AKA Abraham Bacoln

something something something hot
June 25, 2007, 8:49 am
Filed under: Spain

Ahh, Sunday. Sunday was a nice lazy day. I got up late, ate lunch …

oh yeah, lunch. Lunch Sunday was a salad with oil and vinegar, a huge plate of “Cuban Rice” which is to say a massive mound of rice topped with a fresh tomato sauce / reduction (ingredients: tomatoes, olive oil, a pinch of salt) and topped with a fried egg and with two strips of pork on the side that were halfway between bacon and porkchop. Mmmm. Dessert was sliced bananas and pineapple topped with sorbet and a touch of caramel syrup.

There, got that over with. Where was I? Oh yes, ate lunch, walked to the beach and finally got in the water. You know what I had heard from all the other students and from my hosts? That the Mediterranean is cold this time of year. You know what I found out?

The Mediterranean is damn cold this time of year.

I only stayed in the water for about a minute, tops. The rest of my hour or so there was spent beachcoming. I’m not gonna tell you what I found. It’s a secret.

The beach here in its raw form is very much like the beaches in the Pacific Northwest in that it’s composed of many rocks ground down round and smooth by the waves. In other areas here they build jetties and dump sand but where I went swimming was rocks only. There’s the usual desire to pick up the pretty ones and take them home but I’ve done that enough to know that they never look as good dry as they do wet, and I don’t typically have a fountain running in my house, so I’ve gotten to the point where I leave the rocks where they are. Maybe someone else will enjoy that rock I didn’t pick up.

Afterwards I went home, took a shower, and went back to the beach, but this time to the section with the restaurants and nightlife. Mainly this was an excuse to get some exercise as I was still feeling like a slug. It turned into an excuse to get some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I stood outside for a while going through all the flavors on the board and using the dictionary for those I didn’t recognize (about half, more or less). I finally decided on choconata – nata means cream, and I was curious about what kind of deliciousness I would be served. I thought that cream-flavored ice cream would be boring – turns out it’s beyond delicious. It looked like regular chocolate chip ice cream (white with the tiny little chunks) but tasted so smooth, and so … I want to say rich, but that gives the impression of a heavy mouthfeel whereas it was actually quite opposite. The ice cream itself felt very homemade, not bulked up with thickeners and rock-hard but instead more like hand-cranked. The cream flavor was sweet and clean and almost indescribable. It had nothing to do with vanilla ice cream. Next time I go (and I will go back) I’ll probably skip the choco and get just plain nata. I’m sold.

Okay, what else? Let me check my notes.

Ha ha, oh yes, it’s almost laughable how much some parts of this experience are like high school. It’s akin to a bad 80s movie – there’s the table full of the cool kids, all of them from different countries but I guess being “cool” is immediately obvious regardless of where you’re from. The apparent leader is this short big-headed guy with feathered blonde hair and tan skin who wears a coral necklace (or bracelet, I forget) and I guess it’s his appearance that reminds me of the 80s. Anyway, they always sit together and travel in a pack and it’s … it’s just fascinating. It’s like a time machine. It’s like high school all over again.

What else? Oh yes, my Arm and Hammer unscented deodorant that I picked up on my way here performed in the most underwhelming fashion (so at this point I am officially advising avoiding the deodorant in the yellorange tube next time you’re shopping) so I had to pick up some more when I got here. Apparently the only legal form of deodorant is roll-on. Seriously. I have no idea why. Perhaps gel or solids technology has been banned by the government. Too many military applications. Also the concept of unscented has yet to appear. I think the perfume cartels have their fingers in some pies. Now I’m left smelling like some Nivea product but at least it’s tolerable. It’s not X-TREME COOL GEL BREEZE POWER SEX SPORT AQUA! or whatever the hell they sell in the States.

The deodorant is necessary because it is HOT here. I’m terrible at guessing temperature in Fahrenheit anyway, so the numbers in Celsius mean nothing to me. At least it’s a dry heat, ha ha, so my towel stops being wet after an hour or two as opposed to life in New Orleans where when you used your towel once it never got dry again, ever, maybe not even in the dryer, stupid humidity I’m glad I don’t live there anyMORE.

I’ve not been in air conditioning for over a week now. My body has adjusted, I don’t miss it, but … I think maybe some times I dream about it. Still! It’s not here in the house, so why go looking for it? I’d just have to leave it again.

Finally I leave you with an example of my homework for the weekend. We were working on the estilo indirecto (indirect style) which involves changing a direct quote of what someone said into an indirect statement. In English, for example, we would change:

A week ago John said, “Tomorrow I’m going to come to your house if the shop hasn’t fixed my car by the time I get off work.”


A week ago John said that the following day he was going to go to my house if the shop had not yet finished fixing his car by the time he got off work.

So. I think that’s enough of a pain to do properly in one’s native tongue. Remembering to shift times, verb tenses, places, ownership, and subject in a foreign language – ugh. I’m glad that today we went back to something a little easier.


I’m going to hold off on posting this until I finish with lunch today so that I don’t forget what I had.


To wrap things up, today’s lunch was a bowl of lentil soup – I didn’t get the details on the ingredients. It’s so hot today that we ate inside for once and everyone was a little slow. It smelled like it might have had just a touch of clove, which I thought strange, but it tasted wonderful. We splashed apple cider vinegar on it and it was even better. The main meal was a salad of tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and cucumber (all raw) in vinegar, and some battered and fried fish. The name of today’s type of fish translates to ‘rooster’ because it has a little red ridge on its head, apparently. It was mild and firm and I ate a whole piece, look at me I’m a big boy.

Dessert was just oranges, which was fine by me. I was so full I couldn’t fit anything more substantial.

Time to rest for a few before I go downtown – let’s hope the heat subsides some. Ugh. I think summer has really started.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

sounds wonderful as usual

hasta pronto

Comment by Kyla

I think everyone will back me up when I say that, if your deodorant isn’t X-treme(!!!), you’re probably just an asshole.
The food sounds really good. When is a good time to take a dip in the Mediterranean?
As always glad to read about what’s going on. Keep it coming. I hope you can really start to enjoy fish, cause, well because of where you are.

Comment by DoubleT

Leave a Reply

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