I am just gonna ramble on.
First, wordpress is back to the assholery of draft posts in a font that is not monospaced.
But moving on.
The Europe trip for the year 2015 went well. Dublin was as great as the last time we were there. The barkeeps at The Old Stand still recognized me and Joy and we still got the same civilized service befitting a regular. We closed the pub every night. We had our fill of the dark stuff as well Irish breakfast. We even dined at two of their best restaurants, enjoying three-hour dinners that aren’t hurried in the slightest. I bought four books of contemporary Irish plays and two literary magazines. As always, I am in awe of how advanced the descendants of Joyce and Beckett are. Again, I left my heart in Dublin. The only consolation was that it was our port of entry back into the states (thanks to Global Entry) we had enough time for a couple of pints at the airport pub.
I love the fucking chaos of this city. Everyone smokes, everyone is beautiful, everything is kind of dirty. Everyone plays the fucking lottery like there is no tomorrow. We had more than our fair share of jamon, vino, and quezo. Siesta of course. And for pampaumay, Sangria. This is the land of Cervantes and Joya and Velazquez and our past and present conquistadores. We had dinner at the oldest running restaurant in the world – twice – ordering the same specialty, sucking pig. Did I mention the Rioja? And the Iberico? Did I mention how cheap it was. (For perspective, I went home with dollar and euros in the thousands, untouched, and let me remind you that we got drank on good wine and had dinner in restaurants and tipped every single time as New Yorkers.) I actually have no idea how the whole of Spain makes money given how cheap everything is: a euro and a half for vino. Around four euros for jamon. One thing I learned is that forty percent of wine sold by France is Spanish and sixty percent of olive oil sold by Itay is Spanish as well. Ladies and Gents, welcome to the European Union.
This city approaches magic-realism level. Of course, the city of Salamaca is just hours away. Anyway, by pure chance, our hotel (fuck AirBnB, real hotels with clean towels and chambermaids rule!) is a block away from El Tabernaculo and Los Diamantes. Also, a seven minute walk from El Tana. These three names are all you need to know in this city where tapas was invented. The best clams and paella and labaja and gambas and calamares, all for free for an order of a cup of local beer at one euro or local wine and tinto (wine plus sprite) at a euro fifty. See, I cannot understand how their economy works. The second time we went at Los Diamantes was during lunch and seeing we are Asians, the staff served us seafood paella, for free before we even ordered our drink. Fuck you, Brooklyn hipsters.
Ah, the city of football champs. I have mixed reviews of this city as I am getting a trying hard vibe. If this city is a person, this one would would be a social climber who tries to become what she sees on TV. The city is beautiful and clean but lacks the personality to make it stand out. Even the language has influence of French and Portuguese. Again, the vibe of trying very hard to be cool. As if the city has has an idea of what a first world city should be from other social climbers.
And that is our trip this year. We both came back richer and just a bit poorer – it would be vulgar to reveal my cash on hand but let us just say, we could retrace what we did and I will still have some euros to spare.
Oh, I brought home five contemporary Spanish novels. Because I can. Because I travel using discardable clothes and just throw them away rather than packing them back in. See, more space for books.