Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hola Todos

What a full few weeks this has been... I have ended my employment, boxed up most of my flat in Amsterdam and I assume all is now in storage, waiting for me to give direction as to where things are to be shipped and now I am in Spain, where Manuel´s mom is on a mission to plump me up. In fact, just this morning she was complaining about how thin I am and about how little I eat. And the fact is, I eat a lot. From the moment she wakes up until she finally goes to sleep, she has just one thing on her mind - FOOD. If we are not stuffing ourselves with donuts, tortilla, olives, jam, pork, eggs, bread or other assorted edibles, she is on the phone dialing emergency services. She is a fabulous cook, and like Bubba in "Forest Gump", she knows just about everything there is to know about shrimps. I have eaten small ones, large ones, shelled ones, shrimps in garlic, shrimps with rice, shrimps with clams, cold shrimps, hot shrimps, and on and on it goes. The whole house revolves around the table which is in a state of constant change... Olives, shrimps, clams, Spanish ham, fried pork, hamburgers, more shrimps and all of this followed up with dessert and then there is the after dessert dessert.

Being in Spain is amazing. The sun is out and the sky is actually blue. Not grey, beige, foggy or smoggy, but blue, the color of a cool swimming pool. Today there is not a cloud in the sky and I am just in from having a few beers on the terrace in the center of town. Everything is clean, quiet, and so calm and relaxing. Our typical day is as follows... Wake up at 10, have breakfast, shower and then head out to a terrace for beer and tapas, after which we head home for lunch and then a siesta (afternoon nap). we wake up from the siesta, have some tapas at home, then head out for more tapas, then head home for dinner and then out for after dinner tapas and drinks and then home for pre-bed eating. I am not kidding when I say our whole day is about food. I constantly feel like I am going to bust and still I manage to stuff some more in, like a goose destined to be a fabulous foie gras.

Aside from all the food, I have to say that this trip has been quite difficult for me. I speak very little Spainish and can´t communicate with anyone. I have been in places where I was isolated from the language, but during those times, so was the person I was travelling with. I was with Ann and Ulco in China and at least we had our own little island of English, the three of us against the People´s Republic. Here in Almonte, it is just me that does not speak Spanish and it is very hard. I am excluded from every conversation and can´t contribute to anything. I am used to being funny, or intellectual, witty, serious, whatever, and where I am just the silent one, understanding nothing at all. And what makes matters worse is that everyone is so nice and so friendly to me and I want to communicate and just can´t. I am going to look into taking some Spanish classes every morning so at least I can do the basics here. I hate being disconnected and outside of everything...

So anyway, that´s it for now, the postings will be a bit far between at the moment as I do not have a computer and have to do all my typing at internet cafes... But I will be posting more and as Manuel and I are planning a few trips here and there, there will be a lot to write about... Next week we are off to Granada to see the Alhambra and so am very much looking forward to that.

Until next time...

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