Thursday, July 11, 2013

A little update

This will be an extremely short post as I´m just documenting the Monday – Wednesday between Hannah and Steve´s visits. Nothing particularly exciting happened and so am documenting this purely for my own records, so feel free to move on as you wish!

On Monday I was given a small project from my original department, Internation Receiving, and so had a very busy day juggling all 3 departments. Having lots of work meant that the day went really quickly, which I personally much prefer, even if you are working to several different deadlines. That evening I’d arranged to meet a girl called Julia, to do a German Tandem. We met near my house after work and went for a drink together. It was surprising how much vocabulary was ‘tip of the tongue’, that before would have just been flowing, after only a couple of months of not speaking German. She spoke such good English that I was a little embarrassed at first, but once I got into the flow, it did start coming back. Speaking German makes me inexplicably happy, plus I need to keep it fresh for going back to uni in October, so this will definitely become a weekly thing.

On Tuesday I went to lunch with the younger customer services group again. Although I can now follow much more of the conversation, I’m still far from being able to contribute much myself, and so made the decision to go back to eating lunch with the older group that I always go to breakfast with. I know it probably seems a little strange that I would choose to eat with that group rather than a group more my age, but I’m just so aware that I have a limited time here and need to prioritise getting as much speaking practice in as possible, and when it comes down to it I’m able to speak and be involved with the conversations a lot more with that group.

I met my Spanish tandem that evening and was also very happy to finally be able to pick up my repaired laptop!! It was actually quite shocking just how reliant I’d become on it and how much I’d struggled without it, but I’m putting that down to ‘Year Abroad’, being away, as in a normal situation you would see and speak to people on a much more regular basis. I’m also blaming being without laptop for the best part of 3 weeks for part of the reason(/excuse) why I’m so horribly behind with this blog…
On Wednesday I felt a little strange at work, but didn’t want to mention it to anyone in case they thought I was considering pulling a sicky the next day (when STEVE came!!). Instead I told my tandem partner I couldn’t meet and went straight home after work to relax and make sure that I was on top form for when Steve arrived the next day!!!

And this concludes the post. As you were…

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My first visitor in Barcelona - Hannah's here!

I had a small panic on Monday morning as I woke up to a text from Raul saying that my metro line wasn't working. Luckily Burcu, another flatmate, works in the building next to mine so we were able to share a taxi there. That was, I'm afraid, the only drama of Monday so I will move swiftly onto Tuesday. My breakfast group complimented me on my Spanish in the morning, saying that I was improving everyday. I know that I've still got a loooong way to go, but I was chuffed with the comment. The whole office had a conference call in the morning as well for a debriefing and official closing of the Customer Week. After lunch we had more speeches as they were announcing the results from the trimester. Underwriting also made a quick speech after telling the office about the new process they'd developed and what it was exactly that I was doing. Right on cue, everyone turned to look at me, and I went as red as a tomato. One day I will stop blushing like this...

We had a nice midweek break as Wednesday 1st May, or Labour Day, was a bank holiday. Lots of people at work said that they were going to protests during the day to campaign for various workers rights, how Spanish of them! I stayed in to tie up all of the loose ends of my German Year Abroad Written Task. It was lovely weather outside so it felt a shame to be cooped up, but I know I had to persevere so that I could finally get it sent off and be done with it!

As the day went on I started to get more and more excited, as my friend Hannah from Durham was coming to visit! I hadn't realised quite how dependent I'd become on Skype over the Year Abroad, and so being without a laptop and the constant communication with England that I'm used to for the last week or so had been a shock to the system and triggered a little bit of homesickness. One of the really nice girls from work had actually lent me her netbook for this week, which was an absolute saving grace, especially with having to finish my essay and had helped with not feeling as homesick this week. Nevertheless, seeing a familiar face from uni was more than welcome and I was very excited for our weekend together!! She actually didn't arrive until about 11pm. I went to pick her up from the station and we stayed up chatting until about 1am when I had to go to sleep if I wanted to be able to function at work the next day, but I was already looking forward to more catch ups over the next few days.

