Occasionally, I will put together images, ideas, or experiences that are so far from my American perspective that they surprise me a little. Today’s images are collected from my phone, usually when I didn’t have my camera with me and ready to take photos.

First up, the Correos building, which is the main mail office for Valencia. The stained glass ceiling is amazing, along with their own take of the great seal of Valencia.

20131106_103854 copy 20131106_103912 copyNext, a little graffiti that is also outstanding artwork:

20140103_125250 copyOne of the characteristics of Valencia is that you often find music, even good music, from one of the many students here in the city. There are several outstanding university-level music schools, and they supply the city with a great deal of talent. These pictures were taken during “ShOpening Night,” sort of a high-fashion open house held annually in Valencia in the more couture section of town.

20131204_221825 copy 20131204_225618 copy 20131204_222154 copySpanish businesses often choose very different, and funny, names for both their products and their storefronts. Doopy or dooky both would be a difficult marketing approach in the United States, I would think.

20131205_105716 copy 20140321_205431 copyOf course, the food and beverage environment here is very different, in a way that always provides an interesting chuckle. The first is place that opened recently near my neighborhood… I have to go check them out, since I can appreciate a Quinto y Tapa Americano. The second is the menu from a (not particularly good) restaurant that models itself after an American 50s diner. (Here’s a link to a better view of the menu, but it’s in Spanish, and to prevent panic attacks, note that the main web page comes with very loud music. I have sent you to a (thankfully) silent web page. You are welcome, gentle reader.)

20140326_100125 copy 20131228_171351 copyFinally, a note about breakfast customs here: they are different. Some are truly delightful. One breakfast that I particularly enjoy is toast with mashed/pureed tomato, a drizzle of olive oil, and perhaps a pinch of salt. Tostada con aceite y tomate is one of the most common breakfasts available at bars and corner restaurants. The bread here makes this combination an excellent morning starter, although I can definitely say that I am NOT going to be visiting McDonalds to enjoy it when so many other places do it better!

20140225_195114 copyFor those of you just learning Spanish, the words at the top mean “Breakfast (McDonalds) Wake up your smile”.