Doing It ‘Gangnam Style’


‘What?’ I hear you say; ‘What the Hell is Gangnam Style?’ Sounds a little bit weird doesn’t it, yet this music style has taken off with bang from Korea, and has now touched down all over the world as a new phenomenon fascinating everyone.

Have a look at this video on YouTube if you haven’t seen ‘Gangnam Style’ in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0 YouTube video courtesy of: officialpsy

‘Gangnam Style’ is a 2012 single released by Korean rapper PSY. It debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart, the national record chart of South Korea. The music video has been viewed over 320 million times on YouTube as of September 30, 2012. This makes ‘Gangnam Style’ Youtube’s most watched Korean pop (K-pop) video.

Even The Urban Dictionary is getting in on the act; September 12 2012 their word of the day was ‘Gangnam Style’:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Gangnam%20Style&defid=6718860

Definition of ‘Gangnam Style is:

‘A Korean neologism mainly associated with upscale fashion and lavish lifestyle associated with trendsetters in Seoul’s Gangnam district (강남), which is considered the most affluent part of the metropolitan area’. In colloquial usage, it is comparable to the English slang terms “swag” or “yolo”. As the saying goes; ‘Who needs food when you got Gangnam Style?’

Pic below: Caption says it all!

By early September 2012, ‘Gangnam Style” flash mobs have started to appear in various cities of the world. ‘Gangnam Style’ has become a source of parodies and reaction videos.

Korean Rapper PSY has brought the ‘Gangnam Style’ dance to various locations including; The Today Show, Saturday Night Live, Dodger Stadium, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Samsung commercials. It has been shared on the Internet by numerous celebrities including T-Pain, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Tom Cruise. It has been covered by music artists such as; Nelly Furtado and Maroon 5. It has been featured in international media outlets such as; CNN International, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Harvard Business Review, and the global politics magazine Foreign Policy.

‘Gangnam Style’ has been praised for its catchy beat and humorous dance moves. On September 17, the song was nominated for Best Video at the upcoming 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards to be held in Frankfurt, Germany. On September 20, 2012, ‘Gangnam Style’ was recognised by Guinness World Records as the “Most ‘Liked’ Video in YouTube History”.

Above information courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangnam_Style

What do you think of this ‘Gangnam Style’ phenomenon sweeping the globe? Does it have you dancing in your seat or bored rigid? Is it a passing phase, a one hit wonder or is it here to stay?

Put your comments below please 🙂

Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Chicken And The Egg, Which Came First; Happiness OR Intelligence?


Which came first, intelligence or happiness?

According to UK research completed by University College London; lower intelligence will signify more unhappiness in life, those who display higher intelligence will be happier.

In a study comprising of 6,870 people; the participants who answered they were ‘very happy’, were those people with an IQ of 120 to 129. However, the highest proportion claiming they were ‘not too happy’ was found in people with an IQ of 70 to 79. People with lower intelligence were reporting that they felt significantly unhappy in their lives.

Has this study found a correlation between intelligence and happiness? Lower intelligence was linked to; lower incomes, worse health, worse  mental health, and more feelings of powerlessness to complete even mundane activities. Are these feelings only associated with lower intelligence, or is there more involved such as social status?

In my experience the higher the intelligence of the person the more issues they have with mental health and unhappiness. Over thinking life, struggling to fit in and be accepted, dealing with personal issues alone, pressures of work and family, and being more aware of themselves and others. How many famous people; artists, musicians, politicians have been unhappy enough with their lives to commit suicide? Were these acts a result of a deficit in intelligence?

How has the intelligence of the participants in this University College London study been measured? IQ tests have come under fire in the decades gone by for being culturally and language specific; ignoring and not inclusive of the vast sections of society, experiences, and different cultures. They also focus heavily on Mathematics; if you have no head for sums you won’t perform well.  What does an IQ test really prove?

What do you think about intelligence and happiness??? Are they reliant on one another or can you have one without the other?? What makes you happy? Is there a measure for this emotion? Is happiness a constant thing or fleeting? Is it your intelligence to blame for unhappiness?