I had an early alarm the next day as I was going across the city to the other office to help out with an event again. This time it was about how the economic crisis has impacted the increase of claims in D&O. I will admit, I didn't understand as much as usual as it was a must more technical and insurance specific talk, but I tried my best to follow! Hannah went to dinner with one of her Spanish friends that night and I had planned to meet up with my 'Thursday' tandem, who actually couldn't make it in the end so I had another evening working on my Mozart essay, which by now I was well and truly ready to be rid of! Hannah came back a little tipsy having ridden around the street of Barca on the back of her friend's moped and it sounded like she'd had a great evening.

Hannah and I met after work on Friday and went to the Parc de la Ciutadella for a picnic. We ended up spending all afternoon there having a good old chin wag and only headed back when the sun disappeared behind the clouds and it got a bit chilly. 

Picnic in the park
We made fajitas for tea, followed by chocolate covered strawberries (such a great shout from Hannah), before going out to meet some guys from Durham that are also here in Barcelona for some drinks. I knew the guys here, but not well enough to meet up with them myself, so it was cool that Hannah was here to bridge the gap as it were, and properly introduce me to the other Durhamites here. They didn't stay that long as they were going to PortAventura the next day, so Hannah and I stayed on for another drink after they left and then called it a night.

We had an amazing lie in on Saturday, and headed out for lunch with Raul, Ernesto and another of their friends. We went to the port and shared some tapas to start, then a huuuuge paella, and just about squeezed in pudding as well. 

In typical Spanish style (ie. late), we only finished eating around 5pm. Hannah and I then headed to the Museo de Chocolate (chocolate museum, this translation is probably pretty self explanatory!), which was both top of our list of tourist attractions! As lunch had been washed down by plenty of sangria, and our table was also invited to free shots by the waiter so we actually were pretty tipsy by the time we got there. We got given our ticket (a bar of chocolate - amazing), and wandered round marvelling in the chocolate creations, but in a sangria-induced haze that meant we were't really taking any of the accompanying information in, which in itself I find quite hilarious.

House from UP... in CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate Phoenix (Grey college needs to get in on this)
Back at home we napped, finished off the fajitas from the night before and then us and Raul headed over to Ed's, one of the guys from Durham, houses for some pre-drinks. It was really fun to go for some proper English pre-drinks, as here we usually just go straight to the bars. You really can't beat the British sense of humour and quick wit, and that definitely comes out when you whip out a few drinking games! We then went to Razzmatazz, a huuuuuge club quite near the beach, where Bloc Party were playing. The ticket was €17, which included a drink, so really quite reasonable for such a big name! Although I didn't know tooo many of their songs they played a great set, and the Durham guys were proper going for it, shirts off and everything! Hannah and I were up on the podium at one point and when we came down I lost my shoe. I bent down to find it and it had literally disappeared. I hopped along like a modern day Cinderella (I like to think...) but it was genuinely nowhere to be seen. Raul saved the day as he went to the edge of the room and sure enough my shoe was there at the end of the stairs. It had just been swept away immediately until it could go no further. I was very glad as I had visions of walking round with a plastic bag on my foot for the rest of the night! It was really good music so we stayed as long as we could, about 4:30am until we had to go home as Hannah was literally picking up her suitcase and heading straight to the airport to catch her early flight. Mad woman.

Bloc Party

In the crowd
I had the standard pyjama day on Sunday, and absolutely loved having it as a day of rest. This does, however, mean that I have nothing else to report from this week and so will end the post here. Thank you, Hannah, for visiting - I had such an amazing weekend with you and am now so excited for 4th year times on our corridor!

"The dog days are over"

My week was off to a good, but busy, start at work. Monday started off with a video conference with the Zurich office in Paris to launch the ‘Customer Week’. The week is very client centered, with lots of meetings and visits to boost relationships and negotiations. This meant lots more marketing based work for me, which I absolutely loved, especially anything to do with preparing for and attending the corporate events. I then rushed home as it was actually a pretty special day, being mine and Steve´s 2 year anniversary. However, because of the awkward no laptop situation wasn’t actually able to talk to Steve until Raul came home a few hours later and kindly let me his laptop for an hour or so. It obviously wasn’t ideal that we couldn’t talk for very long (no gold star for the laptop breaker!), but it was lovely to watch his open his card and present and still felt like a special day J

I arrived into work on Tuesday and was greeted by a rose on my desk, as the 23rd April is el día de Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Cataluña. It is kind of their take on Valentine´s day, as the men traditionally give the women a rose, but slightly different as the women also give the men a book on this day. Very little is actually known about the Sant Jordi (Saint George in English), but the most popular myth tells of him slaying a dragon to free a princess (what is it with all these George’s and their dragons?!). It seems that roses have been given to the women as far as anyone can remember, but the addition of the books is much more recent. They say that a smart bookseller began to promote the holiday in 1923 as a way to honour the simultaneous deaths of the two greatest men of literature: Spain’s Miguel de Cervantes and Britain’s William Shakespeare, who both died on April 23, 1616. Barcelona, being the publishing capital of the Spanish-speaking world, quickly adopted this double punch of love and literacy, and we now have the tradition of rose and book exchanges.

