Wednesday, September 27, 2006

'Pipa' Culture

In Spain, people eat pipas - sunflower seeds. They have a cover that you need to crack open to get to the seed; the seed is miniscule and tastes like...umm...nothing.

Seeing them being sold extensively both in supermarkets and on the streets, by companies both local and international, I decided to buy some. Not knowing much about this snack that Spaniards seem to be munching on all the time, I decided not to be boring and bought barbeque flavour.

Now, since the cover of these pipas is well 'barbequed', it didn't occur to me that I had to break past the delicious BBQ flavoured shell to eat the thing, that, has no flavour.

So here I am, eating these pipas with their cover, 100% sure that I know what I'm doing and thinking how on earth do people swallow these things? Don't they choke?

Yeah ok. Really dumb. But why would you want to bother flavouring the cover of something you don't eat!?

I spent a few days wondering if I was more retarded than the concept.

Anyway, today there is a phrase in Spanish 'pasando pipa' that originates (apparently) from the whole process of friends getting together, having fun and eating pipas. This was done so that it's never awkward when there is nothing to say, everyone is always occupied eating (or trying to eat) pipas, so never an awkward silence. Today this phrase means 'having a good time'!

So chicos, hope you are 'enjoying the sunflower seeds.' :P
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