All Posts Tagged ‘Postaday

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Faint

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To be bilingual has many advantages. But sometimes creates strange situations.

I uttered my firsts words in Croatian, and I learned Spanish at school when I was already 5 years old. I thought I had learned my Spanish pretty well, when something happened to me that proved it otherwise.

I was already 12 and in my way to school I felt faint. The nuns thought that I probably had not had a proper breakfast, so they decided to give me a big mug of hot milk. I hate milk and I hate cream in my milk, but I saw in despair how the nun was pouring milk with lots of cream.

I tried to tell her I didn’t like cream and I discovered in horror that I didn’t know how to say it in Spanish I only knew the Croatian word “skorup”. The nun couldn’t understand me. And she continued pouring cream in my mug.

I discovered that day that I didn’t know simple words related to the house life, like spoon, fork, and, of course, cream, because we used at home the Croatian words.
Faint

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Scrambled eggs with mushrooms

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mushroom

I love scrambled eggs with mushrooms and fresh garlic stalks. It’s a good dish for breakfast or even for lunch. Above all if the mushrooms are good, well-selected. I usually buy them at the local market, because there I have the security that they would not be poisonous.

In my community people are very fond of going to the forest mushroom hunting. They know all the varieties: which ones are the tasty, safe to eat, and wich ones are poisonous, forbidden. Nevertheless, every year there is one case of poisoning by mushrooms, so there is clear that it’s not so easy to discern ones from another’s.

There is a tell of a group of friends who went to pick up mushrooms and then fixed a dinner. To be sure that all was OK, they gave a little dish to the cat. When they saw that the cat was ok, they proceeded with the dinner. But when they had eaten all, the cat began to writhe, meowing pitifully. So they rushed to the hospital to have a stomach wash. They had a terrible time but at least they were safe. when the wife of the house came telling that the cat was simply giving birth to her kittens. So, all the trouble, for nothing.

Now in autumn is usual to see groups of men going to the forest with a basket and a stick and have a great time looking for the appreciated plants under the thickets close to the roots of the trees, where all is permanently wet. Our forests are beautiful and the outings are appealing.

It’s usual that between neighbours there are envy and rivalries. So, people here in Navarra doesn’t like too much that our neighbours from Guipuzcoa came in large numbers to pick up mushrooms to our forests. and people call them “mushroom-robbers”. In Guipuzcoa they don’t like that the people from Navarra went in Summer in large numbers to their beaches to take a bath and enjoy the sun. They call us beach-piss, which is a worst nickname.

No matter what people call each other, every year more guipuzcoans come to pick up mushrooms and more navarreans go to the beach.

In the images a mushroom in the forest (I don’t know if is good or bad, I didn’t dare to touch it) and a view of the forest close to Pamplona in the Imotz Valey)
Egg

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My neighbour, the Law student

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For many years my family lived in an apartment next to a boarding house, so our neighbours were mostly students, besides the family running the house. The woman in charge of the boarding house Maura, was a really nice neighbour. The students were all male, pretty noisy, but usually well-behaved.

One year – I don’t remember exactly when, but certainly, before I went to High School – a Law student arrived. I don’t know what was he doing with his time, but I only know that when it was my time to go to the University, he was still studying Law. He even had business cards with the title so and so, profession: Law student.

I remember, that he was famous in the university bar, because, at the beginning of the scholar year, as soon as he would spotted a spectacular blonde, he would go directly to invite her to a drink. Then, when they were drinking at the bar, he used to turn around and catch the first young and unsuspecting guy: look, – he would told him, like confiding a secret – “I just invited this girl and have noticed that I forgot my wallet, please, get me out of the embarrassment and pay me the drinks”. This usually worked one or two times with the youngest and more innocents, but at the third time, when the professional student of law approached a blonde in the bar, everybody would fled.

When I finished my studies, he was still in the boarding house, presumably studying law. I don’t know how he managed to don’t be expelled from the University after so many years. I guess he was already out of the University but he had never told his parents.

in the picture a view of the main building of my “Alma Mater”

Neighbors

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The mysterious tape

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Once, my boss sent me to make an interview to a scientist who had done some research in a very complicated and highly specific area of the bio chemistry for his PhD. The headline of his thesis was completely incomprehensible. The whole thing certainly might be interesting for the scientist community but very difficult to explain for the general public. But the scientist, a young man, was the nephew of a good friend of my boss, so his study had to become news in my newspaper no matter what.