Have a look at below link for further information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19659985

Please leave your comments below, thanks 🙂

Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Are We Calling Time On The Gentlemen?


In a recent interview Dita Von Teese (famous Burlesque Dancer), said she believes that ‘a gentleman is sexy’. Yet, aren’t such old-fashioned standards dead and forgotten by men, carried away by their expectations of a quick and easy one night tryst?! I wonder what qualities a man has to possess to constitute being classed a ‘gentleman’ these days? Hasn’t that ideal shifted and taken quite a severe dent? Even if gentlemen still exist, do women want one? Is there room for such men in today’s society?

I know I have been brought up a little old-fashioned. Instilled with manners, etiquette, principles, scruples and standards; in short I know how to behaviour in polite company, how to conduct myself. I in turn value these things in others, but it doesn’t make me any less forward thinking, liberal or liberated; I am outspoken (I can fight my corner like a tiger if needs be), I am not weak, submissive, dull, stupid, dependent or somehow sub normal. I know that for some women, the very notion of a man holding a door open for her is considered an outrage, a ghastly and degrading act; well, I respect such actions, as I would do the same for anyone myself! That act does not detract anything from my independence as a woman, who has rights. What puts me off is a lack of manners; ‘manners maketh the person’ after all. An example of such bad manners; a group of men who were happy to ogle at me, but then quickly enough barged me off the sidewalk and into the road so they could pass first, as though I was mere trash. Now that ladies is more degrading than a simple act of holding a door open out of mannerly courtesy.

Having manners, showing respect, being courteous and acting with dignity isn’t something to be viewed as suspicious, a clash with women’s rights, nor is it out of touch with modernity. I think it demonstrates the old adage, ‘do unto others as you would have done unto yourself’, at least until given a reason to do the contrary!

Now surely being a gentleman embodies such traits too? Official Oxford Dictionary definition of gentleman; ‘a chivalrous, courteous, or honourable man’, originated from Middle English (in the sense ‘man of noble birth’): in later use the term denoted a man of a good family.  So the term still bears the same qualitative meaning!

Consider momentarily a man who doesn’t demonstrate, dignity, respect, courtesy and manners; what type of lover would he make? These are essential elements in any would be relationship, without them you are just an object, and the man has no concern for you as a person at all. Why then do we so easily compromise on manners? Or gentlemanly qualities? Why do we forgive burly machismo, but abhor a man with kindly manners?

I know I’m not the only woman out there who is despondent with what seems to be the ‘show me your boobs’, drink until we collapse culture of today. When I see such leery and obnoxious men, this is when it is more obvious just how infrequently I get to see the species called gentlemen. This is when we all need to see the gentleman the most; to restore faith in all women, to show that not all men are just sex crazed idiots, who categorize women according to how good their breast look. That there are many men out there who are genuine, do care and that can treat women like human beings, not just objects.

With all things considered I believe there are gentlemen out there in the world, I have seen the proof. They are not the Prince who will whisk you away on a white horse into the sunset, but real men; men who value women, and don’t compromise their manners, courtesy or respect towards other people. Gentlemen are something worth vindicating, valuing and celebrating; a world without them would be a world lacking much-needed class.

Below pic:  Gentlemen, just a thing of the past???

As ever I would like to have your opinions on this topic please.

Leave your comments below, thanks 🙂

Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Why Are ‘Los Madrileños’ ALSO ‘Los Gatos’ (The Cats)?


I was having a conversation with a female friend who was born and bred here in Madrid, we were taking about the history of the city, and then she mentioned something very curious. Apparently people from Madrid are known as los gatos, or the cats! I was aware of the nickname ‘Madrileños’, but los gatos, it seemed a bizarre, but interesting analogy. So, being as inquisitive as I am I asked her to explain the origins of both nicknames.

The people of Madrid are known as ‘Los Madrileños’. The reason behind this is ‘Los Madriles’ or many Madrids, used to describe the various barrios in the city; hence the origins of ‘Los Madrileños’ as we know it.  Los Madrileños is the masculine form of the word; it would be used to describe the men of Madrid, but also a group of men and women. A group of women from Madrid would be called ‘Las Madrileñas’, the feminine form.

