Saturday, December 26, 2009

Can Castellvi: Great place in Sant Cugat for kids

My previous experiences with the La Rierada area consisted of being attacked by wild dogs, so it was nice to return here with a more positive experience.

Can Castellvi is a masia-style country restaurant (do you want meat with a side of meat?). The big attraction is the farm, where you can send off the kids with a monitor (for 10 euros or so, depending on the group size) while you enjoy some adult time.

The kids absolutely loved the farm. They eat quickly upstairs and then head off to the farm for two hours while the food came (very slowly... I was starved by the time my big hunk of red meat arrived), but they timed it pretty well so that the deserts and coffee were being served when the kids came back.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our Tio

This year we decided to do a "Tió" for our kids. It was great fun having the kids give it many different kinds of food and watch it magically disappear the next morning (extra points for creative placement of leftovers).

Our youngest was really scared though when we started to sing the song and wack it with a stick and was telling us to stop hurting the poor log. After the candy appeared he got over it pretty quickly.

All in all, I think this is a tradition that we´ll keep. The caganer in the nativity scene is also "un must" as they say here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Computer Envy

I work for a large corporation on a special project unrelated to most of the other business that goes on here in Spain. So I deal with the Spanish subsidiary sometimes when I need things like money, computers, cheque gourmets, etc. The other day I ordered a new computer. I received an email yesterday stating that my computer had arrived, but that there was a problem and it was being held in storage until the issue was resolved.

“A problem?” I asked.

“Yes, the computer has an issue”

“Is it defective?”

“No, it does not conform to the corporate standard”

“Hmm… like the wrong brand?”

“No. The screen is too big, the hard drive is too large and it has too much memory”

“I don’t understand, the purchase order was approved by my VP”

“That doesn’t matter. It does not conform to the corporate standards for the Spanish subsidiary”

“Why do you care?”

“If your co-workers saw your computer they would be jealous and want to be treated the same”

My boss ended having to yell some common sense into the guy (it just a poor IT drone). A couple days later this sticker arrived in the mail. I love my boss.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Almost getting beat up in Canaletes

A very strange evening. We went to see a nice concert in Barcelona last night. Outside we could hear various explosions (I hope they were fireworks) celebrating Barca's victory in the mundialito. Ok, it wasn't exactly Sarajevo.

On the way back to the FGC in Placa Catalunya, we noticed some Mosso riot-mobiles parking nearby. Hey, we're two law abiding citizens, nothing to fear, right? Hey, wait a sec, are those mossos over there as well with the riot shields and batons?

This was the scene (you can see us walking by blissfully at about 30 sec):

We were lucky to make it to the metro before getting beat up, but it was definitely an experience. Being between a (large) group of riot geared police and a (small) group of drunks yelling "hijos de puta" was a bit worrying (one of the guys yelling at the police was with there with his wife and kids, doesn't seem too smart).

I was expecting more Catalan swearing (since it seemed like a Catalan-on-Catalan kind of confrontation), but from what I hear from my Catalan friends, Catalan is not as good as Spanish for yelling at people. I remember one parent who said that she only talks to her kids in Castellano when she's mad at them.


I love AdSense and how it put an ad for the "Vols ser Mossos d'Esquadra" next to this post.

Later update:

The news reports the next day said there were "no incidents", just the normal police presence. Ok, whatever you say.