|specialty of the house: ears|
Wine at lunch. I've tried. I tried yesterday. I looked around the restaurant at all the handsome Spaniards drinking wine. My sister-in-law Amy was drinking wine and her husband Jaime was drinking wine and Ann was drinking wine and I was drinking wine and it was extremely fun in the moment, but even as I drank I knew that the rest of the day would be ruined. It was. Is there some trick to this daytime wine business?
Let's see what other silliness we've been up to in Spain while other people were midwifing our goat babies.
Oh, right! More wine. The other night my brother-in-law Jaime took everyone -- kids included -- on a Santiago de Compostela bar crawl. The bars we went to on Tuesday did not resemble any American bars I know of. They are small and plain with tile floors. The best way I can think of to describe them is to say that they sort of resemble barber shops and the people who serve you are grave-looking older men. Does this sound unappealing? These places were very appealing. When you drink, you also eat, if only a single mussel with hot sauce. Each place serves a particular snack that people expect when they walk in the door. Kids are both welcome and ignored. Or at least ours were.
We went to a bar that serves wine the old-fashioned way, in ceramic bowls.
|looks like Chinese soup|
We went to a bar that serves a platter of pig ears when you order a drink.
|The men ate ears.|
I'm not going to describe anything we've done that wasn't food related, but I do want it on the record that we have visited churches and museums and have been all-around responsible tourists.
Yesterday, there was a big, convivial group lunch at another restaurant where we were served peppers stuffed with creamy salt cod (best thing!!), grilled octopus, cheese, cold cuts, squid in its own ink, wine.
And then -- a totally bleary afternoon. That's what all those Mediterranean romanticizers omit! After the gushing description of the crisp white wine and the exquisite pasta or wild boar or paella under the Mediterranean sun in a dreamy olive grove there should be a description of a bleary afternoon.
In the evening, we went out in a big group, again including kids, and walked around this small and magical city. More fascinating bars. One bar consisted of a small subterranean room with a blazing hearth and stone walls on which pilgrims had taped notes and drawings. Another bar was like a trendy American cafe and served tiny portions of paella in cups. Then we went to a restaurant with iron rings on the walls left over from when the building was used a stable and Jaime ordered tiny eels on toast, mushrooms on toast, crepes filled with spinach, ham. Wine. Wine. Wine. Owen and Javier sat at the end of the table, drawing and talking and eating flan until we all went home at 2 a.m. There were still people everywhere out on the streets.
It's very different. I think it would be fun to be Spanish. I might be fundamentally too introverted, but Owen would make a great Spaniard.
Tomorrow, we go home.
|My father says they have begun chasing the chickens.|