The nickname ‘Los Gatos’ however has two possible origins. One belief sees the nickname as a result of the wars of many centuries ago. It seems probable that the name could date back even as long ago as the Middle Ages. During battles the troops displayed amazing agility whilst scaling the walls of enemies strong holds, hence the name given to them, ‘Los Gatos’.

Another possible explanation for ‘Los Gatos’ originates from the fact that the people of Madrid indulge themselves in the thriving nightlife of the city. It is in a cat’s nature to be out and about on the streets from late at night until early morning; so too is it the nature of ‘Los Madrileños’.

Phew, mystery solved!

Below: Out on the town, Tom the cat all Zoot suited up and ready to party!

Above pic sourced from: http://soundcheck.wnyc.org/2011/aug/18/extremely-stylish-zoot-suit/

 

Information gathered from, and checked with the websites below. Oh, and not to forget my good friend Laura, who doesn’t mind me using her intel!

http://ml.hss.cmu.edu/ml/studyabroad-spain.html

http://www.city-data.com/world-cities/Madrid-Introduction.html

The Welfare State or a Scroungers Paradise?


At the moment there has been plenty of media coverage about ‘Social Security’ and ‘Welfare’. It seems if it isn’t the UK, it is Spain or the US that are fighting for more or less of the ‘Nanny State’.

The ‘Nanny State’ is a complex, and often antiquated system founded upon a set of ideals, which works to maintain the status quo of welfare, so it is available for everyone to access; but is it still doing its job and is it this enough in the modern world? Could a radical shake-up of the system be justified? How radical a change would be called for or tolerated to help to reform or re-create the system? Especially a system which might have served a country for so long, it is difficult to imagine being without it.

Welfare in the form of unemployment, sickness and disability benefits have changed lives; brought people out of poverty, saved people from poverty, and helped to support millions. Yet, there are always a number of individuals who spoil the system, flouting the premise of welfare rules just to con the country out money for nothing. This is where the negative begins to impact upon welfare, and soon the rot sets in to unravel any good that was ever done by it.

It is common knowledge in the UK that there are people claiming a benefit under false pretenses, Hell, I should know I have worked with said people! I know the scams and I know they are completed successfully as the system has no safe guard to prevent such fraudulent actions. Consequently, the amount of tax payer’s money leaking from the system every year is unquantifiable. Reasons being are that fraud is difficult to prove, and the evidence alone can take time and yet again money to pursue. So, how can this misuse of time, money and services be prevented?

It seems there is no answer, no Government has found one anyway, or maybe they are unwilling to do what is necessary to stop this. Maybe it would be too radical a step, but then what would be worse; continue pouring billions down a never-ending drain every year, or, fix the problem once and for all so those who truly need help get it!

The fact that there is help available for all, as long as people meet the eligibility criteria for a benefit, is a great thing, but therein lies the parody. A 24-year-old who is physically fit and able, can in theory and practice, claim unemployment benefit in the UK forever. The whole world seems to know this too, as there are many who come to the UK in search of work, and then they too end up claiming benefits. There was a case in the ‘Daily Mail’ recently regarding a Latvian woman, with 10 children, claiming every benefit available to her and still; demanding more. Now, there are people working in the UK, barely scraping by, what with the economy being as dire as it is; but yet they are not eligible for any help, why, because they work and are deemed wealthy enough. Yet, someone who has never worked, and there is no reason that they can’t, is eligible to take from a pot they have never paid into. The contradictions in the system go on and on to the point where people are beginning to question; what is the welfare system truly there for? Is it for those who genuinely need its help or is it just for those who want to scam the system?

