Saturday, June 21, 2008

For Me This is Heaven

After a somewhat frightening few days, I find myself quite content tonight. I came to the realization yesterday, while trying to book the rest of my train trips and hostels and whatnot that I do not have enough money to do what I need to do. Foolishly, I assumed that if you buy a eurorail PASS that your train trips are PAID FOR. They are not. You have to pay for a seat reservation, and the prices are different depending on where you want to go. Needless to say, just for these reservations, I would have spent more money getting from Italy to Paris to London (where I am flying home) than I have to eat or shelter myself with. This caused me to wake up today in a horrible depression where I was afraid that I would simply lie in bed and weep to myself all day long.

Instead, I was determined to make the situation work somehow. I got up and started booking my necessary hostels, made a budget so that I knew exactly how much I could spend and on what, and I used my roommate's laptop to start looking on the web. Hopefully, with the help of my Italian friends, who are well versed in the cheap ways to travel within Europe, I will be able to make it work.

Now I was free to enjoy the rest of my day. I started by asking our host mother if I could cook dinner, since she does not provide it on Saturdays. Not only did she say yes, but also that she was leaving for the night, and since I was missing a meal on Monday (due to eating roast piglett, remember?) that she would go to the store and purchase whatever I wanted to make. Conejo, I told her. I had a recipe that Hauser sent to me that sounded promising.

I set out to Sol to get something to eat as it was 4PM. I ate at McDonalds, which I know sounds terrible, but I am fast becoming broke and I have yet to have eaten there, so consider it a science experiment. I wasn't looking at porn, just doing research. My findings? Their fries are delicious, the coke is the same, and their ketchup is sweeter than ours, which is kinda gross.

As I made my way to the train station to buy my ticket from Barcelona to Turin, Italy, I passed a guy with a backpack and a GOATSNAKE T-Shirt on. I stopped him and asked where he was from, in Spanish, to which he relplied in Spanish, Why? I laughed and told him it was because of his shirt and after introducing ourselves, we were off to a cafe for beers. He was a sweede who had spent the last year in Argentina and was on his way to some ridiculous metal festival in Europe where Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, AT THE GATES, and just about every other metal band you could think of were playing, if not reuniting specifically for. We had a couple of beers then I had to run off to buy my ticket.

That being done, I stopped to buy some ingredients I had forgotten to tell my Senora about. Lemon juice, white wine, BLACK PEPPER!!!! (I have yet to see the stuff in Spain, and I should have thought to go buy it at the store long ago). I head back home to find a table filled with buther cut rabbit, garlic, onions,potatoes and a baguette and rosemary. One problem, my recipe is for a whole, roasted rabbit, and this one is cut up into pieces. No time to argue, I use what I can from the recipe and set about preparing my veggies and meat. I consider the head, which is split in half, revealing the tongue and brain. Having never had rabbit, I couldn't decide if this was adventurous enough or if I should go full force. I was leaning toward full force, but let my Saudi Arabian roommate, who would be joinging me, decide. He made a face and said "no head". You got it Hamdan!

I melted some butter in a pan, and threw the rabbit that had been washed, dried and covered in butter, inside. I threw in some whole, peeled garlic cloves and some onions. Then I threw in some potatoes. I fried it all up until a nice brown coloring, then I deglazed with some wine and lemon juice. The result, after a bit of fussing, was pretty good. Rabbit has a mild, kind of sweet flavor (which might have come from the wine and lemon juice). I was concerned that I would somehow manage to kill us by doing it wrong, but so far so good.

With any luck tomorrow I will have most of the details for the rest of my trip worked out, and if not, um, I dunno. I guess we'll see when I get there. Until now, I am going to keep drinking this wine, go smoke my pipe (pipa) and fall asleep happily, if only to spite how I woke up.

By the way, for no reason at all today I was singing Jimmy Eat World in my head, and I have discovered that "Twenty Thousdand Leagues Under the Sea" is one of the most exciting books I have ever read, despite knowing full well what happens. This story of high seas adventure has triggered a child-like sense of wonder in me that I can't wait to fall into the arms of as I fall asleep.

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