Living in Valencia Week #2

I think we finally have a rhythm!

Monday and Tuesday evening were mostly filled with cooking, cleaning, shopping, and getting organized for the week. This week we found the Navarro Herbolario which is a natural foods market that is about a 10 minute walk from us. They have all kinds of goat cheese and goat milk/goat kefir products!  K does much better with these than with cow dairy.

Generally she is such a good eater, she is willing to try almost anything and most times likes it! I’m super thankful for that. I think a lot of it has to do with us giving her things without sugar early on. She eats plain yogurt, plain avocados and finding yogurt without sugar at the “big box” stores here is more of a challenge!

We have been getting lunch meat at the Mercado Central.  Ordering lunch meat here seems to be always a challenge for us. I ask for cuatro cientos gramos (400 grams) de pavo (turkey) and every time she thinks I am asking for 4 slices. I luckily know the word for More and I kept saying “mas” until it looked like enough for lunch for a few days, ha. I think I ended up with 200 grams. I guess maybe normally people just want enough to make a sandwich right then! We have also been buying our dinner meats there, steak, fish, chicken, and pork. Pork is EVERYWHERE in Spain! The first time we got ground meet thinking it was beef, turned out to be pork!

Meal planning here is so different because we don’t have the tools or space to make a lot of the recipes I do at home. But we are doing pretty well despite that. I figured out how to make a smoothie with an immersion blender in a large cup for my breakfast and found some leche de coco sin azucar (Coconut milk with no added sugar!). It actually is the cleanest commercial coconut milk product I’ve ever seen.. maybe I should get an extra suitcase and fill it up with cartons ha! Take-away shops that have pre-cooked chickens, or pre-cooked paella are popular here. It may be because the Spaniards ahve their largest meal mid-day so it’s hard to cook in between work. We have enjoyed the rotisserie chickens!

Tuesday we had our first visit from our Spanish Dietician/Pharmacist guest!  It was fun to learn about diabetes in Spanish. We also had a translator. She is coming back two more times to class as well. Next week will be about the holistic approaches they take in Spain since that is the focus of my class. Here is a picture of the class with her!


Late Wednesday afternoon K and I went to the park while Dustin was still working and Ashley climbed the tower in the Valencia Cathedral with my students. It’s fun to see kids of all backgrounds playing together. This particular day there was a family from India whose little girl loved following K around and a few Spanish children as well. I really wish I knew more Spanish to communicate better with people I meet in these situations. The Indian family spoke great English so that was nice to communicate with them. I’m working on my Spanish but between working here, household tasks, taking care of K, cooking, etc. and studying Spanish has been the last priority. Hopefully this week we can master getting K to fall asleep without someone laying beside here. Laying there for 30-45 min or falling asleep there takes up so much precious time although it’s probably good for me to rest!

Wednesday evening was my turn to visit the local farmacia with one of my students, the other students visited last week. Here is her post if you are interested! It was fun to see “behind the scenes” in the local pharmacy, see the process, how it differs from ours, see all the drugs with different labels, etc. I will say their way of storing products in draw systems seems much more space efficient than our shelves!

I found out from our Spanish professor that in Spain if the prescriber orders #28 of a product, you get #30 if that is what the package size is. So they don’t actually count many things out, a lot of it is prepacked in the most common quantities. This creates a bit of an issue because the patient may have more or slightly less of what they need.  This particular farmacia had an area where the floor opened up to climb stairs down to additional storage and a compounding area in the basement. I would probably fall down that hole if that was my pharmacy!

After I was finished at the farmacia, the plan was to meet Dustin for dinner at a local authentic Mexican restaurant called La Venganza de Malinche. I thought it was between where I was and where were lived.. then I pulled up the address and realized he was at another restaurant with the same name 2 miles away from where I was standing. Turns out they are the same company. Whoops guess I didn’t check that out completely. But since he was already there I got on a bus and followed it on the GPS and got off when it changed routes and walked the rest of the way. Needless to say I was ready for dinner at that point. The tacos were amazing! It actually wasn’t too far from our place, we may need to go again!

Thursday during my Cafe Work time I tried to be adventurous and try out a different cafe.  Essentially you have to buy something to sit in most places and use wifi which is the same as the states but I feel less guilty in the states about sneaking in Panera than I do here ha!  The only non-dairy milks most places have is Soy, so I went somewhere I thought would have more and they did but I was told that I couldn’t sit there during the “lunch hour” which here is 1:30-4:30 so I had to move on to Starbucks to get a Cafe con Leche de coco! I don’t mind Starbucks but here the wifi has limits and you have to go ask for a new code once yours expires which is super annoying! It’s based on downloads and not time so you don’t even know how many times you will have to go ask. So after asking twice, I gave up and started typing up a blog since I had caught up on grading.

I really want to join a gym here for the month of June but I really don’t know when I would fit that into my day especially since there isn’t one super close by.  I would probably have to figure out how to get to sleep earlier so I could go in the morning. But so far I end up working for 2-3 hours in the evening and doing other household tasks. For now I’m just going to attempt some work-out videos and some running when I can!

On Friday we didn’t do much other than cook dinner and Dustin and I took a stroll to find beach towels and a few grocery items. Another successful week!

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