I have met so many people who don’t claim what is rightfully theirs, because they feel ashamed, don’t understand the process or don’t know they are eligible; and then I have met others who milk it dry. I have met young men and women who could secure work, and even turn down jobs just to stay on benefits. I have met men of 45 made redundant having worked since the ages of 14 and 15, and they are told they can only claim a benefit for 6 months, and their mortgage payments won’t be covered by the welfare system. Yet, I have seen people claiming they live alone, when they have a partner with them, and they are receiving housing benefits for houses they don’t even live in! I have met people with extreme physical disabilities who get refused benefits, and some who don’t even think to try to claim anything as they just go to work; whilst a person with psoriasis is deemed disabled! Aren’t these the very contradictions which prove the system isn’t working as it should be? That the help isn’t being received by those who truly need it?

Oh, and one final thought: during my time working in the unemployment sector, one specific case stuck with me, and it wasn’t as unusual as it might sound. It was of a man in his late 30’s (physically fit and healthy), married with 5 children; he and his wife had been claiming benefits for many years. He said himself it wasn’t worthwhile him working, though he had been offered jobs, because the salary was so little compared with what benefits he received. Between unemployment benefit, tax credits, child benefits, housing and council tax benefits the man’s income for a month was £2000. That is equivalent to somebody’s monthly salary, and they wouldn’t be eligible to receive any benefits.

So, is it worthwhile maintaining a welfare system that perpetuates unemployment, because it provides more stability and income than an actual job, or, is it about time there were more restraints, and checks to ensure that only the truly in need received the help? Maybe a sliding scale of benefit payments, which could be assessed and based on individual needs, so that not everyone receives the same amounts? Or, is it time to bin the system and start all over again?

What do you think? What is the welfare system like where you live? Have you experience of the system? Do you think it works or is it failing? Do you think welfare doesn’t go far enough, and people need more, not less?

Leave comments below, thanks!

Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The ‘Real’ Madrid Experience – The hunger trail and well-kept food heaven secrets.


In this post I want to look at food and drinks! I am not going to concentrate solely on Tapas, yes, it will be included though! Madrid isn’t just tapas, though this is traditional fare here. I hope to provide ideas for the money conscious, vegetarian and also those who like a bit of spice. What will follow will be recommendations from me and my friends, who are Spanish and live in Madrid as I do. I hope this article will offer something a bit different, as I don’t want to take you down the already well-trodden tourist path. I hope to show Madrid from an insider view, or a more quirky view! That is why I have included a section ‘Something Secret’, the bar I mention there is NOT well-known and is a CLOSELY guarded Madrid secret!

Under Starters Orders:

Tapas is a brilliant thing, something very typical Spanish and not really a dish done well elsewhere. What makes tapas genius is that it is accessible to all who visit Madrid, without them necessarily even realising it. This is because in bars individual tapas dishes usually come served with your alcoholic drink, this is complimentary. Straight away they have you hooked, a cunning plan indeed! I have asked friends for the reasons behind this gesture; they told me that the Government here have realised people drink quite liberally, and they were afraid that people would become too drunk too quickly, so food is served as an accompaniment to slow the process of becoming drunk.

The tapas served with a drink will usually consist of nuts, olives and even crisps/chips and popcorn, but we have also had liver and kidney mixed up in an onion like stew, croquettes, patatas bravas, tortilla, bread, white bait, anchovies, chorizo, ham and cheeses.

Some of the most popular drinks to order here to accompany tapas are; Caña con Limón (beer with lemon such as Fanta), ‘claro’ (beer with a soda water) and tinto de verano (red wine and lemon, Fanta is used too). All very refreshing for the summer, and relatively inexpensive.

Nightlife Experiences:

Going out to a bar to have a drink is a far different type of environment than that usual to the UK. Firstly you don’t usually pay as soon as you order, the bill comes later when you leave, and this is true in restaurants and cafes too. Here in Madrid it is believed to be rude to ask for prompt payment! Of course there are those that then leave without paying!

It is not uncommon to sit outside on terraces flanking beautiful plazas; here you can see people having only one drink and chatting, and also see families together eating and drinking. Even the smallest of children accompany their parents, and often just sit or play while the elders chat. People tend to drink beer or wine with their snacks or food as we might have a soda or coffee; in fact I have ordered a coffee at 12:00 (lunch time), and been admonished by the waiter! Alcohol is common place here!

