about amongst travel bloggers. So as always, I will try my best to give you the whole picture.
Fresh carrot, apple and ginger.
A secret garden.
A secret door.
Is this real life?
How random! I bumped into an Iranian store filled with Persian goods ranging from Rumi books to handmade jewellery chests. The Iranian owner gave me gaz (persian nougat) and her website details. She hopes I will return.
And I’m off to Spain! But I wanted to tell you about my first (of hopefully many haha I joke I joke) birthday presents. First, THIS incredibly humbling blog-post by fellow blogger, Laura.
Second, pictures from my birthday eve, spent with a very special family. One who gave me their home, bicycle, fresh vegetables and unconditional love for an entire month then threw me this dinner and gave me these presents and money (osenbetu). I felt so embarrassed, I should have been doing that for them! But I am so joyful to have shared in the joy of such an evening on a birthday far from home.
Last, this message from Jose. I request PAELLA! Hehe, see you guys V V soon!
Hi hello ohayo!
I have some exciting news! I have started planning a European foodie adventure come August (when my current teaching contract ends). Starting by nannying the adorable children of a seafood chef in Galicia, (Spain), next backpacking down Porto and Lisbon (Portugal) then back to Spain for Madrid and Barcelona (I mean Paella). Later, Rhone Alpes (France) staying with my darling auntie then afterwards to Italy (Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples) and last, Athens (Greece) before returning home, full and fat, to the land of Hobbits. Though this is just a rough plan. Anyway, Wordpress tells me I have about 3000 followers which means, and I’m no mathematical expert, that at least a minority of you may be residing in one, two or four of these places. So my next plea is this: won’t you host me for a little bit? Can we meet? I can bake cake, cook curry and teach English!