This is Day No. 7 since leaving home for Spain—and the first day I’ve missed my own place.
Not that I don’t love it here. I do. Arbucies is a very quaint town, with beautiful buildings and a small-yet-solid downtown strip (really, it’s one main street, about 400 yards in length). But, as has been said many times before, sometimes to appreciate home you have to be away from home. Here are my reasons:
• Went to the largest supermarket in town the other day. It is about 1/4 the size of our suckiest supermarket. All the milk we’ve seen—anywhere—is that Parmalat stuff that lasts forever but lacks the taste/texture of good ol’ cow-bred Stew Leonard’s milk. The grapes lack flavor, as does the big, juicy, red watermelon we lugged home. Maybe it’s all the chemicals we use—if so, I crave them. 🙂
• Bugs. Bugs. Bugs. The house we’re staying in lacks air conditioning. Which seemed fine, because they have these enormous windows that open up out to the street below. Yet I’ve already killed more flys in my time here than a year back home. And, oddly, just as I was writing the preceding sentence we were, literally, attacked my a swarm of little flying termite-type things that overtook the kitchen. The Wife and I went on a bug-killing rampage, and I put on the A-Team theme song for ambiance. (It was actually very funny).
• The People: Not sure why, but the locals are noticeably cold. Not mean or cruel, but indifferent. Heads down, walk past without a nod or ‘Hola’ or anything. We were told this might be the case, and it is. I suppose I only notice because, back home, we probably live on America’s friendliest block. And I miss that.
• Overall cuisine: Shockingly bad. To quote my wife, who can be very misable sans decent grub: “Here there’s eggs and bacon and chicken and ham. That’s about it.” The other day, my wife bought a plate of bacon at a local joint. No joke—shit was about 97% fat, 3% bacon.
All that said, I wouldn’t trade this trip for the world. We’re living different lives, which is exactly what we signed up for. As suburban Americans, it’s awfully simple to get caught up in the easiness of our lives. The stores are all right there; the car is accesible; etc … etc. We’re living in a very comfortable environment, in a lovely house, but it’s nice to separate oneself from everyday life.