Going out times: 10:00 p.m is just when the party begins in Madrid. Places don’t often close until 3 a.m and then there after parties of course until 6 or 7 a.m.

Times to eat vary incredibly from the UK norm. Breakfast is generally 8-10 and may consist of tortilla, bread with an olive oil, garlic and tomato puree or sweet pastries. Lunch is usually 2- 4 in the afternoon, and during this time it is most common for restaurants to serve Paella. Dinner is anything from 8 -11 at night, and this is a family and friends affair; tapas usually being served to share. Children here don’t usually go to bed as they might in the UK for 7:00 p.m, they stay up to be with their families and eat.

A pincho: this is a small portion of something specific, for example, tortilla pincho. These dishes are paid for, not free with a drink. Same type of variety of foods on offer as tapas, but normally more bread involved to accompany the dish!

Places to eat and drink

Something cheap:

A great place to fill up for cheap is El Tigre bar, Calle Infantas in Chueca. The tapas given with each drink is nothing outlandish, but substantial!!! On one plate you will receive; bread, meats, patatas bravas, and croquettes, with sauces aplenty, enough to keep any starving individual full all night! 4.50 euros per person for dinner and a drink, not bad to save those pennies.

Above: example of the tapas available at El Tigre.

On the same street as El Tigre is El respiro and El Pezcador. OK these aren’t cordon bleu either, but these have ample tapas on hand with every drink served too. Again cheap and cheerful to keep your wallet and tummy happy.

Museo del Jamon, highly popular with locals; a great place to get into the Madrid vibe! The reason it is popular; beer and food are cheap, atmosphere = great! With a drink you get the usual tapas offered; only as they are a ‘meat market’ too, hence the ‘Jamon’ or ham in their name, they serve up chunks of chorizo and speciality hams (yum!)

I usually order the croissant ‘mixto’, which is a croissant with thinly carved ham and cheese; the cheese and hams are all local. I think it is delicious; the sweetness of the bread and savoury of the filling is a perfect combo at roughly 2.50 euros. Madrid is famous for its bocadillos though, they are everywhere! The Museo del Jamon serve bocadillos too, which are basically baguettes with fillings in; Calamares being a popular choice. Again cheap enough to fill a hungry tum!

The Museo de Jamon also have formal dining areas, a ‘salon’ which serves more formal meals, but the bar offerings are all I have needed.

What I love about this particular bar is its mad, but fab atmosphere! You have to be prepared to be shocked by how different it is compared to anywhere else you will have ever been. Don’t be intimidated, join the crowd at the bar, speak up and order what you want! It is packed at night and in the day; crowed with people who stay to drink and eat in what looks like a bar amid a meat market! The one off Puerta del Sol is my favourite! Though there are others to choose from dotted about the city.

Check out their website, a bit formal, but gives an idea:   http://www.museodeljamon.com/html/restaurante.html

 Across: Museo del Jamon

 

Another cheaper alternative is Cerveceria el Diario, Calle de Jesús (Calle de Huertas). Apparently it has been open since 1879. It serves excellent pinchos and beer. They have various deals, for example recently 6 large pinchos and drinks for 16 euros. The pinchos vary and are accompanied with bread, olives and crisps/chips. Very large helpings!!! There are tortillas, some with peppers, thick pieces of smoked salmon with avocados, crab meat and king prawns, roasted veggies, and also miniature beef burgers! I enjoyed it here and the staff were very friendly. It is a typical Tapas bar, but the décor is not so gaudy, IE, no stuffed bull heads were mounted on the walls, as in some bars on that street!

Below: Cerveceria el Diario

 

Something Historical:

If you want history then visit Café Gijón, Paseo de Recoletos; it is a culturally significant coffeehouse establish in 1888. After the Civil War it became a meeting place for intellectuals, writers and artists. It has an expensive reputation though; food has been said to be nothing special. Probably best to stick to the fixed menus, or Menú del Día (menu of the day) to save money.