My rose
At work I was getting down to the nitty gritty of the event preparation and making lots of name badges, which took my right back to Paris last summer where I had to prepare over 200 badges for 2 big nights of ‘Cocktails courtiers’ (Broker cocktails)! After work I headed over to La Rambla, Barcelona’s main and busiest street to really soak in the atmosphere of Sant Jordi. There were absolutely tons of rose and book stalls, book signings, and couples wandering hand in hand around the city. Also, almost all of the roses were sold in wrapping with the colours of the Catalonian flag, rather than Spanish (of course!!). It was the busiest I’ve ever seen it (which is saying something!), so after having a little look at the main stalls I headed back. Later that evening I headed out to meet my ‘Tuesday’ tandem, Thais, as well.

List of all the book signing throughout the day
Busy busy!
It was an early start on Wednesday, as I was helping out with a marketing event in a Zurich office on the other side of the city. It was an event about International Motor Fleets, and we actually had lot more people turn up than had confirmed, so needed to put in an emergency catering order, which luckily arrived before the event ended.

Thursday was back to work as normal. I had now settled into the routine of going for breakfast with the older group, and lunch with the younger Customer Services group. After almost 2 months of near complete immersion, I had definitely started to feel my understanding improve, although my speaking is still a little on the stuttery side. I find it especially hard to communicate with the younger people, as they talk a lot faster, they all talk at once and the topic of conversations change almost every time you take a breath! In short, it´s just a lot quicker than with the older breakfast crew, but I will stick with it and wait for the penny dropping moment… which I hope comes soon… I ended up working late and so went straight to meet my ‘Thursday’ tandem, to get in a bit more speaking practice, which I’m still feeling I really need.

On Friday it was back to the other Zurich office to help out with another event in the morning. When I started the Year Abroad, back in June 2012, I thought that I maybe wanted to go into law, if I could find a way to combine that with languages. However, after my 3 months in marketing in Paris, I was absolutely convinced that this is what I want to do. I found the Marketing and Communication lectures in Austria incredibly interesting. I know that my tasks here are more for an intern, but to be honest I just enjoy the day to day in the department, although the events are by far my favourite!

In the evening Cecilia and I had dinner together and opened a bottle of bubbly before going out. She was a little worried as she knew an ex would be out and about this evening so before we knew it we were onto the second bottle of bubbly and hadn’t even done our make up! Luckily we still managed to make ourselves look presentable and headed out to meet everyone and celebrate Burcu’s (the flatmate from Cyprus) last night in Barcelona. We bar hopped around the gothic, and (you already know it), found ourselves in the shots bar along the way. The groups eventually got split and I ended up going to the club with Cecilia, her boyfriend and her cousin. The club was called Sidecar, and was playing quite rocky music which wasn’t exactly up my street. I had an incredible 3 minutes, though, when Florence and the Machine came on, and Cecilia and I absolutely went for it!

'Run fast for your mother and fast for your father'

The next morning I made myself a proper English breakfast, which went down an absolute treat.

Food envy?
Cecilia and I more or else moved as a wolf pack that weekend, as she was preparing for a job interview coming up, and I had set aside the weekend to finish my Year Abroad Written Task from Austria (yes, very naughty, I know). We watched a Mexican film together on Saturday, about 2 footballers who wanted to become actors, and had a great moment where we found some delicious ice cream in the freezer that neither of us knew was there. 

After a whole weekend of not leaving the apartment I was feeling pretty cabin fevery, and actually quite looking forward to the Monday morning feeling as at least it meant that I could stop writing about Mozart and get out of the house!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Madrid, España

A couple of weeks before I'd been talking to Tim, one of my bezzies from Austria, and he'd said that he was keen to come and visit me in Spain. We discussed dates briefly and realised that we either had to do something pretty immediately or else it wasn't going to happen. Madrid then come up in conversation as a place we'd both like to go and in less than 24 hours his flights, my train and the hostel had been booked and we were off! One of the most spontaneous trips I've ever booked, and I was very excited for it!

