It’s hard to sleep on a bus. If we had known how little used this bus route was, we’d have known that there was no need to get our bus tickets ahead of time. If there were more than half a dozen passengers on the bus, the count was only 7. It was hard to sleep on that bus. It wasn’t very comfortable. It helped that I moved back a seat, but it still wasn’t very easy to stretch out. Some of the other passengers showed Michele how to work the reading light since she had given up on even attempting to sleep and started re-reading one of the twilight books for the nth time.
Caroline met us at the bus stop. I think we called and she gave us directions, but things are kind of fuzzy after more or less staying up all night. I don't think we tried to actually act on any directions she gave us. She took us to her friend Holly’s apartment. Holly is very British, or as the Spanish would say, muy Britanico. I slept in the guest room, and Holly told me not to mind her bits and bobs. I guess that’s British slang for odds and ends, or keepsakes. I think Michele slept on the couch. However, she might have stayed awake on the couch for all I know.
After we had rested, Caroline took us out to meet Juan Carlos and his wife. Jaun Carlos is into weightlifting and body building, which is rarer in Spain than America. It’s still not super common here, but he really stands out over there. His spoken English was so good that I got going too fast for him to understand. Michele could kind of communicate in Spanish, but I really couldn’t. His wife didn’t speak English, so there was a lot of translation going of as we talked. We got topas and drinks. In the big cities, the topas were kind of pricey for what you got. Here, they came free with every drink. We got some traditional jamon and tomato on bread at the first place, then we headed to a second place. I guess this is the same in any small town, but Juan Carlos and his wife were always running into people they knew.
We got a variant of Sangria at the next place which was a mixture of wine and lemonade with ice cubes in it. Given the fact that a major way to eat in the local bars was to order drinks, something like this makes a lot of sense if you’re going to be drinking all day. We got a lot of food there. We got Calamari, which Michele and Caroline surprised me by agreeing to try. They seemed to like it pretty well. That was even more surprising, because this was obviously cut up squid. It hadn’t been cut into strips that could have been just about anything after it was battered and fried. The next order was a potato omelet fresh from the pan. In the cities, we had only seen this offered cold. I guess once you were used to eating this meal, it would be fine cold. However, as a foreigner, starting out with the cold variety was not appetizing. Maybe I should try making something like that for myself sometime. The last thing we got was a pork stew garnished with French fries. I have to give the food I ate here credit for convincing me that Spanish cooks were not all insane.
We left this bar, and went to a bakery. Caroline got Holly to meet us at a bakery for desert. Like all the European cafés and bakeries we visited, the chocolate deserts are the bomb. I don’t remember exactly what it was that I ordered, but it was really good. Some of Caroline’s other friends met us at the café too. At this point there was too much Spanish from native speakers for me to keep up with anything that was said. We went to yet a 3rd bar. Here the topas we were served with our drinks were decidedly of the snack variety. Juan Carlos and his wife left us at at this bar. We stayed a little while longer after that.
When we left, we went back to Holly’s apartment. We had done our laundry before we left, and it was all out on a line to dry. That was an odd exercise of hoping it wouldn’t rain and rearranging things which dry faster and spreading out the things which dry slower. We watched the movie Twilight and ordered Telepizza (the largest pizza chain in the Spanish speaking world) for dinner. Caroline likes corn and tuna for her toppings, which sounds disgusting, but really wasn’t that bad. I got a ham and pineapple pizza which was pretty good. The other thing we had to munch on was ham flavored potato chips. I thought they were really tasty, it may be a good thing that I can’t get them here.
Back to the movie, it kind of made me groan in many parts. I had been avoiding Twilight because of the sparkly vampires, and boy, did that “special” effect in the movie really suck. However, I’m a sucker for vampire stories and the movie effectively served as and advertisement for the books. Also, the book I had been reading was stolen from the bus station, so borrowing Michele’s twilight books was really my only option. I had finished the book I had which had not been in the stolen backpack, China Miéville's Iron Council. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough for me to want to re-read it.
On Sunday, Michele and Caroline went to church. I had slept in too late, so I stayed in the apartment and watched a little Spanish TV. I saw something on bullfighting, which seemed to be more advertising for a few prominent bullfighters. I also saw Davydenko beat Nadal to win a tournament. Davydenko may have had a big win leading into this tournament, but I think that was really the start of the surge he’s had in the past few months.
We ate lunch at a Burger king. I have to say, the onion rings and fries they serve in Spain are better than what you can get here. We mostly took it easy this day. Caroline took us by to see her apartment, but her roommates were out. We also walked around the town to see the school where Caroline taught and walked to the town park. Holly cooked pasta in a cream sauce for us for dinner, and it was really good. This day may not have been all that exciting, but we needed a rest after Barcelona.