Saturday, September 17, 2005

The weekend update: on not going out in Spain ...

This is my first weekend at my new place, which, I don't know if I've mentioned, is in a pretty happening neighborhood (La Latina.) My new place also has wireless, about which I'm overjoyed, as it means that I can whittle away my time doing things like talking to everyone over computer-based telephony. I like the word telephony.

To celebrate a) having a place, and b) getting over jet lag (finally, I think), I stayed in. By this, I mean that I got home at no later than two in the morning on both Friday and Saturday. Today (Sunday), I had a fellow-Fulbrighter friend (who lives just four or five blocks away) over for dinner. Being as pretty much everything is closed in Spain on Sundays, however, I didn't have much in the way of ingredients. I did, however, have the fixins for crêpes, and one of my flatmates lent me a can of mushrooms and an onion so that they wouldn't have to be cheese-only. I had trouble with the can opener, but Rebecca figured it out.

Back to the weekend's activities, though, for anyone who actually wants a blow-by-blow. If you've been reading this blog, you know that I had a hard time finding a place; part of that difficulty was due to my impending departure for Morocco in early December, and peoples' reluctance to rent to someone for such a short period of time. I'm actually signed on to the place in which I am now through the end of December 2006, and will need to find someone for the eight months that I'll be in Morocco. The point of this, though, is that in my hunt for a place, I responded, at one point, to an ad placed by an American living here who needed two housemates; his landlord wouldn't allow a short-term tenant, but we emailed back and forth, and decided to meet up for cañas on Friday, which turned into plans to meet up for dinner. The Finca de Susana was full for the evening, so we wandered to La Latina and walked from bar to bar looking for one that had both space to actually sit down, but which wasn't abandoned (a bad sign in a neighborhood so full of bars, no?)

What's funny about all this is that, as we're walking around, Corey keeps running into friends of his, who invariably asking if he'll be going out that evening. He keeps saying no, and that he has plans to just stay in tonight. At this point, it's well into the evening: the point of this is that a different notion of lateness exists in Spain.

Anyhow, where we ended up eating, we ordered a cheese plate, salmon/brie toast, and mushrooms in caramel sauce (served in a casserole dish; the sauce wasn't so much a sauce as a broth). The mushrooms were delicious; I wouldn't have thought to pair them with caramel, but, in the off chance that I should ever happen to find that restaurant again (it's somewhere within a three-block radius of my house), and happen to be hungry, I will order those again. The sauce wasn't super-sweet, and had some caramelized onion bits in it.

On Saturday, I went to the Reina Sofia Museum with Matt, another Fulbrighter who lives in the neighborhood, to catch the last couple of days of the Juan Gris exhibit. And then it was off to Fuenlabrada, for a get-together thrown by yet another Fulbrighter. Fuenlabrada will get its own entry, in the foreseeable future. The short version of the story is: it's an hour and a half away. And: it actually ended up taking about four hours to get to the party, from the moment of boarding the metro to the moment of finding the building where shindig actually was.

Today (Sunday) was the final stage of the Vuelta a España. I don't follow sports, but the opportunity to go see a major cycling event with little effort is appealing, and I still haven't gotten over not having seen the Giro de Colombia on the day that it was departing from Popayán when I was there last year ...
I took a couple of (blurry) photos of the peloton. The race itself wasn't all that interesting to watch, since the portion of the course there was so flat and the riders whizzed by; the Giro di San Francisco is much more fun (turns! hills!) Mostly, it was a lot of waiting.

Tomorrow, I begin research.


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