I went to work on Friday with my suitcase in tow, as I had booked the train to Madrid straight after work to make the most of the short weekend. It all went smoothly and I arrived early evening after just over a 2 hours journey. Tim was there to meet me at the station, and was with his college roommate who was living in Madrid, and it was very exciting to see him again! We went straight to our hostel, which was right in the centre near the Puerta del Sol and then followed Vincent, Tim's friend, as he took over as tour guide and lead us to the Mercado San Miguel, Madrid's food market. As it was a Friday night it was absolutely packed so we weaved our way in and out of the stalls, marvelling the Spanish delights they were all selling. The temptation became too much and we all ended up trying a few cheeky things. Tim tucked into a plate of 'pulpo' (octopus), while I stuck to some 'montaditos' (little bits of frenchy style bread with yummy things on top!!). We then headed to El Tigre, a local bar which was full to the brim and standing room only. It's the kind of place you'd call typically Spanish - very noisy, waiters running round frantically, lots of food and drink and laughter. With every drink they brought you a huuuuuge plate of tapas, and I mean HUGE! They had stuffed mushrooms, patatas and chorizo amongst other things. The food itself wasn't worth shouting about, but the atmosphere really was something else! Once we'd finished off our food we headed somewhere different in the search of dessert (and a seat!). Tim's friend recommended a churros place so we made a beeline for it. I've fancied churros a LOT since coming to Barcelona, but it was Lent whenever people have been eating them and so this was my first time trying authentic churros. They went down an absolute treat. By this point we were both so full that we decided to waddle back to the hostel and call it a night.

We had discussed going to Toledo, a city south of Madrid, on Saturday, but I was anxious to see all of the city of Madrid itself and so in the end we stayed and had a massive day of sightseeing. We spent the morning wandering all over the city and saw lots of impressive and important buildings, palaces and churches. We visited an Egyptian temple as well, which is very pretty from the outside, but turned out to only have one tiny room inside! The city was very pretty and there's definitely lots to see, especially if you like art. The atmosphere was very different to Barcelona, however. I couldn't put my finger on it but it seemed to me that Barcelona was a little more 'quirky', and had a little more character than the capital city. For lunch we went to the Plaza Mayor, a hot tourist spot, and sat outside having tapas for lunch.


The tiny Egyptian temple

We shared some delicious peppers, mussles and patatas. We had a slight miscommunication when ordering the patatas, as we were originally in search of 'patatas bravas', which they didn't have on the menu and so ended up ordering 'una bolsa de patatas fritas', which literally translates as 'a bag of fried potatoes'. We burst out laughing when the waiter brought over quite literally that - a bag of crisps! We were able to change the order and eventually ended up with some soggy chips, but they were surprisingly tasty! The square is absolutely stunning, the temperature was perfect (if anything a little on the hot side!), and we were having a great day exploring the city.

After lunch we headed to 'El Retiro', an absolutely massive park for some ice creams, and ended up spending the rest of the day there. We saw the crystal palace, lots of turtles in the pond, wandered through the rose garden and eventually just flopped onto the grass exhausted from the heat and all of the walking.

Nap time was upon us, and so we went back to the hostel for a cheeky sleep, before heading out to meet Vincent for dinner. We went to a different food market which has a restaurant on the top-floor, which overlooks the market below. More than anything, we were happy to be able to sit down for dinner after such a long day, unlike the night before! I had ox lasagne, and a chocolatey pudding, which went down very nicely. We said goodnight to Tim's friend and continued in search of a place to sit down (sitting down became a huge priority over the weekend due to so much walking and the locals seeming very fond of standing while they eat!) and have a few drinks. We ended up searching for a little longer than anticipated, but eventually stumbled upon a lively little square where we both opted for a melon flavoured cocktail. It was deliciously refreshing on such a hot evening. We finished our drinks and on the way back bumped into a cute little bar on the corner so stayed for another drink each. By the time we got back it was nearing 3am so we agreed to set the alarms a little later the next morning and allow ourselves a bit of a lie in.

