Zaragoza Spain and La Sobremesa

Here is an excerpt from and a link to my new story on, World Expo Zaragoza 2008: An Ancient City Looks to the Future. “Walking down town Zaragoza Spain, something out of place caught my eye. I am a photographer and naturally look for patterns and the things that break them. The Burger king across the street definitely did not fit in. It was empty inside, the glowing neon sign was awkward and garish compared to the subtleties of the aged wooden facades on the other cafes around it. They were full of people at the end of the working day, talking loudly, laughing, eating Tapas and drinking wine. I said to my friend Anna from the Spanish tourism office who was born here:” I notice that there is nobody in there?” “ Where, in The Burger King? “ she said, only children go in, why would you? , Fast food does not fit in with our culture, it leaves no room for La Sobremesa”. My ears perked up,” What’s that?” I asked her”. Anna smiled, “it is the endless conversation the happens after you are done eating. It is part of the meal, you cannot have one without the other” You eat, then you have a coffee, a little pastry you talk and suddenly four hours later you realize that you are all still at the table, so maybe another coffee… “ And on and on……….. That is La Sobremesa”
That one little statement crystallizes why I love this country so much. There is a pace of living and respect for traditions that give room for the good things in life. The important simple little huge things that we sometimes miss over here in the USA as we rush to chow down our whoppers.”