Well I guess it is about that time again…time for the weekend recap of our fabulous study abroad adventures!
As I eluded to in my last post, this past Friday was the “North American” Party, which pretty much was just the Mexican dinner party and they recruited the
help of the US and Canada for the desserts, hence the name “North American…” Since the Mexicans, Jennifer and I, oh and Elina (Latvia) are pretty much inseperable (kinda) we of course were obligated to help prepare the food for the party, and I can honestly say I have never had such a good time cooking! We began cooking around 1:00 pm and finished literally 15 minutes before the party.
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to cook, but I never thought cooking could be such a cultural and inspiring experience. We spent the entire day immersed in each other’s culture, laughing, cracking up, oh and a heck of a lot of chopping and stirring! When I look back on my study abroad memories that will surely be one of the more prominent ones, I guess there is something about chopping 2 kilos of carrots that really brings people together…By the end of the 6 hours, there was enough food to feed an army, which exactly what we did.
In honor of our Mexican buddies, I feel an obligation to explain a bit about what “Mexican” food is exactly. Well for starters remove anything you have ever tasted, seen, or heard about Mexican food, because I guarantee you…it isn’t. Taco Bell, that local Mexican restuarant down the street? Nope. Not even close. REAL Mexican food is sometimes spicy, but not always. Tortillas are small and corn not like the gigantic, flour, pizza size ones in America, and they MUST be eaten with every meal. Cactus salad, chilis with cream, and cookies with caramel are all among the “legit Mexican” list, oh and refried beans in the US are a joke. REAL Mexican fried beans are about 100 times better! We even cooked a soup that was served with lettuce and radishes, and chicken with chocolate chili …who
would have thought? Jennifer and I provided brownies and Oreo pudding cake for dessert, and while it couldn’t really compete with the killer main dishes, they did go pretty darn quickly so I guess that is a good sign.
The party itself was a huge success. The local television station was there, as well as over 50 people. The events kicked off with Pinata in the REAL Mexican fashion, and the last of us retired for the night around 3:30 am…I’d say we had a great time!
Sunday was another day filled with cooking/bonding. I may have mentioned this earlier, but in case you missed it the US-Swiss Ambassador visited the Uni yesterday and his visit (which I will tell more about in a later post) included a traditional US BBQ complete with hamburgers, hotdogs, and the works. The event was attended by over 100 people, so of course this means there has to be enough food, and Sunday was the day chosen to prepare all the desserts.
Six hours, 2 bread puddings, 3 key lime pies, 4 strawberry shortcakes, 2 batches of brownies, and 5 American flag sheetcakes later we finally finished our task for the day. Again the hours of baking time spent in the kitchen was such a neat
experience. Roope (Finland) and Pepi (Czech Republic) as well as Elina of course (Rocio offered moral support) were our recruits for the day, and if you ever want to see something quite entertaining put two guys in a kitchen with women, hand them a beer, and tell them to ice a cake with blueberries and strawberries! And before you start thinking the cakes turned out a disaster let me tell you, those two were the most detailed perfectionists I have met! The blueberries had to be the same size and shape, the icing just right, and the strawberries in exactle the right direction! Theydefinitely have a future in cake decorating.
The rest of the weeend included a football viewing party (and by football I of course mean soccer), a good bit of napping, and studying of course. Exams are in fact a real thing even while studying abroad, and they just so happen to be less than two weeks away!! EEK!
I have officially begun my crazy, psychotic amounts of studying and spending hours at the Uni due to my lack of a lap top so be expecting to see quite a few more posts. Blogging offers me a reward after completing a study task…
I can’t quite come up with 5 interesting facts for the week so I guess ya’ll will just have to settle for two:
1. Ikea desk chairs are perhaps the most uncomfortable chairs in the world. Sitting in them for hours at a time does wonders for the back…really. And by wonders I of course means it makes walking and sitting up straight incredibly difficult.
2. Getting in shape while abroad is a VERY difficult task. Exercising without a gym or weights as well as eating healthy when tempted by so much fantastic food is definitely a trying experience. I can’t say that I have completely mastered this yet, but I am trying my best…
(I apologize for the lack of pictures in this blog…Jennifer and I are experiencing some technical difficulties…)