AKA Abraham Bacoln

June 26, 2007, 5:47 pm
Filed under: Spain

I’m finally back to feeling really good about my photos. I was overwhelmed when I first arrived, and constantly felt the need to show the full extent of where I was. Wide shots and huge city scenes, neighborhood panos – these are all not photos with which I excel. Now I’ve gotten some of those out of the way and I’ve given my Flickr followers a few good examples of what it’s like here. That sentiment plus a further familiarity with my surroundings has helped me escape that feeling of overwhelmingtude and enabled me to go back to shooting as I like to shoot.

So there.

Let’s get lunch out of the way. Lunch today was some leftovers first – a combination of rice, chickpeas, a tiny bit of chorizo, and that vegetable that’s not spinach but is very much like spinach. Second course was a … damn! What was it called? Basically it was an inch-thick torta (tortilla?) of potatoes and eggs. On the side were two unbreaded and fried green (not bell) peppers. Apparently THIS is the third-most-common dish when one thinks of Spanish cuisine, behind paella and gazpacho. It was fabulous. Actually, wait, it could have used black pepper. I should find out if the Sra. has black pepper. Fresh fruit for dessert, of course.

This leads directly into my next thought – dessert and how much of it I should consume. I have recently (read: today) come to the conclusion that there are entirely too many new brands of cookies and too many unfamiliar pastries for me to be worrying about eating healthy while I’m here. To show my newfound dedication to this point I ate both cookies AND pastries today. This begins the beginning of something beginning to be wonderful. And unhealthy. But wonderful.

I wish I could remember the name of the pastry I ate. I’ll have to go back and look it up. I’m all the time thinking I can remember things when it’s quite obvious I can’t, so I need to write down more. And I do! I write a lot of notes. Apparently, though, I need to write more.

I should make a note of that.

In many of the shops downtown they don’t turn the lights on. This isn’t a big deal, because most of them are only one room deep, or at least the store part is. Maybe the work area in back has some lights on. Sometimes. This, to me, is fantastic. Why waste electricity when it’s light out until 9:00 PM here? No reason! I love love love leaving the lights off and having natural light just kind of spill in and fill up where it can, leaving little corners dark and hidden in the process. Standing in a store like this, lights out, enjoying the feeling – I can understand why my grandfather moved here.

In the days before I left the states I was completely and utterly stressed out to the point of small-scale breakdown. I told everyone with whom I conversed on this subject that I’m the kind of person that stresses until the very minute I’m on the plane, and then it’s all gone. I just realized today, this very day, that my statement was completely true. I so instantly de-stressed that … that I didn’t even realize it. I feel great, thanks for asking.

Okay, so maybe I was a tiny little bit stressed about being able to listen, comprehend, and respond when I first arrived, but that’s normal. Throw in a tiny bit of jetlag and of course I would feel a little out of whack. That’s over, though.

It’s now 12:45ish here and I have class in the morning, so I’m gonna run. I leave you with one last short here-vs-there list. I’ll present the facts and let you guess my opinion on each topic.

– There are very very few beggars or street musicians downtown. I think I’ve counted four separate beggars.
– There is graffiti EVERYWHERE. Houses, churches, schools, sidewalks – you name it, someone has tagged it.
– I haven’t seen a single SUV since I arrived.
– I also have seen very few bicycles since I arrived. That’s because:
– If someone’s not driving a tiny little car they’re riding on a NOISY two-stroke scooter.
– There is no ice here. Apparently ice is illegal. Occasionally you’ll see a sign outside a microgrocery store that says ‘cubitos de hielo’ but that’s a lie. They don’t have it. They just want to get you into their store.
– You know how I know they don’t have it? Because refrigerators and freezers don’t work the same here. The freezer is more like a fridge, and the fridge should be called a “food box that kind of makes things a little cool maybe if you’re lucky”.
– There is a difference in sympathy versus empathy, and that’s conceptualization versus experience. Previously I could conceptualize why a siesta would be a good idea. Now I truly understand why it is necessary to sleep during the hottest part of the day after a huge meal.

Hasta maƱana.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment


Comment by Kyla

ah, the ice situation was the same in Paris! the freezer in my Paris apartment was exactly how you described – and the size of a shoebox. All it meant was I ate less frozen food (good!) and couldn’t really make ice (which I got used to). But I remember when we went to Sevilla, there was ice all over the place (and it was a zillion degrees hotter, so it made sense). How far are you from there?

Comment by Tami

I support your cookie and pastry eating. One of my goals in life is to eat fried dough from as many different countries/cultures as possible.

Comment by Alison

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *