This past weekend, I traveled to the Andalucian city of Córdoba and got to experience it like a local. My friend Laura´s boyfriend Juan is from Córdoba, so we packed his car full of people and trekked down for the weekend. Here are some of my favorite experiences from the weekend:
salmorejo. We arrived at one of Juan´s family´s houses in the little town of Alcolea (about a 10 minute drive from Córdoba itself) and his mom, dad, and twin brothers were there. His mom had prepared an ultra-lavish and uber-traditional Spanish lunch for us. While the Andalucian accents were a little tricky to decipher (they tend to drop off the ends of words, so ¨mas o menos¨ becomes ¨ma´ o meno´¨) the food spoke for itself. I immediately fell in love with a typical Córdoban dish called ¨salmorejo¨ which is basically a bread dip consiting of pureed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and more bread. I vowed to make it every day for the rest of my life, and I won´t be happy until I find it in Madrid.
que píjo. I love picking up new slang and working it into conversation as seemlessly as possible. In Córdoba, there is a subset of the population who care a lot about how they look, who they hang out with, and where they are seen, etc. In the UK, the word for this might be ¨posh.¨ Here, it´s ¨píjo.¨ Little kids in peacoats and fashionable shoes are píjo, as are people who step into a club looking like they´re fresh off a runway.
la mezquita y el alcázar. One of the reasons I´ve been wanting to come to Córdoba was to see La Mezquita, basically for the fact that it is dripping with history. La Mezquita was built as a mosque, and remained one until the Moors were driven out of Spain during la reconquista. The tower was pretty cool, as was the Moorish style architecture inside the Mezquita itself. El Alcázar was great – epic views, ornate gardens, and of course, a statue of Cristobol Colon.
presidentes y culos. Over the weekend, I also learned a new card game that can get pretty heated – basically, you try to get rid of your cards as quickly as you can following certain rules, and the winner is the ¨presidente¨ followed by the 2nd place vice-presidente. The loser is the ¨culo¨ (ass) and the almost-loser is the ¨vice-culo.¨ Definitely fun throwing that word around.
la vida andaluciana. We slept in, had two-hour (or longer) lunches that didn´t begin until after two, dinners that ended after midnight, and ate oranges grown off a family tree. Fun fact: Spaniards are basically pros at cutting fruit. They take the skins of apples using a knife, and NEVER use their hands to open an orange. I am sticking to what I know on that front, but it was so fun really getting a glimpse into Andalucian culture for the weekend.