Um… It’s muy, not moi.
On my Facebook status the other day, I described the Spanish wine we’ve been getting as “moi barato,” which is French for “me barato” and Spanish for “moi cheap.” I realize now, through the miracle of a little internet research, that what I meant to say was, “muy barato,” which is very inexpensive.
But it’s okay. I can’t be blamed for these things because I took German in college and no one corrected me.
My friends are too polite.
Here are some things I like about Europe (and I’ve been to this continent all of twice now, so I feel it’s fair to generalize):
1. Language. No matter the country, I’m always surrounded by foreign languages. Often several. And while this is frequently the cause for discomfort and/or mild irritation, I find that when I sit down with a glass of wine and bowl of olives at an outdoor cafe, hide behind my sunglasses on a plaza bench, or type here at my computer in my sister-in-law’s basement apartment and just listen as strangers converse while they pass by (and it’s not eavesdropping if you can’t understand a word they’re saying), it really is quite intoxicating.
Bar snacks in Malaga.
2. Food. What can I say? There’s nothing I don’t like about food. Even food I don’t like. Whether I’m sitting down in front of a tiny bowl of seasoned olives with wine at a swanky cafe, a steady stream of tapas and beer at a pub, an empanada or falafel procured from a street vendor, fried churros served at a tiny alleyway table with chocolate dipping sauce and a very strong café con leche (ie. couple shots of espresso with steamed milk), or a giant pan of paella cooked right out of the chef’s childhood home, I’m pretty sure I’m the happiest woman in the world.
Paella on Ibiza.
3. Exercise. When we want to go somewhere, we walk. When we want to go farther, we walk to the public transportation, take a train, then walk again. When we’re on the island of Formentera and have no car, we bike. When we’re on the island of Formentera and decide we want to see the one thing that requires getting to the top of a very large hill (*cough*mountain*cough*), we ride our bikes, walk our bikes, and ride our bikes again — over 13 km, both ways, up hill, in the snow just to get there.
(All of that’s true. Except for the snow.)
Southeastern lighthouse on Formentera.
Oh, and sometimes these old cities have stairs. Lots, and lots of stairs.
But whether you bike it or hike it, it’s always worth it when you get to the top.
4. There are like a billion ways to flush the toilets.
Need I say more?