When I asked him for an interview, he was surprised. He couldn’t understand why a journalist of a local newspaper could have any interest in his work. I asked him to explain me what was he doing in his lab as if I were (as I actually was) a completely ignorant about the matter.

I put my recorder in front of him and began to ask questions and take notes. He started to tell me about technical terms incomprehensible for me. He didn’t know what “say it in plain English” meant. There was no way to make him touch ground. I tried my best, but, when I went back to the newsroom I only had some chaotic notes and a tape (it was before the digital era) with 45 minutes of a recorded conversation in which I had placed all my hopes.

I rewinded the tape, I pressed the play button of my tape recorder to listen to the interview and mysteriously, all the conversation sounded backwards. Yes. Our voices were there talking, but it was like we were swallowing each word. It was impossible to understand a single one of them.

In all my life as a reporter never had happened to me something like that. I’ve never had found an explanation to such a strange behavior of the tape. It never happened before, never after. I asked technicians an other journalists, and nobody could give me an explanation. Of course, without the recording I couldn’t write the interview.

In the picture, me and my tape recorder in another interview different that the one described in this post.

Mystery

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Fluff

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I’m very disappointed because after having prepared thoroughly a lecture, with lot of work and anticipation, only a few minutes before the scheduled hour, some people who will attend, began to discuss in front of me, how boring the lectures are nowadays.

Times had changed, they say. We are in the era of short and clear messages. The times of tweets and Instagram. Would be enough that a lecturer enunciate the subject and say the bibliography, to end the thing in a couple of minutes and save time.

What about the professor’s creativity? what about his knowledge acquired by studying and investigating? What about the possibility of a debate with questions and answers live and the enrichment it brings ?

I thing people too dependent of the 140 characters to communicate themselves are losing many capabilities of expression and comprehension.

I was looking forward for my lecture, and now I’m puzzled. I think I will send some short messages for the ones bored in advance to make a joke and save their time, and then I will follow as planed for the people I hope will be interested in the subject.
Fluff

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Gratitude

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me

I suffered a deep depression while working in the newsroom of a newspaper. One of my coworkers, a great friend of mine, knew all about of my condition. When that all begun, I only could feel an enormous tiredness and I couldn’t stop crying. This was pretty embarrassing while I was in the newsroom full of people who could see me.

My friend always noticed that I had begun to cry before anyone else, and saying nothing she quietly, used to came to my desk and tell me: come with me. We then used to go out of the building, to the parking lot, to get some fresh air and she would comforted me and wouldn’t let me until I recomposed myself somehow, before coming back to continue working.

Eventually I went to the doctor and I had to stop working for a while. She was a great help for me in those dark days. I’m deeply grateful to her for had “rescued” me during those dreadful hours. She’s still my best friend.

Gratitude

in the picture, me, one of those years

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I Prefer Autumn

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I like things happening as usual. I was a little unsettled because of the high temperatures and the absence of rain at the beginning of this Autumn.

I love Autumn, but till this week It seamed that the summer would never end. We were wearing summer clothes and sandals. Plus, we are going thru a pretty strong drought. The reservoirs are close to empty.

We are waiting for the rain with anxiety. In other places of Spain they’ve had torrential rains but nothing over here. The landscape usually green and leafy appears dry and dusty. Some trees hadn’t change its colour yet.

I went out to take pictures of the colours of the Autumn in the forest And only have found some leaves on the floor in a very hot day. As every Autumn, the man who sells roasted chestnuts arrived with his portable stove to my street, filling everything with the nice smell of his merchandise, but it was so hot that there was no appeal to buy the hot chestnuts he was selling for 1 euro a dozen.

I would prefer a nice autumn season with rains, fresh weather, feel the cold in my cheeks, stop by the chestnut seller and buy a dozen to warm my hands and my stomach.

 

Prefer

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Orange

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Close to my house there is an ancient park pretty big, where a little army of gardeners are constantly working to keep it nice and beautiful with lots of flowers, according to the season. and following the old design of flowerbeds, decorative trimmed hedges and everything else. It’s called La Taconera.

Today they were changing the flower beds for the autumn and it was one of the rare days in which the park was almost bare so I didn’t take any pictures, but I have a photo of some orange tulips from last spring.