Above:  Café Gijón

El Restaurante Botin, located off the Plaza Mayor (a short walk from Puerta del Sol where Museo del Jamon is located). It is the oldest working restaurant in the world founded by Jean Botín in 1725. Famous people from all over the world have visited it; writers, politicians, film stars and so on. Historical it maybe, but it also has a reputation as an expensive tourist trap. I have heard mixed reviews on the food and service too. Personally I choose to keep away from the restaurants flanking, and on the Plaza Mayor, as they tend to be tourist orientated and therefore not worth the money. One such restaurant on the Plaza Mayor itself charged me 22 euros for a plate of roasted peppers!

 Something Chic:

Wonderful Strawberry Mojitos are served at the Taberna Chica, Costanilla de San Pedro. Nice chill out bar, suitable to meet friends and chat.

El Almendro, Calle del Almendro. Known for typical Andulician food; very packed at the weekends though, and you will have to wait in queue for tables, which once secured are very small (in size)! The food is good enough though, and it is a little taste of the Spanish night life, but it can be expensive.

El Viajero, is a very popular bar with a wonderful roof terrace, urban chic at its best! Good for cocktails, and Pacharan which is local aniseed schnapps.

Above: view from the terrace at  El Viajero

Something Different:

At Plaza Olavide in Chamberí barrio there is what seems to be an inconsequential bar called Kybey 2. The bar is not elegant or chic, but it serves an award winning tortilla with green peppers. The menu also has the usual suspects; patatas bravas, croquettes and family size salads! It is very cheap though; we spent roughly 24 euros on the meal, very good value as we were full to burst upon leaving. Surrounding the Plaza are terraces where many other bars and restaurant’s reside; in summer this place is packed with people socialising, sitting outside and enjoying the cool breeze.

Above: Plaza Olavide

A short walk away from Plaza Olavide is Calle de Alburquerque, where Clamores Jazz club is located. An excellent and authentic little club; it is like something out of an ‘old school’ movie. Atmospheric and worth a visit.

Check out their website for listings: http://www.salaclamores.com/

Something Secret:

Casa Granada, Doctor Cortezo 17, just off the Plaza Tirso de Molina. It is a well-guarded Madrid secret!!!! Not on the usual tourist track at all. It is the view you go for, as it is basically situated inside a block of residential flats, which you have to buzz to gain entry to. It looks nothing special, but once up there the sunset over Madrid has never been so fantastic. They serve Andalusian food; generous portions but nothing fancy, try the ‘pimientos del pardon’ though. Don’t arrive after 7:30 or you’ll be queuing for a table on the terrace!

Something Veggie:

El granero de Lavapies, La calle Argumosa. This is an extremely popular choice of restaurant! You can be queuing even with a reservation. Reason being is that food is excellent, large portions and it is cheap; 10 euros for a 3 course meal.

Artemisa, Calle Ventura de la Vega; very popular and busy even on weekdays. Has a full menu to choose from of vegetarian and vegan dishes, plus a couple of meat options. Good portion sizes and excellent deserts too! The price of the food may seem a little expensive, but there is plenty of it, and of course you could opt for one of the sharing platters.

Check out their website for further details: http://restaurantesvegetarianosartemisa.com/

Hints and Tips:

When ordering any spirit such as Vodka and Whiskey check the prices before buying! A normal single shot in the UK is 25ml, here in Madrid the glass can be 250ml and they fill it half way with your chosen spirit! That explains the prices you will then pay which can be anything from 8 – 12 (plus) euros. We have paid over 50 euros for 2 drinks of Irish Whiskey in a bar in Puerta del Sol, so be warned!

Any imported alcoholic drink will be more expensive. With beer try to stick to the Spanish variety if you can, as that will be more like 2 euros a pint, whereas Guinness for example can be more like 6 euros a pint. Not too bad for one, but it will add up over the night!

Do you know about EL TENEDOR and RESTALO websites??? Both websites are useful for looking at where to eat for good prices. They allow you to search for what type of restaurants you want to eat in, and then also book the table! Ideal if you want to beat those queues! There are often great deals too, informing you what places have offers and discounts.

