Thursday, August 17, 2006


Got back from Spain. Here's a brief synopsis, in the tradition of the hot and not list:

What's Hot

The Weather (I felt like Manny in Black Books, suffering from Dave's syndrome - I did, like 42, think that's about, ahem, 30 hotter than an average day here)

Also, the way in which they developed these incredible windy roads where each side of the street practically touches, just so the sun couldn't beat down on their heads.

And the way there are canopies high above the streets to protect shoppers from the sun, I've never seen that before.

Finally, all the sun in the day makes them super chilled in the pm, and means that dinner only happens after 10pm. Every city we were in was hopping well into the early hours.

Really Friendly people (these saint like patient people deigned to smile as we plundered and murdered their language)

Letting oranges plop onto people's heads from trees on the street (I'm such a sucker for fruit growing on trees rather than in plastic supermarket cartons)

Amazing moorish influence - the Alcazar in Seville, the Alhambra in Granada

Strange Food Intriguing menus that I little understood, and yet the food was yum (although it felt like the atkins diet - lots and lots and even more meat. But doughnuts for breakfast? And these people have the best figures...

- Me and Picasso, chilling out in the Prado in Madrid, really felt we had a moment. And what about Joan Miro, with his funky colours in Barcelona.

Not Hot

The beer (because it's chilled like)
The buses (because they're airconditioned like)

Also, I thought this is worth mentioning. When I got home, gushing like a broken hose pipe about Spain and the Spanish, I was telling a mate how gorgeous and thin most Spanish ladies are, and how I felt like a heifer until I landed in Dublin Airport where I coincidentally seemed surrounded by larger ladies and felt reasonably ok. Well, we were sitting there, tucking into chocolate and cakes, as one does, when my friend nodded and said,

'Yeah. But they're just built differently from us like, you know, they're just you know, lighter'.

I took another square of the obligatory airport Toblerone. Chomping this, I thought about the situation. I'd like to agree with her, but the reality is we're such pigs. They simply don't go around with their hands permanently going from crisp packet or chocolate bar or burger to mouth. They don't have a convenience store every 10 feet where display cabinets are strewn with layer upon layer of every type of candy coated confection man has developed over the two odd thousand years we've been doing so.

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