AKA Abraham Bacoln

Just a little list
June 21, 2007, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Spain

Of things I thought about while drinking non-Spanish beer tonight.

– My first day here the Sra. said I look Irish. That was a first. She claims it wasn’t because she knew my last name (from the paperwork) but because of my cheekbones and eyes, or something like that. I forget, I was really jetlagged at the time.

– Some days, like today, I just don’t know what to do. I originally didn’t want to do everything all at once, I wanted to kind of space it out. But … the other day, um, yesterday! Yesterday I went downtown and walked around for two hours. Amazingly enough, by using the simple concepts that the sun sets in the west and that the sea is to the south I was able to navigate these tiny crazy back streets and alleys without having to consult my map even once. Okay, so at least 30 minutes at the end were spent looking for a bar I saw within the first five minutes of exiting the bus, but still! They count!

Oh, where was I? Darnit! OH YES, I walked downtown for 2 hours and saw countless shops and didn’t go in any of them. There’s nothing I want to buy! There’s nothing I need! There are no restaurants at which I am dying to eat, no clubs into which I need to enter! Therefore downtown, with the exception of photographic opportunities and people watching, feels basically worthless.

So now what? I have five and a half weeks left. Of course I will visit Torremolinos, of course I will visit Granada (and the Alhambra) but … what to do during the week? I may have to break down and go to the beach, ha ha.

– Today I spent my free time taking an hour’s walk in the park near my apartment. I did it without shirt, as I wished to get some sun, and I got a few strange looks. Crazy shirtless foreigner with his iPod! I don’t care! That’s me! Crazy foreigner! I even … I even jogged a bit, GASP. I don’t know why. It just felt right.

There’s something wrong with me, obviously.

– It’s getting harder with each passing day to remember to type in English, and I’ve not yet been here a full week. I fear for my ability to compose blog entries properly. I may have to send you all to some Spanish classes.

– Lunch today was gazpacho (the cold tomato-based soup that originated here), “Russian Salad”, and then the usual fresh fruit. The gazpacho was fantastic. I was able to name several of the ingredients. I don’t mean that in the “I knew the Spanish words for their names” way, I always know the Spanish words for ingredients. I mean that in the “it was so fresh and pure and simple that I could taste every individual ingredient” kind of way. Delightful! And with chunks of cucumbers. Man. Perfect summer soup. The “Russian Salad” is an admitted misnomer, as it has nothing to do with Russia. It was a little bit of everything – boiled egg, lettuce, red bell pepper, tuna, shrimp, potato, green peas, etc. all bound together with a homemade mayonnaise. A bit fishy overall for my tastes, but still good. I ate quite a bit.

– Seriously, Guinness is far far far superior to San Miguel. As far as I am able to ascertain, San Miguel is the Budweiser of Spain. That may be a harsh judgment but I don’t care.

– Speaking of alcoholic beverages, did you know that absinthe is still legal here (or more accurately, was never illegal here)? Did you also know that absinthe was the target of various smear campaigns and that thujone (the active ‘drug’ in absinthe) is almost nominally psychoactive, leaving absinthe no more intense or dangerous than any other beverage with the same concentration of alcohol? I’m just saying is all.

– Did you know that tonight the bartender at the college told me that absinthe is illegal in Spain? I wonder who told him that. I personally believe Wikipedia and the grocery store. The two of them would not band together to lie to me.

– Speaking of school, tonight, food, drink, and etc. – there are wild-but-probably-not-feral cats that live on campus. I saw at least nine of them at once tonight on the patio. Normally I wouldn’t care much, but for starters, they’re not shaped like normal cats. They look like caricatures of Egyptian cats. Secondly, six or so of them are BRAND NEW KITTENS and it’s hard to eat your dinner when there are kittens everywhere.

– Not that I like kittens or anything. I’m just saying.

– Apparently I attract old people. Maybe it’s the fact that when those young German punks come up to me I ignore them, or openly glare. Maybe it’s that. Regardless, I seem to spend my time on campus talking with the people my age or older, and feel a lot better for it. I think I have officially passed into curmudgeonhood. It’s very sad. I could be at a club downtown right now if I didn’t dislike those ornery kids.

– Finally, there’s something about being on working vacation here that’s inspiring me to be in better shape. I haven’t had any sort of candy bar nor Coca-Cola since arriving, and I don’t miss them at all. That’s odd, considering I had recently regressed to the point that I was having a Coke every two or three days. Anyway, I’m not complaining. It’s just odd is all. I don’t know why it’s happening.

– Seriously, I’m going to have to start writing bilingual posts or something. Brain can’t handle this separation.

– Goodnight!

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Sounds like you’re having an interesting trip. I had to chime in on a story a read back in April, but never posted for some reason. There is a company in the USA who has found some chemical compound loophole in the US law for absinthe. They’ve just been selling it for a few months, but it is the real stuff.

The company:

The Article: http://www.drinklucid.com/pdf/nytimes_04-29-07.pdf

Good luck finding good beer in Southern Europe! Stick with wine, or the Irish or German beers.

Comment by dranktank

Thanks for posting!
Entertaining as always…

has your work out left you too manly for kitties?


Comment by Kyla

It’d be awkward, you’d have to call it in Spanish.

…not that it’d come, anyway, I guess.

Comment by Jim

Kitties and beer in Spain. What a nice way to spend my birthday! At least you had lots of daylight to enjoy it. Happy Solstice!

Comment by Sarah

Leave a Reply

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