Food tastes: just want to mention that people often expect Spanish food to be laden with spices, perhaps chilies? Not the case, garlic yes, but chilies no. The food here is often mild to the taste-buds and not overly ‘hot’ and spicy. Patatas bravas (a tapas dish) often comes with a chili-esque sauce, but it is not exactly a Madras curry!

If however you want a ‘hot and spicy’ Madras curry, then there are many Indian Restaurants to choose from. Taj – La Taberna Del Prado Restaurant on Calle del Marqués de Cubas, and Bombay Palace on Calle del Ave María (near Paseo del Prado) are just two.

Chinese food is not overly enjoyed by the inhabitants of Madrid, but take heart as there are some Chinese restaurants out there! Buen Gusto is one located on Paseo Santa Maria de la Cabeza. This has been visited by the King of Spain, so if it is good enough for Royalty?! It is possibly walkable from the Atocha area (if you feel up to it!), but you can get there via the Metro. Head for Embajadores station, and walk towards the Calle de Embajadores (quite a long road), at the end of this street there is a roundabout, then look for the Paseo Santa Maria de la Cabeza. Enjoy!

There are plenty of Japanese restaurants to suit every purse though. Diverxo, Calle del Pensamiento, reachable via the Metro – station Cuzco. This restaurant has extremely good reviews.

Check out their website, as reservations will be required!    http://diverxo.com/

Final thoughts:

Some of the Spanish food available, tapas especially, might be a bit of a shock to some people’s palates! For the health conscious be warned that for cooking and dressing food, lots of olive oil is often used, also many dishes are fried or have some batter coating. There is always plenty of bread on offer too! You can always explain you would prefer a lighter option as you are dieting or whatever, but if you are not confident to do so there are plenty of options available to suit everyone’s tastes, so look again at the menu! Alternatively, most restaurants have menus printed in English! Strange combos of food also appear, at first they might not seem to naturally go together, but they can feature in the realm of tapas; lots of eggs, tuna and onions can be used in a variety of dishes, and might not be everyone’s cup of tea! There are also lots of meat and fish hidden in dishes; ask if you are not sure, hence where a bit of Spanish comes in handy. As I have already mentioned though, there are usually menu’s printed in English. A few other items to look out for are; tripe, kidney and liver, suckling pigs and rabbit – all popular in Madrid!

 

Next blog I will be focusing on; Irish Bars, Markets, Cake shops and Chocolatiers and Supermarkets.

 

 

Copy Right Notice:
© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Final Pound Of Flesh For Lady Gaga


The norm set by most industrious record companies is to have their ‘products’ spick and span, and usually as meat free as possible; especially for the female of their clientele. Yet, I was perplexed, even more so than usual considering the stunts Lady Gaga is constantly fabricating; that at this moment the self-confessed ‘born this way’ girl is allowing herself to be subjected to the old, ‘lose weight or lose your contract’ game.

Apparently Lady Gaga has been ordered to reduce her waist line, after enjoying her food far too liberally; naughty, naughty, naughty. She has also had to issue a statement admitting that she is ‘fat’, and not pregnant, as apparently suggested by Kelly Osbourne.

The question then; is this merely a stunt to achieve more press coverage and maybe raise funds to sponsor another outlandish concert, or, could it be that she has finally crossed the line, and discovered the boundary she cannot break with everyone’s blessing?

I mean, isn’t this the woman who cried blood, donned a penis, wore alarmingly too much cattle on her body and has sung about worldwide acceptance of every living soul. There was seemingly nothing she wouldn’t or couldn’t do; until she committed the mortal sin of gaining weight all was OK in the world. Now, OUTRAGE!!!!

Is it time for an apology? After all, Lady Gaga’s disgusting and shameful weight gain has disgruntled and upset so many of us, (sarcasm).

Should she be forced to fight the ‘flab’ and count the calories with every conditioned soul in the Western world?

Or, to be honest; why should we care if she isn’t as thin as she was? What difference is that to her being her and the music and entertainment she makes?

Will this once outlandish and outspoken woman be tamed for good? Is this where Lady Gaga drops off her yellow brick road?

What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments.

Above: Miss Gaga at her best?

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© Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bex Houghagen and The Savvy Senorita with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.