Some people say, that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I would agree with those people. This series is all about sharing the most imoportant meal of the day with my friends abroad. It’s meant to give you an idea of what true European life is like and perhaps give you a way to incorporate that into your daily life, wherever you are.
Growing up I remember feeling that breakfast was what was done as a ‘ritual’ before you would start your day. Even as a kid I would prepare my breakfast with a gleam in my eye normally reserved for Christmas morning. Standing on my tippy-tip toes grabbing the biggest bowl for my Cheerios, pouring the delicious milk and listening to the splish splash of the liquid dancing between the O’s. Still in my pocahontas pyjamas, I would go to the living room and sit cross-legged on the recliner, turn to my favorite cartoons, and start my morning routine.
Today, my tastes have evolved to loving Eggs Benedict and a bowl of cereal is often had for dinner when I’m just too tired for anything else. However, with any breakfast I have, it is intentional. Never rushed or hurried through, it’s something I love from a croissant and coffee to waffles with creme fraiche-it’s done with reflection in mind or for time with friends.
Today’s guest Seza, embodies that completely and it’s who today’s edition of ‘Breakfast With’ is about. What can I say about this girl but that she is wonderfully caring, sharp and witty and has a brilliant sense of humor. She can whip up a mouth-watering curry and host events like a professional or she can sit in a quiet cafe and ‘get real’ with you if that’s what you need.
I first met Seza, pictured above, through Expat.com. Not having many English speaking friends, I sought one out on this website made to connect people living abroad. We had our first date in the coffee shop of a language school in our city in between breaks in her schedule. I felt all the feelings of a first date, butterflies fluttered about in my tummy and my mind was plagued with thoughts of “Will she like me?” the whole walk there. In the end, that was all nonsense because we hit it off immediatly and I found myself sad to leave her when she had to return to class. That date sparked a friendship that I am so thankful and fortunate to have. If you should ever be lucky enough to meet this one, your life will be all the better for it.
Born to a British mother and an Armenian father, Seza grew up in Zimbabwe in South Africa. Later in life, she went to univeristy in Cape Town to study to be a lawyer. Unfortunately, some red tape about passports and such made it impossible for her to practice law in South Africa. However, an opprotunity arose for her to move to Spain and live with her aunt and uncle at their home with her cousins and housesit for them while they were away. She took that opprotunity, started to teaching English and made a beautiful life for herself in Catalonia. She is a fabulous teacher and you can see that shine through. She is also an advocate for victims of human trafficking and a leader in her church community. All around, this girl is amazing. We have had lots of great times together and I cannot wait to see her next week when I go to Barcelona for a visit. I know this girl and I will be friends for a lifetime and I’m so excited about that.
So, without further adu, here’s my interview with the beautiful, Seza.
What is your morning routine like? What do you do and what is a ‘typical’ morning for you?
My morning routine varies from day to day, depending on my timetable. I’m a teacher and most mornings I have my first class at 8am, which in Spain, means the crack of dawn! I’m one of the few people walking around the deserted streets of Barcelona at 7.30am as most schools and workplaces open at 9am. At this time of year, I get to see the sun rising in the distance, which is stunning. Before I leave home, I grab a cup of tea but have my breakfast in a café near my workplace.
Most Importantly, what do you have for breakfast?
In Barcelona, it’s typical to have your breakfast out in a local “bar”. Most places have a breakfast deal: coffee, a pastry/sandwich & fresh orange juice. My preference is a café con leche & a croissant!
What is a day in Seza’s world like?
I live and work in the Eixample neighbourhood, which dates back to the 1850s when it was time to pull down the old city walls in Barcelona and expand the city for the growing population. It’s a grid system and each block looks just like the other. I get to pass the Modernimo Gaudi route along the Passeig de Gracia each day, which I don’t take for granted. I work between two buildings, the Il.lustre Collegio de Abogados (The Barcelona Bar Association) & a language centre, giving law & language classes. I love the variety of my job and the fact that I get to be with people all day. Teaching is truly rewarding.
I spoke about ritual and taking the time to truly enjoy your meal, what are you intentional about?
While having breafkast, I catch up with local and international news and then I spend the rest of my time journaling and doing a devotional, or reading a book. It’s my quiet time, even in a noisy cafe, to be refreshed and renwewed for the day ahead of me.
How has your morning breakfast changed since you moved abroad?
My morning breakfast has completely changed since I’ve lived abroad. Growing up in Zimbabwe & then South Africa, I always had a big breakfast at home, consisting of toast & jam or cereal or an egg, yogurt and fruit juice. Lunch tended to be smaller, just a sandwich so a hearty breakfast kept me going throughout the day. Now I’ve adapted to a Spanish timetable and my biggest meal is lunch and I have fruit as snacks in the late morning and afternoon as my meriendas.
Lastly, tell me one thing ‘Europe has taught you’.
Europe has taught me to savor my time and how to draw out the days, making the most of every hour. I’m a morning person and growing up in Africa, I was sused to being up and out with the sun, so I’ve struggled to adapt to the late finishes and night owl culture. But I appreciate how people take the time over their meals; they eat well and stick to a Mediterranean diet. People don’t just eat to live. They live to eat.
It’s forced me to slow down yet remain active, appreciate my city and take it in as I walk around from place to place and reflect on my well-being a lot more. Do I still get frustrated at the lack of productivity and efficiency? Absolutley! But you can’t have it all!