Site of the Last Lunch

I haven’t had time to write about it, cuz I’ve been a bit busy, what with the leaving the country and six years of my life behind, but i thought I’d share a bit of my last day before heading out to Washington DC.

  • The Freak Out. You know how sometimes you wake up before your alarm goes off and then just doze for a while? Yeah I love that. Couldn’t do it though, cuz I instantly started thinking of all the crap I was supposed to do and the fact this was my last day and omg what the f$*k am I going to do in washington dc and aaaaaaaaa! So instead of having some lazy napping, I just started at the ceiling and let my thoughts whirl about like a hamster wheel being driven by a hamster on cocaine. That was fun. And then I got up.
  • The Sorting of The Crap. One of the big things I had left to do was to go through various baggies, boxes, folders, binders, notebooks, and piles of various papers, documents, letters, handwritten notes, photos, receipts, photocopies and other bits of paper I have long since forgotten the significance of and see what, if any, needed keeping. So I sat in my big blue ridicuously oversized bathrobe (thanks Mom!) with cup of tea in hand and started sorting.
    I found interesting stuff! Like:
    *  cute cheesy cards my mom sent me along with photos of my cat 🙂
    * lots of scribbled emails addresses and phone numbers that brought back very few corresponding memories
    *funny notes I wrote to myself while I was working in a bar my first summer here, scrawled on Warsteiner brand notepad paper.
    * copies/drafts of two whole post-break up letters, always amusing to read years after the fact, and thankfully, no longer painful. In fact I was quite impressed with my compositional style, and mourned that my espistolary talents count for little in the email age .
    *lots of business cards. I think I kept, like 3.
    *a napkin with a memorable joke written on it 6 years ago in a bar in Sol.
    *the driver’s license of an Irish friend of mine who I haven’t seen since 2004, but who calls once every year and a half (sometimes after a few too many) to see what’s up.
    *ticket to Benicassim 2005. Best 5 days of pure bliss I’ve had in the past 7 years.
    *ticket to Summercase 2007. Best 2 days of pure bliss I’ve had in the past 3 years.
    *photo booth photos from when I took my pic in Feb of 2004 for my Madrid metro pass. I totally want to get one of them scanned and make it my Facebook profile picture. Toooooooooooooo funny.
    *receipts for taxis in Berlin from when I was there with MobuzzTV for 10 days for the world cup. D’oh! Forgot to get my reimbursement apparently.
  • The Depositing of the Money. I enjoyed my last instance of waiting in line at the Bank to deposit my last month’s wages, which would soon be my tiny tiny nestegg for begining a new life in DC. I am royally irritated by the crappy exchange rate. I unashamedly wish for the dollar to plummet in value against the euro sometime within the next couple of weeks, so that when I withdrawl it over here, it will have magically become more.
  • The Farewell and the Piggy Bank Money. So I had this crazy red  papier mache piggy bank that my boss at MobuzzTV gave me for secret santa years ago. And I realized acouple weeks back that now it was finally time to open the poor thing. I was discussing this with a student of mine who works at Banco de España (Spain’s central bank) and he told me they have machines in the lobby to count your coins. Yay!

    Interior of the bank, can't see beautiful stained glass ceiling 😦

    So I swept passed Banco de España and met up with my student. My coins (diminished at this point as I had already spent all the big 1 and 2 euro coins immediately after gutting my piggy bank) came to a grand total of 32 euros. And this being the Bank of Spain , I got it in super brand new crispy never been wrinklen notes, and shiny shiny shiny coins. I had a coffee with my student, said farewell and went off to buy myself a lunchtime treat.

  • The Last Lunch. This was it. My last lunch out in Madrid. Where would I go? What did I want to eat? What could possibly be special enough? What could symbolize the end of this era. And as I strolled through Sol, down toards Plaza Mayor it hit me: Botin! Madrid’s Guiness World Record holding oldest restaurant, where Hemmingway ate and Goya (I s#&t you not, Goya, washed dishes). And I had never eaten there! With good reason, its expensive. But I thought, I could have a glass of wine and some croquetas, I don’t have to get the roast suckling pig. It seemed somehow poetic to go there for my last lunch.

    Photo I found of Ricla online. Gives you an idea.

    But I got there and it looked all dark inside, and it seemed a pity to go there on such a sunny day. I looked across the street – Bar La Ricla, a little bar I’d passed a million times and had always wanted to go into, but when I went back it was always closed. It was open! So, on my last day I discovered something new. Cute, small, cozy, bright, with beautiful old tiles (the ones I love with the andalusian-style, islamic-influenced geometric patterns) cast iron columns like many buildings in the area, including my flat. Glass of tinto, a bit of chorizo, reading my book on a stool, looking out the lovely, sun-illuminated facade of Botin. Juuuuuuuuust right. And it cost less than 3 bucks!

  • Lunch, cont’d….. A bit of chorizo wasn’t really a lunch, and all the other things they offered were my less than favourites (lots of fish out of tins, in vinegar, in oil, etc…) so I thought I’d make lunch a 2-parter. So I ambled down Cava Baja towards home and just before I got there, stopped at Tempranillo. Wine bar extraordinaire. With really good yummy food things.

    Pic found online of the wall of wine at Tempranillo. I am unworthy.

    If I had money and decided to become a serious alcoholic wine connoisseur, this is where I would spend my life. They have a wall of wine. A wall. Someday I will have a wine rack like that. We all need goals. Anywho. So I had a glass of priorat (nope, dunno what that means either) and a tosta with salmorejo (this amaaaaaaazing tomato garlic thick cold gazpacho tasting stuff) and quail breast. Didn’t cost less than 3 euros. And so I finished the first part of my last day!