On Sunday morning we headed to Madrid's famous market, El Rastro. It was absolutely gigantic, and there were stalls as far as the eye could see. There was live music blaring and it was a cool experience to be walking admist the hustle and bustle of it all. From there we went to see the bull ring, which unfortunately had closed just 2 minutes before we got there, so we were confined to walking around and taking photos from the outside!

Busy busy market
Plaza de Toros
We then went back to the Plaza Mayor again for lunch, and this time we were determined to find real patatas bravas. No bags of fried potatoes would do this time!! We eventually opted for patatas bravas, tomato stuffed omelette and steak on camembert. All of which were lovely flavours, and Tim was really enjoying the change from Austrian food, which can be bland at the best of times! We sat for a last ice cream in a square near the hostel and before I knew it, it was time to pick up the suitcases, head to the station and say our goodbyes.

The weekend had been nothing short of perfect. It was fantastic to explore a new city with such a great friend, laughing and joking along the way. The weather came up trumps, and Tim even managed some impressive tan/lobster lines (most notably on his forehead right by his hair line - hilarious!!). For me, as well, the timing was brilliant as it broke up the month of April where I was still working on my friendships in Barcelona and had no visitors planned, and so had given me something to really look forward to over the last couple of weeks.

A fantastic weekend all in all, and I will not hesitate to put together more spontaneous trips in the future!

Biggest flag ever?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Working 9-5...

Now into the flow at work I don't have too much to report from this week (Mon 15th - Fri 19th April!), so hopefully this should be a shortish post, although apologies for the lack of photos...

Instead of going home after work on Monday, I went straight to another Zurich office as I had been asked to help with my first Marketing event here in Spain. Zurich was sponsoring a book launch and was expecting near 50 people and so I helped to set up the room, welcome the guests, make a note of who had arrived, and make sure that the VIPs went to their reserved seating. The book was about positive thinking, it was aimed a little more at the older, working audience, but the author was really animated and interesting to listen to. Plus, the presentation and Q & As after were all in Spanish, which was a nice way of getting a good Spanish fix. I stayed to help tidy away after and so it was already 10pm by the time I got home. I was too tired to start cooking dinner so just bought a bocadillo (sandwich) from the shop on the corner in the end.

On Tuesday one of the younger people I'd had a chat to whenever we bumped into each other around the office invited me to come to lunch with him and his friends. They were in a different deparment, and a much younger group, so I was keen to get involved. We went to a place called 'Nostrum' to eat, which is quite a strange concept. You basically buy microwave meals, but then microwave and eat them while sitting down in the restaurant. A different take on fast-food, but nice and cheap so I'll take it!

On Wednesday I started writing a manual about the process I was doing for underwriting. Just to explain quickly what it actually is I'm doing for underwriting: whenever Zurich receives an e-mail asking them to cover a risk, there are a series of things they need to do before they can't start analyzing properly to weigh the risks up and come up with a price etc. These include looking through various systems to find out if Zurich has ever covered them before, researching the company's financial status, and finding out what they do and how they do it, uploading all of the relevant documents to the local systems etc. Although no-one had been doing what I was doing before, it had become clear in the last week that would need to 'outsource' this admin task to give the underwriters more time to concentrate on just 'underwriting, and so would need to find an intern to take over after me, so I felt incredibly useful taking charge of that.

As I'd already made a lunch for Wednesday, I stuck to going with my group of oldies, but on Thursday had been pre-invited to lunch with Customer Services, the younger group and so went with them. A girl came along that wasn't there the first time, and spoke SO fast that I genuinely don't know how she could breathe and talk at the same time. They were lovely again, but as the pace of conversation was that much quicker, I found it harder to join in. They didn't seem to mind and invited me to go to lunch everyday with them from now on, so I was chuffed to have some new lunch friends (thumbs up) that were more my age.

On Thursday evening I had an absolute mare. I was piling up some things in my room to carry into the living room and in the confusion ended up dropping my laptop on the floor. The screen completely cracked and it wouldn't turn on so Raul said that he would take it to the repair shop the next day for a quote, while I got on with checking if my insurance would cover it or if this would be a very pricey accident. I didn't have long to dwell on this tragedy, however, as it was already time to pack my suitcase and head to MADRID for the weekend to meet up with Tim, one of my best friends from Austria.

I'll write about that in the next post, so hopefully it will be a little more exciting than the ins and outs of a working week, plus, of course, there will be picturesss!!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A colourful weekend!

