Tag Archives: fun

Santa Eulàlia Festival

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And just like that, when we were in Barcelona last weekend (without planning, just to spend a nice weekend day), we stumbled upon the “gigantes/gegants” (giants figures of several meters tall, with a painted paper maché head and arms, the rest of the body being covered in cloth and other clothing). Not only 3 or 4, like we have ever seen before….but about 50 of them!!! They were stalled in Plaça Reial, adjacent to La Rambla, at the heart of Barcelona.

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I asked a lady whether it was a festival day, and yes. Apparently every year around the 12th of February it’s the “Festes de Santa Eulàlia“, a festival to commemorate one of Barcelona’s patron saint, of which her name is also used for the Barcelona Cathedral.

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Animal and other creative figures

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The classical gigantes, usually a couple

At one point the gigantes started to walk towards La Rambla, and they danced and swirled to the music. Usually each regions or even neighbourhood in the city have their own gigantes and musicians walking behind them. Each with their own theme. And even animals (like the dragons, lions, and a mule which is typically used at Santa Eulàlia Festival). Some figures came closer to the public or shook children’s hands, there’re even figures who sprayed water to the public!

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There were ‘castelleres’ (human towers) too!

It was so fun. Sky didn’t want to leave at all and insisted that we stayed until the last gigantes passed by. 🙂

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Estela

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My name is Stella, but here in Spain everyone calls me Estela. Out of curiousity, I once asked a Spanish lady why she keeps calling me Estela, while she knows my name is actually Stella. Well, she said, Estela is just much easier to pronounce. Before making the sound “s” she would produce an “e” first, anyway. Not quite a surprise, when you think how many words in Spanish start with “e” (or other vowels). And the double ‘l’s in Spanish is spoken out as ‘y’, that’s why people will write my name with one ‘l’. Because otherwise they would read it as “Esteya”. Just like the word “Estrella” (= star, the original meaning of my name), is pronounced as “Estreya“. People usually think it’s amusing when they realize that my name and my daughter’s name is like the Star and the Sky. 🙂

Screenshot_20181119-144255_WhatsAppAnd then, the funny thing is…I get used to it! Lately I caught myself saying my name as Estela, when a lady at the shop asked me because she needed to put it on the receipt. Ha! Talking about blending in… 😀

Festa Major; big party it is!

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It won’t be a surprise if I say we love to see and experience other cultures. We’re so lucky we now live in a beautiful country with a rich history and an unbelievable grandness of culture. In these 2 months of time, we have witnessed so many things and those are just a small part of what this country has.

blog16The “Festa Major“, for example. It’s Catalan for “fiesta mayor/big party”. Celebrated once a year, but it seems like we could find one every weekend, haha…partly because every area in every city in Catalonia seems to have one and because it is summertime. There are festa major’s in the winter though, but mostly are held in the summer. We have been to two of them, one from our own city-part where we live and the other is from the neighbourhood next to ours.

Festa Major usually lasts for 3 or 4 days (up to one week, in Barcelona for example). And it’s full of music, dance, children’s amusement, food (eat together!), sport (bike together or color-run), sometimes a funny competition (who eats the most puddings) but can also be a “serious” one (who cooks the most delicious paella), and sometimes you can also witness Spanish magnificent heritage like the castell (human tower) or the gegantes (parade of giant costume figures). Here below some video’s and photo’s of our “Festa Major” experience:

It’s always started, and accompanied, by music. The opening of the Festa Major (it’s also like an announcement for the whole neighbourhood):

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The castell (human tower):

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The gegantes (it’s not a very big one, nevertheless a wonderful experience to see especially because it’s our first one! The two biggest gegantes and their ‘child – girl’ usually stand at the Monastery Museum of Sant Cugat. It’s great to recognize them on the street):

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Children are mostly entertained during the whole ‘party’:

Foam party:

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Water slide:

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Bubbles:

