a wandering woman writes

Monday, December 17, 2007

Luck in a can

It must be December. The checkout counter at the convenience store outside the Plaza Mayor is stacked with tiny green cans, each one enticingly labelled "the 12 grapes of luck."

They're New Year's grapes, if you've yet to meet the Spanish tradition of downing one grape for every chime of the bells at midnight on Noche Vieja (New Year's Eve). 12 chimes, 12 grapes. I have yet to discuss this tradition with a single Spaniard who does not faithfully pop, chew and swallow12 grapes before the last chime has sounded on New Year's.

They claim it's not as easy as it sounds, but I tell you, I'm equal to the task.

The convenience store grapes are peeled and seedless. They're on display for the University's students, who one night soon will storm the Plaza Mayor while they celebrate a grape-stuffing early NewYear before going their separate ways for the holidays.

The cans reminded me that I've accomplished the unlikely feat of living four years in Spain without experiencing the legendary grape gobble. Ah, but this year! This year I shall gobble with the best.

I scoff at the 16-hour store's cans of peeled grapes! Hah!

I shall carefully select my grapes. I shall peel them myself. (Unless of course, I run across an appropriate volunteer. God knows I'm not above letting the right person peel grapes for me.)

Faithful friends and blog browsers, this year I have received the invitation I've been waiting for. This year I shall spend Noche Vieja with magical people in the enchanted Sierra de Francia.

I shall join a noisy, expressive, multitudinous Spanish family just like the one Spain has left me pining for, many a day.

Bus schedules willing, I shall pop my 12 grapes in La Alberca.

Now that's luck.

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2 Comments:

  • LOL, you cant eat them without peeling them too. Usually only children want them peeled. Anyway, I rec you to buy them in a fruteria because the canned one's are not as good. :)

    By Blogger Kitiara, at 6:31 PM  

  • Hola, Kitiara!

    What a pleasure to find someone reading this long abandoned blog. I celebrated New Year's 2008 in La Alberca with a generous, fun and entertaining family..and finally popped my 12 grape. (I was a little slow, truth be told. It´s a bit tougher than it looks...)

    Your stopping my here made me realize I may be celebrating this New Year's with some friends here in Chicago, at their home...and that I shall bring grapes and try this again.

    What brings you round to my tales of Salamanca, if I may ask? It's really is a hoot to see who still finds these tales, after so much time. Thanks for the visit and the comment!

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 3:16 AM  

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