The park is located along the city walls, and in the old moats there is a mini zoo with some deers, and all kind of ducks, goose, peacocks and other birds. I love to take a walk thru the park. With its statues, its antique decorations and above all its beautiful flowers, helps me enter in another world, and escape from the noises and the dust of the city and its road traffic.

I consider myself lucky to have such a green space so close.

flowers 11

Orange

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Identity search

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When my father passed away I had to do the paperwork to get my mother widow’s pension and I run into a clerk who told me that my mom wasn’t my dad’s wife (after 56 years of marriage) because they didn’t have the “family’s book”.

In Spain, when you get married you get a “family’s book” which is very important. It certifies the marriage and when the kids arrive inscribe them as the legitimate children.
But my parents, who are from Croatia and had a very eventful life before settling in Spain, were already married for 13 years when they arrived, and the authorities never gave them the famous book.

I went to the social security office with the marriage certificate, from the civil authorities and from the church, and the book of large family the Spanish Government had given us many years ago, but the clerk told me that those documents were not valid. Without the family’s book, my parents were not married and my mom had no right to the pension. I came again with more papers but without success. The third day I arrive with my papers, another clerk, who was more sympathetic, called me to a follow her to a corner of the room and gave me a yellow post-it with a name and a phone number.

– This is a Red Cross’ social worker – she told me – who gets identities for immigrants who do not have them like your mom. Call her she’ll help.

I exploded:

– Look. My mom got the Spanish nationality 45 years ago, probably before you were born.  And now you are telling me that I have to look for an identity for her, as if she had arrived yesterday undocumented in a boat?. I appreciate your interest, but not. Thank you.

I went home tired and desperate and asked my mom if she had some other paper about her marriage. She produced an old certificate, profusely decorated with the red star, the sickle and the hammer, from the Yugoslavian Government, with the names of my parents in latin and Cyrillic alphabets, all written in Croatian and Serbian. It was related to the property of their small apartment in Zagreb.

– Try with this, she told me. It has nothing to do with the marriage but it has our names in it.

I went to the office of the social security armed with my communist certificate, absolutely incomprehensible for them, and, at the sight of the sickle and the hammer, the Cyrillic alphabet and all that, the clerk surrendered.

– This will work, she told me dryly.

So that way, thanks to the Yugoslavian Government, my application passed to a higher instance where there was an official who knew my father and said immediately that, of course, there was no doubt that my mom was my father’s widow and had the right to the pension.

Identity

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Trademark

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clothesTrademark

Something that I don’t understand is the trend to show the trademark logo of a fashion firm very visible in the clothes or bags people are wearing.

I guess it is a way to say : “hey folks, look where I’m buying my clothes. I have enough money to spend in such and such shop.”

But my opinion is that wearing the logo trademark of the fashion firm, people becomes live advertising persons. And they instead of pay for the clothes, they should be compensated for the advertising they make.

I try to buy clothes without known trademark just because of that reason. I don’t want to be advertising for free about something I’ve already paid.

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Misplaced

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When I was a student, long time ago, I worked for a year in the reception desk of my dorm and had to handle the incoming phone calls. There were no such things as cell phones, so my job was to search and find the student who had got a call and pass her the right line. Once, my dad phoned me. I automatically put him on hold and I began to look for me in the building! I only realized what I was doing when someone answered to the line of the floor where I had my room, and I began to ask: have you seen Olga…? That was me asking for myself! I had totally misplaced myself. When I finally answered to the call of my dad, he asked me what had happened. Why had he been on hold for so long. I told him the story of my incredible distraction and we had a good laugh

Misplaced

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From Every Angle

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This week, photograph a stationary subject from three different angles.

I have taken pictures of the giants that dance in our streets for the enjoyment of children and grown ups during our Fiesta. Here are three different angles.

From Every Angle

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On the Way

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My city is one of the main stages of the Way of St. James or Camino de Santiago. Through our streets, we see everyday dozens of pilgrims with their backpacks, walking towards the next stage. Some of them wear the shell, symbol of the pilgrimage. From our city (Pamplona) they have to walk 700.5 kilometres (about 435 miles) to reach Santiago. Three or four weeks walking through paths and roads with stops in special hostels prepared for them all along the way. They come from all around the world. Here are pictures of some of the ones I met this morning.


On the Way
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Twinkle

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This is an Advent Crown. An old christian tradition to mark the progress of the four weeks of Advent in preparation for Christmas. Each candle means a week, and every Advent’s Sunday the family gathers around the crown to sing advent songs.

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Twinkle.