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A magician show:

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Zumba dancing (this is mostly for ladies):

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Remote-Controlled toy car race (and this one is mostly for big boys!):

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Eating super yummy paella with 180 other neighbours. The paella is cooked for hours in a giant paella-pan. A specialist paella catering made it (they are known for their world record in making the biggest and the smallest paella in the world!). They started early in the morning and finished at around 2 pm. Before that we had to buy tickets for a package of paella, salad, water and wine (per table), for a very small amount of money. It was finger-licking delicious…and so cozy!! A lady of the committee came specially to greet us, knowing we are not Spanish and very new in the neighbourhood. She welcomed us and said that everyone is part of the big family…so sweet! 🙂

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This is just a small impression of the Festa Major happening. We can’t be in all places for all days, but I hope you get the idea. About how fun this festival is. About how people are coming together to celebrate, to eat and drink, to meet other neighbours, to entertain the kids, or just out of curiousity but were surprised by the hospitality… like us! 🙂

learning language is fun(ny)

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blog1Yesterday was the last day of my Basic Catalans Course. 10 x 2 hours in 2,5 weeks. Learned basic conversations like how to introduce yourself, to ask and order something, to go to the doctor, and basic things like the numbers, colors, weather, food and drink… It was fun! The group was very diverse, but mostly come from South-America so already speak Spanish but want to learn Catalan. Only 3 people were still learning Spanish as well, and I was the most beginner one, haha… The whole course was done in Catalan (and some Spanish words if really needed), so I would not say I understood everything. But the teacher was just awesome. She made me feel comfortable and so I have taken the most advantages of the course. Too bad I can’t join the next level course because the timetable collides with my Spanish course, which has started last week. Two times a week, each 2 hours in the morning. Joop is also planning to follow a Spanish course, but the only institute which offers night classes has at the moment no night group for his level (A2), so he has to wait for a while. Oh, and yesterday we had a little “festa” (Catalans for fiesta/party) to end the course. Everyone has to bring l’entrepa (like tapas, small food) and we enjoyed them together. Yummm!!

Talking about language, we notice we make a progress. Sometimes we’re able to participate in an easy conversation. But it goes up and down…another time we’re just completely lost in translation, haha…. And we make mistakes, oh for sure, we make lotssss of them. But no learning without making mistakes, right? And some of those are really funny. Here are some I still remember:

  • One day we went to a cafe and I tried to order some drinks. I knew the word for ‘drinks’ is ‘bebidas‘, but somehow out of my mouth came the word ‘huevos‘, which is ‘eggs’. Can you imagine the looks of the waitress when I ordered some ‘huevos’? 😀
    Vector cartoon non alcoholic drinks
  • Joop and Sky were at the supermarket. They asked some people whether they have ‘pre-baked bread’ (bread that you still have to put for a short time in the oven). Using two keywords: ‘bread’ and ‘oven’. Well, yes, they have. And they shown Joop a shelf full of…bread flour!! 😀
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  • blog6One of my Catalan classmates asked me if I am “casada” (= married). What I heard is “cansada” (= tired). No, of course I’m not tired, what makes you think of that! 😀
  • We had an issue with electricity shut-down when it rains. So after calling the landlord, he made an appointment with the building maintenance and the guy came to check everything. He asked me if I have “papel de cocina” (literally: paper of the kitchen). I do, so I went to the kitchen to get the parchment paper. He laughed when he saw that, showed his dirty hands and said: ‘No, not that. I need something to clean my hands’. Aha! ‘Paper of the kitchen’ simply means kitchen rolls/paper towels. Sounds logical afterwards! 😀
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  • blog2This one happened quite a while ago, when Joop was alone in Spain before we came together. He had finished his dinner and the waitress came to ask what he wanted for desserts. Out of all options that she mentioned, Joop could only catch the words ‘kiwi‘ and ‘balls‘. So he thought that might be ‘kiwi ice cream’ and he ordered ‘two small balls of it’. And there came his desserts: two real kiwi’s served with a small knife and a spoon. 😀

