Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Cold, confusion and payback.

Well, I got my own back today. I sent a couple of make-you-jealous e-mails to two of my aunts who were just here and went back to the wonderful UK weather a few days ago because it was so hot here and beautiful, and so not there. Of course the weather gods do not like this sort of behaviour, so I was made to pay.

Groceries here are a little complicated. The first issue is the opening hours, it's a little like offsides in hockey, I think it takes at least a decade to figure out what the hell is going on though eveyone else seems to know. The banks open from 7:30 - 2 except on Thursdays, when they either stay later or open again post siesta (the hours are also different in the summer), the grocery store, open every day. But is it all day? Or 9 - 1, then 5 - 9? I can't remember. Some stores open only in the evening, some only in the morning, some in two halves, some open at 7, some don't open till 10. The bar we can see from the balcony opens, as far as I can tell, at 5:30 am for the breakfast crowd, and doesn't close till 4am.

So our option for fruit and veg are: the grocery store, poor selection, poor produce, but cheap. Hours fairly long. The municipal market, great produce, only mornings, I think, but a bit pricey, and then there is the market. It appears to have no distinguishing name. We would call it the weekly farmers market, but I am not sure any of them are actually farmers. Lots of stalls, GEORGEOUS produce, egg yolks an orangey lemon and stand proud and tall when you crack them.....I could go on. Prices are good, produce is awsome, but only once a week in the morning.

This grocery confusion is added to today by the fact that it is a national holiday. But it is a Spanish holiday, and we are in Catalonia. For those of you unclear of the politics, allow the one eyed king ***hem*** to clarify. Catalonia is a province of Spain, but a different language, culture and with some strong seperatist tendencies, so this Spanish holiday is met with rolling eyes. All I need to know though is whether the market will be open. We have no fridge, and must shop often, which is fine normally.

Ask around, met by shrugs and rolled eyes, so I gamble and don't buy much at the grocery store yesterday. Wake up this morning and the weather is......well, lets say it's payback time. Those of you with a foot of snow will not sympathise, but bear in mind that my wardrobe is still better suited to the Bahamas than elsewhere. Debate skipping the event, but we aren't sure if ANYTHING will open between now and Saturday. You see, Thursday is not a holiday, but Friday is another Spanish holiday. No one we know is going to work till Monday. Who will take it off? So off we go to the market, the husband gallantly accompanies me.

It is cold, very very windy and raining. Hard. This town is violently hilly and first we must glissade down to the bank (closed, although the ATM works). Battle over to the bakers for fresh crusty bread (open, and eat your heart out the bread is awesome). Then another brief glissade down to the beleaguered market. Only four stands out, and while we are at one of them, they are grimly holding onto their stall. Literally, they are clinging to it to weigh it down. I feel bad asking to buy stuff, they must receive everything and weigh and measure it all forcing them to let go briefly. After we go, they lose control of the entire shin-dig and parts sail off. The husband goes over to help (no one else is, the market is full of old ladies and other folks holding onto their tarps) This leaves me with all the bags. Why do I buy the squash first? Oh yeah, had the pack horse. It isn't easy to pick over parsnips, elbow my way through a crowd of dripping and determined seniors, and negotiate in---was that Catalan or Spanish????

Finally arrive home, soaked. Unlike the sensible husband, I hadn't taken my raincoat. It looked fine when we left, and it is one of those extreme ocean explorer jobs that leave you feeling you are atlas with the weight of the world on your shoulders. My only shoes are sandals. (He had on hiking boots. Incidentally he has FOUR pairs of shoes here!) Hands were red and swollen, etc etc etc whine, moan whinge.........

I deserved it though, I'll admit.

6 comments:

Dorky Dad said...

I loved the offsides comment. I'm a sports nut and I still don't get offsides. It makes no sense. All it does is slow the game down. Stupid, ridiculous hockey rule makers, who do they think they are?

oreneta said...

Ahhh but did you know that offside rules vary in different leagues too? When I first started watching hockey a lot I had friends in three different leagues. Then there is the NHL, the Olympic rules..... I was so messed up. The rule is also different on tuesdays, on leap years, if the moon is full........

Trish said...

LOL...boy am I glad that we have a 24 hr. A&P just around the corner. It was exausting just reading about your grocery fiasco.

High Desert Diva said...

What an adventure! I admire you and your family. I shall definitely have to come back and check-in on your enterprises.

My husband and I hope to experience other cultures with our daughter when she's a bit older and can remember them.

Hats off to you and your family :D

oreneta said...

Trish: it continues! This afternoon the husband goes to the library to return books, and get a movie out, (closed) they closed early since yesterday was a holiday and so is tomorrow (?). As they open at 3:30 and he was there by 4:15...... then he tried the grocery store (closed, see above)

HDD: Thanks for coming by, love your blog. Good food, good sarcasm.....

Mom of Three said...

Wow. I already loved my local Safeway, open from before I get up until 1 a.m., now I do more!

Why no fridge? Not even a teeny one?

I hate it when I go places and they're supposed to be open and they're not. I wouldn't do well there...but it sounds beautiful!