2007-03-19 - 1:48 p.m.

I woke this morning with my nose stuffed and a festering sinus infection. Time to go home. Time to go home. The thought of going, again, to the doctor here is rather mortifying to me. So I will get through this sinus infection and then I will go home and talk about having things surgically altered within my nose-al area and maybe things will be good then…in the nose-al area.

This weekend Eric and I went to a new restaurant in Sitges. It opened a month or two ago and I almost fell over when I read the menu a few weeks ago because there in big, bold letters was MENU VEGITARIANO. And they don’t just have one or two options…they have several options FOR EACH COURSE. I was thrilled. And because I have learned over and over again…I kept a watchful eye open for the inevitable ham that is in all Spanish food. But there wasn’t any and it was a beautiful, lovely dinner indeed. Happy.

(speaking of ham in all the food here…the other day I received an e-mail from a woman that lives a couple hours north of us. She’s been here for seven years (married a Catalan man) and she shares knowledge with me about all things Catalan. This time she was warning me about pastries. As it turns out there is a typical pastry here, a sweet pastry, and the filling is made from dried pig stomach. Sweetened dried pig stomach. The pastry is then topped with a sugar glaze and slivered almonds. I am a pastry lover, I can gorge myself to sickness on cheese danishes. I think pastries are just about the world’s greatest indulgence food (baklava being the greatest). Fortunately I have not had many pastries in this country because the one or two I did have were rather bland and dried out and that’s just not worth the caloric bomb for me. However…when Eric’s sister was here she had to have a pastry one night. She took a bite of it and swooned and said, “What is this?” and tried to get me to take a bite of it. I didn’t want a bite of it but she insisted and I took a small bite. It was okay, good-ish and I couldn’t figure out what it was either. We came to the conclusion that it must be some sort of nut/sugar paste inside the pastry but we couldn’t decide which kind of nut. NOW I know it was dried pig stomach. How do I know this? Because the pastry Juli described to me sounds exactly like that pastry I took a bite of and Juli also said that the filling tasted like a rather sweet nut like paste. So…there you have it. There is ham in EVERYTHING here.)

Going to dinner was a good, necessary thing for us. We hadn’t been out to dinner in a long time. I needed to go out because it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like a human being. Eric needed to go out because well….stress. His job situation is crazy right now, like the kind of crazy that causes people to have nervous breakdowns or heart attacks and he’s been traveling a lot lately (which is something I find detrimental to health and well being). And then, he arrives back in Spain on Wednesday and his luggage never shows up and then they say it will arrive later that afternoon and will be delivered that night and it never shows up until the next day at 10:30 in the morning. And, ten minutes after the luggage finally arrived, my cat started throwing up and having diarrhea and we had to rush him to the vet. Welcome home Eric! (the cat has a parasite…ewwwwww. The diagnoses of this parasite required me to transport a pile of nasty poop from the litter box to the vet. I am hoping I never have to do that again. Ever. There is just something not right about carrying a pile of poop through town.)

So now the cat is doing well, Eric and I went to dinner and had a good weekend. It was incredibly nice to have him home and to have a quiet weekend. He leaves again tomorrow and I have language classes twice this week and then on Friday we have a guest arriving…so it was good we squeezed one quiet weekend in when we did. I have a feeling the coming months are going to be rather chaotic.

Language classes are boring and annoying but this time around they aren’t intolerably so. My teacher is a couple years younger than I am and she makes me laugh (unintentionally) every time I go to class. She says things like, “In English you have no grammar, in Spanish we have a lot of grammar.” I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean exactly what she said because I laughed when she said that and she looked at me in surprise and said, “no, really.” I still haven’t learned anything new…but that is totally my fault because I am not studying when I get home. As it turns out, I am still a total loser. I did buy a copy of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” in Spanish though. That will help. I have that book memorized so reading it in Spanish will be less difficult than reading a book in Spanish that I don’t know at all. And it will be terribly interesting to read this book in it’s original language. I am quite looking forward to it. I will probably start reading it today. My mother sent a bunch of magazines back with Eric and I had a magazine binge this weekend. I am so in love with the magazine, “MentalFloss”. It makes me terribly excited to move back to the United States so I can subscribe.

I have one lonely tulip in bloom right now. Also….freesia plants are awesome. Get some. Someday I am going to plant hundreds of them in my yard.


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