Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Festival of San Juan

June 24th is the Festival of San Juan in Spain, which is basically a celebration of the summer solstice, as best as I can tell. It's a bank holiday, so no one goes to work and everything is closed and everyone goes to the beach. The real celebration, though, is the night before, when people set off fireworks, go to the beach, and eat a special cake, not necessarily in that order.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a dinner party hosted by one of my coworkers and her boyfriend. It was mostly people from work, which was nice because I knew them already. There were a few girlfriends and boyfriends, as well. Everyone spoke Spanish, so almost all of the conversation was in Spanish, which was so much fun! It was good though because all of my coworkers also speak English, so when I'm stuck on a word, they can help me.

Dinner was outside, and surprisingly vegetarian-friendly. There were two salads (one that I brought, and one that my coworker made), tortillas (omelette-like dishes) with potatoes, onions, and spinach, bread, and grilled vegetables. There was meat, too, but I didn't pay too much attention to it so I don't know what it was. There was also delicious sangria. While we were eating, we realized that we had quite a multi-national group assembled, including people from Hungary, the Canary Islands, Belgium, America (me), China, and Spain. After seeing the movie "L´auberge espagnole", this made me really happy. Here is some of the dinner:

After dinner, we listened to some music, primarily Spanish but also American, and danced in the backyard. Some of the guys played drums and a flamenco box that is used as a drum, and for some reason they also had a didgeridoo. Two of them also had guitars. At one point, another couple arrived, and the woman tried to teach me a little flamenco! It was so much fun!

As per tradition, we also went out to the street to set off some fireworks. All through the dinner, we had been hearing and sometimes seeing fireworks go off. Here is one of ours:

When we came back, we ate the traditional cake for this holiday, pictured below:

Finally we wrapped up the night and took the first train of the morning back to the city. (Yes, I stayed up all night.) I was very ready to go to sleep when I got home. Luckily there was no work today!

On a separate note, I met with my supervisors at work yesterday, and I think we're on the same page now. I'm going to look into the current state-of-the-art for displays of air traffic information, and if it seems like an area I can add to, I'll work on that. Otherwise, I will have the opportunity to shape my own project, I think. Either way, I think this is going more in a direction I will like.

Have I mentioned I love Barcelona?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my it sounds like you're having such an amazing time! Your Spanish will surely surpass mine now. And way to go on getting a library card there, very clever.