Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chocolate, a Brit and some music and a gorilla.

Thank you for the ideas around on-line recipes everyone....the good news, while we were in Barcelona I came across an 'Alimentacio Islamic" An Islamic grocery store, which to my immense excitement sold, aside from the Halal meat, Basmati rice in 10 lb bags, and curry powder - hot - and chili powder, and whole wheat pitas, and Bulgar and couscous and and and and lots of different types of dhals and beans, and chutneys....Oh I am so pathetically excited. Gonna be going grocery shoppin' in BCN this week!!!

We also trolled past the chocolate museum in town. Mmmmm that was smelling PRETTY fine, you know chocolate in bulk has an almost liquor-ish smell to it. Ohhhhh. Nomad may be coming into town next weekend and that would be so very fun to go to....the kids are already making plans about how much of their backlogged allowance they are going to spend there. Mmmmm. They had a chocolate Ronaldinho of course.

Where we actually went was to the Parc de la Ciutadella, we walked past the Arc de Triomph, and down into the park. Man, that place was FULL. We had a giggle at the rowers on the pond equipped with huge boats, and very short aluminum oars, so even if your Steven Redgrave, your still going to look like a dork...there was a giant statue of a mammoth, and the kids just like a park, any park, and especially one with lots of dragon statues. Saint Jordi, in English Saint George is the patron Saint of Catalonia, so there is a fair pile of dragon imagery, and not all the dragons are being murdered. They must speak to something in the Catalan anarchista soul. The younger one wanted to race quite a bit. You know running races, on your mark, get set..... I can beat her in the end, though I am starting to have to try, but her acceleration...ooomph.

The dog is growing increasingly comfortable, and is starting to give happy little doggy galumphs pretty often which are fairly funny. He does this weird sort of bunny hop kind of run with both front legs absolutely straight, and moving almost together....very funny.

I was walking through the town with the kids and the dog this afternoon when I suddenly realized that the group we had just passed spoke ENGLISH! They were a group of BRIT'S!!!! Well old home week in this town. We had a good laugh for a few minutes, she asked me about the schools, her kids are much younger, and they were both working in Barcelona until recently so they aren't very up to speed on the local schools...and we had a laugh about the craziness of parenting in a school where you don't speak the language, and she was saying that even after 9 years she is still doing a certain amount of smiling and nodding and saying si si si over and over. I suspect her Castillian is actually pretty good, and she says she can usually understand the Catalan, but doesn't speak it as well...Apparently there are a couple of other Brits around the town who I haven't met....We also had a bit of a laugh about one of the Catalan traditional instruments which honestly sounds a bit like a loon in pain...here's a sample if the link works...It actually can grow on you a bit, but is more than a touch nasal to my taste. Maybe that wasn't very nice of us, but well, maybe it's like Vegemite and peanut butter, you kind of have to grow up with it. We have one CD of with these instruments, although it is an alternative band that are doing a rock version, and I think I like the original better. It explains the attention to recorder music in class at school.

Barcelona zoo used to have an albino gorilla named Snowflake who was quite famous, and there are still postcards of him for sale all over the place. The husband was quite horrified when I told him that Snowflake had died several years ago after 40 years. He had heard about him for most of his life, and was rather looking forward to seeing him in the zoo one day. I am not sure that he believes me yet.

Walked a new trail/road with Chuck this morning...it was quite lovely, and we even saw a SQUIRELL! You would think that a girl who grew up in Canada wouldn't find this exciting, but it is the very first one we have ever seen here....cute and reddish. I was almost as excited as Chuck. The road was very nice quiet and it had some good views, although it is desperately steep in one section. I wouldn't run down there or you'll find yourself on an involuntary gravel lined luge run. Ouch.

9 comments:

kate said...

Actually I would be very excited to see a squirrel here. I think I saw one once in a tree in La Granja (palace grounds near Segovia) but not a one in Madrid, even in the big parks. I do sometimes see chipmunks in the pet store near us, which is pretty horrifying...

oreneta said...

Kate: They sell chipmunks in those pet stands on Las Ramblas, tons in the cage, it is very awful, although there is a strong movement afoot to ban the animal sellers there..based on, well, cruelty. Apparently the tourists are complaining, among others...

The squirrel was very cute. Much more like the elusive red squirrels we get in Canada than the fat and aggressive grey or black. He was slim and fast with the biggest bushiest tail.

Joanne PL said...

In PL ONLY red squirrels. Extremely cute and charming, generally small - and very lively - they create a highway in the fall from somewhere - to our walnut tree - and back again - with spectacular leaps and feats of almost flight - but still - sometimes I miss those big fat grey ones :-)

Beth said...

Will you be keeping in touch with the "Brit" lady you met in the park? I think it would be great to be able to converse in English with other people once in awhile.
And not only does your blog make me hungry when you talk of food, I now feel guilty about all the walks you are taking with Chuck. You must be very fit. And Chuck must be in Heaven with his new home and mistress. All that loving - all those walks.

Beth said...

ya, your whole post was nice...yada, yada...get to the important thing... A CHOCOLATE MUSEUM?!?!?!?!?! That must be heaven on earth.

Mom of Three said...

Your animal theme sort of meshed with mine. This is such a worldwide problem, and with species I've never even dreamed of!

But I'm glad you brought happiness to one lucky puppy in your part of the world.

oreneta said...

Nana: We had one of those highways in Canada along the back fence to the neighbour's tree, most amazing isn't it.

Beth: I don't know, she didn't tell me her name, and after she has been here 9 years, she may not be as interested...her kids are also a lot younger...please don't feel guilty, OK?

Beth: I'm with you, a chocolate museum, how cool is that?!? It is associated with a cooking/pastry making school...it smells so good. If Nomad makes it down, and brings her camera, we may manage some pics, but the smell and taste....

Mof3: He's a pretty cool pup, and getting more relaxed and together all the time, which is good.

Nomad said...

That is like us with our kids, but usually

(since I can never hear cause I'm usually the one talking)

My kids pipe up...

HEY! Mom...they're speaking ENGLISH!!!

It's a BIG deal...

oreneta said...

Isn't it just. I met up with the man while he was jogging once, and called out to him...he just kept running for about another 10 yards, then ground to a halt..that was English!!! So he knew it must be me!