On Friday (12th April!) I arrived home just after 3 (and very hungry due to the no lunch break on Fridays situation!), and to my delight Raul, Jasmin and Ernesto (another Mexican friend, surprise surprise!) had cooked lunch and had waited for me to get home before tucking in. As the sun was out we sat out on our balcony and shared some pizza and pasta, which I completely wolfed down. They'd cooked a 'Mexican' version of the pasta, ie. spicy spicy, and made mine in a separate pan as they knew I wouldn't be able to deal with that!!

I had to forego my usual post-work nap on a Friday, as the plan was to drive up to the 'Bunker'. It's an old air raid civil war bunker, which was built in 1937, and you get an absolutely incredibly 360 view over all of Barcelona. It's also quite hard to reach and more well known amongst the locals, so for a Friday evening really wasn't as busy as your average tourit spot in Barcelona. After wandering round, reading some of the signs which tell you about the history of the place, and taking lots of photos, we stopped to chat with some people from Brazil that Raul knew. The conversation was quite bizarre as they were talking Portugese, and Raul Spanish, yet the two languages were similar enough for there to be a mutual understanding and neither of the parties needed to switch. 

After sitting and enjoying the sun for a little while longer, I will admit that I started to crash. For starters, I was tired after a long week of work, learning lots of new things and meeting lots of new people. I was still re-settling into Barcelona, after quite a disrupted first month living in 3 different places in 4 weeks, and of course it had been a tough week at home, so it all seemed to hit me at once and I was pretty overwhelmed. We had been planning on going out that evening, but I really just wanted an early night to adjust to everything and so didn't fancy it. It turned out the tickets were all sold out in the end, which meant that I didn't have to miss out, and felt much less guilty for breaking the Golden Rule of the Year Abroad, which is to say 'Yes' to everything.

A decent nights sleep and lots of skyping with friends and family meant that I was feeling a lot less sorry for myself on Saturday, and ready to go again. We spent the day as tourists, showing Jasmin all the sights, and this time Cecilia was the tour guide instead of Raul, meaning that I got a few different stories to go along with everything as well. 

That evening was one of Raul's friends birthdays, and they had reserved a big area in Bar 32, a really nice (and cheap!) cocktail bar in the Gothic. We spent most of the night there, but did nip out to the shots bar quickly. Once it was shut the general consensus seemed to be to go home rather than continue the evening, so we made our way back via the kebab shop.

On Sunday morning, Cecilia came bounding into my room at 10am, as we had planned to check out the Holi festival of Colours which was on that day. Despite feeling a little groggy, I got ready and went into the living room once I was done. When I walked in they all burst into fits of laughter, as I'd brought a white t-shirt ready for the day, but as I didn't have any shorts that I was prepared to ruin, I had just put on some tights and pulled the t-shirt down, so looked a little more like I'd be hanging round on a street corner waiting for the kerb crawlers, than heading out into the light of day for some innocent fun at a festival! Cecilia saved the day by lending me an old pair of her shorts and we left. 

There must have been thousands of people there, and it was just absolutely mad. There was powdery paint flying everywhere, Bollywood music playing really loudly, and the ground was physically shaking from everyone jumping up and down at the same time. We actually had to all move to a nearby Placa as we were making such an impact on this square, and so we ran there to get right in the middle of it all, which of course meant lots more paint and lots more colours! It ended at about 2pm, and we got the metro home with lots of other very colourful people. One group had saved some paint for the metro journey and it went absolutely everywhere while we were all singing, hilarious!


Bollywood dancers

Some very colourful people

In the crowd!
After 3 (!) showers, I almost resembled a normal human being, and went with the others to one of their friends houses nearby, as they had made a paella. It was almost 6pm before we sat down to eat 'lunch', but absolutely worth the wait as it was DELICIOUS! Carlos, who made it, is from Valencia, and so instead of making a seafood paella, had made it with chicken and peas etc. This is apparently the 'typical' paella from Valencia, some refer to it as a 'poor mans paella', as the ingredients are accessible to everyone, as well as being cheap. They kept offering me more, and I wasn't about to say no, so I ended up having about 3 portions and had the biggest food baby by the time we were done. They then whipped out the ice cream but I genuinely felt fit to burst, so could barely manage any. Needless to say, I didn't have any dinner either that night, but still went to bed with a seriously full stomach and slept like a baby after such a busy few days.