AKA Abraham Bacoln

Slowing down
June 20, 2007, 9:22 am
Filed under: Spain

Okay, yes, I think you all got the idea that I’m here. I may slow down on my posting now.

I still have not yet been swimming, either in the pool at school or in the Mediterranean. I know, that’s kind of messed up. I don’t really know why. Well, yes I do, it’s because:

I do not have my bicycle so I’m making up for it by going on walks. I’m sure this will end eventually but yesterday I had a great two-hour walk wherein I covered much of this neighborhood, up and down 200 feet of elevation (a couple of times). I also went through the park next door to the apartment which was where I saw the guy trial-biking and took this dorfy self-portrait. That right there is only about 175 ft. altitude, though it feels higher when you can look all the way down to the sea.

Walking is great, it allows me to clear my mind and also look for photo opportunities. Everything I posted yesterday was from my walk. I would wear my headphones and listen to music, but … I dunno. I found out years ago that having music in the background, even quietly, disrupts my concentration. That’s why I can’t read or study with music on. Only recently did I find that it applies to taking photos as well. Apparently I think more about how to actually compose and take the photo than I realized. Also, the Spanish drive like … well, like there’s no reason to stay confined to one lane or attempt to avoid pedestrians, so I like to remain ALERT. No reason to get squished because of a little In Flames or whatever.

Tuesday lunch was a soup of garbanzo beans (chickpeas, whatever) and something akin to spinach but a bit different. Unfortunately I can’t remember what the Sra. said it was called. After that was a baked or steamed fish with a side of potatoes, red bell peppers, onions, and garlic. The Sra. knows that I don’t like fish, and so she was not upset when I didn’t finish (though I did eat a bit of it – always have to try! One day I may end up liking it). Dessert was diced bananas and pears topped with some sorbet, and with a little orange syrup drizzled over the top.


Wednesday lunch (from which I am currently recovering) was a plate of penne pasta and oil, hot, topped with a little grated cheese and a tiny bit of crumbled chorizo. The Spanish chorizo is not entirely unlike Mexican chorizo though I feel that this one had more paprika than the ones I’m used to. Also I hope it had a lower percentage of salivary glands. Regardless, it tasted great! If that’s what salivary glands taste like then SO BE IT, I will continue to eat them. Main course was a very thin pan-fried pork chop, a pork filet actually, and some green beans sliced thinly. Dessert was the standard fresh fruit, today’s fruit being oranges, tiny pears, and cherries.

A guy could get used to this kind of lunch every day, as long as someone changes the labor laws to allow time to sit on the bed and blog while resisting falling asleep.

Next topic: to further emphasize the elevation changes around here I decided to count the number of steps (not footsteps, but stair steps) that I have to take to get to my classroom. This is just counting steps, not climbing up and down the streets. There are, from the very bottom of Calle Rodeo, 151 steps I must take to get to the second floor where my classroom is located. No wonder all those smokers look to be out of breath. SUCKERS.

Two more things before I go downtown via bus for the first time. One: a long time ago (think 1998) I was collecting different ways to say a certain phrase (not dirty) in other languages. I think I got up to five or six. That’s pretty good for living in Cookeville, land of no foreigners. I’ve started again, but this time no phrase, just a single word.


Did you have any idea that the word ‘bat’ (meaning small flying mammal, not sports equipment) is ‘murciélago’ in Spanish? Yeah, just like the Lamborghini car, except I had previously pronounced it incorrectly, not knowing it was Spanish. It involves a bull in the 1800s, look it up. ANYWAY, man, how different can you get? Bat = murciélago. I decided to find out how to say bat in as many languages as I can. Already I have six or seven – I may report back to you when I reach 10.

And yes, I know. I know I know I know. I know I could use an online service to do this. Still, I would worry about getting the word for baseball bat instead. This way I just ask politely (in Spanish) to borrow someone’s dictionary, and look up murciélago and find their language’s translation.

This apparently is what counts as a hobby secondary to photography for me.

Second and final ending statement: I feel like now I have shown you a tiny bit of what this area is about, so now I’m not worrying so much about pointing out over and over what the neighborhood looks like but instead I can go back to just photographing whatever I find interesting. I know you didn’t yell, you didn’t chastise, but I felt that if I didn’t show you what it looks like around here you’d be so mad at me that you’d never let me come home.


Now I’m off to downtown to take pictures, and maybe I’ll get some, maybe I won’t. We’ll find out.

I kind of miss you all, but not really. I’m feeling a lot better today than I was on Monday.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m really enjoying your blogging, Kevin. I understand if you have to slow down, but I hope you don’t stop!

Comment by Kelly Piepmeier

Let me just say that only someone who did not major in engineering at TTU would refer to Cookeville as a land of no foreigners. I certainly don’t mean that to sound xenophobic, but as someone from Jamestown, TN (the land of 0.1% foreigners), I can assure you C’ville slightly more diverse than that.

Comment by Jason Coleman

Learning the word “bat” in many languages reminds me of the Tom Robbins book “Fierce Invalids Home from Warm Climates” where the lead character knows how to say a specific word in about 200 dialects. If you haven’t read it (which I figure you would have, being Tom Robbins and all) then I suggest it.

By the way I have just now gotten over the awe of your trip with the pictures and the blog. Amazing. Thanks.

Comment by Zane

Leave a Reply

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