Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday! Vida Surrealista Turns Two

Chestit rojden den! ¡Feliz cumple! Selamat hari jadi! Buon Compleanno! Alles gute zum geburstag! Happy Birthday!

That’s right. Today we are celebrating the second year of Vida Surrealista.

A year filled with surprises and unexpected twists since I was not planning to return to live in the United States for a couple of months.

A year filled with challenges and literary ups and downs since our inspiration is inevitably connected to our feelings.

A year where Vida Surrealista was able to grow with the written contribution from friends around the world.Thank you very much for all your continuous support and especially to all those who collaborated throughout the year:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Top of the Bar of Coyote Ugly in San Anotnio

Who hasn’t fantasized about dancing on top of the bar after watching Coyote Ugly?

Come on! Be honest! Not even for a second?

And what would you do if you found yourself in that bar?

Surprisingly, I did not live my fantasy of dancing on the bar when I visited Coyote Ugly Saloon in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

The bar was very similar to the one in the movie, only a little bigger. It also had an arsenal of bras hanging from the top of the bar that screamed out: “Unleash yourself!”

Why didn’t I dance?

Maybe, because I am no longer that careless teenager who loved to dance to call attention to herself.

Or, because I was intimidated by the interesting bra-display that made the place look more like a strip bar than a bar of dancing Coyotes like in the movie.

Or maybe, because as soon as we entered the place, one of the girls that was dancing on the bar fell to the floor in the middle of her dance because she was too drunk to keep her balance.

Or simply because our fantasies rarely come true.

As of today, the story ends here. However, I leave you the address in case you want to go and write a different story. If I ever return, I’ll let you know if my story changes.

How to get there:
Coyote Ugly Saloon San Antonio
409 East Commerce Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
Close to Rivercenter Mall and Hemisfair Park

Monday to Sunday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Other Cities:
New York (original – 1993)

Las Vegas (November 2001)

New Orleans (February 2002)

Chicago (March 2003)

Tampa (April 2003)

Austin (January 2004)

Panama City Beach (April 2004)

San Antonio (July 2004)

Charlotte (August 2004)

Nashville (December 2004)

Denver (Mach 2005)

Ft. Lauderdale (January 2006)

Memphis (May 2006)

Start 2008 with a Noisy Toast

Cheers! I raise the glass with joy and good company.

Even though books of etiquette indicate that one should look at the other person’s eyes when they toast and tilt the glass towards the other person without touching, I prefer noisy toasts.

While I was doing research to write this blog, I ran across an excellent article written by Yabebiry that talked about the origins of the brindis.

Some people say the word “brindis” came about when Charles V’s troops were celebrating their victory over Rome on May 6, 1527. During that celebration, members of Chales’ V troop raised their glasses saying: “bring dir’s”, which means “I offer thee” in German.

Other versions of the origin of toasting indicate that during banquets, Ancient Greeks used to have the host raise his/her wine glass and take a long sip to demonstrate the drink had not been poisoned. Then, all the invitees would clash their glasses against one another to splash and mix the contents; that way, if one of the glasses had been poisoned, everyone ran the same risk.

Even though hosts seldom try to poison their guests nowadays, I prefer to continue toasting with that noisy tradition despite what books of etiquette say. For me, a noisy toast represents happiness, good fortune and joy.

Cheers! Hope you have a good 2008! Best wishes to all of you!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Christmas Around the World: Macarroni Angels, Olentzeros Instead of Noel and Presents inside Trees

Naples, Italy
Napolitani say that during harsh times, they traditionally made angels out of different types of pasta found around the house. Then, they offered these pasta angels to their friends during Christmas time.

Those who received the pasta angels wrote a wish in a piece of paper, which they placed inside the body of the angel so it could “fly away” and make the wish come true. Afterwards many people used these cute presents to decorate their Christmas tree.

Vasque Region, Spain

In the Vasque region, Christmas’ symbol is not Santa Claus as in most Christian cities, but the Olentzero, a chimney-sweeper with beret, overalls, crossed sandals and a chequered hankerchief tied in his neck.

Catalunya, Spain

On the other hand, catalans place their Christmas presents inside a tree trunk with a painted face (also known as “tronc”, “soca”, and “tió”).

On Christmas Eve, each child rinses a stick with “magic water” in a room, and after adults give them permission, they enter the room where the tree trunk is placed and hit it as they sing a song in catalan to free the presents hidden inside the tree.

According to Pamela from the translated version of the song reads something like (the translation puzzles me, so if someone can/may, please verify the translation is correct):

“Tree trunk, Christmas tree trunk

Shit culin

And pee white wine.

Don’t shit zool herring, that is salty

Shit culins that are really good.”

Interestingly, the tree only liberates one present at the time. So the children run back and forth from one room to the other to rinse their stick with “magic water” so they can hit the tree with it until it delivers an onion or a potato as an indication it will not deliver any more presents until the following year.