Books: HOW TO READ THE AIR by Dinaw Mengestu

Title: How To Read the Air
Author: Dinaw Mengestu
Published: 2010
Genre: Fiction

I am drawn to immigrant stories. There is something in them that speaks of strength and survival in countries foreign that I can relate to. How To Read The Air offers glimpses of Jonas Woldemariam’s parents’ transition into America from their home country, Ethiopia. The story itself does not focus entirely on the problems they encounter in America, but of how they have to forge a life as immigrants, who hardly know each other, and build a life from their little-shared past.

Books: THE MARRIAGE PLOT by Jeffrey Eugenides

Title: The Marriage Plot
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Published: 2011
Genre: Fiction

The Virgin Suicides, Eugenides’ first book and Middlesex, his second, were both mysterious. The Virgin Suicides in its depiction of a family of three daughters growing up under the severely strict parenting of a Catholic domineering father- who all ultimately commit suicide left me with an unanswered. Why? A great review of the Virgin Suicides here. Middlesex was fairly straightforward, as the historical elements of the novel woven around the history of a Greek family leaving Greece, settling in the US and the discovery of the daughter that she is a hermaphrodite. This in itself a mysterious subject. I dare say this is my very abridged version of a book that won Jeffrey Eugenides the Pullitzer Prize for Fiction.

Happy New Year!

With ominous warnings of a tough economic year ahead, despite what many felt was a rather hard 2011, revelers worldwide brought in the New Year with the usual amount of optimism and cheer. It was great to see. Watched it all from our TV as we ushered in the New Year with friends. Stepped out…

¡Adiós Barcelona, Bonjour Paris

I have brought back a few extra kilos and left plans to return again. Gaudi  will have to wait,  Catalan cuisine another time. I still want to play golf in Seville, enjoy the beaches in late fall and tour the monasteries, but all that will have to wait. I’m home.  Back to four degree (Celsius)…

Touch & Feel at Cosmo Caixa, Barcelona

Always tricky striking the right balance between the ideal entertainment for adults and kids when on holiday. Took the kids to the Cosmo Caixa Science Museum for the morning. As is typical of some of the science museums we have visited, it encourages the sensory experience for children. They can touch and feel, prod, poke and twist to their hearts’ content. They enjoyed it. The 45 minute long 3D Show on Darwin’s Natural Selection was a definite winner. It’s always good when you can combine educational and fun in one phrase.

Gastronomy in Spain: Carpe Diem, Barcelona

CDLC, Carpe Diem Lounge Restaurant and Lounge Club in Port Olimpíc combined all my favourite things- lounge music of course, chilled wine and fantastic food. We have not been disappointed in our choices of restaurants so far, but for one exception not even worth a mention. 
Buddha carvings- the decor is all circa 2000- think Buddha Bar. Lounge music. Chilled wine. Great food. Sun on my face. I could have stayed the whole afternoon but we had the kids in tow and our five year old did not quite see the appeal of lounging all afternoon. Pity.

Salvador Dalí in his home country

Funny how I am more than happy to be the happy tourist in another city and not in the one I live in. Completely played to my role, camera and map in hand, gazing in amazement on what may appear to be random scenes to the locals and an overuse of my basic Spanish…Ola!
Pictures here. Then there was a visit to the Dalí  museum on Carrer dels Arcs, thought to mix up all the eating with a bit of culture.  It consisted of the private collection of his sculptures, drawings and sketches as well as a collection of photographs taken of this surrealist artist. I was more fascinated by photographs of this very eccentric artist though.

Wandering eye in Barcelona

f0424-img_6024I tend to take fairly random photos when discovering new cities- or so they may seem until months later I see an image I captured on camera and it reminds me again of my trip – making my trips down memory lane even more memorable. Today we spent a fair amount of time walking around, taking random images and discovering Barcelona.
Here are a few images of Barcelona from my perspective.

Mojitos, tapas and sunshine

Being in Spain I feel like I should probably be having Sangria, but the Mojito has made a comeback onto my list of favourite cocktails for this week. Had some tapas at the waterfront today after Part 2 of our morning on the Bus Turistic. Kept it fairly simple, but it was surprisingly alright.  I say surprisingly because I am always wary of places that seem to cater strictly to the tourist. The food could have been arbitrary for all I cared – the sun my face was yet again all I needed.