Friday, February 26, 2016

Goin' to Barcelona in My Mind

The only cure for my February slump is a trip, so I'm going' to Barcelona in my mind.

By this time of winter I slide into a malaise.  It's like all five senses are muted. Music sounds like muzak, all the colors have faded to dull brown, wool sweaters have begun to scratch, everything smells stale, and all food tastes bland. 

Faster than the Concorde my memory can take me back to October in sunny Spain.

Our first dinner was in a narrow, modern tapas bar named Mas Q Menos. The walls were paneled with blond wood.  At the front entry a ceiling to floor display of red and white wines filled the wooden Xs. The manager said the bottles weren't really wine because it would make theft too tempting. He added he didn't actually know what was inside them, but he hoped it was something mildly poisonous.

I enjoyed of one their smooth, fruity white wines named Afortunado (lucky, fortunate.) My online search shows that it is inexpensive, and readily available in, desafortunadamenteEngland. Drat. Can't even uncork a bottle and pretend I'm there.
Maybe they tweeted each other. They barely spoke. 

Just as one tapa leads to another, my recollection of delicious meals leads me to the Velodrome restaurant. It was in a century old building with a pressed tin ceiling and wide plank wooden floors. 

pretty tiled rest room

On Friday night every table was full--inside, outside on the sidewalk under little white lights, and in the second floor loft. Folks crowded the long dark wooden bar. Facing the door we watched groups of people enter and greet each other with the Spanish two-cheek  kiss. 

A dapper gentleman, who appeared to be eighty something shuffled in.  He wore a tweed jacket over a ruffled shirt, shoes polished and trousers pleated. 

He wandered past the bar crowd to the large, green felt-covered pool table under the loft. With my back to him I could still picture what was going on. The balls rattled in the rack. The cue whacked a ball, it trundled across the table, and he hit it again. Then it thudded to the floor and rolled slowly, creating the dull sound of wood upon wood. With a quiet word one of the young waiters went to find it for him. I don't think the pool "shark" could bend over that far, and he probably couldn't see very well either. 

tempura asparagus
I think a lingering meal of little bites, listening to muted chatter I can't understand, would be just the ticket to cure the doldrums.

What's your favorite get-away?  

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