October 14, 2014

Despaña, Nutella, and Technology

on Saturday, when my family and I were in NYC, my mom and I had 30 rare minutes to roam, and we stumbled into Despana, a Spanish tapas cafe & bar and market (turns out there's one 20 minutes from where I live but anyways). It was a really cool experience;
this is my 10th year of taking Spanish classes, and I've only realized until this year that I truly LOVE to speak Spanish.
Seeing the food and culture through this market was just a huge plus; I love food and I love Spanish. 

The items that they had were really interesting; lots of olive oil, canned fish, pickled vegetables, cheese, chorizo, turron (basically a nougat), sea salt, and convenience foods too. On the other side, they had a bakery food case (sorry I don't know the right terminology) and a few tables set up for the cafe.

It was especially interesting to come into Despa after going to Di Palo an hour before; it was cool to compare and contrast the Italian market to the Spanish one. 

Despana definitely is much more modern looking and has less of a "deli" vibe compared to Di Palo, but it doesn't lose that charm and trust that traditional, long-standing stores have.

different flavors of sea salt!

When I was looking at the turrons, I overheard another person tell his friend that he "tasted nutella before it was cool", which
was half amusing to me because I am like him, I too am very competitive about even the silliest of things, and thought-provoking.

Now nutella to me is like a pumpkin spiced latte.
There was a lot of hype when it rose to its peak of popularity in modern culture, 
and even though people don't make short skits or parodies involving nutella, 
it's still widely popular.

Nutella is just an example of one of those things that drives our modern culture mad:
there have been macaroons/ons (it's really macarons but people tend to like "macaroons" better),
there have been cronuts (that make people wait in line at 3 in the morning), 
and most importantly, there has been technology.

Unlike the new food items, which generally speaking can be pricey but not crazy-over-the-top for the majority of people, 
technology is one of the most EXPENSIVE trendy things (another is fashion, in my opinion).

And yet people continually compete to buy the new thing.
I'm pretty sure the competition among consumers is nearly just as high as the competition among the producers.
(wow i almost thought i was writing my biology lab conclusion for a second)
Like the new iPhone 6.
Yes, the camera quality is superb.
Yes, the phone is a whole lot slimmer.
But what about the iPhone that you have right now?
It costed a whole lot when you bought it,
and it still works fine.

I'm not criticizing anyone who has the new iPhone 6, but I'm criticizing our society's attitudes towards trends.
I think following trends forces people to conform (which I hate thanks to my 10th grade English teacher) and think selfishly (it's all about making themselves look good but what about everyone else in the world that's suffering?!).
I wish we weren't all that hyped about technology.

I think that technology is great, but some people get too consumed by it.
As with a lot of other trends too.
But trends change.
We shouldn't invest too much in them.
Let's invest in other things that matter.

And I think the same goes for social trends that we can't really see.
Often times, poorly thought out actions.
Even the best of us can get sucked in by the social pressures; 
it's not easy seeing some of my closest friends, whom I would never have considered to have caved in to the pressure, cave in.
And then you're the one left out.
Not wanting to make the same mistake.
But wanting to be close to everyone else at the same time.
But don't let it get to you.
Be you.
Be different.
Be the only one who's not participating in the trend.
Cause remember: trends are short-lived.

That's all.

xoxo, Hannah

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