Oh, the relaxed Spain of my youth. It is coming back to me.
“You’ve come to Spain to do sports?” my friend’s mother said to me, referring to the four-day bike trip we’ve planned. “You are supposed to come here to eat and relax.”
I told her my goal was to eat as much good food as I could without gaining weight, and that the biking would allow me to eat more.
“But it’s not a problem if you gain weight,” she said. “Because you’ll return to the U.S., where except for Thanksgiving, there is no good food, and you will lose it.”
I have to agree with her on the food. After a day and a half spent in airplane travel and a stopover at a house where there was almost nothing to eat that was not processed, I’m longing for quality food made from fresh ingredients even more.
We all gathered at a table outside a bar. Our group ranged in age from one month old to grandparents. The bar tables were all full. Plenty of people strolled outside. My friend said there were less people outside than usual, because on Friday evenings people head to the villages.
Eat, drink, relax. Adults entertained the children. No one talked much about work, about obligations, about anything stressful. It was just an acceptance of and enjoyment of the moment. This seems to me like a nice place to live.