Sunday, December 21, 2003

December 20, 2003
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are barking over the sound system in the @Area (internet cafe in downtown Valencia) "Give it away, give it away, give it away now!" Deena and I walked over here from Tommy's dorm to check our E-mail. We are the only ones in here. we ordered two cafe con leches (coffee with milk, 1 euro each). Deena has to guide me over the Spanish controls, right click, copiar and pegar, paste).

Speaking of which, got a correction from mi amigo, back in Washington, Dan Buck:

"Two minuscule corrections. Gaudy comes from the Middle English gaud, meaning trinket/ornament, not Gaudi. And the lisp is not a lisp and has nothing to do with any switch-hitting king. Other than that, que vaya bien."

We listen to Tommy's tapes, mostly the Strokes new album and The Kings of Leon, who sound like they should be from Spain, but are actually from Tennessee.

I found this poster shop called El Atril down a side street three days ago and through my interpreter, Tomas, I got them to go to the basement and bring up three classic 1920s rodeo posters. One is of a cowboy with a big Tom Mix hat on fanning, in the Plaza de Toros (bull plaza) and then they found one of a female, possibly Vera McGinnis, on tour. The cowboy was 93 euros and I got them to throw in a Mamie Van Doren look-alike in a big cowgirl hat for free. Then I went hog wild and bought two more, even biggerĂ‚¨posters of rodeo performers painted by a local genius poster guy for 150 euros each. Now I have to figure out how to get them home. The local shippers won't touch it. May have to carry a big, long tube on the plane, just like Lee Harvey Oswald going to work in the Texas Book Depository, or at least that's how I'm afraid I will be perceived at Heathrow. We'll see. I feel like a mini-William Randolph Hearst, bulldozing through Europe buying up all things Western and having them shipped back to my adobe on the desert (Mr. Boze believed that if he kept building onto his home he would never die. In this room we see all of the crap Boze brought home from Europe that his wife would never let in the house. Over here is the bed where Mr. Bell slept for the last decade of his life because his wife made him stay with his precious junk. His body is still here somewhere, but no one has yet found it.)

But I digress.

The Spaniards are so sweet. We ran out of gas on our propane in the apartment overlooking the Mediterranian. So Tomas and I went next door and a Spanish babe comes over, wades out on our terrace, grabs the propane hose connector, smashes it down on the new tank, twists it expertly, says about 80 words in 15 seconds, smiles, points at Tomas and leaves. I say, "What the hell did she say," and Tommy says, "She said any time we needed any help to call her." The wedding is next week.

The Spanish women are knockouts. Really sexy and sophisticated. I complain about them all smoking but there is something about a lithe, fetching, black-booted seniorita, smoking and laughing on the blvd. and looking at you with those big blue eyes (so many blondes! Ah, those Mexican stereotypes die hard!).

And speaking of Mexican stereotypes, they don't have Mexican food. None. No tacos, no burritos, no enchilads. Here, tortilla means an egg dish, like a piece of pie, only eggs. Tommy complains how they can't tolerate spicy food. "Oh this is so hot it will burn your tongue!" And Tomas says it tastes like ketchup. Hmmmmmm.

"Live so that you can stick out your tongue at the insurance." -Don Marquis

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