And how about Sky? Well, I think she is absorbing, a LOT. From 8.30 to 16.30, 5 days a week, she’s surrounded by either English, Spanish or Catalans (plus half an hour Chinese). And she is okay with it. With the fact that she doesn’t need to understand it all. Maybe we have given her a good example. She sees how we try to speak those new languages, with ups and downs, with funny mistakes and frowned eyebrows. And that’s all right. Of course she is also progressing, but firstly it’s important that she feels comfortable. Everyday she says she has a good day, with many stories to tell. I notice that when I pick her up, she sometimes still answers me with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (instead of ‘ja’ or ‘nee’). So fun to hear! 🙂

This sentence I will always remember. She made it just after we moved here. It contains such a brilliant language twist I couldn’t even make myself:
“Die jas draag ik elke dag”
English translation: “That coat, I wear everyday”.
“Die jas” sounds like “dias”, which means “days” (in Dutch: “dag”).

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snivel fairy

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Aku mengantar Sky pergi tidur, menyelimutinya, dan berkata bahwa aku juga akan cepat tidur karena badan terasa capek. Dia bertanya kenapa. Aku menjawab mungkin karena mama sedang ingusan dan batuk pilek. Dia duduk lagi di ranjangnya, menangkupkan kedua tangannya di pipiku dan berkata lembut: “Nggak enak ya mama, ingusan begitu. Aku berharap semoga besok mama sudah lebih sehat, atau besok lusa, atau besok besok lusa. Tahu nggak ma, kalau sesudah itu mama masih belum sembuh juga, aku akan memanggil peri ingus. O aku tahu persis lho yang mana. Dia membawa vitamin untuk ingusan di tas ranselnya. Dan tasnya terbuka, jadi aku bisa melihat. Ya?” 🙂

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Ik bracht Sky naar bed, stopte haar in, en zei dat ik hierna ook snel naar bed ga omdat ik al best moe ben. Ze vroeg waarom. En ik zei dat het waarschijnlijk door mijn verkoudheid en snotterigheid komt. Ze ging zitten op haar bed, omklemde mijn wangen met haar beide handen en zei zacht: “Het is niet leuk hè mama, zo snotteren. Ik hoop dat je morgen al beter bent, of overmorgen, of over overmorgen. Weet je, als je dan nog niet beter bent, ik zal de snotterfee roepen. Ik weet precies welke het is hoor. Het heeft vitamientjes voor snotteren in zijn rugzak, en de rugzak is open dus ik kan het zien. Ja?” 🙂

we are all dino’s

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“Mama…dino(saurus) kan hidupnya zaman dulu banget ya? Dan dino kan akhirnya jadi manusia? Tapi manusia kan lahirnya dari perut? Gimana dong ceritanya dengan dino? Bagaimana bisa manusia lahir dari perut kalau belum ada manusia? Tahu nggak ma, mungkin dulu mama juga dino, yang lehernya panjang itu lho, hehe…dan aku dino yang bisa terbang, itu agak kecil kan ya.”
Aku: (entah harus menjawab apa dihadapkan dengan banjir logika seperti ini…)

blog3Libur bulan Mei (namanya memang begitu: Meivakantie) 2 minggu ini sudah hampir berakhir. Minggu pertama dingin dan hujan melulu. Beberapa teman Sky dolan ke sini, kami banyak membaca, bermain, dan berkarya bersama, tapi ternyata aku harus membiasakan diri lagi bahwa kami seharian penuh bersama lagi di rumah, hehe (baru 4 minggu dia sekolah akunya sudah tidak terbiasa, payah ya). Minggu ini untungnya musim semi akhirnya datang juga. Dengan datangnya cuaca cerah dan hangat ini kami sering sekali berada di luar rumah. Ke taman bermain, bepergian, belanja dan makan siang bersama di kota…menyenangkan! 🙂

