Tuesday, October 6, 2009

food wanderlust

i made two resolutions in spain. the first is to try to say hi to people as i pass them, or as i meet them. this is something that is done so rarely in boston, as people tend to look downwards or avert their eyes as they pass you. in the navarra gym, as i was changing into my dobok, someone came in and said to me "hola!" and i mumbled hola and averted my eyes. then another came in, probably two complete strangers, said "buenos dias" and shook hands. then they shook hands with me and i felt like an american idiot. since then i've admired the friendliness of the europeans i met, and can only try to bring some of that warmth back from pamplona.

the second resolution is to enjoy my food more. in spain we took two hour meal breaks. this was often because of slow service and the three course meals, but it did help to relax and allow everyone to mingle for awhile. and when there's nothing else pressing that needs to be done (like a pset, project, work, etc.) it's good to just sit back and enjoy the weather and food between sessions of satisfying physical exertion. so despite not having three course meals here, i want to still be able to enjoy my food. and at carlucci, brusela, and the hotel dining, the menu was always a surprise. what are meat icicles? (a stuffed pasta) and ice cram? what about snuff to the oven? though the portions weren't tiny, they were also sufficiently foreign and small to prevent me from eating the way i eat chinese buffet - fast, large amounts, low exploration.

these things made me realize that to me, food on a trip is all that matters. sure, the photography is fun, the people are great, and accomplishing the actual purpose of the trip is important, but my lasting impression of any place i've been to will always be the food. and now i've decided that maybe in life, it's important to live where you want to eat. i have a huge craving for the breakfast sausage and the jamon on the salads we've eaten, and somehow i just dont think buying it at whole foods here will feel the same.

1 comment:

sparky said...

haha well...you also had chinese buffet....=)