A Whole New Sandwich

Guest Post By: Laura Bood, a Junior studying Finance, CISB, and Spanish. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and she studied abroad through a Foster Exchange and Direct Enroll at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, during Autumn Semester 2022.

One problem I encountered when I entered the country was the problem of eating as a vegetarian. I don’t usually cook at home and so I looked at restaurants to see what their options were. I remember being very hungry when I arrived at the bus station in Bilbao. It was the last part of my journey to first arrive when I was waiting for the bus to go to Pamplona. I chose a veggie sandwich not knowing that the label “veggie” doesn’t mean the same thing it means in the United States. To me, a veggie sandwich usually means something with just vegetables, but here in Spain it is usually made with tuna. I couldn’t eat it and when I arrived in Pamplona the first time I didn’t eat anything either. It was a challenge to find vegetarian options and I lost weight because I didn’t know how to eat as a vegetarian and was afraid to order in restaurants. My solution was to get to know the food aisles in the supermarket and learn the roads of Pamplona. It was also a factor that the service people sometimes did not understand what it means to be vegetarian. Many times they gave me fish dishes–a result of the definition being different across different cultures of the world. I learned to cook for myself a lot at home and know what and how to order veggie options. 

But it was amazing to get to know a new culinary landscape and culture as interesting and rich as the Spanish one! Everyday I would go to a panadería and have a chocolate croissant and a little cappuccino with cinnamon dust on the top. Nothing at home compares to the bread there!

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