Cooking Exploits in Spain, #discoveringtheoldworld, and Gearing Up for Halloween 

Dear Friends,

This week I’ve made such delicious dishes as fish tacos, stuffed chicken parmesan, and rainbow veggies. Something I appreciate, and have already gotten used to, is that Spaniards have three course lunches. Lunch is the biggest meal of their day and I am not opposed to this at all.  While I’m usually hungry by the time it’s dinner, it doesn’t take me much to be full and I get to sleep with less on my stomach. 

With our lifestyle here, both Jazmin and I have been more apt to cook at home and cook with more variety than we had before. I’m not sure exactly what is different other than the facts that we have more time and we have discovered the app Tasty and the website Delish. I highly recommend both of these. 

While I’m feeling a little sluggish lately, I’m hoping to continue to explore our city and our area. It’s fascinating to see what we find every time we go out exploring.  I created #discoveringtheoldworld because I feel like as we meet and talk with people here, we’re discovering the evolution of a way of life that we only hear about in history and geography classes in America. What do most of us know about Europe in the states? That (American) colonialism happened and that WWI and WWII both happened here. For the vast majority of people, that’s it. When we got here, I knew that and some about the healthcare and education systems in certain countries. That was it. Feel free to follow the hashtag as we go forward. 

Besides being sluggish lately, finances are always a thing we have to consider when thinking about travel. Yes, it is considerably cheaper to travel to other parts of Europe from here (roughly the same as going from state to state), but we are always weighing smaller travels against our bigger trips we have planned. It’s harder when we see fellow Fulbrighters going on awesome journeys, but we try to keep one thing in perspective: they technically have twice the money we do. With one main source of income and two people to take care of, as opposed to one, it’s harder to work the finances for every whimsy, but we do have enough to do the things we really want. 

It is coming up to Halloween, the favorite time of year for one of my brothers and the only time I feel the absolute pull toward suspense and horror films. Jaz and I literally just finished Stranger Things on Netflix (which I can’t recommend enough), and I’m looking for other things to watch. ‘Tis the season, right? 

I also sold an article this week to The Lookout, which I am excited for! I’ve been putting myself out there more and more in my writing and I feel like it has gotten easier each time and not only have I not gotten much negative feedback, I have gotten a lot of positive feedback. (Word to my writer friends!)

Best wishes,

Blake Oliver