Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why I apologize in advance to any recorder players

There is a man here who stands outside and yells the name "Paloma" very early every morning. He yells it loudly and as if his heart were breaking, and I like to think he's calling out to a lost love, perhaps one who used to live in this very building. No one ever answers, and it's all very Streetcar Named Desire. Sometimes this man plays the recorder, too.

This morning the yelling and recorder-playing were followed by the sounds of violent, ear-shattering retching. I have only heard one other person vomit like this in my entire life, and I remember thinking that the sounds coming from this person's body didn't even sound human; I mean, I know throwing up isn't fun, but do you really have to scream while you do it? The only other sound I can compare it to is my grandmother sneezing, a sound which scientists have actually reported picking up on seismometers in China.

I stumbled into the kitchen this morning and mumbled a hello to my wonderful host, Molly. "Did you hear Paloma today?" she asked me.

"Yeah, I did," I replied. "Did you hear that god awful noise he was making, too?"

"Yeah," she replied with disgust. "I think it was a recorder."

"No, I mean...Well, yeah," I agreed. "Yeah, I think you're right."


For my fellow foodies, this was my breakfast this morning:

What you're looking at is tomato pulp on toast with a slice of turkey on top.

After my early-morning vomit serenade, being greeted by a bowl of watery, chunky tomato pulp was a bit hard to stomach, quite literally, and so I was understandably a bit skeptical. But never wanting to be one to step down from a gustatory challenge, I partook, and I have to say that with a little olive oil and salt mixed in, and a slice of turkey on top, it was quite tasty. Of course Molly may still be a few steps ahead of me, foodie-wise, as she voluntarily eats pate for breakfast, and I love me some pate, but for breakfast give me some Nutella any day. Also there is currently in her kitchen a ham, and this ham has a hoof, and it has hair, and Talia, I am just warning you now, so be prepared. These Spaniards, even the adopted ones, love their meat, it seems, perhaps almost as much as the Christians do.

Tonight: paella. To be continued...


  1. Rach, I love it that you are still blogging a lot, after your visit to the south, Louise and I had resigned ourselves to perhaps a Rachel-less summer!! That would be a very sad and dreary summer!!
    I might just have to try that tomato paste thingie...interesting!!

  2. best i recall, the gas stations in spain sell ham. they sell ham everywhere, probably in vending machines as well.

  3. That was my first thought also. Stellaaaaaa!!!!! Maybe it's this guy's heartbreaker. Has anyone asked him what's it all about?

  4. I don't know why I keep reading this blog before breakfast... Tomato toast sounds delicious.

  5. Oooooh, Paella is Europe was one of the best things I've ever eaten. Thanks for all the food pics! I've enjoyed them all!

  6. how sad is this- it took me all day to remember what a recorder is- 3rd grade must have been a blur to me...