Merry Christmas to all of my Torbe En Todo followers! And a very special Merry Christmas to my dear friend Torbe himself. :)
First things first. Torbe Christmas update, of course! Torbe flew to Bilbao on Nochebuena (what we here call Christmas Eve) to spend the holiday with his family. From the brief video clips he posted on Instagram, it looked like he was having a good time. I always get a kick out of seeing Torbe in his home environment. I know he loves living in Madrid, but Bilbao really attracts me as well. I find the Basque culture fascinating, which is no surprise, since I find Torbe — who hails from there — fascinating as well.
Yes. Yes, I do still find him fascinating, even after all this time. Five-plus years and still going strong. He never bores me, and he always keeps me moving forward with my Spanish comprehension levels. This year he really pushed me to my comprehension limits with his Torbe Dice videos on YouTube. It is still a struggle for me to understand all of them, but I must admit that it is really moving me forward in my ability to understand spoken Spanish.
Unfortunately, there is only so much free time in my day, so my blog posts have declined because I am so entranced by deciphering Torbe’s vlog posts. Oh well. I will try to do better in 2016.
Now. Christmas in Madrid. It seems so different there than it is here. This really hit home with me when I saw an Instagram post from one of my favorite young women expats. She posted a photo of a jar of candy canes and said that she was happy to have something from home there with her for her Christmas in Madrid.
Seriously. They don’t have candy canes in Madrid? That’s terrible!
I then started thinking about other weird Christmas things in Madrid, and the Christmas light displays immediately came to mind. How can I put this? It’s just really…different looking. To my American eye, at any rate.
Madrid, at least in the central part of the city, is all lit up with displays…starting at the end of November all the way through Three Kings Day, which this year falls on January 6th. We don’t make a big deal of this day here. Technically, it is the 12th day of Christmas. Christians here celebrate it religiously as the Feast of the Epiphany, as it marks the biblical adoration of the baby Jesus by the Three Kings, or Three Magi. But in Spain, it is a big deal on a secular level too.
Anyway, the Christmas trees aren’t real trees in Spain. They are sponsored by various businesses and are quite glittery. But they aren’t trees. They are cones. The most well-known one is from the photo above in the Puerta del Sol. But there are many other displays that are sponsored throughout the central city area, and not all include trees. Or as I see them…Christmas Cones, ha ha!
The one above is from Chueca…
And this one is from Madrid City Hall, at the Plaza de Cibeles…
And I don’t know where this one is from. :)
There is also something called a Navibus, which lets you take a ride around the city to view all of the light displays. Sounds like fun, even if the decorations are more like something you would see in Las Vegas than on Main Street, USA (both real life and Disney versions). :)
Anyway…Merry Christmas again to all of my loyal Torbe En Todo friends all over the world. We all share a love of All Things Torbe! I hope Torbe posts some Christmas photos on Twitter and Instagram of Bilbao at Christmas! I wonder if it is different from Madrid???