Ini beberapa ucapan lucunya akhir-akhir ini:

  • Papa memberitahu bahwa dalam waktu dekat dia harus pergi ke luar negeri lagi untuk kunjungan kerja. Reaksi Sky: “Oh asyiknya! Eh, maksudku, ya untuk papa itu asyik ya.”
  • Kami berencana membuat kue tart. Tapi beberapa hari terakhir ini setiap hari ada tamu. Kata Sky: “Bagaimana kalau kita buat tartnya besok lusa aja ma? Nggak ada janji kan kita hari itu?”
  • Kebetulan kami melihat poster di sebuah toko di kota: ‘meet and greet‘ bersama Snoopy. Waktunya pas banget. Jadi kami pergi belanja dulu, lalu kembali lagi ke toko itu, sekitar 10 menit sebelum waktu yang disebutkan. Di depan toko ada semacam display dengan kursi-kursi besar. Sebelumnya aku melihat ada orang yang duduk-duduk di sana, jadi aku berkata pada Sky bahwa dia bisa duduk juga di situ sambil menunggu Snoopy muncul. Jawabnya: “Tapi mama, kita nggak beli apa-apa di toko ini. Memangnya boleh duduk begitu saja di sini?” Tentunya ucapannya benar adanya.
    Belakangan dia menambahkan: “Snoopy-nya nggak betulan tuh ma. Ada orang di dalamnya. Aku melihat ada lubang di bagian matanya untuk melihat keluar.” 😀

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“Mama…dino’s leven toch heel lang geleden? En dino’s worden toch op een gegeven moment mensen? Maar mensen komen toch allemaal uit de buik? Hoe zit dat dan met de dino’s? Hoe kunnen mensen uit de buik komen als er nog geen mensen zijn? Weet je mama, misschien was je toen een dino met een lange nek, hihi…en ik was een dino die kan vliegen, die is best klein toch.”
Ik: (geen idee hoe ik moet reageren op dit logica-geweld…)

De 2-weken meivakantie is alweer bijna ten einde. De eerste week was koud en regenachtig. Sky heeft wat speelafspraakjes gehad, we hebben veel gelezen, gespeeld en geknutseld, maar ik moest blijkbaar wennen dat wij weer de hele dag samen thuis zijn, hihi (en ze zit pas 4 weken op school!). Deze week is de lente gelukkig doorgebroken en met dit prachtige weer zijn we heel vaak buiten. Naar de speeltuin, uitstapjes maken, winkelen en lunch-date in de stad…heel gezellig! 🙂

Hier nog een paar leuke uitspraakjes van de afgelopen tijd:

  • Papa vertelt dat hij binnenkort voor zijn werk naar buitenland moet. Sky’s reactie: “O wat leuk! Eh, nou, ik bedoel, voor jou dan heel leuk.”
  • We zijn van plan een taart te maken, maar de laatste 3 dagen hebben we elke dag bezoek. Zei Sky: “Zullen we dan overmorgen de taart maken? Dan hebben we geen afspraakjes.”
  • Geheel toevallig zagen we in de stad dat er een ‘meet and greet‘ met Snoopy was bij een winkel. We gingen eerst boodschappen doen en kwamen terug, zo’n 10 minuten voor de genoemde tijd. Aan de voorkant van de winkel is een display met grote stoelen. Eerder zag ik mensen daar zitten, dus zei ik tegen Sky dat ze op die stoel kon gaan zitten wachten. Ze zei: “Maar mama, we hebben niets gekocht in deze winkel. Mogen we hier dan zomaar zitten?” Gelijk heeft ze natuurlijk…
    Achteraf merkte ze op: “Die Snoopy is niet echt hoor. Er zit er een man in, ik zie het aan zijn kijkgaatjes, bij de ogen.” 😀

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