Quantcast

Important Notice

Special captions are available for the humor-impaired.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Things I Love About Spain (Part III)

Things I Love About Spain (Part III)

-The weather. It is now sunny, warm, and dry. I haven’t needed any excuse to spend hours every day riding my bike down to the beach towns south of “Valencia but now the great weather makes this even more of a pleasant task. I have been desperately trying to get my ass into great shape in what I call “Operation Speedo.” I won’t wear a Speedo, and if you see me in one you have my permission to club me to death like a baby seal, but “Operation Speedo” is a little snappier-sounding than “Operation Tasteful Swimwear That Doesn’t Make You Look Completely Fruity and Ridiculous.”

- Paz Vega. I just saw this Spanish actress for the first time in a nice little movie called 10 Items or Less in which she plays the impervious/imperious cashier in the quick check-out lane at a crappy little convenience store. She can be my Dulcinea any day.

- Bike Lanes. Valencia has the best network of bike lanes (Carii Bici) this side of Amsterdam. After riding more than two hours yesterday I pedaled to the end of the recently-renovated park at the end of the Turia Gardens. There is a little hill you can ride up that gives a rather commanding view of this whole part of the city. They are also just putting the finishing touches on another new beach park just south of Pinedo beach. If you live in Valencia and you aren’t spending a lot of time on a bike you are letting one of the best things about this place pass you by.

- Café y Cafés. A daily ritual for me, for most of my adult life, has always meant a trip to a café, and here in Spain is no different. I require at least one cup of professionally-made coffee every day. Lately I have been leaning towards café Americano which is just an espresso that they leave under the spout and add more water. I love to sit out in the sun and read the papers cover-to-cover. The other day I went to lunch with friends to a little place on the beach and I had the best coffee that I’ve had so far (and that’s saying a lot). The place was in Perello which is about an hour and fifteen minutes south as the bike flies. I may take a ride down there today.

- El Rastro de Mestalla, or the flea market in the stadium parking lot. My main reason for going is to buy cheap books. I can usually find something worth reading for 1€. I also like to see how many different languages I can identify as I walk around looking at junk. Gypsies, Russians, Nigerians, Rumanians, and at least one American can be found there on any given Sunday. There are always a lot of cops there and I usually see them bust someone—probably for selling stolen merchandise. The place is like a mix between Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves and the United Nations. I only found one book last week which I am currently devouring, Chacal, a translation of The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. This book is as much fun to read in Spanish as it was in English which lo leí de un tirón (which I read in one swoop—I just learned how to say that so I thought I’d write it down so I don’t forget). Plot-driven stories are a lot easier for me to read in Spanish than psychological novels. I needed a break from the book I was reading that is kicking my linguistic ass.

- Fernando. If my butcher were ten years younger and a woman I’d marry him. Neither of us can afford the expensive operation so the next best thing would be for me to get accidentally locked inside his shop for a weekend. I’d have everything I need in there except Paz Vega. He has wines, oils, olives, sardines, and meat, meat, meat. I like how I can tell him what I want to cook and he gives me what I need with the meat cut up precisely for that dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you can't say something nice, say it here.