Friday, May 18, 2007

VCN Ethnic Dinners go to Spain

(click pictures to enlarge) The 9th edition of the VCN ethnic dinner moved back to Europe, but stayed in the same language zone than the previous dinner, from Peru to Spain.

Honestly, the Spanish dinner was hastily organized and that might have had an influence on the number of people present which dropped to the maximum ever registered the previous dinner to the lowest number ever of this one, with just 16 persons (7 Italians, 2 Americans, 2 Brazilians, 1 each for France, Belgium, Japan and Norway).

However, the dinner went along nicely...and slowly, as the restaurant was probably the slowest one in serving that we have ever been so far. Yet, to some nice (and pretty italian) focaccias and some tortillas, served as appetizers, three different kind of paellas followed: the classic Valencian one, a meat and (just for one person, but abundant enough to be tried by several people) a vegetarian one, the whole thing accompanied by abundant sangria.

I must say I'm not an expert of paella, but I found all three of them pretty tasty and rich, if a bit greasy (but I suppose that's as meant). The sangria surprisingly went along pretty well (and fast!) with the food and conversation kept nice and lively, hopefully making feel the new faces (making about a quarter of the whole) feel welcomed and integrated.

The only bad point of the evening at least for me, was that the service took so long that eventually we finished right about the time of the last day-buses' and metro' run, which meant that suddenly almost everyone had to run away without having had the chance of enjoying the free coffees and limoncelloes offered by the restaurant's owner. Personally, I closed the evening escorting Yoko to the closest (and crowded, just to be on the safe side) bus station and Lucia (Yoko's friend) directly to her place, lost in Rome's suburbs... quite a trip, I must say.

The lack of our semi-official photographer (Laura, where are you!?) was heavily felt as, I do not know why, two thirds of the pictures I took came out unfocused, with only 4 surviving... my apologized to the ones who intervened and didn't show up in the pictures here.

Next time it will be Africa time again.. Cameroon? Senegal? Nigeria? We'll see...

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