March 18, 2011

Where is the Corned Beef?

I had a very un-Irish Saint Patrick’s Day while here in Spain. Instead of
watching a traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade and enjoying a delicious
Irish corn beef and cabbage meal, I attended a traditional flamenco dance
show and snacked on Spanish tapas.
Lafayette had arranged for the Madrid students to attend this show and meal
as part of our cultural immersion in Madrid. For those of you not familiar
with Spanish tapas I will do my best as a layman to describe what we were
served. The first round of tapas consisted of slices of jamón, which is a
type of curried ham that is unique to Spain, goat cheese, and vinegar-soaked
tomatoes, which was served family style along with bread. The second course
consisted of what looked like fried mozzarella sticks, but actually
contained mashed potato with cheese and small chunks of ham, seasoned bread
crumbs with different kinds of sausage, Spanish omelets, and finally a plate
of squid and onions. (Needless to say I tried everything but the squid,
which I found revolting. And also my senora makes much better Spanish
omelets which she makes every Sunday.)
The flamenco show consisted of two singers, a drummer, and two guitar
players, who were all male, along with a dance couple. The male dancer kind
of reminded me of how Antonio Banderas looks in the film Desperado. The
woman dancer was older than the man and wore a traditional flamenco dress,
which you can see if you look on Google.  To be honest it was a truly unique
experience, and it was something I will not soon forget. The one regret that
I have about the show is that I was not able to get any pictures of it.
The show started around 10:30 at night and lasted until just after midnight.
The majority of the show did not consist of dancing, although that was the
highlight, but of the men singing.  The Lafayette crew ended up sitting in
the front row of the show right next to the elevated dance floor.
The two dancers came out on stage separately two or three times each along
with having around three of four dances together. The woman was more
entertaining to watch because she looked so angry while she was dancing and
her hair started the show with five clips and by the end she only had one
left. Her head motions were so jerky that her clips went flying and actually
hit one of the Lafayette students, although he was fine and ended up keeping
it as a souvenir.
This was a great start to a random three-day weekend at SLU. This upcoming
Sunday I am planning on attending a bull fight in Madrid. Why? Well I
actually think that the experience is going to be extremely disturbing, but
bull fighting for many people is a huge part of Spanish culture, and I
feel I would be remiss not to take advantage of exploiting every opportunity
that this trip presents.

posted in Zachary Roberts

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2 Comments

  1. glad you liked the Flameco show. We saw a great one while we were in Sevilla. Will you have a chance to go there during your semester? Of maybe you did already?

    says aunt karen
    March 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm
  2. I would personally prefer tapas to cornbeef … lol … thanks for another glimpse at your adventures 🙂 I’ll be waiting to hear about your views on the bullfight. Enjoy the cultural immersion !!

    says Jean
    March 20, 2011 at 8:52 am
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