Vocabulary Questions

December 12, 2012

In Avanzado 2 today: “hacer crack con los nudillos” is “to crack your nuckles“, yes. Also, “to sound your knuckles” is just like to make them sound, to make them go crack! 😀

The other day, people solved the “twin” mystery! Beyond the Egg Question, one of them (gemelos or mellizos) is “identical twins” and the other simply “twins”.

Today we had the “mint” mystery. Hierbabuena (mentha sativa) and menta (mentha spicata) are different but people in different places in Spain call “menta” to any of the two, and the same happens in English, they’re called “mint”. “Hierbabuena” is spearmint. Visually, they’re very similar. Mint has a kind of reddish hue in its stalk. But what is obviously different is the smell. Hierbabuena is kind of sweeter, it doesn’t smell like toothpaste. It smells sweeter. The thing is, tea in Morocco is made with hierbabuena or spearmint, not the mint that smells like toothpaste. Something cultural about tea in Morocco is that it is served in small glasses — boiling hot! So hot that you have to hold the glass with your thumb and your index finger, the thumb holding the bottom and the index finger on the rim, and then you have to slurp, because if you don’t, you scald your lips and tongue. So here slurping is OK and vital! Here’s a picture about the rest — that they pour it from a distance, a bit less high that we pour cider, and that they fill the glass to the brim.  Tea is very sweet, too. And people’s hospitality is so amazing that even if they are poor, they’ll offer you something you eat with a spoon which is roasted flour with sugar. It’s just like a polvorón but presented in the shape of a little mountain. José María also told us that they also serve a kind of candy made of honey and almond. This is actually the idea of turrón or nougat, right? Almonds and honey. It does sound Arabic, right?

Well, thanks to Arabs we also have the numbers. Without them, we would be using Roman numbers!! Can you imagine?!

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